Ad:Tech New York 2008 – Best Exhibitor “SWAG”!

Ad:Tech New York 2008 "SWAG"

Ad:Tech New York 2008 "SWAG"

I find it entertaining how at every conference, I manage to come home with BAGS full of Online Marketing” SWAG” (Stuff We All Get). Well this time around, in spirit of the elections, I decided to rate all of the SWAG and name a “BEST SWAG AT AD:TECH”. It’s a tough year full of yoyo’s, usb lights, wireless mice and cigars! The winners will be chosen based on the following criteria: Longevity, Practicality, Popularity and Design!

This list will exclude notebooks, pens, gum, sticker,  and squishee balls …’cause they suck! Below is a list of the best SWAG and their companies:


1st Place – LinkTrust, Sturdy Messenger Bag/Laptop Case

  • This is the bag on the right of the picture on top (and NOT the yellow one). A well built product, usable compartments and a padded laptop section, this item was hard to come by. The entire show, people kept asking me “where did you get that bag?” Even my boss was a little jealous. This one takes the cake!

2nd Place – EliteCommission, Fresh Rolled Cigars, Clippers and Lighters

  • Originally I was considering giving this 1st place, but there was no practicality here. It was definitely popular and this booth definitely got the most buzz! Also, it’s funny to note the Chief Marketing Officer who decided on the cigars idea is only 16-years-old! And the other staff members were also under age: Rishab Verma (CSO) is 17 and  Joe Helewa (Sr. AM) is 16. And the best part? Their booth ended up having a line around the corner for the first few hours of Ad:Tech on Monday. A little ironic that 3 members of their staff aren’t legally allowed to touch their own SWAG! I found an interview with Joshua Kopac: 16-year-old Internet Marketer, which is worth reading. He’s definitely a sharp kid and the company looks like it is doing quite well. Worth keeping an eye on!

3rd Place – Tatto Media, USB Wireless Mouse

  • Practically speaking, a wireless mouse makes a great addition to both your laptop and desktop. I was also very surprised to see there was no shortage in supply. I was able to snag 4 of them, without even being questioned. They earned this one!

Me and My "SWAG"

Overall it was a successful day for SWAG collectors and exhibitors alike, and I look forward to letting the winners know that they truly earned this one 😉

See you at AD:Tech ’09!

Posted under Events

This post was written by Joshua Russak on November 5, 2008

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“Top 5” Event Lists for Online Marketers!

It is very important to stay up to date on local events if you’re in the Online Marketing space. One of my first jobs since my promotion at AC Lion was to create a targetted, detailed list of new york local and west-coast based events. These sites serve as potential advertising opportunities for events we hosted as well. Here are the best places to source for events if you’re in the Online Marketing & Advertising space:

#1: Gary’s Guide:

Garysguide is the #1 Events Calendar for Technology & New Media professionals. Their calendar is a comprehensive edited list of all upcoming events related to technology, web 2.0, social media, online advertising & marketing, software, hardware, digital video, new media, entrepreneurship, startups and much much more. They are currently live in 13 of the top tech hubs in the country including New York, Boston, Washington DC, Chicago, Los Angeles, Austin, San Diego, Denver, Portland, Seattle, Toronto, Las Vegas and the San Francisco Bay Area.

#2: Meetups: is the world’s largest network of local groups. Meetup makes it easy for anyone to organize a local group or find one of the thousands already meeting up face-to-face. For Online Marketers, there are tons of tech related meetup groups including Online Video, Bloggers, SEO, SEM, Search, Buzz Marketing, Sales Executives, VC Elevator Pitch Groups, etc. They are loads of fun and are usually followed up with a drink.

#3: BtoB Magazine: BtoBOnline Events Calendar

BtoB is the magazine for marketing strategists, Published monthly by Crain Communications Inc. With 45,000+ subscribers, they also provide a detailed list of b2b related events. They currently hold events in New York, Chicago, Boston, and San Francisco. You can aslo opt-in for e-mail notification of future BtoBevents, by e-mailing

#4: MediaPost:Events Listing and Public Directory of Industry Events

A. Events Listing – A list of MediaPost shows in which you will find detailed information on each of their signature events. And don’t forget, as a MediaPost member, you are entitled to a special discounted rate to attend.

B. Public Directory of Industry Events – This is a publically submitted comprehensive calendar of upcoming events around the country. Florida to New York, Chicago to LA, Portland to Seattle…this listing has it all.

#5:Advertising Age (aka: AdAge): Industry Events

Advertising Age Events

Advertising Age (aka: AdAge) is the leading global source of news, intelligence and conversation for marketing and media communities. They host their own events and provide a comprehensive calendar of Industry Events in LA, NYC, Chicago and more.

…The best way to stay on top of these events is by subscribing to their e-mail updates and event RSS feeds. One way that works for me that I use on my personal web site’s events calendar, is to create a Google Calendar and combine all your events RSS feeds into one big mashup. That way you can monitor every event in one AJAX driven and clean looking window.

Good luck and I look forward to seeing you at upcoming events!

Posted under Events, Viral Marketing

This post was written by Joshua Russak on October 28, 2008


Affiliate Summit Social Media 2008: Valuable Facts!

I recently attended the Affiliate Summit Social Media Conference in NYC. It took place last Sunday, October 5th at Baruch College. It was a rather small venue compared the Affiliate Summit East in Boston, but their goal was clear: “Social Media Success!” And to be honest, I picked up mixed reviews from the affiliates in the crowd.

Don Crowther & Joshua Russak (Me)

Dan Crowther & Me

The summit started off with Keynote speaker, Don Crowther, Social Media and Blogging Expert. His advice was very effective for Experienced and Beginners alike. In reference to Social Media Marketing: “If you do it wrong in this business, it can be a huge dissadvantage!” He went on to bring quite a few surprising key facts: Facebook almost equals the amount of Google pageviews, Myspace actually got more page views than google last year, YouTube almost doubled Google! Then he went on to discuss strategy. I wasn’t too happy to hear his opinion that Movable Type Publishing was better than WordPress because it had better search engine rankings. When asked why? “B/c it’s paid for”. Unlike WordPress, you pay for MTP which means better quality service. Well – according to everything else he was telling the audience – if you apply these social media tips, it won’t matter which platform you use! “You don’t have to be a rocket scientist, just do it appropriately!” (~Don)

He ran a very interesting test. He took 5,000 of the top terms in Google (Money terms worth 50 cents or more for the #2 spot) and he found that “18% of all first page results were social media – 2 sites per page!” And he showed us quite a few examples where the social media site outranked the actual company. From this he derived that all a company needs is GOOD SEM on one side and SOCIAL MEDIA MARKETING on the other. And here are the tools he referenced: Squidoo, HubPages, WetPaint, Twitter,, Google Keyword Tool, Last.Fm, Digg, and many more (MANY MORE!). As for Video, you should be doing Video Reviews, Video Blogs, etc. . He referred the audience to Camtasia and Screenflow. It’s the software you use to record your Desktop. Very applicable for training, powerpoints, presentations, etc. Also, bringing in Guest’s for interviewing creates amazing content. Then promote it in one of 2 ways. You CAN go to each video site and upload each video individually or use TubeMogul to do it all in one shot and manage your trafic.


In my opinion, I could have easily left at this point feeling accomplished. But there was no way I was going to miss the next session: “Gain Friend and Infuence, With Video – Learn how to leverage video to increase brand engagement, time spent on site, and page views. Explore the tools and techniques to use when testing out video” Totally worth it. The session involved the following:

Not as valuable for me as the first session, but the audience remained hooked and interested as I looked around the room. I particularly enjoyed Melissa’s participation. I knew I recognized her. Besides acting as Director of Marketing for, she is also Co-Host of the TV show, BuyTV, that airs weekly on G4. And I’ve seen Steve Rosenbaum at quite a few local events including the most recent Jeff Pulver Breakfast. To properly cover this one, I took down quite a few valuable quotes:

  • Steve: “I think you’ll see longer videos as time goes on”
  • Steve: “The advantage of short = you leave the audience wanting more”
  • Melissa: “If it’s not Rich Media, it’s not interesting!”
  • Steve: “There’s an enourmous amount of money out to find quality pre-roll!”
  • Steve: “YouTube is a failed Social Network!”

Yea…as you can see, they covered quite a few areas of video. And it was worth getting a picture in with Melissa as you can see in the flickr SlideShow at the top of this post.  At this point there was a break for lunch and networking. I met up with Jim Kukral and found that to be quite valuable. He was one of the main reasons I took my blog in a new direction (as you’ll start to see in the coming weeks).

The sessions I attended after lunch included:

Where'd they all go?

Empty Chairs :)

…but at that point, the room was starting to clear out! I mean COME ONNNN, it was a Sunday! Half of the crowd was probably hung over form the night before. All I can say was that from what I attended, it was well worth it in terms of quality training and networking. Check out their next event in Vegas if you can make it!

Posted under Events, Online Video, Social Networks

This post was written by Joshua Russak on October 9, 2008

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Ultra Light Startups: Outsourcing Your Startup

I recently attended my 2nd Ultra Light Startups group and it was easily a success! I covered last months event in my article Ultra Light Startups(TM) a SUCCESS!!

The event was located at  Gigapixel Creative downtown and started around 7pm. For those of you unaware of this event, the mission is simple: “Tech entrepreneurs, sharing techniques to launch faster and cheaper!” A room full of 45+ entrepreneuers with bootstrapped budgets discussing professional techniques on improving their businesses. A great source for networking and information. And more importantly, the panel at this event felt a lot more engaging than the big conferences, but the content and material was just as good, if not better!


Company Pitch!

At around 7pm, everybody attending presents their startup elevator-pitch in front of a projector displaying their website. You get 60 seconds on-the-dot, and they’re strict! It’s exciting to see what ideas people come up with and are equally as passionate about. I am always surprised by the pitches. May individuals really SUCK at pitching while others are great, but the idea is a flop. Here are a few interesting notes: There were 5 fashion related companies, 1 Domain Squater ( <-surprisingly Kevin Ryan isn’t interested), and one very impressive company which managed to have over $800k+ in funding – SaneBull – an online financial platform which provides live stock quotes, real-time news, investment tools and more in an easy to use interface. Roman Grinblat and his partner pitched the company very well, and to be honest, I was sold after 30 seconds.


Yao, Bala, Shishir, Taylor, Randy, Ronald

After the presentations…it was pizza+networking time! 15 minutes to make your rounds. This is 50% of the reason people come to this event. You have a chance to engage the panelists event before they speak. This is a good hint for all of you reading this – bring lots of business cards (though there is a list of all attendees and everybody gets a copy after the event!)

This months topic was “Outsourcing Your Startup”, and had a great panel panel. Ronald Bradford, Principal 42SQL, was a great Moderator (yet again) for the following panel:

The panel started off slow, but picked up momentum as the audience got involved. Outsourcing options were discussed and day-to-day issues were brought up. Ronald made a great point: When relating to someone you plan on outsourcing to, “remember – different societies and cultures impact!”

Another great point brought up by Shishir, “The #1 reason for choosing outsourcing was cost!” He continued to stress that unless you control your objectives and project time-line, it will end up costing you more. Because of this, when looking to build “scalable, larger sites you should use established outsourcing companies.” Other requirements to save time and money, according to Yao, are “Graphical sketches and specs!” Spec writing was an ongoing topic – good code vs. bad code. You may end up spending 10’s of 1,000’s of dollars on a project only to discover the code was weak and hard for anybody else to understand and build on.

At this point in the panel, everybody agreed that “Outsourcing is not only about saving money. It is about finding resources!” The resources necessary are driven by your NEEDS. So, before going ahead and drop all of your money in one hat, it may pay off to spend time with an outsourcing consultant to see whether or not it is the right option for you. Bala and Randy offered a service of “in-sourcing” as I like to put it. Local college students looking to work hard on your project for college credits, and with skill levels+quality equal to that which you will find from outsourcing to India or Russia.

This is a lot to packed into one quick blog-post, but hopefully by reading this you will see the true value of attending one the Ultra Light Startups. Check them out next month, November 6th with the topic of Ultra Light S.E.O.. I have no doubt it will have a great panel and a room full of valuable networking opportunities. To stay on top of their events and updates, check out the Ultra Light Facebook Group.

Posted under Events, Ultra Light Startups

This post was written by Joshua Russak on October 8, 2008

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Kevin Ryan Answers My Question at Web2.0 Expo

In my previous article covering the Web2.0 Expo, Web2.0 Expo Says: “Start Up in Silicon Alley”, I mentioned a session in which I asked Kevin Ryan, CEO & Co-Founder of AlleyCorp, a great question:

Kevin, you mentioned a great tip: Start when the wave starts! What do you see as the next big wave?”

The whole team responded, but it was hard to pinpoint a single response.  They spent a good 10 minutes covering that topic before moving on…and until now, I had no idea that it was caught on tape. Alex Harris of, posted multipled videos from Web2.0 Expo on his blog, Good times at Web 2.0 Expo NY with videos. 2 of those videos show Kevin Ryan, David Rose and Nate Westheimer’s response to my question. Check it out…THAT’S ME IN THE RED :)

Posted under Events, Online Marketing

This post was written by Joshua Russak on September 26, 2008