Getting ready for MIX08

Within a week we’ll be on our way to Vegas again for the MIX08 conference. I quite enjoyed last year’s MIX conference with the announcements of Silverlight and Expression Studio, but also for presentations such as Lou Carbone’s for instance (who will be back this year by the way).

What I like about this year’s agenda as well is that there will be a bit more presentations and workshops that aren’t all 100% tech, as that was probably my only wish after last year. With people like Steve Ballmer, Lou Carbone, Guy Kawasaki, David Armano and obviously also Hugh MacLeod and Loic Le Meur (and many others) it looks indeed like that is happening. Anyway, a lot of presentations these 3 days so to make sure I don’t miss anything, I’ve fired up the schedule builder on the MIX website to make sure I scheduled everything I wanted to see (and added that to my Outlook which is an option within ‘my schedule’). Small note on the schedule builder, you need to be registered for the event to be able to use it. And unfortunately, if you aren’t registered already, the event is sold out since last week.

MIX08sessions

So if you’re going to MIX as well (and you’re reading this blog) then let me know so we can connect in Vegas (maybe in the Blogzone). I guess that relates immediately to the one big thing I’m missing on the MIX website and that’s the social element. Now I’m not waiting for the next social network, but since I’ve got a login after registration anyway, it would have been nice to be able to use that some more. Who do I know that is going? Which sessions are they going to? It’s like adding a bit of LIFT08 to MIX08 :) That said, it was interesting and fun last year, I’m sure it’ll be so again this year.

PS: Oh yeah, and thanks to David Armano, I now known in Vegas as ‘Two Slice’

The emotion of customer experience

At MIX07 in Vegas (in April) there were few presentations that didn’t have a sort of web-technical angle on things. There were a few, but one was quite outstanding and in on my list to write about since then. The presentation I’m talking about is ‘The emotion of customer experience‘ by Lou Carbone.

Lou talks about customer experience management, logic versus emotion, the brandcanyon, etc…

“Understand how successful businesses find and manage experience “clues” and differentiate between brand management and experience management. Learn how to make the dynamic shift from making-and-selling to sensing-and-responding.”

It’s very interesting to hear about how to create emotion, that creates an attude which will make people behave a certain way. And as Lou also quotes, you cannot NOT have an experience. He also points out to the interesting fact that we (companies) to a lot of research to see how people feel about our brands, whereas we should think of researching how people feel about themselves… and how we can affect that.

The video is an hour long, but it’s definitely worth it. Take a look at the examples he gives of NWA, Harley Davidson, Starbucks, Blockbuster and others, good stuff. This is one for my bringtheloveback series.

Bonus link: There’s also a video of an interview with Lou Carbone at MIX07 about this experience engineering.

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Popfly: online mashups for dummies?

Last week Microsoft (my employer) announced a new tool that will allow anyone basically to develop mashups. When I read about it at the Popfly website it says Popfly is about 2 things:

  1. Popfly Creator is a set of online visual tools for building Web pages and mashups.
  2. Popfly Space is an online community of creators where you can host, share, rate, comment and even remix creations from other Popfly users.

popfly1.jpgThere’s not a lot of information available about it, but take a look at the webcast the team created if you want to know more or read the coverage at Techcrunch. I signed up for it, hoping to get an invite soon. I’m very curious how easy this will really be and since I don’t write/read a single line of code, not even HTML, so I think I’m the perfect person to perform the ‘dummy proof’ check ;)

The Blue Monster

Last week in Vegas, Steve Clayton was so kind to give me a signed Blue Monster lithograph and called me out to show that to the world. Other lucky ones were Mike Hall and Jeff Sandquist. Yesterday Steve sold another on Ebay for charity at $300, but I’ll hang on to mine. Now just find the right frame for it.

bluemonsterlitho.jpg

Thanks Steve for the lithograph, and thanks Hugh for drawing it in the first place ;) I hope you enjoyed Redmond by the way. And now let’s change the world…

Looking back at MIX07

I’m currently flying the last hour of a 24-hour trip back from Vegas, and believe me when I say that I’ll be happy to be home. MIX07 has been worth it though, I enjoyed the great demos as much as anyone else and you could just feel the Silverlight buzz hanging around.  I also know what I have got to do the next few days, and that is watching the videos from the breakouts that I couldn’t go to. Most of the videos were already online on http://sessions.visitmix.com right after the sessions, great job from people like Joshua Allen and Jeff Sandquist’s team on the MIX website on the whole by the way!

Apart from the sessions about Expression Studio, Silverlight and a whole bunch of new Windows Live API’s we had a great free time as well in Vegas. You already read about the baseball, which was good fun, but also the official MIX party at Pure (Ceasar’s Palace) and and the European party at Revolution (Mirage) were pretty cool. I also did bet few dollars on the slot machine and it must have been my lucky day because $5 turned into $150. Last but not least, as part of the European delegation I also received a Samsung Blackjack. Exactly what I wanted, as you can read in a post I wrote many months ago plus it seemed like the perfect place to give a phone with that name.

So, MIX was good. I’ll do another follow up post next week highlighting the must see sessions of MIX, but first I want to head home (quickly post this) and take a nap. I can use the energy for a little rant I want to write about  getting selected in the US… You’ll see ;)

Last day at MIX07

Back on mobile blogging during the last day of the MIX conference here in Vegas. It has been a good conference so far and talking to many people here it’s fantastic to see the excitement that we all share around Silverlight. Expect more on that later for sure.

In the meantime I just discovered that we have leave the hotel at 5AM to catch our flight back home… I’m not sure how that is going to work out with tonight’s European party :|

Baseball & Silverlight

Today I’ve actually got some time to blog using my pc. The last few posts where via mobile, using the great http://m.wordpress.com page, but it doesn’t allow you to link easily to other posts nor to include images, hence the lightweight posts.

Baseball funny enough was a bit of a theme for the start at MIX07. One of the most exciting demos during the keynote on Monday was about the MLB that also included a preview of what you can expect from Silverlight mobile once that will be released in beta I think during summer. More on Silverlight later but here are a few interesting links already: official Silverlight site & Tim Sneath’s blog.

The second link with baseball was the activity we did with a few people from Europe at the Sports center on Sunday. Since Bert decided to expose me on his blog (but look at that hit), I can only return the favor here ;)

ibert.jpg

MIX07 and blogging

I realized today that I won’t be able to blog a lot while being at MIX07. I tried, I wanted to but it just won’t happen. The good thing is that MIX has been quite interesting so far and I’ll definitely blog about it later. In the meantime you should check out the Silverlight demo from Fox at http://silverlight.live.com, pretty cool. You need to install a plugin but that will take you like a few seconds only. Worth a look.

More to come, but probably after MIX. And now let’s try to win some money ;)

The Venetian

It’s quite funny walking around this hotel, you really lose all sense of day and night, people are playing on the slots machines day and night. Coming to think if it, you won’t see a clock anywhere around here. Well it probably all helps to keep you gambling I guess.

Today we saw our first presentations, mainly about Expression Studio and Silverlight with some pretty cool demos. After that we went out for some activities. Bert, Geert, a few others and myself went to do some baseball and karts which was good fun, hopefully I have some pictures of that later on.

Last but not least, the whole European group got a Samsung Blackjack which is a really cool smartphone that I actually wanted already for a long time so lucky me :)