Biz Stone Keynotes Adobe Summit 2012: Live Blog


Here we go again, yesterday’s Arianna Huffington keynote was more fun to live blog than I thought it would be, so I figured I’d try again this morning when Biz Stone, Co-founder of Twitter takes the stage at Adobe Summit 2012 here in gorgeous Salt Lake City, Utah. (Yes, I’m biased because I live here in SLC, UT, and not only has it been sunny and warm for the two days of Summit so far, we did have three real powder days before the conference began.. thank you snow gods for not overlapping with the show!)

So, hopefully my ears will stop ringing from the Foster the People performance and the DJ’d after party for 4,000 conference attendees… right now a VP from Adobe (John Mellor) is on the stage recapping our “digital self” and leading into Biz Stone joining us for the morning session.

“Search is just your brand’s phone number – which kind of bugs me, because you spend your whole lifetime trying to create a brand, then Google sweeps in to take all the credit”  – Adobe VP of Business Development John Mellor.

Digital insights report released by Adobe today – across these industries, here are the top referrers:

  • Media:
  1. Twitter
  2. StumbleUpon
  • Travel
    1. Yelp
    2. StumbleUpon
  • Retail
    1. Pinterest
    2. (Missed it sorry..)

    Ann Lewnes, VP of Adobe Global marketing is actually out on stage with Biz, and this is going to be a keynote conversation.

    Biz Stone says his digital self is really his actual self, having been an early blogger / tech adopter. It’s a pretty accurate representation of his personal self.

    (shout out to the Boston logan Sam Adams pub by Biz)

    He does edit himself a little on his own Twitter account just for obvious reasons, he tones it down.

    Biz shows the crowd a ridiculously awesome picture of his wedding day where he looks uber happy (and he says his wife looks like she just made the worst mistake ever, as she’s doing a one handed face palm.

    Ooh.. Biz carries around a little book (reminds me of @MattCutt’s book…) around for notes and thoughts.

    Biz says he likes to hire people who had failed at a job or startup company, because the lessons learned from the failures are valuable. He does tell entrepreneurs they have to go all in when trying to start up new businesses. If you’re hedging your bets by doing work on the side or trying to half-heartedly start a business, you will likely fail.

    (ooh.. Ann just said don’t see any movie with Nick Cage.. I missed the leadin to that but don’t worry, it’s inconsequential- you just needed to read the slam on Cage.)

    Biz Stone rolls his eyes over the Canadian journalists who misquoted him as saying too much twitter is unhealthy. But he is going to talk about the concept of social fatigue  – the takeaway is that we have to look at better ways of measuring social engagement.

    Ann is doing a great job leading the conversation with a sometimes wandering Biz…

    Design vs Data

    Since Biz has a background as a graphic designer, Ann posed this question to Biz. He thinks design is very important and it creates a number of ways and paths to present content. For example, while he thinks NYT is a great web property, he thinks they could do a better job disseminating data and presenting the content in a much more interactive way than the print edition offers.

    Apps for tablets are providing the path for showing that we can do these interactions more on the regular web in design.

    Biz: “We have separate internets right now” – we have the Web, the facebook, the Android / Apple Internets, and tablets.

    “So I built Twitter but I’m not necessarily a social media expert” …

    He gives an analogy that if you asked any Google employee, ‘hey, how do I improve my page rank for my cousin’s dentist site” and that Google employee has no idea how the ranking algo works because he works on infrastructure.

    This goes against ‘centuries’ of brand building and business lore, but there is value in vulnerability on social…

    Privacy Issues…

    Biz says this is a higher discussion, but we’re figuring out over the next (5 years) how much we’re willing to share on social media and giving information to various companies, etc.

    “You need to let the individual user unwrap the layers of privacy”  – for example, location is very important for some people – that can be life or death.

    Biz says he enriched the Twitter TOS so normal people would understand that even if they deleted a tweet, they’re still essentially screwed because it’s already been put out there and could have been screens shotted, shared, etc.

    Moving on to the Obvious project he’s been working on.

    The good problem to have is that they now so many resources to use – capital, engineering talent, marketing prowess etc, to build it out. But at one point, they have more resources than they can use on their own little projects, so they’ve invited startups to come co-work who are philosophically aligned with their values, but maybe aren’t going to make it without support and good direction.

    Biz also says that he believes the future of marketing is philanthropy – which aligns with Arianna Huffington’s comments yesterday about cause marketing being a powerful vehicle for brands to get behind.

    Don’t just look inside your company when you have a problem to solve – there are more smart people outside your company to answer the tough questions and help give you new ideas to solve problems that you’ve been unable to with internal resources.

    Speed Round

    One word association. (Biz wasn’t very good at this at first, he kept giving answers longer than a single word. )

    Marketing? Unknown.

    Friends or Followers? Religion.

    Dogs or Cats? Both.

    Lady Gaga? Monsters

    Biz? Little boy


    About The Author

    Elisabeth Osmeloski is VP of Audience Development for Search Engine Land and Marketing Land. In addition, she assists in programming sessions at Third Door Media’s Search Marketing Expo conference and the Marketing Land Events series and manages speaking engagements for editorial staff. Follow her on Twitter @elisabethos.



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