Category Archives: Events

Information about events, conferences, and gatherings involving search, seo. technology and the Web.

San Jose Adventures, Part 1 – the most famous garage in Silicon Valley

A little glimpse into my journey to the San Jose Search Engine Strategies Conference this past week.


I headed out to BWI airport outside of Baltimore, usually about an hour drive, and wondered if I would make my flight after an accident delayed traffic along the way. I hope the people involved the collision are ok. I managed to get through security, and make it to the plane on time for my journey to Salt Lake City.

After my layover in Utah (wish I had a window seat, so that I could actually have seen the lake – did see the Bonneville Salt Flats from my aisle seat), I get on a plane headed for San Jose. I end up sitting next to a rocket scientist (the NASA documents and his killing time solving maths problems were a giveaway).

The plane arrives without any delays or problems, and I take a cab to the Airport Best Western (closer to the center of Santa Clara than San Jose), where I was planning on spending very little time over the weekend, before moving to the Fairmont in downtown San Jose.

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Next Week: Search Engine Strategies San Jose

The Search Engine Strategies Conference in San Jose starts next Monday, and I’m looking forward to attending, and to meeting up with old friends, making some new friends, learning what’s new in the industry, and sharing some ideas with others.

I’ll be speaking on Monday morning on the topic of Universal Search, at 11:00am, along side Greg Jarboe and Sherwood Stranieri, with Erik Collier of, David Bailey of Google, and Tim Mayer of Yahoo as Q&A speakers in the session. While I have a presentation prepared for the event, if there’s something in particular about Universal Search and blended search results that you want to hear, let me know.

I had the chance last year to join Loren Baker, David Zuls, and Carsten Cumbrowski for a lunch at a San Jose Mexican eatery, The Taqueria, and hopefully will get the chance to meet a few people there for a meal sometime during this conference – if you like Mexican food, it’s definitely a great stopping point.

If you are going to be in San Jose next week, and would like to meet, let me know. I’ll be arriving late this Friday night, and am thinking of running out to BarCampBlock on Saturday morning.

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Cheers to the WordPress 2007 Attendees

I had the good fortune to attend WordPress 2006 last year, and really enjoyed the chance to meet people there, and learn about some of the many different things being tried out with WordPress.

Unfortunately, I won’t be attending this year (wish I was), but it looks like there’s a great list of speakers participating. I’m hoping that Matt Cutts decides to share his Whitehat SEO Tips for Bloggers with a wider audience after the conference – I’m sure that many folks would be happy to see those.

David Dalka shared his Future State Wishlist for WordPress 2.3, offering some interesting suggestions for the future development of WordPress. He also tagged me, asking for some suggestions on the software.

Thinking through what I would like to see go into future versions of WordPress, I’ve realized that I do really like the approach that the software is taking, and the ability to choose between so many different plugins. A tip of my hat to all of the people out there who have undertaken the creation of a plugin, and supporting and updating those.

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Yahoo Confab Micro-Conferences Start Wednesday

The Yahoo Technology Development Group has announced a series of micro-conferences that open to the public, starting with one this Wednesday, December 13th, on Prediction Markets: Tapping the Wisdom of Crowds. (via Yodel Anecdotal)

Speakers include:

  • Bo Cowgill from Google,
  • Leslie Fine from HP,
  • Todd Proebsting from Microsoft,
  • Dave Pennock from Yahoo!
  • Chris Hibbert, the developer of Zocalo,
  • Adam Siegel, the co-founder of, and;
  • Robin Hanson.

In addition, David Pennock has started a blog on Predictive Markets – Oddhead Blog

Continue reading Yahoo Confab Micro-Conferences Start Wednesday

Pubcon and Google Patents

Pubcon starts this morning in Las Vegas, and I have to race off to register shortly.

I arrived yesterday, and toured around the City a little. The Hotel/Casino that I stayed at a few months ago, the Stardust is now closed, and has a big fence around it, with signs that an auction will be held later this week for the public.

Noticed these patents had been granted to Google this morning:

Methods and apparatus for providing search results in response to an ambiguous search query
Inventors: Benjamin Thomas Smith, Sergey Brin, Sanjay Ghemawat, John Abraham Bauer
Assignee: Google, Inc.
United States Patent 7,136,854
Granted November 14, 2006
Filed: December 26, 2000


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Some Pictures from Sonoma, San Francisco, and San Jose

Now that I’ve had a chance to catch a little shut-eye after a restless late night flight from the San Francisco Airport to Baltimore Friday night, I’ve been able to sort through the pictures I took on the trip. I bought a new camera the day I began my journey, and I’m still getting used to it, so sadly many of my pictures were a litle too blurry to share. But some of them turned out ok, and a sampling of those appear below.

I had a great time in California, many chances to share some time with old friends and to make new ones, and the opportunity to exchange some ideas with a lot of sharp folks. Thanks to everyone who made this trip and conference such an enjoyable visit to the west coast. Here are some images from my visit:

Barry Swain and I relaxing at a winery
Before traveling to the Search Engine Strategies Conference, I had the chance to spend a few days touring around San Francisco, including a trip to some wineries in Sonoma Valley. Here’s a picture of me and one of my hosts, Barry Swain, relaxing in front of a wine tasting room.

Continue reading Some Pictures from Sonoma, San Francisco, and San Jose

Goodbye SES San Jose

I’m packing my bags, to prepare for a flight tonight back to the east coast, after an enjoyable and educational week in San Jose at the Search Engine Strategies Conference.

The crew at Search Engine Roundtable, Barry, Ben, Lee, and Chris, have done a great job of providing information about the many sessions held over the four days of the conference, including a write up of the session I participated within.

I had a chance to talk with a good number of people during the conference, and really had a great time meeting folks, talking about some future plans of working together in one way or another in some instances, and sharing ideas about search and search engines, marketing, and the industry as a whole.

The sessions I attended were informative and inspirational, and I’m having difficulties deciding which I enjoyed the most. I did get a chance to go to some of the parties held in San Jose, including the Google Dance and Webmaster Radio’s SearchBlast.

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Attending Wordcamp 2006 and SES San Jose 2006

One of the things that I don’t get to do on the east coast of the United States is to go to some of the more spontaneous events happening in the world of the Internet and web development.

But, after a red-eye flight to the west coast ending yesterday at the San Francisco Airport around noon, I find myself with the luxury of signing up for WordCamp 2006. This is a day long conference for users and developers of wordpress software, which happens tomorrow, Saturday – August 5th, 2006, from 9 AM – 6 PM, with a 8:30 PM after-party. The location is the Swedish American Hall, San Francisco CA. The conference is free, and it could be fun to have the ability to provide some input into the future growth of wordpress. There’s a big list of suggested sessions, and it should be fun to discuss many of those topics with people who are passionate on the subect.

I’ll be in San Jose next week at the Search Engine Strategies Conference, speaking on Tuesday afternoon alongside Rand Fishkin of Seomoz and Jon Glick of, in a presentation on Search Algorithm Research.

My part of the presentation will be focusing upon how the analysis of queries from users is playing a stronger role in what the search engines serve, how they collect information from users, and how they could expand their personalization efforts by looking at information outside of the interaction they have with their users.

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