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Partner Summit 2011 Kicks Off in New Orleans

March 1, 2011 at 7:03 am PST

There’s a lot happening at our 15th Partner Summit—big news announcements for partners, not to mention keynotes, business breakout sessions, executive chats, and parties, too.

So what’s on tap for this week? To keep you in the know, we’ll have special Partner Update newscasts from New Orleans, so you don’t miss any of the Partner Summit news. And here’s what happened on day one of the event:

So what are we announcing this week?

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A Peek Into the Future with Dr. James Canton

Well, the time has come—Partner Summit 2011 gets underway tomorrow in New Orleans, and it’s sure to be a fun and informative week. For those of you attending virtually, be sure to visit the Virtual Partner Summit registration page to sign up (it’s free). The virtual event runs March 1 through March 3.

We have lots in store at the event—everything from breakout sessions to live executive chats to keynote sessions. I got the chance to chat with keynote speaker Dr. James Canton. Dr. Canton is global futurist, social scientist, and author whose research is focused on future trends in innovation.

Dr. Canton gave me a sneak peek into what he’ll be discussing at Partner Summit—here’s what he had to say.

Want to learn more about what’s going on this week, and how you can get involved?

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Things to Know Before You Go: Cisco Partner Summit 2011

I’ve attended 12 Partner Summits, if you can believe it, so I wanted to take a moment to share with you some of the things you need to know before you attend this year’s event. The event starts on Monday, February 28 in New Orleans, Louisiana and Virtual Partner Summit begins on Tuesday March 1.

As a Partner Summit veteran, I’ve got some tried-and-true tips for enjoying the event. (Watch the cartoon version of me in this video, walking you through the things you should do to prepare.)

Keep reading to find out about some of the big topics we’ll be covering next week at Partner Summit 2011 and how you can get involved.
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Virtual Tour of Virtual Partner Summit 2011

February 23, 2011 at 5:21 pm PST

Can you believe it? We’re less than a week away from Cisco’s Partner Summit! Many of you will likely be attending the event virtually—if you haven’t yet registered, please visit the Virtual Partner Summit registration page to sign up (it’s free). The virtual event runs March 1 through March 3.

But maybe you’re wondering, “all right, what’s so cool about this Virtual Partner Summit thing?”and “What exactly do you do inside a virtual event?”

Glad you asked! Join me on a quick tour of Virtual Partner Summit (or VPS for short) so you can find out…

When you enter for the first time, the friendly face of none other than Edison Peres Cisco’s SVP of WW Channels will greet you. He will provide some background and give you a quick rundown of what you’ll find inside VPS and help you navigate the environment.

Using the kiosk behind Edison, you’ll be able to visit the various rooms and areas in Virtual Partner Summit allowing you to attend keynotes, breakout sessions, network, earn prizes, watch replays, and join live video chats with Cisco executives and guest speakers. To get back to this main screen, just click Home from the kiosk or use the menu bar at the top of the page.

What else will you find in VPS?
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What happens when ‘Community’ is just a ‘tab’

Example of 'Community' as a tab

In spending some time recently on the web sites of major TV networks, I notice something has not changed much since 2004, or 2005, when TV networks first started developing branded web site counterparts with message board or discussion areas for TV show fans.

In the early days of TV show web sites, discussions about the episodes were not placed against the content, but typically were segmented off in separate areas of the web site, into ‘forum’ areas. And such forums (or ‘message boards’ as they are also known) still exist today, mainly because they are straight forward and easy to use, even though there are other social tools to comment and participate in a conversation around content.

Despite their ease of use, on many a media site, it may take you three or four clicks more to find the discussion threads about a particular program once you’ve found a community ‘tab’. And the discussion threads may be outdated, the last thread may be older than the latest episode of a TV show!

I still think forums are a great way to start new topic threads and allow fans of a TV show, movie, or artist to discuss in depth the content as comment boxes may have a text limit.

Yet when forums are the ONLY place to discuss the content, and there’s no way for fans to comment directly against the content (e.g. comment below a video, or a blog post), you see some interesting drop offs in site engagement. Also, fans go to other sites, like Facebook where they can comment directly against the content, leaving the branded entertainment sites behind.

For example, I examined the ‘community’ tab for the Fox animated comedy ‘American Dad’.

Fan Forums / Community area of Fox.com for the TV show ‘American Dad’

In the show related forum pictured above, at the time of writing this blog, the last post by a fan is from 5 days ago, and the post received only 26 views. Meanwhile I went to the Facebook fan page for ‘American Dad’ and found that page owner Fox had posted a episode clip just a day ago. Because commenting was allowed in line, against the content, the clip netted 75 comments in just one day and over 1400 ‘likes’, way surpassing the social engagement of a 5 day old post on Fox’s own community.

Fans can’t comment on video clips of ‘American Dad’ on Fox.com, but fans are allowed on to Facebook, greatly increasing the engagement off the main site

So while American Dad fans can’t comment against the video clips on the Fox.com site they are enabled to do so on the Facebook fan page for the show, or on the official YouTube posted clips for the program.

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