What I saw at Casecamp 2009

I was at Casecamp 2009 recently, at the CARLU, a benefit for SickKids Hospital. I didn't win my silent auction bid, so technically I didn't donate anything extra to SickKids Hospital, but there were a lot of people there, so I'm sure the Auction raised some money, along with the ticket and drinks revenue.

So-- what I saw (and in some cases learned) at Casecamp. Honestly-- not a lot I didn't know already, but it was reassuring to hear others speak it aloud to a group of people. What I enjoyed most was the personal stories of Jason Scott and his experiences with @sockington or Sam Reich and the stuff he works on at College Humor Originals.

Here's the run down with my thoughts, and some key points:

Keynote: Jason Scott, creator of the hugely popular Sockington the Cat. @Sockington has over a million followers, and Jason thinks about 350k of these are real people, interested in reading what he writes. He also revealed (not a secret) that he pre-writes a lot of the content that Socks tweets to the world, so that he can have a life. It lives on a server and randomly, about three times a day @sockington will share something with his army of loyal followers. Cool guy. The big idea from Jason (for me) was that a) simple ideas can be popular and b)some people can't be bought.

This gave me many ideas for what we can do with @sobeys as far as content, because people want to be entertained. On Twitter, my guess is that not many people are searching for their local retailer to tell them how to do something (like a recipe)-- they're more interested in getting inspiration (maybe) to do something themselves. For example: Here's something tasty (delicious photo and description) What can you make?

Next up was Bryan Segal, VP at ComScore. Bryan has some great data about internet usage, but what ComScore does really well is studies about what's working and what isn't. My big take away was this: "Cookies and Clicks do not tell the whole story." We put so much effort into understanding the metrics we get from our analytics data about who, when, for how long, from where, to where, etc--- that we forget that maybe the click has nothing to do with the ad we ran last month. Maybe it was because we ran the ad FOR A MONTH that we finally got the click. This wasn't what Bryan was saying, but it got me thinking about what we put into things like KPIs at our various companies, and how 'traffic' is what we're looking for. There may not be any kind of conversion-- so to make sure you're doing a good job, we want to make sure you somehow 'show our content' to x thousand eyeballs a month. Anyway, ComScore has some great data, some public and some not, and Bryan seemed like a great guy. Thanks for the 15 minutes.

After ComScore was Will Pate. Will seems like a knowledgeable guy, but his content was stuff I'd seen before many times. The crowd at CaseCamp was diverse, so I'm sure some of the newer peeps got a lot of value from it. My take away from Will's presentation was this: 'Media has changed from an artifact-- something you have, touch, see, read, etc-- to a trajectory-- a direction where you're going that is constantly shifting and needing adaptation and adjustment.' I sort of adapted that a bit, because I wasn't taking notes like a journalist, just a blogger.

Next up was Elspeth Jane and Kenyatta from RocketBoom site KnowYourMeme.com. It was very cool to see the pseudo-scientific analysis of internet culture and the development of a meme. The presentation was so fresh that there was Kanye Interrupts examples and life-cycle analysis, and that was only about 48 hours ago!. I met Ken and Elspeth during the break, and the New Yorkers are friendly and funny. Know Your Meme is now on my radar, because I had been hunting and watching memes the old fashion way-- Reddit, Digg, Stumbleupon, etc. Now I can be lazy like @benHuh.