This weekend I attended Webmaster Jam Session 2008, a conference in Atlanta put on by CoffeeCup Software and a few other groups. We sent about 10 people from our company. Representatives from our Project Management Team, Account Management Team, Technical Writing/IA Team and Design Team all attended.
Yours truly at Webmaster Jam Session 2008
The conference had a pretty good lineup of speakers, some better than others. The speakers tended to be design oriented or social media oriented. They could have used a few more sessions with a true business focus, but overall it was a worthwhile conference.
The best speaker, in my opinion, was Chris Perry from Weber Shandwick, one of the largest PR companies in the world. Chris spoke on social media and its impact on business. He made an excellent point — too many businesses try to use social media tools (such as Facebook, blogging, LinkedIn, etc.) because they feel they have to in order to keep up with the times. In other words, they blog because everyone else is doing it. Their approach should instead start with a focus on what they are trying to achieve.
Social media tools should be utilized as a means to an end — a way to connect and interact with a desired target audience. A business should first identify their target audience and then use social media tools as a way to engage that audience in conversation. Too many businesses are missing the boat on this right now.
So all in all, a good weekend and we are looking forward to Webmaster Jam Session 2009!