Design & UI , Speaker Interviews

If you run a searchable website, you’re likely sitting on a potential gold mine: user search logs.

“The data is semantically rich,” said Lou Rosenfeld, information architecture consultant and founder of Rosenfeld Media. “Users are telling you want they want in their own words.”

Search analytics – an often under-utilized and free resource – allow you to “carry on a conversation with your customers” by listening to their needs and measuring how well your site meets those desires. You can also analyze search queries and results to improve UX design, site navigation, search performance, content strategy, and – as many online retailers have done with search analytics – product offerings. “If you just take the top 50 most frequent queries… and then throw that data into a spreadsheet and play with it, you’re going to get an unbelievable amount of insight in an hour,” he said.  Continue Reading »

marketing , Speaker Interviews , startups

Every biz dev advice column, book, speaker or video you come across can probably be summarized by what Hipmunk CEO Adam Goldstein recently said:

“Lose your sense of shame.”

And while he was specifically referring to how often to ping a contact (it’s more frequent than you may think), the larger lesson learned is how tenacity can affect your startup’s business success.

Adam will share a number of other lessons, tips and tricks for improving your startup’s business development this October during his session at Web 2.0 Expo New York. (Use code BLG20 to save 20% on registration.) He took the time last week to talk to us about what relatively young travel search site Hipmunk has learned about startup business development since it launched. Continue Reading »


.CO's logo.CO’s administrators have aggressively marketed the extension unlike any before it. In the year since they made .CO available for worldwide registration, Juan Diego Calle, .CO Internet S.A.S CEO, and his team have experimented with a Super Bowl ad, lent Twitter (its official URL shortener) for free, pursued major event sponsorships, and even ran a charity auction. They’ve also built video case studies about using .CO, purchased billboard ad space, and held startup contests.

“If we had ended with 500,000 registrations I would have been pleased. We’re ending the year with over 1 million registrations our first year. Clearly it exceeded our expectations,” Juan said about the company’s growth. “Going directly and talking to our users has worked.” Continue Reading »

Design & UI , Speaker Interviews

The inkling of a great idea can come from one mind, but it often takes a team to flush it out. And improve it. And work on it. And put it into practice. And improve it again.

Despite this, many of our office cultures encourage us to work alone or with other like-minded folks (other developers, marketers, designers, or however you identify). The result? Without a variety of perspectives, solutions we offer are limited and sometimes miss the root of the issue.

maria-giudiceIn her session next week, Web 2.0 Expo speaker Maria Giudice will discuss how we can develop collaborative cultures in our offices and avoid the issues of Groupthink. The talk, Don’t Go It Alone: Using Collaboration to Solve Creative Design Problems, will also cover how we can generate and iterate on ideas much more quickly through collaboration than we can on our own. Additionally, audience members will learn specific participatory design techniques, including group brainstorms, sketching exercises, card sorting, and Maria’s “paper doll” method of creating a web page.

Maria recently spoke with us about her upcoming session and how we can improve collaboration in our own companies. Check out the full audio interview now.


Kaitlin Pike is the Web 2.0 Expo community manager. She can be reached @w2e or @kcpike. Register for Web 2.0 Expo SF now with  discount code websf11bl20 to save 20%.

marketing , Social Media , Speaker Interviews

Many of our workshops and sessions at Web 2.0 Expo focus on the mechanics of how to compete in your industry using social media. But speaker Andy Smith wanted to take a different approach with his upcoming session Harnessing Social Media to Build Brands. In his talk, he’ll take a deep dive into the psychological insights explaining which social media strategies work and which don’t.

andy-smithAndy will go over the science of social persuasion, the strategies and tactics used by companies, as well as causes that have successfully harnessed social media toward a specific goal. Andy recently spoke with us about his upcoming talk, his new book The Dragonfly Effect, and how brands can improve their social media marketing strategies with a bit more thought.

We also discussed how happiness and marketing go together (including a great example about a Coca-Cola machine), how social media helped find an almost impossible bone marrow match for a patient, and “infectious action.”

Check out our full audio interview with Andy now.


Kaitlin Pike is the Web 2.0 Expo community manager. She can be reached @w2e or @kcpike. Register for Web 2.0 Expo SF now with  discount code websf11bl20 to save 20%.

Event News

If you had five minutes on stage what would you say? What if you only got 20 slides and they rotated automatically after 15 seconds? Would you pitch a project? Launch a web site? Teach a hack? We’re going to find out at Ignite, a fun evening of “speed presentations” given by people like you.

On Monday, March 28, at Mezzanine (444 Jessie Street @ Mint), we’ve got 13 great speakers who will each give a geeky five-minute talk. Their presentations will consist of 20 slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds.

Note: You must be a registered Web 2.0 Expo attendee if you want in! And be sure to RSVP on Facebook.

Here’s a schedule for the evening:

6:30 – Doors open to Web 2.0 Expo attendees
7:00 – Doors open to everyone
8:00 – Ignite Talks
9:00 – More Drinking

And the speakers in random order:
Emily Goligoski – How Yoga Made Me A Better Business Person
Anselm Hook – Dance Dance Brainy
Luca Sartoni – Symbolic Violence and Social Media
Francis Potter – Looking for Aliens on my Android Tablet
Gene Becker – Hijacking the Here and Now: Adventures in Augmented Reality
MeiMei Fox – Shut the F*ck Up
Peter Meyers – In Search of Beautiful (Digital) Documents: Some Early Lessons from My Hunt for “Reading Experience” Design Treasures
Sarah Milstein – Predictably Irrational: The Story of Phobias, Rubber Snakes and Free-Range Chickens
Leila Chirayath Janah – Future of Work
Dana Zemack – Megashark and a Pie-Bearing Tree: Our Life in Stick Figures
Dan Schulman – Corporate Rehab
Chris Tolles
Alexia Tsosis


Kaitlin Pike is the Web 2.0 Expo community manager. She can be reached @w2e or @kcpike. Register for Web 2.0 Expo SF now with  discount code websf11bl20 to save 20%.

Event News

Get a jump on all the networking opportunities Web 2.0 Expo offers by checking in with other attendees across a network of services, including our very own Attendee Directory. (Thousands of attendees use this social tool every year to chat with peers and potential business partners from all over the world. You must first be registered to use it!)

Another great way to start connecting with other Web 2.0 Expo attendees before our show starts is via our Facebook fan page and its event page, on LinkedIn, or on Twitter by using the hashtag #w2e. Also check out the Plancast and Lanyrd pages, and see who on your flight out to SF (if you’re traveling) is also attending thanks to

Add comments or ping us @w2e to tell us how else you’re connecting with fellow attendees.


P.S. And don’t forget to check out who’s exhibiting, sponsoring, and partnering with us!


Kaitlin Pike is the Web 2.0 Expo community manager. She can be reached @w2e or @kcpike. Register for Web 2.0 Expo SF now with  discount code websf11bl20 to save 20%.

Design & UI , development , Speaker Interviews

While many developers have an intuitive sense of what looks right, they sometimes lack the vocabulary needed to express their hunches to designers and the rest of the team.

To help fix this common problem, EffectiveUI Senior Developer RJ Owen and Lead Experience Architect Michael Salamon are hosting a session at Web 2.0 Expo SF on Design Essentials for Developers, during which they’ll cover basic design techniques and principles; design vocabulary, heuristics and analysis techniques; how to do quick and dirty user testing and prototyping; and the difference between information architecture and interaction design.

RJ and Michael recently spoke to us about their upcoming session. You can read the full interview below.

Interview with RJ Own and Michael Salamon on Design Essentials for Developers

Kaitlin: Why did you decide to host this session? What particular problems were you seeing at your own company or others’ that made you think this training is necessary?

RJ: As a developer, I find myself frequently involved in making design decisions and really passionate about the way users interact with the applications I’m building. I think we-as-developers are in a unique position to be the first real deep testers of the software we’re making. It’s up to us to help identify design problems early, and this requires a set of tools and a vocabulary that most developers don’t learn in school or along the way.

At EffectiveUI we always hire developers who have strong opinions about design – even if they don’t have the background. We’ve found that people with opinions care, and people who care will take the time required to get the little things done properly.

Michael: It’s naive for designers to think that developers aren’t designing, and it’s in their best interest to arm their design implementers with all the knowledge they can. Unless you are supplying user interface specifications for every possible use case and error, then your development team is doing as much design as your design team is. Continue Reading »

Speaker Interviews , startups

Silicon Valley has witnessed a significant shift in power since the last big bubble burst and most especially within the last year and a half. One leading factor accounts for this change: It’s far cheaper (think hundred of thousands versus millions of dollars) to start a company nowadays. You can host your application on Amazon or Google or Rackspace, etc. PR efforts can be done through Twitter and Facebook. For sales, you have, and for community development, just use a blog or forum.

naval-new-pictureOne effect of this shift is the rise of Angels, a topic serial entrepreneur and investor Naval Ravikant will cover later this month at Web 2.0 Expo. Along with all the startups he’s founded and invested in, Naval’s resume includes being the founder of Hit Forge, an angel fund for social media startups, co-author of, and co-founder of AngelList.

Naval and I spoke this week about his upcoming talk, and you can listen to our full interview below or read the transcription.

In the interview, we covered

  • The winners and losers in today’s world of startup investing
  • The next bubble(s)
  • Qualities of a good angel
  • Investment mistakes and lesson learned
  • The AngelList/Bryce Roberts “controversy” (spoiler: it’s not nearly as interesting as bloggers had hoped)

Listen to the full audio here or read the transcription below.

Full Text of Audio Interview:

Kaitlin: So, why would someone want to go to your talk?

Naval: Entrepreneurs would want to go to my talk to understand how the fundraising landscape has changed, because of the addition of angel investors.

Angel investors who want to go to my talk to understand what the new terms are, what the new normal looks like, how companies raise money, and why they go with angel investors or not, and what’s dangerous and unsafe about being a new angel investor and how one can protect themselves.

And then venture capitalists should go to my talk to understand how the increase in leverage and power that entrepreneurs have gained allows them to unbundle many of the services that VCs traditionally offered and how they could adapt to that new environment. Continue Reading »

Mobile , Speaker Interviews

Leading online real estate database has a thriving mobile strategy: People use its apps 6.5 million times each month “with more than 23 million visits to home detail pages; that’s 32,000 home views every hour or nearly 9 home views every single second,” says CEO Spencer Rascoff.

To hit these impressive numbers, Zillow has worked hard to re-imagine its business model for a mobile audience, for both consumers and advertisers.

spencer_rascoffSpencer will give a keynote (Redefining Zillow in a Mobile Era: When a dot com is No Longer a .com) this March at Web 2.0 Expo in which he’ll discuss how his company transformed.

We recently interviewed Spencer about Zillow’s success and how companies can develop their own location-based mobile technology strategies. Read on for the full interview:

Kaitlin: Your talk focuses in part on the impact of location-based mobile technologies has had on your company. Can you give me an overview of what changed and why you felt this was necessary?

Spencer: We live in a mobile society.  People expect tools that can interact with their digital lives and that respond in fundamentally new ways.

We see real estate as a perfect location-based application for mobile – people want this information as they are walking and driving around neighborhoods.  We saw this immediately in our mobile usage the first day we launched our first mobile app on iPhone two years ago. Continue Reading »

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