Published: November 13, 2012
Author: Todd Mintz
“Give the word a chance to say
That the word is just the way…” The Beatles
I want to give a shout-out to the good folks at Hanapin Marketing, who are putting on their second PPC Hero Conference, featuring lots of top PPC speakers including our own David Rodnitzky. The reason that they get my kudos is that they are in the process of placing online transcripts from last year’s conference on their blog…something I’ve not seen any conference organizer ever do before. These transcripts are amazing treasure troves of information from the smartest PPC folks in the industry.
Now, I can guess that there are a couple of reasons they are publishing all this information:
1) The best way to market an upcoming conference is to show how good the last one was.
2) From an SEO perspective, publishing session transcripts will greatly help generate long-tail organic traffic to the blog.
However, for me, the Hanapinians (is that a word?) deserve my praise because without knowing it, they’ve published information in precisely the way I process information…text only, and lots of it.
In examining the various ways that others have tried to communicate to me, there is a strong emphasis on visual stimuli. Training consists of either videos or GoToMeeting demonstrations. Meetings contain PowerPoints with lots of visuals and minimal text. If you learn visually, the new technology is a boon for you.
Unfortunately, these new learning styles don’t jive with me at all. My ADD prevents me from focusing closely on videos (other than those on the FAIL Blog). Not being a visual learner, I automatically discount any pictures associated with the lessons. My eye automatically darts to text, and the great problem with PowerPoints is how amazingly text-light they are. The infographic you’re trying to get me to share and link to? I view it like this:
To me, pure, primitive, raw 8-byte text is like dark microbrew beer. I thirst for it.
Multiple times each day, I go to my RSS Feed Reader, and I scan-read everything in it. I prefer full text feeds so I don’t have to click through to the sites and be distracted by them. I ignore all graphical images associated with the post and, with great thirst, imbibe all the information presented to me.
Professional writing, however, is actually a filtered medium of communication. Unordered thoughts are arranged, organized, and crafted into coherent narratives of ideas that are hopefully unadorned by visual distractions that get in the way of the text. They go down easy and they go down smooth…but they frequently lack character and depth. By contrast, the spoken word is much less filtered and lives much closer to the essence of thought. Gems are frequently vocalized, but because of the elusive nature of voice, they get lost in the ether. Fortunately, PPC Hero made sure that none got away at their conference.
I’ve often said that I’ve never “directly” learned much during any conference session that I’ve attended…likely because I’m too distracted by my laptop, the people around me, the temperature of the room, or any of the myriad of items in the environment that prevent me from capturing the essence of what’s being said (including the fact that I have only one chance to capture it). With these transcripts however, all the peripherals preventing me from learning and capturing the information have been stripped away, leaving just the words that were said, that can be referred to, studied, and absorbed at my own pace. There are some amazing gems here, and it’s unfortunate that the great majority of readers likely won’t go through the 7-15 page text-only PDFs and mine the gold that has been graciously placed into the public domain. These text transcripts go down as smooth as a pint of Guinness and leave me very pleasantly buzzed.
Even if you’re dubious about learning in a conference setting, you should attend the PPC Hero Conference. The networking will be terrific (and worth the price of admission all by itself). Also, you can see great bands in Austin.
– Todd Mintz, Sr. Account Manager