Gord Hotchkiss didn't waste anytime in putting his mark on my Buzz-o-meter. In his opening remarks, Gord planted some seeds for what he hoped would be recurring themes throughout the summit. Gord pointed to the concepts of Community and Connection as core to search and asked conference attendees to think about the application of search within that framework when pondering its current and future state. Gord asked us to think of search as "a function that drives connection within communities." He pointed out that the internet has changed the definition of community. Its root is common and that used to be defined by a geographic boundary. Now, with the internet breaking down geo silos, community is definied by passions, ideology, etc. And search plays the role of connecting people to various communities. The challenge, Gord emphasized, is that it's tough to deliver a strong connection within the confines of a space a couple inches long and one inch wide (referring to the search box). So we need to think of search outside the box. (bzzzzzzzzz) And this, according to Gord, is why we're seeing so much focus on trends like social search and personalization. So far it seems like Gord's buzzwords are catching on. The themes of Community and Connection pervaded the rest of this morning's sessions with Esther Dyson working them into her view of the semantic web and Paul Martino from Aggregate Knowledge discussing how search enables connections between items (content) that, when culled together, make discovery possible. OK, that's all for now. I'll check in tonight and offer up my "Quote of the Day." I'm off to go connect with the community at the pool.
2 comments about "Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...".
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  1. David Shor, May 8, 2007 at 12:24 a.m.

    As our retail-niche agency's Director of Interactive Marketing, I love buzzwords as much as anyone. They make me seem perhaps more up-to-date than I might otherwise seem in a conversation with colleagues or clients. Plus I can more often win at buzzbingo.

    But with a lot of marketers, buzzwords serve as the stand-ins for real understanding and ability to APPLY the concepts through to execution. For example, Gord's and Paul's "feel right" to me, but how much more do I understand about them?

    In our retail niche, we need to understand the degree to which customers can REALLY be engaged through our new tools and which customers are just annoyed by our efforts. If we--through research or W.A.G.'s--over- or underestimate by just 15%, sales can vary widely and the effort can either look too much like a failure or too successful (such that the next effort appears to underdeliver).

    I challenge all of my colleagues to consider not just the latest concepts but frameworks upon which we can analyze options with hard data to help us understand just how much of a connection our customers are actually experiencing--or even looking for.

  2. Yvonne Divita from BlogPaws, May 16, 2007 at 11:32 a.m.

    Buzz words are just that - words that buzz, for someone. Truth is, each individual understands the language in a different way. Say you're in a group of six and you mention 'community' or 'SEO' or 'blog'... each person hears something different for each term. Unless you can collectively agree on what the terms mean, they mean nothing.

    So, using buzz words might help to convince people you're "in the know" but...until or unless you engage those people in conversation and ASK them what they think the buzz words mean, you're not communicating.

    And communication is everything. Hmmm... what do you think that means?

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