One Million Things I Learned at PubCon Las Vegas

Notes from PubCon 2009 Las Vegas

Click on any image to enlarge.

Brad Geddes, PubCon-Brad_Geddes-Notes

Tim Ash, PubCon-Tim_Ash-7_Deadly_Sins

Kristine Schachinger, S@schachin



Heather Lloyd-Martin,



Alison Driscoll,



Michael McDonald,



Mark Robertson,



Gregory Markel,



Gillian Muessig, SEOmoz image

Books to Read

When I first started doing conversion science back in 2006, I ruined several laptop screens. You see, it is very important that I be able to markup pages for my clients.

I started with crayons. However, it became more and more difficult to get the colors off of my laptop screen. Plus, the markup didn’t travel with the image.

Eventually, the crayons left ghosted images on the screen, like a burned plasma display.

Then, I found the pen computer. Now, I can create, markup and take notes analog style, with instant conversion to digital.

A Snapshot of Pubcon

One benefit of the modern pen computer is the ease with which analog input can be shared. So, I thought I would share some of my notes with you.

I chose these based on the following criteria:

1. I took notes


Many presenters don’t realize this, but you have to be “note-worthy.” You have to tee us up to take notes. You’re presentation has to be somewhat logically organized. You can’t throw too much at us too quickly, because we’ll just give up.

2. I was able to take notes on my computer


Props to PubCon for providing extension cords and power strips for us.

3. My notes are somewhat legible.


You be the judge.

Some People Prefer This

Some people prefer this mix of visual cue and text. You may find it helpful.

Click on any of the images to see a full-resolution version.

Some People Prefer Summaries

Here are some of the things I gleaned from notes that didn’t pass the three-point test:

Tools to Check Out

Organic Keyword Search

SEO “Quake” Plugin

SEO for Firefox

Yahoo Site Explorer

Adwords Preview Tool

Google Insights (Excel)


SEM Rush (Mark Jackson)

Google Trends

MSN Commercial Intention Tool

Bing Webmaster Tools

Landing Pages Lead Management

Social Evaluation



Trackur (Andy Beale)





Tracking Twitter



Facebook Apps

Sprout Publisher



Facebook Notes

Site Design

MeasureIt Firefox Plugin

Aardvark Firefox Plugin

Colorzilla Firefox Plugin

Firebug Firefox Plugin

Headspace2 WordPress Plugin

WordPress Themes

Thesis ($)

Flexibility 2


Affiliate Theme

eArtisteer (random theme generator)


OneTrueMedia Video Editing and hosting

TrafficGeyser (use with care)


YouTube Insight

Google TV

YouTube Wonder Wheel

Handbrake Video Compressor

Categories: News & Events
  • Agree with the points you made above Brian. Quite insightful.

  • VoiceTranscribing

    Thanks for the article Brian. Yes, more and more of our clients use our transcription service to transcribe their podcasts, webinars, interviews and generate content for blog posts.

  • Hi Kristi,

    I can respond with a lengthy comment, arguing the futility and wastefulness in running A/A or A/A/B etc. test, but I’ve already done an article on that back in 2014, so I’ll just share that: If you’d like to check it out and, hopefully, respond to it I think it will be beneficial for the readers of this blog.

    Kind Regards

    • Thanks, Georgiev. When you have a test setup that spans multiple domains, servers and security features, an A/A test is critical. We have been saved by A/A tests. In response to your excellent article I ask, “Which is more wasteful: Running a series of A/A tests or running a series of A/B tests that result in the wrong decisions?” The latter can impact sales for months or years.

      • Sounds like an unusually complicated test setup there, Brian. What kind of problems did those many A/A tests reveal? Randomization issues? User experience uniformity issues? Statistical engine issues? I’m just thinking there has to be a better way to detect & debug most of these, but the statistical engine ones…

        • We never really found the smoking gun, but we suspected cookie persistence issues, iframe security delays, page load times, etc. We redesigned the approach and verified the setup with an A/A test.

  • nrennie

    Thanks for removing my comments @bmassey:disqus.

    Surely constructive criticism is part of making things better, and excluding a market leader from your “Top tools” was exactly this?

    So my valid point was why not include Maxymiser? It’s a huge gap in your post.

    • Cut the sarcasm, @nrennie. It’s never appropriate. You commented on the wrong post here. I assume you meant to post on “The Most Recommended AB Testing Tools by Leading Experts”. I’ll reply to your comment there, but we didn’t list Maxymiser because nobody recommended it. Our team used it for one client and found it lacking on several key features.