Optimizing, Networking, Venn Diagrams, and Other Observations from BarCamp Nashville 2009

The third BarCamp Nashville took place this past Saturday, and I’m proud to say [meta]marketer was intimately involved in many aspects of making it happen. Both Matthew Freeman and I were on the planning crew; [meta]marketer was a “Worthy” sponsor of the event; and Freeman and I were both speakers (as were several other folks who work with us from time to time). Actually, I spoke several times Saturday: once on my own (details below), once later in the afternoon with Courtenay Rogers for a session called “Networking in Nashvegas” that packed the room, and just after that on a panel about analytics with Bayard Saunders and Michael Summar, two colleagues from the Nashville Technology Council‘s Analytics Committee.

I also helped organize a panel called “State of the Community: The ‘Venn Diagram’ of Nashville’s Tech Organizations” which thankfully David Ledgerwood agreed to moderate, and we got J. Tod Fetherling from the NTC, Joe Kustelski on behalf of the Entrepreneur Center, Elin Mulron from Digital Nashville, and Dave Delaney representing the various technology groups and events he’s founded and co-founded, including Geek Breakfast, BarCamp Nashville, and PodCamp Nashville. With only 25 minutes for that discussion, it was hard to tell if we really got anywhere useful with the discussion, but the feedback on Twitter was generally positive, constructive, and responsive:

jeff_goins Listening to David Ledgerwood about the state of the tech community in Nashville. Didn’t know Nashvegas was becoming a tech city. #bcn09venn

melaniemoran Where we’re not doing well re: Nashville tech: need a front door, need more education, need more regional collaboration #bcn09 #bcn09venn

TChed Sitting in the #bcn09venn, talking abt what’s lacking in the tech community to make it grow. No 1 has mentioned the lack of local tech news

JoBrad Really good discussion on Nashville Tech Community with several community leaders in #bcn09venn

melaniemoran @davedelaney suggests shared calendar for Nashville tech organizations / events to increase and facilitate communication. #bcn09 #bcn09venn

JoBrad Good ? n #bcn09venn: How to survive if you’re not a geek? A: We’re all geeks about something; talk about what interests you.

TChed The center of my tech community would have @davedelaney‘s avatar in it #bcn09venn

stahnma #bcn09venn we need caligator

By the way, the hashtags for the other sessions I mentioned are: #bcn09optimize for my “Evolution Not Revolution” session; #bcn09notking for Freeman’s “The (Content) King is Dead, Long Live the King” SEO session; #bcn09netnash for Courtenay’s and my Networking in Nashvegas session; and #bcn09analytics for Bayard, Michael and me on analytics.

I can’t emphasize enough how important I feel this event is to our community. Marcus Whitney and Dave Delaney get major credit in my book from having brought the format to Nashville in 2007, and it just gets better each year. I floated from room to room during several of the sessions this year as I did last year, and while the content last year was already good, this year’s content is proof that Nashville is the up-and-coming place to be for technology and innovation. We have got it going on, folks.

Several of those who weren’t able to attend my morning session on “Evolution Not Revolution: Why Optimizing Beats Redesigning” asked if there would be video posted, and knowing that we had video streaming to Ustream, I said yes. Unfortunately, the setup didn’t work properly and the video feed of my presentation has no audio. Luckily, Gavin Richardson was up front with his own video setup and got the whole thing. So thanks to Gavin, I’m happy to share with you the video from my presentation, and the slides are below.

Kate O’Neill : Evolution not Revolution, Why Optimization Beats Redesiging : BarCamp Nashville 2009

from Gavin Richardson on Vimeo.

Slides for ‘Evolution Not Revolution: Why Optimizing Beats Redesigning’ from BarCamp Nashville 2009

Once again, let me just say how proud we are to have been associated with this high-quality event. And let me also offer thanks to all the rest of the crew, all the other sponsors, all the other speakers, and all the attendees who made this such a fantastic event.

Nashville is such an amazing place — there’s nowhere else I’d rather have launched this business.

@kateo on stage, @metamarketer sponsor poster

photo credit: Josh Oakes

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  1. Posted October 19, 2009 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Kate, I’m so glad Gavin got a video of this! I missed this session waiting for the babysitter to show up. In my opinion this was the most timely and needed session for those attending BarCamp.

    If you don’t mind I’ll share this with my members. I wish everyone would watch this before spending tons of $$$$ on re-designs.


  2. Kate O'Neill
    Posted October 19, 2009 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    Thanks, John. It’s such an easy trap to fall into; the conversation about redesigning for the a web is much louder and more established than the conversation about optimizing it. The next few years may see a near-reversal of that situation.

    I’m sorry I got caught up in hallway conversations after the analytics panel and missed your session. It’s kind of funny we both missed each other’s presentations this time around, since we were scheduled at the same time for PodCamp last spring, too. Do you know if there’s video of yours?

  3. Posted October 19, 2009 at 8:16 am | Permalink

    After watching your video and going to Justin Davis’ session at BarCamp, I better not create a bad website ever again. :D

  4. Posted October 19, 2009 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Kate, I was hoping to meet you as well. Maybe we can get together soon.

    My session is on video. I’ll let you know when it’s up.

    Next time I hear someone talk about redesigning their site I’ll send them your way!

  5. Posted October 19, 2009 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Great post Kate. You rule. I loved your presentation too.
    See you at breakfast.


  6. Posted October 19, 2009 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    Hey Kate, you had a great session. Was very nice meeting you =)

  7. Posted October 20, 2009 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Kate — Thanks so much for a first-rate presentation! Great points, memorable examples.