Category Archives: Travel

Graphing Social Patterns

Graphing Social Patterns Conference 2008

At time of this writing, I am on a flight to San Diego to attend “Graphing Social Patterns”, the second of a series offered by O’Reilly conferences.  The flight has been absolutely horrible, as I’m stuck in the very last row, against the window, being tossed around in what seems to be an endless barrage of turbulents.

The conference aims to address several facets of today’s emerging “social” communities, and the opportunities within. Facebook & OpenSocial offer a compelling vision into the future of application offerings, opening up a new paradigm for building and promoting web applications in the context of large, online communities. Here’s a little of what I’m in store for (provided courtesy of GSP.)

GSP West Announces Conference Line Up Discover the future of social networks at GSP West O’Reilly Graphing Social Patterns WestMarch 3 – 4, 2008San Diego, CA
Social Networks are taking over the web, registering millions of new users weekly, and attracting a loyal following that visits sites repeatedly during the day. What are sites like Facebook and MySpace doing right? And how can you learn from their success? Find out at Graphing Social Patterns West. Register now for the O’Reilly GSP West conference, March 3 – 4, 2008 in San Diego, CA. Register now at:

At GSP West we’ll examine the most powerful social patterns sweeping the Internet. We’ll take a two-track approach to social networks and social patterns, exploring their allure from a business and marketing perspective, and explaining their technology underpinnings for application developers.

Keynotes Announced
=The Future of Social Networks, Charlene Li (Forrester Research)
Social networks are taking over the Web and changing how we interact with other people and businesses. See where social networks are headed in the future, and how business and technology is adapting.

=MySpace Platform: Business & Marketing Overview, Amit Kapur (MySpace)
MySpace is the largest social networking site in the world, and the sixth most popular web site overall. Amit Kapur will present an overview of the new MySpace platform and related advertising and marketing opportunities to reach over 100 million MySpace users.

=Overview of Facebook Platform, Benjamin Ling (Facebook)
Ben Ling, director of Platform Product Marketing, will give an overview of the Facebook Platform. Come find out the latest developments with the Facebook APIs and other Facebook platform technology.

=Technical Overview: MySpace Developer Platform (MDP), Jim Benedetto(MySpace)
Jim Benedetto will present an overview of the MySpace Developer Platform (aka MDP), how it fits with Google’s OpenSocial environment, and discuss opportunities for businesses to build their apps and widgets on MySpace.

=Google & OpenSocial: Let’s Get This Shindig Started, David Glazer (Google)
Google is involved with many efforts to make the social web more real, more useful, and more open. David Glazer will present how Google sees the space evolving, lessons learned from the launch of OpenSocial, and where Google is going.

Sessions and Speakers line up of intriguing sessions promise to unveil the secrets of success in the social networking arena. Viral Marketing on Facebook, MySpace, and the Widget Web Lance Tokuda (Rock You)

In a few short weeks a business can acquire millions of new users with zero budget. That’s the promise of viral marketing on a social network. Case studies present viral success stories on using this amazingly powerful tool on Facebook, MySpace, and the widget environment.

Bring Your Own Platform (BYOP): Build, Buy, or Borrow? Oren Michels (Mashery), Seth Sternberg (meebo), Jessica Alter (Bebo), Tariq Krim (NetVibes) When developing your application platform, should you roll your own, or piggy-back on another development? Facebook has Platform. Google has OpenSocial. What are the advantages of going with one or another? This look at social networking platforms presents a from-the-trenches perspective from Bebo, meebo, and NetVibes. Discover the advantages, missteps, and potential pitfalls these developers made in creating their social platforms.

Your Business on Facebook: Facebook Marketing 101 Rodney Rumford (FaceReviews) Learn how to leverage Facebook as a core marketing channel for customer acquisition. Using case studies of businesses successfully operating on Facebook, Rodney Rumford explains the tools and techniques for marketing your business using applications such as Facebook Business Solutions, Social Ads, Groups, Events, Fan Pages, Facebook Apps, Share, and the News Feed.

Widget Strategies & Social Platforms – Jeremiah Owyang (Forrester Research), Hooman Radfar (Clearspring), Jeff Nolan (NewsGator), Pam Webber (Widgetbox), Ben Pashman (Gigya) Widgets are portable chunks of web applications. Embedded on a web page, they just might be the future of the web. For software developers large and small, widgets just might prove to be the way to conquer the world of social platforms, news feeds, viral marketing, and more. Learn how to define your widget strategy, and what advantages widgets provide new publishing and advertising channels in the business and consumer marketplace.

Driving Fanatic User Engagement & Addictive Retention Nick O’Neill (Social Times), Mike Sego ((fluff)Friends), Keith Schacht (42 Friends LLC), Tim O’Shaughnessy (Hungry Machine), Zach Allia (Free Gifts) There’s loyalty on the web, and there’s addiction. What does it take to get users to return to your site again and again? How can you turn visitors into evangelists? Learn how to design and build for fanatic user engagement. Discover retention strategies that can transform your visitors into addicts.

Advertising & Monetization: Turning Apps into Dollars Jim Scheinman (Charles River Ventures), Seth Goldstein (, Scott Rafer (Lookery), Troy Young (VideoEgg) If you’ve developed a site that attracts millions and are wondering how to turn that traffic into a revenue stream, then this session is a must. Find out how to monetize your app or widget by advertising, subscription, lead generation, sponsorship, and advanced monetization techniques such as blackmail and begging.

Events – Get connected at Graphing Social Patterns West. Special events during the conference are designed to create networking opportunities; meet your colleagues, exchange ideas, and brainstorm the next big thing. Get Fired Up at Ignite GSP West, Fast-paced and high-energy, Ignite offers presenters five minutes to take the stage and dazzle the audience with a presentation on a topic of their choice. Twenty slides rotate automatically every fifteen seconds, so speak fast.

Attend the After Hours Party with ETech. Graphing Social Patterns West attendees are welcome to attend the ETech After Hours Party (hosted and sponsored by Walt Disney Internet Group). Join us for drinks and hors d’oeuvres, kick back in the interactive lounge, try out the demo stations and mingle with conference attendees, speakers, and of course reps from Disney and ABC.

Werewolf – Night of the living developer. Werewolf, created by Dimitry Davidoff, is a game of paranoia and group behavior. Alternatively known as Mafia, Witchhunt, or Zombie Village, it is based on the “Sleep, Accuse, Debate, and Lynch” game cycle. And it is a great way to meet your fellow conference goers.

EFF Awards- The envelope, please. Since 1991, the Pioneer Awards recognize leaders who are extending freedom and innovation on the electronic frontier. Join the Electronic Frontier Foundation in a fund raiser honoring the 2008 Pioneer Award winners. The social web will change every web application, and soon.

Attend Graphing Social Patterns West and be part of the future internet operating system.

Five Meals worth flying for?

My wife and I both enjoy fine dining.  When visiting Boston the many times while courting her, we frequently dined out.  Boston has a cool thing (new to me) called Restaurant Week.  During these 2-week periods, occuring in both the fall and spring I believe, high-end restaurants (and now due to the popularity, many others) run promotions; prefix menus, $20.20 for lunch, and $30.30 for dinner – encouraging patrons to experiment trying new restaurants – and we did (nearly each night).

While getting turned onto fine dining these past few years, (yes prior to meeting Laura, however she prefers to take the credit for introducing me to it) – Laura has introduced me to Relais & Chateaux ( which arguably features the worlds most luxurious hotels and gourmet restaurants.  We even treated ourselves to one for our honeymoon (, and now, we rarely visit a new place without referencing our handy Relais & Chateaux directory, which when cross-referenced with Zagats, pretty much depicts our travels. 

We’ve experimented with hotels and restaurants all over the country, many of which to date have been on the east coast.  Maybe I’ll write about some of them another time,  instead I wanted to reference a few I keep hearing about (one of which Laura has already visited) and are currently on our “to do” list, they are:

  • The Inn at Little Washington (Outside Washington D.C.)
  • The French Laundry (San Fransico, CA)
  • Inn at Blackberry Farm (Knoxville, TN)
  • Restaurant Arzak (Spain)
  • Restaurant Bras (France)

If anyone has been to these places, I’d love to hear about it!