3rd day in Utah and haven't had much down time to report on a few things I wanted to share from Summit 2011:
*No Josh James this year diminished the opening night star power of previous years and some of the enthusiasm. Omniture was a bit of a cult of personality with James at the center so it will be interesting to see how the 'business group' (part of Adobe for about a year now) and its attendant culture starts to change. Summit was a big part of that and may get softened by Adobe, whose California-based players seem to like making jokes about Utah.
*Another slight against Utah was the presentation of Vail resorts as the ski industry examplar of good web-marketing practices (as crowned by Exact Target, their enterprise email vendor). With the Utah ski culture playing a big role at Summit, I wonder if Exact Target thought that through before presenting Vail as the finest ski area in the world. And, uh, meanwhile let's get excited about the Canyons on Friday.
*Flouting rumors ranging from the Black Eyed Peas, Kings of Leon, Muse or even Bon Jovi, Lenny Kravitz was the entertainment this year. The announcement was met with little initial fanfare and you could count me among those only mildly interested. BUT, Lenny rocked it. He and his band were pumped and tight and gave a terrific show with some unexpectedly groovy extended funk jams. His back up band kicked ass, routinely, and I give Kravitz a lot of credit for pulling out the extra effort for a corporate gig.
*I can't remember the exact stat, but someone said that something north of 90% of the web pages on the Internet have some form of advertisement on them. That media used to be content consumed in the presence of ads, and somehow we've got to the place where now it's ads viewed in the presence of content. This makes me feel good and more resolved to not have ads on my blog.
*Which also reminds me of the time I did try to monetize my now dormant College Football blog with AdSense. After about a year, I was somewhere in the neighborhood of $50 in accrued click revenue. At this point Google upped the automatic payout amount to $100 and I guess I never got there. I burned out on the blog and the few users it's still getting are apparently ignoring the ads.
*But, it may have been a blessing in disguise. Last year I recall a notice from the City of Philadelphia inviting local bloggers to come to a cocktail reception/brainstorm on development opportunities to showcase the blogging talent of the City. Once they got the respondent bloggers together in a room, the City quizzed them on whether they'd tried to monetize their blogs with ad revenue. Those that replied in the affirmative were promptly slapped with a reconciliation request for the Philadelphia Business Privilege Tax of $300. At $40 of unpaid ad revenue (which I might add was earned before I moved to Philadelphia, so don't get any ideas Nutter) which could reasonably be par for the earnings course for most of us aspiring-professional bloggers, the $300 is a steep, relative 'privilege' to pay. But staying on point, shame on you Philadelphia for being predictably disingenuous and sneaky and cloaking this tax-revenue dragnet in the virtuous guise of fostering creative output from your citizen bloggers. Motherfucking money-grubbing. No ads on this blog.