September 12, 2013

Photos of TechCrunch Disrupt 2013

mark-zuckerberg

JD LasicaIthink this is the seventh year of TechCrunch Disrupt in all its incarnations, and I’ve been to them all. Yesterday I wrote about some new social travel startups making their debut, and today I’m sharing my photos of the event.

Here’s my Flickr set of TechCrunch Disrupt (remember Flickr? I still prefer it to Facebook for sharing photos), and I’ll be adding more later today.

While some of the mainstays of the tech scene — Marissa Mayer, John Doerr, Jeff Weiner — remain the same from year to year, the new founders and startup teams — from startups like Udacity, Lyft and Snapchat — are what give TechCrunch conferences their sizzle. See if you recognize anyone! 

September 14, 2012

Up-close photos of TechCrunch Disrupt 2012

Mark Zuckerberg

JD LasicaIn the past two years, TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco has become the single most important technology conference on the planet. And so it was this week, as entrepreneurs and startup founders and marketers came out in droves at the SF Design Concourse for three days of preening, schmoozing and, yes, showcasing of cutting-edge technologies, many of them social tools.

I received a press pass to this year’s event, which ran Monday to Wednesday, and created this Flickr photo set of 174 photos, including Mark Zuckerberg, actress Jessica Alba, Newark Mayor Cory Booker and dozens of innovators, venture capitalists and tech fangirls and fanboys (I’m certainly one). Continue reading

January 11, 2012

The Long Tail strategy for AdWords works for blogger outreach


The Long Tail

Chris AbrahamLast week, I wrote about how to succeed with B-list bloggers, but maybe some of you aren’t convinced. So, this week, I want to draw an analogy to successful Google AdWords approaches so that you can see how to apply that same technique to blogger outreach. When it comes to reaching out to bloggers online, there’s a lot you can learn from Google AdWords. Long-tail blogger outreach is like long-tail Google AdWords advertising. Instead of putting all your money on the top 10 most expensive and popular keywords that everyone bids on, smart advertisers segment their markets and hyper-target their highest-performing keywords with their most compelling ads and content while always pruning away their worst performers. Continue reading

January 4, 2012

Become a big fish by starting in a smaller pond

Chris AbrahamIt’s always a tough question: would you rather be the smallest fish in a big pond or the biggest fish in a small pond? Would you prefer to be the ugliest pretty person or the prettiest ugly person? Would you prefer to have the lowest IQ at MIT or the highest IQ at State?

This is all according to your preference, but when it comes to a blogger outreach campaign, the decision is never so zero-sum, not nearly so either/or. You can always do both, right? You can always secure hundreds of long-tail earned media mentions while you’re desperately working on securing coverage on Mashable and TechCrunch. You can lock in hundreds of posts short term while you’re wining and dining Pete Cashmore in Manhattan to make sure you become BFFs, so that you’ll have that inside track on getting column inches for your future newsworthy announcements.

Continue reading

October 5, 2011

Real Americans don’t care much about A-list blogs

http://domaingang.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/04/long-tail.jpgChris AbrahamI had breakfast with John Bell of Ogilvy a number of years ago. He didn’t see the value of investing limited budget, time and resources on the long tail when those treasures would better be used to woo the high-fliers, professionals, top-cows and A-listers. That’s fair enough, and surely a common question, and a question we must address close to the beginning of every sales call we make at our agency when we propose blogger outreach to a prospective client.

The value comes from penetration, permanence, perseverance and persistence. There are only a finite number of members of every organization’s email list. Mashable and TechCrunch have a sizable but vertical (narrow) audience. When we reach out and pitch to thousands of bloggers, however small or niche, if they’re within maybe one but generally a handful of loosely defined topics, we always reach well outside of the echo chamber of a conversation that tends to get contained within the walls of a tech blog or mommy blog.

By reaching out ever further, we don’t assume that anyone outside of the five major urban centers are obsessed with the top five major papers or the top five major blogs. Doing so makes the critical mistake that if you get covered by the FT, the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, you’ve got the world covered. In fact, I will use a newspaper analogy to try to illustrate my point. Continue reading

September 16, 2011

4 Israeli startups that made waves at TechCrunch Disrupt

Blonde 2.0 on TechCrunch Disrupt from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

JD LasicaIt has become something of a tradition for me to interview my Socialmedia.biz partner Ayelet Noff, aka Israel’s Blonde 2.0, at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference, which ended Wednesday.

This year Ayelet headed up the communications and social media for four Israeli startups, which were fairly representative of the fledgling Web 2.0-style companies that showcased at the seminal tech conference in San Francisco:

Tonara: This was one of my favorite discoveries: an iPad application for musicians that provides interactive sheet music. Tonara will show you where you are on your sheet music, and it will flip the pages for you. As Ayelet notes, until now, sheet music hasn’t changed much since Mozart’s time. As the pièce de résistance, on Monday they brought in a string quartet with ex-Facebook honcho Randi Zuckerberg as lead singer. (Who knew that Randi can warble like an angel?)

uTest: Looking for someone to kick the tires of your new website or app? uTest uses crowdsoruced testing for usability testing, loading testing — “anything, anywhere, in any circumstance” testing, says Ayelet.

Farmigo: One of the more ambitious efforts, Farmigo is an effort to create a global network that lets consumers find and purchase locally grown, fresh produce.

TapTank: Use your social networks to achieve goals and build relationships in real life. Sign up for early access to the online service.

Watch, download or embed the 6-minute video on Vimeo

A production note: At 3 am, I gave up on trying to correct the white balance, which went kablooey about 3 minutes into the 6-minute interview. The Color Correction filter in Final Cut Express just flat-out refused to work after a dozen attempts. So I opted for timeliness rather than high production values.