Last Minute Affiliate Summit Hotels #asw12

If you’re like me, you forget to book things early. I use TripIt and Evernote to keep me organized with travel info (love that you can just forward a travel receipt email to plans@tripit.com and you’re all set), but I always forget to book planes, trains and hotels.

I finally got my flights to and from Vegas for Affiliate Summit all scheduled using Hipmunk on the iPad, which is fantastic and painless last week.

However, I’m still looking for a good hotel room for Affiliate Summit since I waited so long. I might just wait until noon on Saturday the 7th when I fly in now that I’ve found Hotel Tonight…

Hotel Tonight: “Last Minute Deals on Hotels”

Nah, probably not (don’t want to sleep in the desert again). However, next time you get somewhere and need a room (and have an iPhone), this looks like a winner.

My Experiment With Digital Nomadicism

I’m technically on family holiday vacation this week, holed up in a lovely cabin in the mountains north of Asheville.

We have wifi here, but I decided to opt for the Touch and my Blackberry (and Kindle of course) over lugging up the Macbook Pro. I’m actually writing this on the Touch with the fantastic WordPress app. Honestly, it’s pretty smooth and I need to do this more frequently.

What I’ve realized this week is that I can do most everything that I do on my laptop with just the Touch and the Blackberry. Tweeting, reading feeds in Google Rader, answering email, playing in Facebook, and now blogging are almost more enjoyable on the Touch over the laptop.

But what about “business stuff” like checking stats, reading and writing Docs and spreadsheets or FTP’ing into sites? All are (easily) doable and smooth in this sort of a mobile scenario. Actually, I’m really enjoying stretching myself and learning the new skill of mobile aptitude.

Of course, much of the content I create and consume is based in cloud computing rather than relying on a desktop. I make heavy use of all the Google apps. When I have needed a doc, I just access it in either Dropbox or on drop.io since I keep things sync’d on those places anyway. It’s worked out well.

So, my grand experiment in digital nomadicism is going surprisingly well. I could easily see myself just bringing the Touch and Blackberry to Affiliate Summit this month and leaving the Macbook home. 8 of my text books for the coming semester are in the Kindle, so my load for school will def be the Touch (Bible software apps are tremendous), blackberry and Kindle.

Digital nomadicism isn’t for everyone, of course. I unabashedly rely on web and cloud apps over desktop bound software and I’m not tied to an enterprise infrastructure that requires any special software. But a lighter load in a new year is always a good thing!

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Attractive Microblogging for Marketers 301

During my presentation called “Leveraging Social Media” at Affiliate Summit East, I took up most of the allotted hour to discuss tools and strategies that affiliate marketers could use to help them both better monitor and better participate in the increasingly important social networks out there in the wild.

This is an important issue because not only are these networks (in my presentation we touched on Twitter, Friendfeed, Seesmic and Facebook, but there are dozens of others) important for “traffic” but these hubs of communities have become an invaluable source for marketers to find conversions, early adopters and brand evangelists.

The main questions that most people had during, after and in the week since about the presentation pertained to the “how” aspect of using these networks in a responsible manner.

It’s not an easy question to answer since a great deal of operating in the social web is subjective and full of variables associated with individual programs, personalities and the social networks themselves.

At the end of the day, my constant recommendations all went along the lines of “do your homework, know the community and don’t feel obliged to use services such as ping.fm to cover everything.” In fact, I advise marketers to generally stay away from services like ping.fm because the fine line between “participant” and “spammer” is so easy to cross (and so easy to seemed to have crossed).

In other words, be interesting and provide a service (such as pointing to relevant info, even if its yours) in a responsible (whatever that means to you) manner.

DeWitt Clinton gets very geeky and brings in another aspect that you might want to consider if you’re a marketer with a little bit of know-how… attractiveness.

Head over to his blog and read the rest of the entry with the examples he gives. It’s a powerful read that points to the need for both functionality and appeal as you get your messages out there (and aren’t all messages marketing messages?):

Microblogging syndication formats » DeWitt Clinton: “This is just the beginning — I feel I’m only scratching the surface of what can be extracted from existing syndication formats. For example, comment stream aggregation (via the comments element or RFC 4685 autodiscovery) is a great next step after this. And I only call out FriendFeed because they’re the best at aggregating multiple content sources, but these concepts apply to any content aggregator, and finding a way to reuse existing formats like RSS and Atom to create rich presentations automatically will enable us to do more with less manual work between aggregators and publishers.”

While practicality is important to reach, don’t discount the need to reach people through visual appeal!

Affiliate Summit Meet Market Becoming the Place to Be

At the Affiliate Summit West event in Las Vegas in January, the Sunday “Meet Market” took on a whole new dimension. Rather than a cavernous room with sparsely attended tables and a disinterested audience, the the Vegas event launched a Meet Market that was packed and full of considerable buzz about the affiliate industry.

Hopes were high for this week’s Affiliate Summit East Meet Market. And, ASE did not disappoint…

The room in which the Meet Market took place was absolutely packed and every table was surrounded by interested participants.

What makes the Sunday Meet Market different from having a booth in the main exhibition hall on Monday and Tuesday? I asked that question to a number of attendees and most expressed (both on the exhibitor and non-exhibitor side) that the Meet Market allows for more intimacy than having a full fledged booth. Plus, the event happens on the “first” day of the show (even though many attendees are flying in on Friday and early Saturday in order to take advantage of the networking opportunities then), so there is an excited energy that runs throughout the crowded room.

While there are certainly benefits to having a booth (branding, affiliate recruitment, a space to work deals and a way to get your message out), the Meet Market is quickly becoming a can’t miss event at the Summit.

Free Affiliate Summit Passes Today

FAE3B0A0-B0D4-44B3-AD51-BD23184B86A8.jpgI turn 30 just a few days after this year’s Affiliate Summit East. Helping me ring in my third decade is good enough reason to come to Boston, right? Well, even if you haven’t gotten a ticket yet, there’s a very good offer on the table for today.

For today only, Affiliate Summit is running a special promotion where anyone who hasn’t already registered for the Affiliate Summit East in Boston (August 10-12) can get a free exhibit hall pass…

Free Affiliate Summit Passes on June 11, 2008 | Affiliate Summit Blog: “We’ve got a special Affiliate Summit deal that’s only good for 24 hours – the day of June 11, 2008 EDT.

Everybody that is currently registered for Affiliate Summit 2008 East, taking place August 10-12 in Boston, is welcome to share the following coupon code with their friends and colleagues who are not yet registered:

ASE08JUNE11

This code is good for a free exhibit hall only pass (value $199).”

So, if you haven’t registered to come, you definitely should today. I can’t recommend the show enough (not just because I’m the “Minister of Social Media” this time) but because it really is the premier event for learning, networking and recruiting affiliates in the performance marketing space.

The speaker list is quite varied this year and the Affiliate Summit team has really mixed things up (in a good way) to keep the East show fresh.

Plus, you can buy me a drink for my 30th.

See you in Boston!

GeekCast 21: How to Recruit Affiliates

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E8956762-6535-4A3B-B3A9-ED44038D9599.jpgShawn Collins, Jim Kukral, Lisa Picarille and I recorded GeekCast 21 on Tuesday. If you’re interested in how to recruit affiliates in this changing landscape, give it a listen…

GeekCast 21: The Art of the CPA Pitch : GeekCast.fm: “The first few minutes of the show describes innovative ways to recruit affiliates outside of the traditional emails and cold calls (which are becoming increasingly ineffective). The conversation steers into the direction of why companies like Apple and Microsoft fight over the ‘cool’ factor in their marketing campaigns.”

The show runs about 80 mins and is filled with all sorts of geeky goodness (Twitter, video, stats, etc).

Affiliate Summit Network Taking Off

Affiliate Summit’s Social Network on Ning is growing more and more every day.

I subscribe to the general RSS feed of the network to keep up with who’s joining and what’s going on (yet another cool feature of Ning is the RSS implementation… I can keep an eye on the network without having to login every hour) and it seems like it’s really catching momentum.

Here’s the view from my feed reader:

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I hope the network keeps rolling as it could be a very valuable place and facilitator of offline interaction as well come August.

FeedFront Issue 1 Shipping Soon

Missy Ward and Shawn Collins of the https://www.fusionquest.com/cgi-bin/main/hotlinks.cgi?aflt=afc1&client=affsumAffiliate Summit have put together an “offline” publication that looks like it’s going to be a great read based on the talent assembled for the articles.

I contributed a piece describing the best ways to get things done in affiliate marketing using web2.0 tools:

FeedFront Articles in Issue 1 : FeedFront: “Issues will be mailed in June 2008. Here are the articles in the first issue:

* Editors Note: Missy Ward & Shawn Collins
* Five Ways to Evaluate a Merchant’s Landing Page: Dan Murray
* Pros & Cons of Utilizing Multiple Networks: Brian Littleton
* Twitter Grabs Attention: Lisa Picarille
* GTD in Affiliate Marketing with Web 2.0: Sam Harrelson
* Affiliate Marketers Give Back: Missy Ward
* Online Video Advertising: Tim Carter
* Nobody Would Use a Search Engine with Paid Results: Dan Gray
* Building Profitable Customer Relationships by Following These Simple Email Axioms: Tom Kulzer
* Are You the Next Super Affiliate Blogger?: Zac Johnson
* Ad Networks, Vertical Ad Networks, and Affiliate Networks: Peter Figueredo
* Affiliate Manager Compensation: Shawn Collins
* My 3 Favorite Blogs You May Not Visit: Wil Reynolds
* My 3 Favorite Tools You May Not be Using: Wil Reynolds
* Get Off Your Butt and Start Making Videos: Jim Kukral “

You can get a subscription to FeedFront here.

Affiliate Summit Network is a Success

This iteration of the Affiliate Summit Network is really taking off.

I think a good deal of its success so far has to do with it being hosted on Ning instead of Confabb as in years past. I love the integration of RSS, Twitter streams, Flickr, YouTube, etc that Ning provides and it makes the entire network feel much more robust and inviting than years past.

There are already over 70 pretty active members (growing daily) signed up and we’re discussing the NY state affiliate situation, how to market to marketers and all sorts of relevant topics that will surely be hot buttons at the conference in early August.

So, if you’re going to https://www.fusionquest.com/cgi-bin/main/hotlinks.cgi?aflt=afc1&client=affsumAffiliate Summit East (15% off if you use that link plus the code ase08afc15), make sure to join up on the network.

And if you do, make sure to add me as a friend.

Affiliate Summit Discount Flights

I’m a big fan of JetBlue, so this is a neat promotion for the next Affiliate Summit in Boston this August…

Special discount from jetBlue for Affiliate Summit | Affiliate Summit Blog: “Here are the details on how to book via the jetBlue promo page…

Code: ASE08
Discount: 5%
Valid Cities: Any City to BOS
Travel Dates: Outbound: 8/6-8/8 / Return: 8/12-8/14
Promo Valid: 5/2/08-8/7/08”

The discount is good for a few beverages and hot dogs at Fenway at the very least!

New Affiliate Summit Social Network Could Actually Be Useful

If you have followed me for any length of time, you know that I’m a chronic social networker. I jump on things like Twitter, Facebook, Pownce, FriendFeed, Seesmic, etc and often call them the “next big thing.”

I know it’s annoying, but sometimes I do get it right (like with Twitter).

So, I’m particularly excited to see the new Affiliate Summit network being moved to Ning…

New Affiliate Summit Social Network | Affiliate Summit Blog: “Affiliate Summit has launched a new social network for conference attendees on Ning.

Based on a poll, as well as feedback on Twitter and directly to us, Ning was the clear favorite over the previous social network technology from Confabb.”

If you’ve never played with Ning, you really should. It beats forum software like phpBB etc hands down and offers a number of options for integration with things like your blog feed or Twitter or Flickr.

And I’m especially excited about the Summit’s move to Ning because the previous Confabb system was atrocious from a usability standpoint.

This time around for the ASE Boston show, I really think we can derive some benefits from this iteration of the social network.

Head over and sign up. You just might like it (and find it profitable).

Anne Kadet’s Analysis Falls Very Short

Affiliate marketing is not about quick profits, sleazy promotions or fly-by-night operations.

Rather, affiliate marketing offers people the opportunity to make a living by producing web content. That content can be determined by a person’s passion, interest or savvy, but at the end of the day it’s a very democratic way to do marketing.

Instead of having to build a website that has the arbitrary watermark of being taken seriously (one million viewers), affiliate marketing offers anybody with enough passion and voice the opportunity to support their work and eventually grow that into a full time business.

So, I was frankly astonished when I read a piece by Anne Kadet about the last Affiliate Summit West and affiliate marketing in general in SmartMoney Magazine. It is a poorly written piece of journalism or opinion and is comparable to an 8th grade history report on the French Revoluition (having taught 8th grade, I think I can make that comparison).

Shawn Collins summed it up Kadet’s piece in video form better than I can in text:

Kadet‘s surface appraisal of the entire affiliate industry falls short of many of the criticisms or questions she could have raised about affiliate marketing had she dug a little deeper.

GeekCast Episode 6: Plugging the Right Holes

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Every week Lisa Picarille, Shawn Collins, Jim Kukral and I do an episode of “GeekCast” where we discuss current trends in the geek marketing world ranging from tech to performance marketing.

The show is very free form and wide ranging, but there is a good deal of valuable discussion on affiliate marketing and related tech issues.

Here’s a brief and incomplete list of discussions this week:

-Headset Tech – Analogue or USB?
-Lisa’s Skype Troubles
-Cable is Dead?
-Super Bowl Twitter Friends
-Paying to Play in UK Affiliate Networks
-HD DVD is Dead
-Group Twitter at Affiliate Summit
-Ze Frank is the Steve Guttenberg of the Internet
-Jangro’s Approach to Affiliate Summit
-Affiliate Summit Attire
-Interesting Trends from the AffStat Report
-Aweber and Email Lists
-Gratuitous Nudity
-Gratuitous Pre-Rolls
-Gratuitous Politics
-Jim’s YouTube Porn Searches
-Jesus Horses
-Shawn Loves Metrosexual Country

Give it a listen and let me know what you think.

GeekCast Episode 5: Cease and Desist

Lisa Picarille, Shawn Collins, Jim Kukral and I taped another episode of GeekCast that was published yesterday. It’s a free-form and fun show where we discuss current trends in the geek marketing world ranging from tech to performance marketing.

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This week, the gang tackles wearable video, fake Twitter-ers, master link baiters, affiliate link cloaking and Lost Geekend ’08. Give it a listen and let us know your thoughts.