Monday, December 7, 2009

SES Chicago December 2009 Day 1

I'm back to the Hilton Chicago for my favorite conference of the year, Search Engine Strategies (SES #seschi). Although I own a real estate brokerage, these conferences are a delightful throwback to my old life as a computer nerd. I love coming here and mingling with all these interesting souls.

However, as always, I am woefully reminded of how much I have fallen behind technologically since the last time I was here. And I'm not talking in just a few ways, but hundreds of ways. One thing is for sure, I am glad that I waited to revamp my website until after I came here.

The conference this time has a subdued feel. I think this is because the world is in the middle of a transition between Web 2.0 and Web 3.0 and this feels like a big deal. Web 3.0 is mysteriously creeping up on us all. This time around we are quieter before the sessions start, in fact you could hear a pin drop as we sit quietly waiting, listening, striving to understand what is going to happen next.
And we are learning that what is going to happen next will be a big shift away from what we know.

Today we heard a lot about real time search, the role of search in our future, social media vs search strategies,
and much more. The new web is no longer about page ranking. Social media has us thinking about the web into in terms of "people ranking." Soon we will see that people and their reputations will be the anchors of the web, not static web sites. There is also a lot of talk about "real time news." The kind that you can only get from Twitter.

As if on cue, today Google rolled out a new
real time search feature. If you put a topic that is trending into Google, you will now get current news results in the return. (Try a topic like Tiger Woods). Usually, we use Google to either look up a domain name or to find information about a topic. For current events, most of us use Twitter or RSS feeds instead of search engines. But Google and other SE's are on the case to change this with their brand new real time search capabilities.

The day ended with my favorite session, "What's the Link Between Search and Social?" The panel discussed how search strategies and social media might work together. The group decided that comparing the two is like comparing apples to oranges; the two tasks are different from each other, each serving a different function. There is a place for both in online marketing, but not so much an intersection of the two.

I personally had been moving away from search strategies and investments. However, I see that search has a place next to social media marketing, at least for now. However, networks of people-powered systems are clearly forging a strong stand against the foothold that search engines like Google have had on the Internet for a long time. It's an important concept to understand in the Web 3.0 world. Looking forward to tomorrow...



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