Archive forConferences

Why Poker is Like the Internet Business

Because of DK’s SEO Poker Tournament during PubCon next week, I’ve been thinking a lot about poker. And, as always, I’ve been thinking about making money online. Since I’ve been thinking about these things at the same time, I’ve realized that there are some real similarities.

There are a Lot of Dreamers
There are a ton of people who dream about being a professional poker player. A lot of people play a little bit in home poker games, but few ever manage to make a living off of it. It’s the same for internet businesses, a lot of people dream about it and dabble in it, but very few people make a living from it, and even fewer become superstars.

Calculated Risks
Poker is a game of calculated risks. When you start betting, you are never sure that you are going to win a hand. Even if you are holding a pair of aces, someone could easily bet you with a set, straight or flush. However, if you start betting hard every time you have a 2-7 off-suit, you’re not going to make money in the long run. It’s the same with the internet business, most people have a lot of ideas for various sites, however, it’s always best to go with ideas that have the best money-making potential. Try and start with the odds stacked in your favor.

Long Term Strategies are the Best
Every poker player loses a hand every now and then. Everyone in the internet business has an idea that doesn’t work out for the best. The idea is to make money over the long haul. If you keep betting with the right ideas, eventually you come out a winner.

Alway Keep Improving
Poker is a game that you can never be perfect at. Even the best players in the world are constantly changing their strategies and trying out new tactics. The same goes for any Internet business.

Learn From Others
Poker players are constantly studying the competition to find out what the other top players are doing. The same strategy is also very useful in the Internet world. You can study other successful sites and figure out what they are doing right.

Knowing When to Fold ‘Em
Sometimes when playing poker you realize you have been beat and you just have to lay down your cards. The same things applies on the Internet, even though you’ve put time in some project you thought would work, you have to know when to just shut it down and move onto other things.

The Stars do it Over and Over Again
There are alway people in poker who have beginners luck and end up winning some big tournament never to be heard from again. But then there are players like Daniel Negreanu and Scotty Nguyen who keep making money year after year. The same is true of the Internet, you look at people like Jeremy Schoemaker and John Chow who seem to keep raking in the big buck for many years.

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Best Friends Animal Society

As part of the entry process for DK’s Poker Tournament at PubCon everyone has to write a post about a charity that they like – I think that’s a great idea. So here is my post.

Best Friends Animal Society is all about kindness to animals. Their goal is to get the number of animals killed in shelters down to zero. When Best Friends started up in the eighties, about 17 million animals were killed in shelters every year. This number is now down to about 5 million. It’s great to see the number has fallen but there is still a long way to go.

Best Friends takes a very hands on approach to saving animals. They have a sanctuary in Utah where they care of roughly 2000 animals. The main goal is to get these animals treated and ready for adoption, but for those animals that are un-adoptable due to medical or other problems, the sanctuary provides them a permanent place to live. They also work with their members and other groups to provide spay/neuter clinics, shelter and adoption agencies.

My wife and I are big animal lovers and currently have two cats that we adopted from a shelter.

Beside supporting groups like Best Friends, there are other things you can do to help to reduce the number of animals being killed in shelter – make sure you get you pets spayed or neutered, and if you are going to get a new pet, go to a shelter instead of buying one from a pet store.

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PubCon Las Vegas 2009

We (my wife and I) made the decision to go to go to PubCon again this year.

We weren’t too sure if we were going to go or not, but there were two things that tipped the decision:
1) The Vegas Strip Hotel Marketing Departments Keynote Panel – We run Vegas sites, so this should be a very interesting panel for us.
2) DK’s SEO Poker Tournament – This looks like a blast.

We got a pretty good deal at Wynn, so that’s where we’ll be staying this year.

Hope to see you there.

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O’Reilly Found Conference Postponed

The O’Reilly Found Conference which I wrote about back in October, has been postponed.

According to the website:

Due to the challenging economic environment, we’re sorry to announce that we’ve made the difficult business decision to postpone the O’Reilly Found Conference, which was to take place June 9-11 in Burlingame, CA.

That’s too bad, because this conference did seem to offer a bit of a different view than most SEO oriented conferences.

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AdSpace Conference in San Francisco Next Week

The AdSpace conference is going on next week in San Francisco. This looks like its going to be a great event to attend for small publishers who use contextual advertising like AdSense.

If you are interested in going but haven’t registered yet, ShoeMoney is giving away tickets.

The conference features several sessions from AdSense employees, so it will be a good opportuniuty to get some questions answered. In addition there will be some great people like Jennifer Slegg and Jeremy Schoemaker to rub elbows with. I’ll be there as well.

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Las Vegas Bound: WordCamp and Affiliate Summit West

I am off to Vegas in a few days to go to WordCamp Las Vegas and Affiliate Summit West.

The combination WordCamp and Affiliate Summit was too good to pass up. Las Vegas is a great place for me to go to conferences, because its close enough to drive and there always great deals on hotels, so the costs are minimal. Registration fees were minimal this time too because WordCamp is only $20 and I managed to snag a free ASW silver pass thanks to ShoeMoney.

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Elite Retreat 2009 Open for Registration

Elite Retreat 2009 is now available for registration. It is taking place in San Fransisco February 18-19.

For those of you not familiar with Elite Retreat, it is a very exclusive event, with only 35 attendees allowed to register. It has some great speakers such as: Jeremy Schoemaker (aka Shoemoney), Neil Patel, Chris Winfield, and Kris Jones. The Keynote speaker will be Gary Vaynerchuk.

This is a very good opportunity to get some individual advice from some very popular experts in the industry.

I am seriously considering going this year. I wanted to go last year but had a travel conflict.

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PubCon Las Vegas 2008 Next Week

PubCon Las Vegas 2008 is next week. I wasn’t going to go, but then I realized I had booked a trip to Las Vegas (I go there a lot) that just happened to overlap with PubCon. So, I decided to get an exhibit hall pass and check things out.

If you want to meet for a beer, let me know. I’ll probably be hanging around the Convention Center on the 11th.

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Found: New SEO Conference From O’Reilly

O’Reilly has just announced a new conference called “Found”. The tag line for it is “Search Acquisition and Architecture Conference”. It will be held June 9–11, 2009 in Burlingame, CA.

This conference will be in direct competition with some more established conference including WebMasterWorld’s Pubcon, Search Engine Strategies and Search Marketing Expo.

It looks like the O’Reilly conference is trying to focus more on the developer side of things as opposed to the marketing side. Here is a little bit from their web site:

The way to online success is through being easily found in search engines such as Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft Live Search. While developers have historically thought of search as a marketing activity, technical architecture has now become critical for search success. Found is the authoritative place to discover best practices for this nascent industry and gain a thorough understanding of why search-friendly architecture is absolutely mission-critical to businesses of all sizes. No spammy tricks. Just solid foundational coding tactics and actionable data that will ensure search engines can easily crawl, index, and rank your site’s content.

This is an interesting take on the subject. Although there is a lot to know about how to build a site to be crawlable, this seems to be ignoring the much bigger, more difficult problem of marketing a website. You can have the most crawlable site in the world but without other aspects of SEO like keyword research and link building, sites will not get any search engine traffic.

I actually don’t agree with the very first sentence on the website, which says: “Startups and enterprise-level companies are on an even playing field when it comes to being found in search, so whether you are an entrepreneur or a CTO of a large corporation, you need to know how to build search engine optimization (SEO) best practices into your development processes.” Enterprise-level companies do have a large advantage when it comes to search engines. They have websites that have been around a long time so Google will automatically rank them better. Since they have been around a long time, they have built up links, which help them rank. Also, large companies have brand awareness and trust, so people will naturally tend to link to them. Saying startups are on a level playing field just seems naive.

The new conference is being chaired by some well know people in this space, Vanessa Fox (formerly from Google Webmaster tools) and Nathan Buggia from Microsoft’s Webmaster Center. That is a good sign.

One thing I am worried about with this conference is the price. O’Reilly conferences tend to be expensive. For example the upcoming Money:tech conference’s standard price is $3295 for the 3 day event. Contrast this to Pubcon, which is $1299 for 4 days, or SES Chicago which is $1,995 for 4 days.

It will be interesting to see how the SEO community reacts to the new kid on the block.

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Going to Affiliate Summit West

While I mostly talk about AdSense on this blog, I have actually started to earn a lot more money from affiliate programs then I do from AdSense. I haven’t talked about it much because I don’t consider myself very knowledgeable when it comes to affiliate programs. In order to learn more about affiliate marketing I’m going to Affiliate Summit West in Las Vegas next week.

I’m going to try to go into the conference with a very open mind. I want to try to expose myself to as many possible ideas as I can to see what I can do to expand my online business. I’m looking at it as an idea-generating opportunity.

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