• November 19, 2008

    WebmasterRadio.FM, (re)-Playing Catch-Up from ad:tech NY08

    "15 days on the road and we're gonna get to upload tonight..." (with appropriate apologies to Dudley Dave.) WebmasterRadio.FM has spent the past few weeks moving across and about the United States on a wide ranging adventure in which we covered two of the largest search and Internet marketing conferences, provided full coverage of the November 4th presidential election and produced the largest, wildest SearchBash event we've ever thrown. The intensity of the trip was matched only by the exhaustion it created but every second was worth the effort. In the course of our adventures we created a server-load of truly fine media. Here's the first part of the story. The trip started in New York City on the warm Sunday evening of November 2nd. WebmasterRadio.FM's Producer/Engineer extraordinaire Brasco got into town around 5PM. It was his first visit to New York. Luckily, he arrived early enough to get himself reasonably orientated before he moseyed on down to Johnny Utah's, (a Midtown bar / bull riding ring), to host WebmasterRadio.FM's simulcast of the second annual XY7.com "No Bull" party. Brasco was soloing for the first part of the show. "Broadcasting live from Midtown Manhattan in NEW YORK CITY, this is the pre-conference party for ad:tech 2008, XY7.com's No Bull party at Johnny Utah's! We are WebmasterRadio.FM and of course, we're everywhere." After lugging the equipment needed to hook up a live-stream to the studio seven short blocks from our hotel and setting up his road-deck/studio/mixing board/tool kit of a computer array, Brasco was in full stream-of-consciousness description mode when I arrived. Hearing Brasco describe the wild west of a scene before us immediately reminded me that I'd never done a remote that was remotely like this ever before. The music was blaring. (Whodathunk cowpokes were in on the urban techno-vibe dance thing?) Brasco was talking calmly into the mic in a lucid talking-trance yet it was too loud for me to hear myself think, or him speak for that matter. The bull was bucking and women in bikinis were walking around waiting for their turn to ride it. Part of the event involved a bikini bull riding contest (in which anyone wearing a bikini could take their shot on the mechanical bull). We had to try to describe that but either found ourselves lost for words or too late to speak. Most bull ride last seconds before inevitability meets gravity in a flail of arms, legs and hair. That's all we got to see anyway. There was a press of people encircling the riding pit. "YeeeHaw!", a voice screamed in my ear as a hand suddenly grasped my shoulder and spun me around. I'm confronted by the enormous grin of XY7.com's marketing director Jon Fondy. He's mouthing something about drink tokens and motioning with his eyes towards the manila envelope he's holding in his other hand. The envelope bulged with wooden nickels of the sort your granny might have warned you not to take. These nickels got ya drinks at the bar ya see and we suddenly had an envelope of them to give away. Smiling cat's grins we did the first thing that came naturally to us, we got everyone around us a round of drinks. Our coverage of the XY7.com No Bull party got decidedly more spirited from there. The next morning, we took the back table in the press room, set up another of Brasco's road-decks (this one much smaller than the live-cast array) and started to collect interviews. Dozens of them. Every half hour between 11 and 5:30 was scheduled. With the help of Dana Todd who filled in when I wasn't able to sit with someone, we collected 23 interviews over two full days.

    In between the days at a major industry conference, important gatherings, parties and events take place. While they are a lot of fun, every industry event is a lesson in making networking look like partying. Your job is to meet everyone, share business cards and quickly assess business opportunities. Brasco and I had three such events to attend on Monday the 3rd. We enjoyed a rushed but very beneficial series of happenings. WHEW. Up till now, we had done a lot of work. Election night was the coup de grace. Over the evening of November 4th, WebmasterRadio.FM excelled itself by providing 4.5 hours of live election coverage from the Bridges Bar of the Midtown Hilton Hotel. Joined by a panel of 5 other search marketers including Chris Hart from Bruce Clay Inc. and Shannon Poole, PR agent for the print Search Marketing Journal, we were joined by Jyian Wei who was at the DNC party in Washington DC, Daron Babin in Florida, and a few text-message sources inside Democrat campaign offices in Montana. The broadcast lasted from 8:00pm till just before 12:30pm when John McCain read his concession speech. As the night wore on, the Republicans amongst us (like, everyone but me) got a bit quieter, moving from combative to contemplative. We watched as state after state turned blue, including a number of states that had gone red since the Regan era. The WebmasterRadio.FM chatroom was buzzing, our sources were spilling great information and all around us a massive city was beginning a party that lasted into the early hours of the next day. Energy built through the night, breaking into elation just before 11pm. Just before 11pm, I had one of those most intensely thrilling moments that happen only once or twice in a career when I got to announce Barack Obama had been elected President of the United States. What a night... Brasco headed out early the next day and I left New York later in the afternoon, both of us heading to Fort Lauderdale to start planning the second half of the two week adventure. (please see: WebmasterRadio.FM’s SearchBash Vegas 08 - Biggest SearchBash ever. I have more of the SearchBash story to tell tomorrow.)