Guest Speaking at the University of Delaware

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I had the chance to give presentations on Seach Engine Optimization today to a couple of classes at the University of Delaware.

The class, BUAD477: Information Technology Applications in Marketing (pdf) is one of the more advanced internet marketing classes I’ve seen offered on the University level, based upon the syllabus and the quality of course materials.

I had an email conversation with Professor Alex Brown, who teaches the classes, earlier this year, and he had suggested that I appear as a guest speaker, but it appeared that I wouldn’t get a chance. I received a surprise call from him a little before noon, and he asked me if I might be willing to come in this afternoon and speak to his classes.

I received some great questions, and some memories came back of my days as a U of D student.

I’d like to thank Dr. Brown and his students for making the presentations a pleasant experience.

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22 thoughts on “Guest Speaking at the University of Delaware”

  1. I had a couple of phone calls to make, and a walk across campus, so that left me with about 20 minutes to think about what I wanted to cover in two 30-45 minute long presentations. 🙂

  2. How long did you have to prepare – just an hour or so from what I understood. Longer would have been nice but sometimes rushing it makes you “just do it” so to speak. 🙂

  3. It was fun for the day. I imagine that it wouldn’t be a bad lifestyle.

    I think he was happy to have a speaker for the class today. He spent most of the weekend organizing an event to >honor 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro.

    I’m tempted, after the experience, to put together some SEO lesson plans. Might be fun.

  4. Professor Brown has been teaching Internet Advertising since 1998. He told me that as far as he knows, he and one other University professor started around the same time, and they’ve been doing it the longest.

    This may be his last semester, though.

    The dictionary of terms is pretty well done.

  5. Lucky you! You got to teach without doing all the paper work that usually goes with the job. Hummm…not fair. I think you should have to go to his mailbox, read and sort all the memos for him, order copies for next week, fill out forms just for fun, sign lots of papers, enter his meetings on the desktop calendar and in the computer, etc.

    Okay, glad you enjoyed teaching for the day. I’m going to check out that PDF file and see if I’d pass.

  6. Printed out the dictionary of terms. I’m very impressed with Dr. Brown’s requirements for his class. The students are required to write a blog and entries for Wikipedia. Oh and 93% to get an A. Plus, he says you start with a C and work up or down. Great going, Dr. Brown. Does he teach an online class, too?

  7. That class looks like a lot of fun. I wish something like this was available at my local university. It’s really great that universities give these type of classes, so that students can be up to date with the latest marketing techniques when they graduate.

  8. What a nice opportunity, Bill, and the students were lucky to have you.

    I like the idea of you laying out an SEO lesson plan…actually, how about writing the lessons themselves? I think you’d do this in a completely unique way that would be of great value.


  9. Leif,

    I’m a little disheartened that Professor Brown is retiring. I hope that the course that he has been teaching continues on after he leaves. I have some hope – the University has a new president who comes from the Wharton Business School, and was the force behind the Knowledge@Wharton newsletters and Web site. I hope that’s a sign of a commitment to the value of the Web to students at the school.

    That’s not a bad idea, Miriam. I’m seriously considering pursuing it. Perhaps I could make it a continuing series here.

  10. Nifty experience Bill:

    I hope you and the students exchanged emails. It would be interesting to see if any of these students are moving forward into the industry.


  11. I’ve been exchanging a couple of emails from a student from Dr. Brown’s class from last year who is getting into the industry.

    I may leave a couple of comments on the blogs from students from this year’s class, and on the class blog. It would be nice to hear from the students, and if they do move into the industry.

  12. Thanks, Steven

    It was a nice experience, and I’m happy to see the approach that Dr. Brown has been taking.

    It would be fun to teach a class on the subject, but my graduate degree is in Law and not marketing. I’m afraid that they might not find me to be a good fit. 🙂

  13. Congrats on the day of teaching Bill. Sounds like it was a lot of fun and a good experience in general. I think it’s great that internet marketing is being taught somewhere in out universities. There needs to be more of it really.

    The course description makes the class look pretty interesting.

    With Dr. Brown retiring is there any chance we’ll see a Dr. Slawski take over for him?

  14. I think I’ve mentioned several times that I’d like to take an online SEO class. I took a beginning level one, but would like something a little more advanced. Maybe you could add a survey to your blog and ask your visitors if they would be interested in taking an online course and what they’d be willing to pay, etc.

    As for me, I’d be interested and I’d be willing to pay up to $100 if you promise to grade easy.

  15. Earlpearl – I took Professor Brown’s course last year and was hired into the SEO field as a result (because I won the semester-long SEO contest). Though I didn’t know it at the time, that class was one of the most important classes of my college career, as it gave me a good background knowledge about the many forms of social media. I even snuck my way back into the contest this year so as to test a few specific gray-hat strategies.

    Bill – perhaps Christina Niven is onto something. With the traffic you must get to your website, you might want to think about arranging some sort of online SEO seminar. You could also always pull an Aaron Wall and sell an EBook collection of all your SEO wisdom.

  16. Hi Chris,

    It was nice to meet Professor Brown. I suspect that the school is going to have a big void to fill with his absence.

    An online SEO seminar isn’t a bad idea. Aaron’s book is a nice introduction to SEO. I’d probably approach things a little differently – rather than compete, it would be nice to supplement.

  17. Any tips for giving a presentation to students? Especially without preparation? Thanks.

  18. Here’s what I did:

    Talk for a few minutes before the class with the professor to see what he or she might like to have emphasized.

    Ask a few questions to the class to see what kinds of things that they are interested in, and how much experience they have –

    What search engine do you usually use to search with? Google? Yahoo? MSN?

    How many of you have facebook accounts? (almost everyone)

    How many of you use Digg? (Only one out of about 40)

    How many of you have heard of Digg? (Only one out of about 40)

    Get them involved, and get them feeling like they can ask questions.

    I went from there into talking about some of the sites that I have worked upon (without naming the sites), and how I might have helped those sites, and the people searching for them.

    I talked about keyword research, and the importance of finding the right words so that people searching for what the site owners had to offer might be able to find them.

    I talked a little about the importance of titles, and headings, and text. I described the role that links have in how search engines rank pages.

    The time went by pretty quickly, and there were some pretty good questions.

  19. Hey, congratulations!

    Teaching can be a lot of fun. One of the things that I learned about teaching is that the teacher ends up learning as much, if not more, than the students.

    Have a great time. 🙂

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