FOOA: Interesting points

The Future of Online Advertising conference came and went, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I admit I should have blogged about it at the time but I was busy soaking in all its goodness!

So I’ve decided to do the next best thing and brain dump a few interesting facts, moments, or whatever you want to call them, in a list.

  • Video advertising is the next big thing. Not the 30-sec ad kind, but where you can click on an item in a video clip, like a t-shirt somebody is wearing, and more information displays, where you can amongst other things – buy that same t-shirt.
  • VideoClix demonstrated a product that that allows you to do this at the conference, and it works pretty well.
  • Microsoft adLab is fairly useful. Even though I’d say only about 5-or so people actually knew about it before the conference. Check out the ‘Demographics Prediction’, ‘Search Funnels’, and ‘Search Volume Forecasting’. Still hard to believe it’s a free offering from Microsoft!
  • Digg co-founder Jay Adelson gave a talk on ‘Tapping into the Advertising Potential of New Media’, which was fairly interesting. He played the Fred and Barney smoking Winston’s cigarettes clip. That brought some things in perspective in a funny and surreal way.
  • Mike Hudack from skipped some of his slides to avoid paparazzi-style sneaky pics being taken of his treasured bar graphs.
  • Jim Coudal from ‘The Deck‘ and ‘Coudal Partners‘ gave a very inspiring and funny talk on how things work at The Deck. One 120×90 ad per page per day, and only of services that The Deck have personally tried. That’s it. The advantage? Readers enjoy the clean layout, Advertisers don’t compete for attention on a page, and the site owner gets a fair cut. I was actually looking forward to his talk from the beginning as I had seen him in the viral video, ‘Copy Goes Here
  • Met some interesting people. Namely Darren Rowse from Problogger, Andrej Nabergoj, and Chris Hart.

Overall it was a very refreshing week away in New York with my cousin Ivan. I’ll upload a few pictures on here soon.

The Future of Online Advertising Conference

Future of Online AdvertisingRyan Carson has kindly given me a free ticket to attend this years Future of Online Advertising (FOOA) conference in New York. I’m really looking forward to meeting and discussing a few ideas with other attendees and speakers. A few names pop to mind right now: Steve Rubel of the MicroPersuasion blog, Jim Coudal of Coudal Partners and Jay Adelson of digg.

Obviously the list of interesting people doesn’t stop there, and I look forward to meeting many more creative minds at the event.

Are schools constricting creativity?

Sir Ken Robinson presented a very strong (and funny) case for encouraging creativity amongst students in schools, rather than undermining it, at the TED Conference last year.

There are many brilliant people whose talents have failed to be recognised in schools. “We are educating people out of their creativity,” he argues, by focusing too heavily on traditional “academic” subjects such as Mathematics, Languages and Humanities.

Sir Robinson also points out that students starting school last year (2006) will be retiring in 2065. “Nobody knows what the world will look like in 5 years time”, let alone 60 years, “yet we’re meant to be educating them for it”.

Pleasure vs. Happiness

Many people when asked what happiness is would suggest that it comes in short bursts. Like listening to a good song, enjoying a delicious meal, or coming to a nice wood fire from the cold outside. You would be led to believe that long-lasting happiness is simply unachievable.

In actual fact, all of those things are pleasures, not happiness itself. If you’re not familiar with the difference, then I’ll sum it up for you: too much pleasure becomes un-pleasurable. Just listen to that good song over and over and you’ll see what I mean.

Happiness on the other hand “is not linked to an activity”, argues Dr Matthieu Ricard — “Happiness is a state of being”. Dr Ricard has practiced this state of being for over 30 years, and has published a book about it titled ‘Happiness: A guide to developing life’s most important skill‘. Recently The Independent suggested that he may be the happiest man in the world, after they performed a 5-hour brain scan on him.

When he came out, he smiled and remarked “That was like a mini-retreat”.

Hello World

So I’ve finally decided to give this Blogging malarkey a go. I’ve thought about the topics I hope to be discussing on the blog, and have narrowed it down to these main areas:

  • Web Development
  • Business Development
  • Personal Development

That’s a lot of “development” I hear you say, and I agree. Then again, people do recommend to “talk about what you know”, and seeing as those are the topics I enjoy studying/doing, I didn’t have to think hard about the focus of the blog. I just hope you find at least one of those topics interesting, otherwise you’ll find it very boring here at!

Well, that’s all for now. See you around!