Lessons Learned at the National Advertising Conference

Photo by Rachel Keeton  Networking at big industry events, like the ADDY Awards, pays off.

Photo by Rachel Keeton.
Networking at big industry events, like the ADDY Awards, pays off.

This past week I had the opportunity to go to Admerica, the American Advertising Federation’s national advertising conference, in Phoenix, AZ. I was able to attend not only the Addy Awards Ceremony, but various forums, networking mixers and keynote speeches from the likes of Pete Cashmore (Mashable), Susan Credle and Lisa Cochrane (Leo Burnett/Allstate Insurance) and so many more. Being around some of the most creative, award winning industry professionals and ad agencies was an incredible, eye opening experience, especially as college student trying to get into the industry. It’s easy to get intimidated when you’re rubbing elbows with so many people who are “famous” in the advertising world, but you have to remember that these heavy hitters were once in the same position. Everyone I got a chance to network with was genuinely interested in what my future plans were and had great advice on how to get there.

The best advice the students received at the Admerica conference was from AOL’s Digital Prophet, David Shing, to “embrace change and take massive risks in your careers when you’re young.” He went on to tell the crowd about the pressure of figuring out what you want to do for the rest of your life, and to instead start with what you don’t want to be doing. By simplifying a process like that, it allows you to spend more doing what you love. This advice is applicable across all industries, and should be something that students take to heart.

Students and young professionals need to remember to take advantage of networking events around them. College career services offices can sometimes be the best source of information on upcoming events, and they are always more than willing to help alumni. The old saying, “you reap what you sew” holds true when talking about networking. The effort you put into making new connections will pay off in the future, when you’ve graduated and are actively seeking a job. So get out there when you’re still young, and it’ll make the job hunt a lot easier when the time comes!

—Rachel Keeton



Coming Soon: Movie Rental on Facebook

Like Movies? Hate going to Blockbuster, or waiting for your Netflix movies to arrive? Disappointed in the limited selection of movies available to watch online? Well things are looking up.  Mashable announced today that Warner Bros. is making their movies available to rent online… through Facebook. Yeah, you read that right. Starting today, when you visit the fan page of some of your favorite Warner Bros. movies, you can not only “like” the movie, but you can also rent it and watch it right there. The rentals are available for the low price of $3, or 30 Facebook Credits, which are an online currency that buys you things on Facebook. At the moment the feature is only available for “The Dark Night“, but they are going to be expanding soon.

This is an interesting development for all of us 600 million Facebook users. It takes the already expansive user experience provided by the social media giant, and opens up a door that leads to a world of new possibilities. I would love to see Facebook to become a place that incorporates a Netflix + Hulu type video catalog that, with a low monthly price, can be available for use online and on other internet enabled devices (TV’s, video game consoles, etc.). Then they can add music and some proper games and I’ll never have to leave the site. Sounds good to me.

Google Wave: Open the Floodgates

Google Wave launched a week ago. Yes, you might be upset because you didn’t get an invite, but that’s no reason to boycott it. Courtesy of Mashable, I’ve summarized some of the most important aspects of this redefining Web tool:

According to Mashable, “Google Wave is a real-time communication platform.” It’s real-time, so you can witness what other people are typing, character-by-character. Waves can be added to any blog or Web site and be edited by anyone else (wiki). Developers can build apps. in Google Wave; users can playback what’s been said in the past and can drag-and-drop files for sharing. These are just some features associated with Google Wave.

So, what exactly is a wave? “A wave, specifically, refers to a specific threaded conversation. It can include just one person, or it can include a group of users or even robots…Anything you’ve ever discussed in a single chat or conversation is a wave.” Within waves are wavelets, threaded conversations that contain blips, which are the single, individual messages. Blips are like lines in a IM conversation. It is also possible to post documents, extensions, gadgets…pretty much anything that can be shared.

Inside waves, you can share gadgets. For instance, any application already created in iGoogle or OpenSocial can be run within Google Wave. What’s nice is that applications are specific to waves, not individual users. In Facebook, you have to register for that specific app. to use it; in Google Wave, it belongs to everyone in that wave.

Robots are the other wave extensions. However, they’re more robust than the past annoying robots. “They can talk with users and interact with waves. They can provide information from outside sources (i.e. Twitter) or they can check content within a wave and perform actions based on them (i.e. provide you a stock quote if a stock name is mentioned).”

You can even embed a Google Wave conversation and use it as chat room, as a way for visitors to contact you, or something more.

Google Wave is still in its early phases, but soon it will be avaliable for all of us to enjoy and connect with.Brian Vandeputte