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My Social Soap Box: I went to Web 2.0 Expo and all I got was an iPad

web 2.0 expo

I attended the Web 2.0 Conference this week and my feelings were somewhat mixed. While it was great to hear about the future in Mobile Augmented Reality, how SlideShare expands document sharing to include video, Bart’s use of Foursquare to engage with its commuters, it was somewhat painful to sit through the other sessions.  Interesting stats were thrown into many of the presentations such as: 29% of people spend their time online, 44% of people who go to scan only the headlines, Youtube is ranked the #2 search engine. While these were interesting at first, I could probably find similar stats somewhere on the World Wide Web (for free). And most of the sessions felt like an introductory college lecture on Social Media 101.

Perhaps this is my own bias towards Cisco and its innovations in Web 2.0 and social media to engage with customers and influencers, or perhaps I missed out on the more inspiring sessions. In any event, the Web 2.0 Conference is a “must attend” for those new to social media – whether you’re an entrepreneur looking to build your personal and company brand, or an employee whose job is increasingly shifting to social media. And you never know, you too could be the lucky winner of an iPad.

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  1. Social networks are great, but I do worry about the security issues.

  2. Well, winning an ipad isn’t a bad consolation prize 🙂 But yeah, it’s good to know if a conference is geared to more basic presentations or if its for presents more advanced info.

  3. Hello, i am new here and just wanted to say hey to everyone.I love social media, my favorite is twitteri agree with you sean people just overlook the benefits of social media, maybe they will wake up soon.

  4. Everyone wants to use social media but very few are using it properly or successfully, and I think your experience with this event sheds some light on some of the reasons why. Yeah, some of the discussions were beyond basic, but I found value in several of them as well. Nice work

  5. nice…but come to my blog here to discuss it more…i bet you will cause it real

  6. Hi All,It amazes me how few people actually understand how to use social media to their benefit. You would think that a conference of this caliber would be aware of the disconnect and work to resolve it.Cheers,Sean

  7. I attended a work-related conference a few weeks ago. The topics were really too basic. I just enjoyed myself meeting new friends & possible business partners. I never got to win in any of the raffles though. I guess I’m out of luck.

  8. Hi all,Here’s another good perspective for those curious on where to start with social media. don’t know Michael Myers personally, but came across his blog post that resonated well with my experiences and hopefully will provide you some insight.

  9. Well at least they didn’t do all the presentations on Twitter – although then again it would have made them a bit faster paced and perhaps shorter. 🙂

  10. Hey at least you go an iPad! I would love to have one haha. But yeah I get your point about the lack of usable info there, at least it sounds like you learned something.

  11. I thought the conference was pretty useful. Yeah, some of the discussions were beyond basic, but I found value in several of them as well. Nice work on getting the iPad… I just got some t-shirts!

  12. So Google has spots one and two? How is that for dominance. I am sure Bing and YAHOO are proud of being third to a social media site.

  13. It’s too bad the conference was not more interesting and personal…which is exactly what social media is supposed to support. I wish companies would realize that social media works best when you are community minded AND have something useful for people. But I would sit through boring presentations for an Ipad any day.

  14. The iPad is due to be released later this month here in the UK. It definitely looks like a tempting piece of kit. I might have to buy myself one.

  15. Dear Autumn, it is unfortunate to hear about your experience, I totally agree that even as a beginner I can access the stats presented. If you have some tips as to how to get started with Social Media applications, I would really appreciate it. By the way, I wonder what your expectations were… 🙂

  16. I just started my adventure with designing and positioning websites and I think that such Expo can be very good place to learn some new things and meet the interesting people. Congrats of your new iPad and thanks for a great post.

  17. That’s exciting that you won a free iPad! Although I wonder what your Cisco co-workers think of it!

  18. It’s great to see you at the Web 2.0 conference. I think these type of conference’s boost-up the new comers and the enterpreneurs to learn new things and to analyse each & every aspect of social media.

  19. I do have to agree with Keith – the 44% statistic is very questionable. I use Google at least 20 times a day and i never look at headlines ….i dont even know where they are. Normally if you want to look at headlines you have your own favourite site – the bbc in my case ……a very strange statistic which is dubious …..

  20. I agree on the comments about most social media events are geared for the newcomers and are stat dumps. I need some meat & potatoes to keep me engaged.

  21. 44% of those who visit Google scan only the headlines? What headlines? Maybe I am missing something but the whole idea of Google was just a basic portal without the news and random clutter of Yahoo and MSN. Bing has gotten away from this some but still Google has it down, more complicated isn’t always better.

  22. If you love stats, there are a lot of good ones on social media here It’s free!And the background music is just as good.

  23. I find your summary of the conference very familar and it is often the case with conferences. If you are at the cutting edge of your field – in this case Social media and web 2.0 – there is very little to be gained by the formal sessions but the networking opportunity is unparalleled. There is normally such a collection of knowledgable people that it is the only place that you will find them. This is the real opportunity at a conference like this. I would have loved to attend but living in Ireland it is a bit difficult at the moment.

  24. 44% of people who go to scan only the headlines”” – i find myself here ;)Im waiting for the day google starts its TV channel, will need a lot of bandwidth. (Hint at cisco)”

  25. I’d like to go to such great conference/Expo, but I see something badly MY chances of success living in Poland ..

  26. Congrats on winning the ipad. Out of curiosity how much does is cost to attend a conference such as this?

  27. Interesting post! I find it amazing that the majority of people do not use social networking correctly.

  28. Gee, I wish all I got was an IPAD….they look awesome. Interesting fact about Youtube outranking Yahoo and Bing….awesome for Youtube, aweful news for the other two.

  29. I am just starting and totally new with social media. Hope there is a conference here in our country where I can attend to. I don’t if I win an iPad or not as long as I gain knowledge from the conference.Btw, congrats on your Ipad.

  30. There is a lot of research that this approach is actually the most effective way to accomplish things. Nice article. Though one more element needs to be added: Thanks for sharing this post with us. Keep it up. Keep blogging.

  31. Happy Friday everyone and thanks for your feedback!@Dave Donahue: Did get your DM. Lets connect soon! @Keith Hoffman: I agree with you on more advanced”” courses or even a deeper dive on good case studies. In my opinion, part of the education is also through trial by error. Practice does make perfect!@James: There’s something for everyone at these conferences. For me, it’s my new iPad (and ok, maybe a few other things). :-)”

  32. Thanks for the update, it sounds like the conference is not worth the cost, especially since I have a fair amount of social media knowledge already. I think it would have been a great networking event however, with the likes of Foursquare there, surely there must have been some rich VC’s to pitch ideas to!

  33. I don’t understand the direction of this post is this a conference worth attending or not you indicate mixed feelings and then say its a must attend”” with nothing in the post to back that up. Also is a minimalistic search page by design – what “”headlines”” are people seeing there? And Youtube (owned by Google) is the number 2 search engine? Then what about all the press this week on Facebook?”

  34. I’ve noticed the same thing at several other technology conferences. I usually pick up some great stats and various (mostly useless) information but they all seem to be preaching the same things.

  35. I’ll keep visiting the conference in mind. When the next conference? Also what kind of topics do they discuss?

  36. I guess the presentations related to augmented reality on mobile devices should have been nice, the possibilities are awesome with enough processing power.

  37. Interesting post Autumn, I think you touched on a key point with the prevalence of social media these days. Everyone wants to use it but very few are using it properly and/or successfully, and I think your experience with this event sheds some light on some of the reasons why. Events like the web 2.0 conference generates a lot of attention, but if folks walk away with only stats and sound bites on Social media, the best they’re going to be able to do is sell a social media plan to their boss/organization. It does not equip them with the knowledge/insight they need to be successful with web 2.0/social media technologies. My hunch is that because there is such a large audience interested in this topic these days, the industry events and training that is offered seems to predominantly be geared towards entry level knowledge and those just getting started.In my opinion, the recognized industry organizations like the web 2.0 conference should stop trying to sell us on social media factoids/statistics, we get it, it’s a powerful tool and a game changer, focus on helping the masses of the world understand how to leverage it, successfully apply it to their businesses, and show value to their audience. Oh and an advanced set of courses/topics for folks that have been using it for a few years would be great as well.

  38. Autumn,Sorry again that we couldn’t connect – hope you got my DM. I tend to agree with you on some of the sessions being rudimentary, at least on Tuesday. I enjoyed the session on Facebook fan pages.Congrats on the iPad!