by Allison Hemming
Every leader obsesses about building a star factory, but the sad truth is you'll never keep all your best talent. While they're working for you, worry less about losing them and instead influence their thinking. Turn them into evangelists for the way you do business and be brave enough to set expectations about what it means to be a good alumnus of your organization. Invest in a strong foundation, unlock their potential and then help them get to the next level -- whether it's inside or out of your company. You'll not only have more empowered employees but you'll gain loyalists who'll turn into clients long after they leave.
by Kyra Edeker
Kyra Edeker will discuss three concrete communication tools pulled from user research techniques, mindfulness practice and modern psychology that can improve your happiness, your team’s dynamic and your product. Whether you work as a solo consultant or within in a large company’s product team, there are constantly competing user needs, business pressures, design timelines, and development constraints. Collaborating with stakeholders isn’t always easy. Empathy-building tools are often used in user research but most of us don’t turn this same open ear toward our own team. By using some simple practices to create empathy for others, you can improve communication with your collaborators. With better communication comes better decision making and better products.
by Ron Gutman
Smiling is more than just the result of happiness – it can actually help create happiness. And creating happiness at work is essential to building a highly successful company.
Ron Gutman, author of one of the most “Liked” TED talks of all time (the Hidden Powers of Smiling) and founder and CEO of HealthTap, discusses current research about how smiling and happiness can change lives and social situations, and are at the core of effective companies where employees love to work, and reveals methods (including creating and honoring a company Vision and Credo and shared values) for building a highly-successful, smile-filled company through a culture centered on Three-Ps: Positivity, Purpose and Priorities. These form the building blocks of innovative entrepreneurship.
By promoting, respecting, embodying and hiring for these qualities, companies are better equipped to overcome the challenges inherent in innovation (positivity), attract the right talent, supporters, and partners (strong purpose), and move faster and accomplish more (priorities) – all with happier employees.
In this talk, musician and web developer Joris Verbogt will tell you how his experiences in a traveling band influence the way he does his other job. How musicians deal with the endless hours on the road, uncertain of a decent place to sleep, working hard on stage trying to entertain the audience. But also stories about the amazing number of people wanting to help, supporting you in ways you couldn't have imagined and, last but not least, about the incredible moments of pure magic.
After being sold a boom-era bill of goods that promised purpose through 9-to-9 editorial employment, my years of responsible labor gradually gave way to workahol abuse and, finally, workaholism. By the time I realized I had a problem, I was being laid off amid the sparsest job market in four generations. My resultant disillusionment touched off a wholly unspiritual journey that took me across China, Australia and Southeast Asia but, most importantly, my couch. It was there where I regained my sense of self, my sense of meaning and my sense of smell. (Unemployment isn’t so conducive to routine hygiene.) I had became a consumer again, making me a daywalker between those who produce content and those who read it. Being a shiftless non-contributor had realigned my perception.
This is the triumphant story of one man’s search for enlightenment through unemployment that will culminate with this presentation.
by Matthew Schiffman
Working as a freelancer is stressful. It can be unreliable, unpredictable…and downright unnerving. Your taxes are higher, your paychecks are sporadic, and your health insurance will double. So why would you dare walk down this career path? In spite of its blemishes, freelancing gives you a great amount of latitude in defining your career trajectory, along with the satisfaction of being held accountable primarily to yourself. Benefits of freelancing include more family time, flexible work hours, no bosses breathing down your neck and the option to work in your skivvies. This session will teach you how to take advantage of the burgeoning freelance-working trend and navigate around the pitfalls you’re most likely to encounter. Journey with me on a freelancer's path, where I'll share my most dreadful mistakes so you can avoid making them.
We can't excuse ourselves from responsibility for the things we create simply because we work as part of a team, or because we have bosses and clients telling us what to do. Behind every web page, process, and product are the hands and minds of the designers who planned them. We study users, create scenarios, and develop workflows. We set the mood and fine tune the tone. We design, analyze, and optimize. This is all done to provoke actions from people who have no idea the extent to which each button-press has been planned for. As our influential methods reach further into the disciplines of psychology and behavioral science, we must ask ourselves exactly where the ethical boundary lies between persuasion and manipulation.
The purpose of this talk is not only to inspire you to take your work more personally, but also as a reminder of how important it is. As the hands the shape the digital world, and it's up to us to determine just how radically awesome or terribly sucky it will be.
The very essence of work is changing, as firms transform themselves from traditional hierarchies of product and customer to networks of relationships and capabilities, placing new burdens on accounting and valuation; vertical integration models of the past are being replaced by open platforms and ecosystem; transaction costs continue to be lowered, but across global supply chains; corporations now engage with their customers on the customer's terms, in social networks where hitherto static brands now emerge as dynamic conversations. And the new generation at work thinks, feels and acts differently: they choose who they want to work with and what they want to work on. As processes get replaced by patterns, as exceptions become the rule, there is a lot to be learnt from MMORPG in terms of priorities, motivation, teamwork and outcomes.
Conceived as a user’s manual for DIY organizational design, this talk explores good practices for structuring an organization for creativity and impact, and motivating smart and creative people.The importance of building an exceptional team is sometimes minimized by creative business owners. It is a “secondary task” unrelated, at least superficially, to the work we deliver to clients, often triggered under duress by an event: a huge new client project to ramp up for, a round of VC funding, the opening of a new office, the exodus of a few great employees, or market events that force a restructuring. For this reason building an organization often takes on an urgent tone and is executed with haste or fear. ‘Organization Design is for Lovers’ is about adding people with confidence and implementing the right organizational structure to push your ideas forward.
by Brad Temple
Let's face it: life rarely happens exactly as planned. Unforeseen opportunities, setbacks, and other variables can (and often do) wreak havoc on even the best-laid plans. How do you adjust? Improvise! We'll extract the key principles of improvisational theory and learn how they apply to our everyday lives. Furthermore, we'll spend the majority of our time looking at some current examples of how improvisation is reshaping our professional landscape.
by Ben Elowitz
The old media company is dead. Fragmented audiences are consuming content across multiple devices from multiple sources. Barriers to entry have disappeared and options have exploded. The rise in use and complexity of the social web (social+mobile+realtime) plus proliferation of content (text + photo + video + apps) means audiences are demanding more information, at rapid speeds and in a variety of form factors (and usually for free). There is a need for a new and profitable publishing system that understands all these needs – that will produce and distribute the right content, at the right place, at the right time. How does a media company manage all of these important pieces? How does it optimize – and monetize – its various media properties? Ben will address all that, with practical information about audience predictive technologies, curation techniques, social media and mobile distribution channels – and how to use them all to keep your media company on the cutting edge.
The invention of the printing press transformed society by breaking up elite strangleholds on entertainment and information. But governments and corporations figured out how to tame the next wave of media—TV & radio. How can the Internet fulfill its true revolutionary promise and avoid being co-opted again by the economic and political establishment? By uniting with the book, the last medium to accomplish that. Average time spent per user on books is hours, lifetime revenue per author approaches one thousand dollars. But they're damn idiosyncratic and sampling them is hell, so current technology and business models favor lowest common denominators to maximize advertising revenue. By combining the Internet's capacity to power creation and consumption with the book's capacity to get deeper inside the human mind and identity than any other medium, the Internet can balance its dependence on corporate advertising with the economics of individual choice.
The new "Post PC" landscape is driving significant changes in the way content is being distributed and consumed. Online content experiences are diversifying across multiple platforms and increasingly being packaged into new forms. In this session, you will learn effective strategies to maximize engagement and conversion across touch Web and app experiences for your content.
by Carmen Hill
Whether it’s Bridget Jones in pursuit of Mark Darcy or Luke Skywalker on a quest to discover himself while overcoming evil, film protagonists are on a journey inspired by the promise of adventure and reward. Real people are on a similar quest to solve problems--including the prospective customers you hope to attract with your content marketing strategy. By applying principles of film narrative you can shape the online journey of your buyers, helping them bond with fellow travelers and overcome obstacles along the way. To do that, you must look beyond the spreadsheets, diagrams and content management systems that are the tricks of your trade and think like a storyteller: Who are the heroes--and the villains? What conflicts and challenges do they face? What is their quest and what is the reward? Learn how to use film narrative to unite your team and client around a storyline, map the buyer’s journey, and align the right content to the right person in the right way and at the right time.
In a world where Google guards the gates of the Internet, the Panda update proved beyond reasonable doubt that every website is vulnerable to the search giant’s changes. While Google does a very good job, the vagaries of search algorithm updates result in decent sites losing a huge chunk of their traffic, leading to distractions of resources in trying to recoup their search traffic. In this discussion, Paul Edmondson will talk about unsuspected insights from his Panda-update experience and offer 5 key best practices that will help your site remain stable during future changes.
Paul Edmondson is the CEO and co-founder of HubPages, a social content community where writers choose what they write, share in the online ad impressions and connect with each other via social tools. Previously, Paul was part of the executive team at MongoMusic, which was acquired by Microsoft in 2000.
In the early days of owned and earned media (i.e., content) brands believed that communicating their messages via social and traditional media were the keys to success. And content is working; 61 percent of brands are doubling down on content this year. But advanced content strategists know that driving specific business objectives using content requires a wholesale shift to the user’s perspective - creating content that is entirely about theuser and the things they already care about. And for all the hand-wringing that goes on about creating the right content, 90 percent of brands investing in content lack a plan for optimizing the content and its distribution to reach targets, get them to “try” it and get them to come back to it on a regular basis.
This presentation takes brands and marketers on a deep dive into the behavioral neuropsychology that drives audiences to try and become addicted to a brand’s content, and helps them translate that knowledge into a scalable program that drives specific business objectives using consumer-centric content, complete with case studies of these strategies in action.
Forget apps, .mobi sites, and smoke signals. Here’s a little secret: you can make one website to cater to different devices and contexts. Designing responsive sites is gaining mainstream acceptance—but how do these sites effect your content strategy? Like the design, content is flexible—expanding based on screen resolution and medium to match the user's context. We need techniques to scale content as beautifully and responsively as our designs.
Responsive content can be used for both good and evil (or at least pleasant and painful user experiences). We'll examine when content should be responsive and when it shouldn't be.
Finally, the tech details: to make content respond, draw on the HTML5 spec, web standards, and semantic markup to systematically flag content. We can also use CSS, JS, and server-side processing to add or remove content from different contexts to create fast-loading sites.
by Adam Baker
For 18 months, I *poured* myself into my blog Man Vs. Debt. I had thousands of subscribers, a passionate community, dozens of comments on my posts, and recognition from many other people I looked up to. But I was lacking terribly in one area - the *business* side of things.
Day in and day out I focused on the small details of building up my "blog" (at least a little) - but completely ignored truly growing my "business." A little over a year ago I finally realized... "Baker, you are running an online business - not just a blog." And things started to change.
Over the next 30 days, I organized a niche sale with a new partner that brought together 20+ online entrepreneurs and sold their top business products for 90% off for a short time. In just 30 days of planning, we executed a sale that gross $189,000 in revenue and profited over $30,000 for myself.
This all happened because I stepped back and focus on my *real* assets and strengths. My blog was successful, but it wasn't the core benefit I had to offer the world. Stepping away from my blogging-tunnel-focus has allowed me to build a six-figure online business, while *still* doubling the subscribers to my blog in just a few months.
I'll show you exactly what led to my change (specific examples from my business and blog) - and the tangible steps you can take to analyze your own "blog" and "business." Chances are, these aren't the same thing.
Are you building up a blog?
Or are you building an online business?
by Stephen Bradley
User-generated content (UGC) has changed the face of the entertainment world forever. Nearly every form of media has enjoyed a "break-out" moment when consumer content began to present a serious alternative to professionally-developed content for market and mind share. Break-through companies like Flickr, CD Baby, YouTube and Zynga have led the charge for every form of media entertainment from photos to video to music to video games... all except books.
The explosive growth of e-readers and e-books is a strong endorsement of consumer demand to both publish and consume written work. Historically, writing and publishing a complete book has been a daunting proposition for the average consumer - but today non-professional enthusiasts have the opportunity to participate with others in the creation of new types of stories that build on the contributions and inspiration of many... stories that develop and unfold before their eyes, where they are both creator and consumer at once.
There's an adage in journalism that three of anything makes a trend. But, you and your two pals 'liking' something doesn't make it the next big thing. Internet trends are surprising, whimsical, and fast. The best trending indices are targeted and personal, distilling what you'll like from what's popular.
Learn how to track rising, breaking, and spiking trends from broad sources. Identify what works for your audience and use trends to build content that is compelling and fresh. Don't waste time on concepts that won't work. Find out how personalized trends can offer programming insights and inform content creation decisions. And learn when to skip the waiting and wag the dog.
9th–13th March 2012