ASW08 Looking Back at My New Friends at Affiliate Marketing Summit West

Apologies for the lack of posts during the conference. My Dell Inspiron, as well as several other people’s, could not connect to the Affiliate Summit Internet signals. This is Dell’s fault, not Affiliate Summit’s. On that note, Dell needs to finally take responsibility for the many flawed drivers and poorly designed hinges in these machines and do a complete and total recall. I’m gathering horror stories for a future post since Dell is not taking these problems seriously and correcting them fully and globally. If you have a Dell Inspiron horror story please drop me a note.

OK, back to my highlights of Affiliate Summit West 2008!

– On Saturday meeting Ned Farra from Zappo’s, Patrice Kaddatz from Scrapbook.tv, Heather Paulson, Chris Graham from Syntrx and Carsten Cumbrowski was great! Learned some great things.

– On Sunday at the Meet Market I had tons of great conversations! I met John Chow for the first time and he wasn’t anything like I expected him to be! He was amazingly down to earth and easy to talk to. I ran into Kevin Lee from Did-it, we had a nice catch up chat. I met Dominic Sofia from DGM, Richard Forster from Buy.at and George Hansen from Digital River about their quality offerings – really awesome people I’m glad to now call friends. Also had a great talk with Geofferson Marcy at Advaliant about how they uniquely manage publishers.

– Meeting Shawn Collins on Monday during Jason Calacanis’ speech. Shawn complimented me which was quite unexpected but a nice surprise. As you know I attend alot of Internet conference however this was my first time at Affiliate Summit. I was immediately struck at how difficult this conference community is to manage and program due to it’s highly fragmented and unstandardized nature. The accomplishment of not only satisfying this community but growing it in the way that they have is something that both Missy Ward and Shawn Collins should pause to appreciate. The use of Twitter in a group manner as they did at the conference is also brilliant (note to self – I need to get instructions on how to set up a group Twitter like that – maybe Shawn will point me in the right direction!). I look forward to building an outstanding long term relationship with Shawn and Missy over time.

- Speaking of Jason Calacanis and Mahalo, you see me asking a question of Jason in this photo after his speech. Regardless of whether you love and/or hate Jason, I’d highly urge anyone to listen to his speech in the Webmaster Radio link (on Affiliate Tip). It was highly thought provoking talk that replaced the word seo with affiliate spam. So what did you ask him Dave? Let me set some background first. Since meeting Jason Calacanis in December, 2006, he sent Linkedin invites to his whole address book while an entrepreneur in residence at Sequoia and then did not participate in the ecosystem there, he’s sent me dozens of Facebook invites, yet last year when I was in Santa Monica and gave him a jingle and he didn’t call me back. Jason has stated that Digg was “Brilliant” yet Digg is causing content to be recycled and stolen from small blogs and pushed to the lazy masses. Mahalo also has the Alexa toolbar installed on all of the machines at Mahalo, which games Mahalo’s Alexa rating.

So Jason what is your role in creating and contributing to Internet spam? You are certainly not a totally white clean angel virgin here. Listening back to the recording today though, I admit you acknowledged and didn’t deny anything I said when I stated and asked my question. I gotta respect that. I’m left mildly confused if that is the blogger in you that is taught to engage the one that questions you or whether it is truly how you feel. I’m conflicted. To me a friend means going beyond the surface level, I’m still not convinced you are fully capable of it. I’d love nothing more than for you to prove me wrong. I’d also like to thank the dozens of people who came up to me during the rest of the conference and stated that they appreciated my bringing up relevant examples of how Jason (and everyone else) participates in polluting the web, some are more guilty than others of course but nobody is completely innocent.

I’ll ask you another question Jason, “You mentioned how you you have ego alerts during your speech, then you attacked Seth Godin and Squidoo. How can you reconcile how you are urging the creation of content with your ego alerts and how that is terribly different than your personal views on Seth Godin’s creation?”

Alright enough about what I think, here are the other posts on Jason’s talk:

Mahalo’s Missing DNA back at you Jason Calcanis

Affiliate Summit West Thank You

Calacanis is and the Real Hurdles for Affiliate Marketing

Live Blogging the Jason Calacanis Keynote at Affiliate Summit

Jason Calacanis Urges Affiliates to Think Big, Stop Holding Up Checks

Message board discussion of the keynote

“Don’t pollute the river”, affiliates told.

Jason Calacanis Keynote Recap (Affiliate Summit)

-Other people I met on Monday include Jamie Birch from Converseon, Mark Kirschner from Linkshare, Krissy Mitchell a Northwestern University Kellogg alum who works at Avon in New York City. Also met Gary Vaynerchuk from Wine Library TV who will be speaking at the TECHcoktail conference in May. Dan Murray at Ravenwood Marketing and Steve Schaffer from Vertive gave an truly educational talk about how to manage affiliate managers.

– Affiliate Bash – WOW!!! Daron Babin and Brandy really outdid themselves at this one! The Blue Man Group performance during party was amazing. The venue was awesome! Special thanks to Kris Jones at Pepperjam for being the primary sponsor of this event.

– On Tuesday, I sat at a table and there was a talk about WordPress with Karen Jackie and Dana Rockel from Content Robot. Fun folks who know their WordPress.

Attending Affiliate Summit was an outstanding experience, if you attend many other Internet conferences you’d benefit highly by attending the next Affiliate Summit and seeing how these folks fit into your existing web strategy – irregardless if you are a search or a brand marketer. See you in Boston in August! If you met me at Affiliate Summit, please feel free to add me on Twitter, Facebook or Linkedin. See you soon.

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10 Responses to ASW08 Looking Back at My New Friends at Affiliate Marketing Summit West

  1. Jason Lancaster February 27, 2008 at 5:57 pm #

    David – it was nice to read your summary. It was a very even handed treatment of Calcanis’s speech.

    Personally, I found Calcanis’s attitude about “affiliate spam” very arrogant – while he’s 100% correct that T.A.S. (thin affiliate sites) degrade the internet as a whole, he’s lost touch with reality. For some people, a TAS represents a way to make enough money to get by. Perhaps he wouldn’t be so quick to scold his behavior if he weren’t independently wealthy.

    Also, along those lines, I think his statement that “half the people in this room (at Affiliate Summit) are smarter than most Silicon Valley CEO’s” is 100% correct. Of course, the same can be said of most big business. At that level, it’s not really about smarts…it’s about who you know, how you network, and your political skills.

    Nonetheless, I was energized and honored by his observation (but he probably wasn’t talking about me).

  2. Shawn Collins February 27, 2008 at 10:25 pm #

    Hey David –

    It was a pleasure to meet you earlier this week.

    > (note to self – I need to get instructions on how to set up a group Twitter like that – maybe Shawn will point me in the right direction!).

    Here is what we used…

    http://www.3greeneggs.com/wp/web-dev/create-a-group-twitter-account/

  3. David Dalka February 28, 2008 at 6:20 am #

    Thanks Shawn!

    You rock. Now I need to go put this on my list to execute.

  4. Patrice Kaddatz March 2, 2008 at 8:31 pm #

    Hi David

    Cool blog! It was great to meet you and your friends at Affiliate Summit.

    Look forward to reading your future posts.

    Patrice

  5. Michelle Gartner March 2, 2008 at 9:32 pm #

    Hey David – I visited your site just before Affiliate Summit because you linked to my Web Dev Co. and I saw you later at the keynote but didn’t recognize you… you look different on you blog then you did grillin` the boy wonder.

    I’ll definitely be back to read up more of your blog- the best part of Affiliate Summit for me was flying back home and landing in Chicago during an awesome sunset… and 3 out of my 5 kids screaming when they saw me get into our minivan. It’s great to get back to my life of crime… ;P (you know what I am saying.)

  6. Cindy T. March 5, 2008 at 2:09 pm #

    It was nice to see you again David. I am sorry we didn’t have a chance to chat longer. Next time…

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