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Mike McDonald’s PubCon Wrap-up

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PubCon 2005 in Las Vegas is over and done. While it’s entirely possible that a ‘wrap up’ post is premature due to the fact that one of our primary hosts was borked for several hours this afternoon and our writing team may yet have notes to bring to the table, I’m gonna do one anyway. The following are some of thoughts and impressions from your friend and humble forum admin.

Brett Tabke throws a good show. This was my first PubCon, so I can’t really make a great comparison to previous pubCons. I have, however attended my share of these types of events and I can say with some confidence that PubCon easily holds it’s own with any I’ve seen. He assembled a solid lineup of speakers presenting, the breadth and depth of the sessions offered something for everyone and I can’t imagine anyone in attendance left feeling shortchanged. A big tip of the hat is in order for Brett, it ain’t as easy as he makes it look.

Jeremy Zawodny is an uber-blogger (and an all-around nice guy). Zawodny’s blog isn’t a vehicle for clicks, exposure, fame, fortune or PageRank. He just genuinely enjoys doing it. I’m not going to sit here and try to tell anyone that his blog would be as popular or followed if it weren’t for the fact that he’s employed by who he is… but I’d read it.

Matt Cutts is a patient fellow. Actually ‘patient fellow’ is an understatement. The guy makes Job look like a posterboy for ADHD. Wanna know where Matt is? Look for a crowd, he’s probably in the middle of it – answering question after question after question – smile on his face the whole time. I felt genuinely sorry for the guy more than once. Obviously, I had more than a couple questions I wanted to fire at him myself but on the few occasions I found him not being accosted from all angles, I couldn’t bring myself to be another one of ‘those guys’. Beyond that, for a ‘tech guy’, he’s a fine speaker in his own right.

The Microsoft guys have a pretty good sense of humor. Their presentation with the side-by-side comparisons of Google and MSN Search elicited some of the better laughs of the week. Sure they were potshots to some extent and it was made clear that there would be plenty of instances where one engine would look better than the other given different circumstances. It was funny anyway though -and refreshing, to see a little levity from the Redmond crew. Their search product is making significant strides too, by the way. I wouldn’t write ‘em off just yet.

There was certainly no shortage of other interesting and informative speakers and attendees. I had several worthwhile discussions with our own WPW mod Linda Buquet that have lots of potential for good stuff for the forum and beyond. Dana Todd is a great speaker, high octane and knowledgeable, there’s nobody nodding off in one of her sessions I’ll guarantee you that. Catherine Seda is top notch too – very classy and obviously in touch with the Internet marketing scene. The WebmasterRadio guys were cool also.

Then of course there was Las Vegas itself. Great town. loads of fun. Unfortunately, I must have left my luck in Kentucky. Monday night, as I touched down, my formerly undefeated fantasy football team was in the process of taking their first loss of the season. I knew then and there, it was a bad omen. I was right. I have spent the last few days getting my butt absolutely kicked at pretty much every game they play out here (and that’s a lot of games).

But, I suppose it’s like one of the dealers told me (as he raked yet another stack of my chips off the table); “It’s gambling. It’s kinda like fishing in a way. When you go fishing they don’t call it ‘catching’ they call it fishing. Coincidentally enough, I have a fishing trip scheduled next weekend… I’m wondering if maybe I shouldn’t just stay at home at this point.

Mike is a manager at iEntry. He has been with iEntry since 2000.

Mike McDonald’s PubCon Wrap-up
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