Tag Archives: Kimarketing

I Met Up With The Gambler

I Met Up With The Gambler
Photo-A-Day #1585

Today was another whirlwind day at Affiliate Summit East in New York. I started the day by visiting the blogger lounge where my friend Heather (@HeatherinBC) was Blogger Lounge Mistress. She ran the blogger lounge and helped out the bloggers who were there to post up their pictures and stories and many other things. I had to get my post from yesterday up so I did that along with my Photo-A-Day from yesterday. So I did that and then made sure I got breakfast and breakfast for Heather because she was tied to that blogger room for the day. Which was great because I could leave stuff there and come right back to it easily.

This morning I also met Connie of BrainFoggles (@ConnieFoggles). She is such a sweet lady. She saw me and asked, “Are you a hugger?” I said what the heck and she greeted me like an old friend, which we are because of our friendship through blogging. We had a really nice time in the morning and I worked fiercely to get that post and all my photos up and ready to go so I could start the day. Tim Jones (@Timothy_Jones) also caught up with us in the Blogger Lounge and he and I went to the opening Keynote which was done by Chris Brogan (@ChrisBrogan)and Julien Smith (@Julien).

My Mic is #1

They wrote Trust Agents together.

I had never seen Chris Brogan speak before. I had been following his twitter feed until I checked twitter karma and saw that he wasn’t following me. He follows so many people, why wasn’t he following me? So I unfollowed him and tweeted that to him, never heard anything but then again he’s a very sought after guy. Well, after hearing him speak today I quickly followed him again, he’s a guy you should be listening to if you are part of social media. He put so much of his personality into the session and was so engaging that I knew I had to start following him again regardless if he doesn’t follow me.

Update: Chris and I are cool. We are mutually following each other and may even hang out for a beer (like in the “Real” World) sometime. It had to be the Milli Vanilli song. I just know it.

Brogan is there on the carpet

Later in the evening I told him that same thing, we may catch up sometime back home because he is a local guy. I tried to tell him how much I thought his keynote was a good one but I think I should have lead with that rather than how I unfollowed him and only would follow (@JimmyBuffett) knowing from the outset that I wouldn’t be followed back.

The keynote was also emceed by Jim Kukral (@JimKukral)

Jim and I spoke last night in the limo and I really enjoyed what he had to say last night as well as today. I’m definitely going to give him a call after the conference.

After the keynote I went to the How to Monetize Your Site With Widgets. I wasn’t quite sure if I was in the right place and I asked this guy if this was the Amazon Affiliate session and he said that he sure hoped so because he was giving the talk. That was Andrew “Woody” Wood of Amazon.com. He had a really good session and I learned a lot about the widgets that are possible for blogs. After the session I asked him if we could get a photo together with the xshot and we did.

BenSpark and Woody Wood of Amazon.com

I have some great ideas for a mashup type widget for BenSpark.com that will be pretty sweet. While in that session I met Russ Wollam (RustyFenderMan) from HorseLoverz.com, The World’s Biggest Tack shop. They also sell items for pets because basically if someone has a horse most of the time they have a pet. Russ was a really nice guy. I also met Laszlo Ember from New Jersey State Auto Auction he was an interesting guy as well. I realized that my Photo-A-Day project really connects me to so many different things like my horse photos and my car photos.

After the session I went to the business office because I had to pick up my Poken. I was so excited to receive my Dragon Poken from (PokenGirl) via FedEx at the hotel. I felt like a secret agent because I had never received anything at a hotel before. I’m an affiliate of PokenGirl and if you are interested in purchasing one and high 4ing with me than cool, we can certainly do that. I’m going to do a full on review of the Poken once I get some people here at Affiliate Summit to High 4 me. The only person that has one that I know is Tim Jones, and he got his today. He has a caveman.

While in the blogger lounge I had a 15 minute session with Kim Ann Curtin who is a Life Coach and has the blog The Coach Shoppe. I had never ever wanted to talk to a life coach before to be honest. I like being and independent person. I’m very much a “shut up and do it” person when it comes to tasks for other people. I just get the job done. when it comes to tasks for me I shy away and do not push full on ahead. She cut through the crap and asked the questions that I should be asking and together we worked out a plan for a dream that I’ve had for a while. We put together an action plan and I’m going to work on it. She goes and gives 15 minute sessions to people on Wall Street, she’s really good.

BenSpark w Kim Ann Curtin

Hanging out in the Blogger Lounge I got to meet a guy that I’ve only recently become a fan of and that is Gary Vaynerchuk (@GaryVee). Gary was there visiting and I took a photo with him using my Xshot then I ran over to my PoGo and printed out our photo, slapped it to my business card and brought it right back to him he was pretty impressed and showed his friends.

BenSpark and Gary Vay-ner-chuk!

When I met him I asked him about the 80’s toys that show up on Wine Library TV. He-Man and WWF wrestlers. I didn’t get to ask if he had any Transformers that might make an appearance. It was a great time. Here is the photo that we took together

I also caught up with and finally met Eric Shechter (EricSchechter) from Clickbooth. He’s going to be a celebrity judge of the Ultimate IZEAFest Prize Pack Contest. We need to talk more on stuff and I hope to catch up with him tomorrow.

I went off to find a session, decided against it and then went off and met with a bunch of people up and the floors. I met my Publisher Manager at MarketLeverage, Erica Messore. That was a bit embarrassing because I was talking to Jen from MarketLeverage.telling her that I had never heard from my account manager and then looked at the business cards and realized that my manager was Erica, who was right there. We formally met and took a photo together so it is all good.

BenSpark and Erica Messore

Back down to the Blogger’s Lounge and I did two interviews. One with a guy named Mike Stark and the other with Murray Newlands (@MurrayNewlands). I’m looking forward to seeing what those are about. Also while in the blogger lounge I made a Mii Character of myself on the Wii and named it BenSpark. I said, I can guarantee that at least a couple of people will play Wii as my Mii. And I sat and watched at least six people do it. If that ain’t personal branding then I do not know what is.

Personal Branding on the Wii

After the Blogger’s Lounge I went back to my room and dumped most of my stuff and headed out to the MarketLeverage / John Chow Dot Com Pizza meetup at Ray’s Original or Original Rays (I can’t figure out which was which). There were quite a few people and I met Michael Buechele (mikebuechele) who is friends with Tim Jones. We also caught up with Dina (@MLDina) from MarketLeverage as well as Kim Rowley KIMarketing.com and BajaLori. We walked over to the pizza place and met up with everyone. The amount of pizza that came out hot and fresh for us was amazing. We had a really good time while we were there and I think I went and made BajaLori’s night with an Xshot of her very own. You would have thought I gave her $100.00 on the spot she was so excited.

While we were at the Dot Com Pizza party Ted Murphy (@TedMurphy) showed up and it was great to see him. Kim went over and introduced herself to him and I shot this photo of the two of them together.

Kim Rowley and Ted Murphy

Then as Tim and Mike and I were leaving we caught up with Ted on the stairs and I shot the Photo-A-Day shot. The thing that cracks me up about this is that the guy in the foreground was one of the people working at the pizza place. It is so random a shot that I had to use it as the daily photo. Ted told Mike, Tim and I that a couple of guys asked him to go outside for and interview and they were so excited to interview him and that they had watched all his podcasts and read his blog all the time. They thought that he was Zac Johnson (@moneyreign). No word of a lie. It was hilarious.

So I went back to the hotel and started writing this post and didn’t make it too far before I got a call from Ted that he was with Heather in the bar downstairs. He asked me to come down and for a while we hung out and talked about all sorts of things from babies to running and everything in between. I’m so excited for IZEAFest that I cannot even tell you! Hanging with Ted gives you this energy that is amazing. We eventually made out way upstairs and hang out at the Affiliate Summit Karaoke party.

BenSpark, @HeatherinBC, @Brett, @Ted Murphy and Shannon

We had free drink tickets, enough to get me and Ted up there to sing Milli Vanilli – Girl You Know It’s True with the Affiliate Summit man himself, Shawn Collins (AffiliateTip). I had a great time singing and dancing with Ted and Shawn. Heather taped the whole thing with the Flip cam. Here is our epic video. Please, no autographs. LOL.

As you can see I wore my I’m Not A Famous Blogger shirt today and it got a lot of attention.

On a Train Bound for Nowhere

On a Train (Yacht) Bound for Nowhere
Photo-A-Day #1584

Today was the 1st day of Affiliate Summit East. I started off at 5:30am with a quick shower and change and kissed and hugged Allison and I was on my way to the Providence Amtrak Station. I decided that travel by rail was better than driving down from home. I was right, On the train I had time to sit and watch a couple of episodes of Wine Library TV with Gary Vaynerchuk. I didn’t get to meet him tonight, dang, someday Gary we are gonna chat about the He-Man characters and other 80s stuff you bring out from time to time on your show. Getting into the station is not as easy as the directions lead you to believe. The directions take you to the front of the building, which is fine if you are dropping someone off but if you are parking in the garage – $8.55 max per day, information I could find NOWHERE online so I’m sharing with you. you have to go past the building loop around by the Roger Williams National Park. Good thing for the Roger Williams Paddle Trail and Ten Mile River Watershed Council. And then come back up the 1st street you come to. Then you park down in the parking garage. From there it is upstairs, scan your receipt get your tickets and wait till the train comes.

Trains are so much better than airplanes. Oh my God they are! The only problems I saw were that since you can just get on a train anywhere except for the 1st car (unless you are in business class) it is hard to know what seats are reserved and which ones aren’t. Well, I guess it isn’t too hard since there are little pink tickets that the conductors put above the seats. However, I failed to see them and the conductor made me go to the next car. I passed a person sleeping and who was sitting in backwards facing seats. I took the seat right behind them. Big mistake. That person woke up and proceeded to talk at the loudest volume on their cell phone, which kept cutting out. One young woman asked the person to please talk louder and that person said, “You better not be talking to me.” This was someone who was not going to let the conventions of modern polite society dictate anything that they did. So I sacrificed some of my hearing and just turned up my ipod. When Jimmy Buffett didn’t help lighten my mood I went the other way and listened to some angry hair band stuff. It wasn’t until that person asked the conductor what time it was and the conductor said, as the person asked again, “I heard you sir.” The person then said, “Maam!” It was then I realized that this “guy” behind me was actually a woman. A woman that would make Mike Tyson cry. So other than the constant running commentary about people using the bathroom and not being able to lock the doors correctly and the speakerphone shouting conversation for 2 hours of the ride the train was still better than flying.

When I got into Penn Station I hopped on the subway and was going to make a series of complicated connections but instead went to the next station went up to the street and walked to the hotel. Today was Dominican Day in New York and it happened that the parade route was straight up the avenue of the Americas, the same street as my hotel. So after a few detours and police roadblocks I made it to the hotel and up to check in for Affiliate Summit. The first person I saw was Brett Bumeter, also an IZEA Insider. Brett showed me where to go and I got registered and my badge and swag bag. Inside the swag bag was Chris Brogan‘s Book Trust Agents, some Verve! Energy Drink, a copy of Feed Front and a $100 coupon for new advertisers to use Sponsored Tweets as wells as SocialSpark. So, some good stuff!

I couldn’t get into my room yet and I wasn’t going to drag my suitcase through the meet market so I settled in for my 1st session which was Dynamic Shopping – Content, Conversion Analytics. I wanted to go to Getting Noticed Fast but was running late so I settled for this one. I didn’t get much out of it. But it gave me a place to relax, drop my suitcase and stop sweating from my walk across town. I have to say the panel was all over the place and no one really gives you much info. You have to buy their systems for that. No thanks, not that interesting. Brett was in that one and we sat together. After the session was over he left and I took his seat to power up my cell phone. I tweeted like a madman on the train – yet another reason it is better than a plane. I also took stock of my swag bag and other stuff. I met a guy named Greg from www.Home123.com. We chatted about IZEA and SocialSpark and I made sure that he knew about his coupon.

Greg sat in on the second session that was Personal Branding 2.0 which was done by Stephanie Agresta (@stephagresta) and Sara Austin (@pop17). The session was a good one but an hour was certainly not enough time to delve into all the topics. I kept saying to myself. The topic they are talking about now, I wrote a blog post about that months ago. Afterward I chatted with Stephanie and told her that I would send her some of those posts. I wrote it on the back of her business card so that I would remember, tweeted to myself and also am writing this now so I had better not forget.

I didn’t stick around for the 3rd session because I was getting a bit tired and I wanted to go relax before heading out on the Valiant Yacht tour with MarketLeverage. Dina Riccobono got me a ticket to get on the yacht so I didn’t have to stow away. I got down to the lobby and hung around until my friend, and fellow IZEA Insider, Heather of BoatingBeautifulBritishColumbia came by with her friend and famous blogger Murray Newlands. We talked and used our Xshots and had a great time hanging in the lobby. Then it was time to go and we made our way out to the limos. MarketLeverage does things in a big way. There was a little wait but things worked out in the end. Heather and Murray took a different limo and I hung out with Brian Hawkins (pingo.com) and his friend Ryan. Brian is the Affiliate Marketing Manager for Pingo and he’s based in Boston. So I think we’re going to have to catch up after this weekend for sure. Brian, Ryan and I chatted about all things IZEA and SocialSpark, Sponsored Tweets and PayPerPost while we waited for our limo. I was getting hungry and I had managed to miss getting something for lunch like a dolt. So I ran across the street to a vendor and got a pretzel and a diet coke. That pretzel tasted so good! The limo for us arrived as I was getting my change, which makes sense because the transportation always comes when you are not sitting there right on top of it, waiting.

As we rode across town I talked with Udi Schlessinger of The Industry Review (The Industry Review). He’s one interesting guy. We had a great conversation that extended on to the boat. We went up tot he front of the boat and chatted, we were joined by Kim Rowley of www.KiMarketing.com and John Daly of Name Connect, LLC. After talking a while I realized that Kim was actually a person who had taken part in my CPC opp on SocialSpark but she was not part of my crew. I blurted, “You’re the Glitch!” Apparently my street team was so large that it threw a strange sort of glitch into SocialSpark that allowed people not on the crew to take opps. We’ve since gotten that fixed. It was fun talking with John and Kim and taking shots of the NY sky. The clouds were awesome. I didn’t take the good camera – why, don’t ask, I’m an idiot and wanted to be more mobile.

I did take many photos with the Xshot though and tried to give out all the business cards in my pocket, I gave out many but not all. The boat ride was a lot of fun and there were so many big name guys on the boat like John Chow, Zac Johnson and Jim Kukral. John was videotaping everything and at one point was in the gallery with Casey Thompson asking her about the dinner and video taping. I only know this because I was passing by the window and saw him in there and took this shot.

John Chow and Casey Thompson

The meal was fantastic and Casey Thompson was such a sweetheart. When we passed by the Statue of Liberty Casey was out at the rail talking to one of the crew about how beautiful it was. I then went into the galley and introduced myself and asked if I could take a photo with Casey. I used my Xshot but forgot to zoom out from the previous shot so we are a little close up in the photo and there is no statue behind us.

Casey Thompson and BenSpark

Later on someone else took a nice shot of the two of us.

Casey Thompson and BenSpark

Casey was really nice and worked so hard. She made some delicious appetizers, main course and great dessert. I gave her one of my cards. Later on a woman that I met, Erin, was saying that she wanted to meet Casey and get her picture taken with her but her camera had died. I was only too happy to help out. Here is how that shot came out. I ended up being handed camera after camera by various people for additional shots. No problem I love helping in that way.

Also on board I was interviewed by Dina Riccobono for MarketLeverage TV. She totally nabbed me on the spot about what Affiliate site was my favorite. I’ve got my love for IZEA which is not really an affiliate site, they do so much more with the sponsored conversations and sponsored tweets, so I went with MarketLeverage as they have been so good to me and my family and there really are some great opportunities with them. So not slight on my IZEA peeps. I love you guys. Dina gave me two shirts that say “I’m On a Yacht!” Affiliate Summit East 2009. That is a take on the Andy Samberg tune, “I’m on a Boat”.

Sadly it was time to dock and head back tot he hotel. Ont he way back I had a lively talk about Transformers, G.I. Joe and the 80’s toys I love with Jim Kukral (thebizwebcoach.com) and Thiago Prado of (whataboutbrazil.com) as well as Udi (we caught back up). Jim challenged me with some great ways to monetize my blog as well as some ideas for podcasts. We’re going to talk more on this. Well, that is it, Affiliate Summit East Day 1 in the can. I’m heading to bed. I’m sure I left some things out and I apologize if I left out any person, I tried to catch everyone. I did try to talk less and listen more but man I was so fired up with all the fun topics and things we were talking about I had to catch myself more than once and ask more questions of the people I was with. Still working on that. Thanks again Dina for getting me on the MarketLeverage Yacht.

BenSpark and Dina Riccobono

Here are the rest of my photos from Day one of Affiliate Summit East.