At the Philadelphia Local U last week I had a chance to touch Matt McGee’s Glass. It was exhilarating, disturbing, interesting, disorienting and a number of other adjectives. Everyone at the table was anxious to try it and see what it did and how it works.
I was struck by its awkwardness and obtrusiveness as a wearable device and it is clear why it has already engendered a new noun: Glasshole. But I was also amazed at the power that an always on, always present, always connected device has and its obvious impact on local. Despite my inability to bond with the device it raised the question for me: Is this the future of computing?
My personal answer as to whether the Glass was THE PRODUCT was “not this product, not this form factor” as it didn’t go far enough for me to define a compelling experience. I wasn’t sure what I was hiring it to do (as Horace Diedu always says).
That though raised the question: Was it me or was it the Glass that was the problem? Was I being myopic and it was really the future?
To try to get out of my own way I asked all of the folks at Local U (whose opinions I value very highly) to give me some perspective by answering the following questions:
Macintosh was a metaphor for desktop computing. The iPhone became the metaphor for smart phones. The early products defined what other products needed to be like.
1) Do you think that the Google Glass is a metaphor for the next generation of small, wearable computers?
2) Is it a winner?
3) Do you think that Google will make Glass the market leader in the category?
Read their answers at the Local U Blog: Thoughts About Google Glass – Is It a New Metaphor for Mobile Computing and Local Search? and let me know what you think,
I love LocalU. Traveling around the country and interacting with small businesses and marketing agencies has been a blast for a number of reasons. Many of my reasons for enjoying the time spent giving these seminars should be enough reason for you to attend as well.
I get to meet up with the likes of Matt McGee, David Mihm, Mike Ramsey, Mary Bowling, Aaron Weiche, Ed Reese, Will Scott and Joel Headley of Google to get picked on. And of course to learn from. And talk local. The learning for me has been key. The picking on not so much.
We get to help digital agencies, big and small, and small businesses better succeed in the sometimes confusing world of local. We often do one on one sessions and help marketers and businesses solve sticky problems like if and why they are being penalized or why their sites are not being indexed. Helping someone find a solution is incredibly gratifying and instructive.
At a LocalU in Cleveland several years ago, an audience member was attempting to have a listing for a women’s shelter hidden because of threats. The Googler there emailed home and within the hour, the listing was gone and the inhabitants of the shelter were safer. That was impressive.
At LocalU Advanced last fall, an attendee that had been de-listed from Google Local due to a call from India, explained the situation to Joel Headley of Google and within days, their listings were back. During that seminar he gave out his email address and told attendees that they could contact him directly. Now thats cool! Where else can you get that.
During the last LocalU in Austin, we were explaining the importance of a consistent NAP both offline and on. Joel Headley chimed in that NAP consistency was important not just offline and on-line but on your incoming phone calls as well. It was later reported out on blogs but the world first heard at LocalU. Makes sense but who knew?
Lots to learn and lots of folks to learn from. We have all new sessions for LocalU Advanced and some great content. The session is in Baltimore and is easily accessible by rail and air. We hope that you can take time out of your busy schedules to join us next Friday night and all day Saturday for 24 hours of learning for both you and us! Read more here or just sign up already:
We just finished up a great LocalU in Austin and we are moving on to Baltimore. In addition to presenting a basic LocalU (use discount code MB2013) on the morning of March 8th we will also be offering our LocalU Advanced session.
Starting the night of March 8th with a mixer and following up with a full day agenda on March 9th that is chock full of new content. This is a deep dive into all aspects online Local marketing.
Our regular lineup of David Mihm, Mike Ramsey, Mary Bowling, Will Scott, Ed Reese, Aaron Weiche and myself will be there. Joel Headley of Google will be there to answer all questions about Google+ Local and the keynote will be provided by Bill Slawski of SEO by the Sea. Bill, one of the first online marketers that I befriended in 2006 when I started my blog just happens to be one that I have never had the opportunity to meet. I am incredibly excited to both meet Bill in person and hear his keynote talk at the Advanced session.
He will be discussing Google’s geographically-based patents, which provide a great deal of insight into how Google Maps/Places/Local+ functions. Topics include location prominence, rankings in both Maps and in Web results, recent patents on identifying spam in local directories and databases, and how Google might determine whether such a local source might be trusted or not.
He’ll also explain recent patents and papers that provide hints and insights into the workings of Google Maps categories for queries and businesses, and the associations that Google might make with specific sites when indexing them.
Join us for the evening of March 8th and the day of March 9th as we delve deeply into all aspects of Local search and Local marketing. The pricing is $899 for the event but if you sign up before February 14th you will gat the $100 Earlybird discount and a free pass for the basic LocalU on Friday (ping me if you want that pass).
Hope to see you there!