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ISF HOLIDAY DINNER

A group of ISFers gathered for a wonderful holiday dinner at Osso Bucco, a terrific family-style Italian restaurant. We talked a little shop but really just enjoyed good company, good food and good fun.

We took this picture late but still got several smiling faces.

WHO SHOULD CALL THE SHOTS ONLINE? BRIDGING THE GAP BETWEEN BUSINESS AND TECHNOLOGY LEADERS

The Internet Strategy Forum collaborated with SIM, the Society for Information Management. to jointly host this very insightful and provocative panel discussion. Over 70 industry professionals attended the event and we had very frank and open conversations; conversations that most of us wouldn’t (but should) have within our own companies.

With the rise of the internet and e-business, all firms, regardless of their primary products or services, are now in the high-technology game to some degree. CTOs and CIOs may view this shift as playing to IT’s historical competencies, but others in the organization don’t always share that opinion. In many companies, there’s tension with business leaders, particularly Product Management and Marketing executives, over process, structure, speed, and priorities with regard to on-line activities. Some view IT as a bureaucratic impediment to be worked around in order to travel at “web speed,” while some IT leaders feel that their business counterparts’ apparent lack of discipline and technology savvy ends up resulting in costly strategic mistakes.

This lively panel discussion explored the point of view of both sides and offered potential solutions with regard to:

  • Requirements and the Front End of Product Development: Are traditional development methodologies sufficiently flexible to meet time-to-market requirements? The business pushes for more informal methods, while IT often demands structure. Is there a point of compromise?
  • Embracing New Digital Platforms: Online videos, user generated content, widgets, content aggregation, search and the list of hot digital platforms goes on and on. With customers expecting more and nimble competitors opening up shop everyday, do business and technology leaders share a common understanding of the business opportunities and its impact on technology infrastructure ?
  • Partnership versus Build versus Buy: This is where product selection meets business development. In addition to the historical build-or-buy decision, companies can partner with third-parties to develop products or provide web functions, resulting in revenue sharing or licensing deals. Who seeks out potential partners and structures the relationships?
  • Managing Innovation: Marketing’s traditional role is to scan the horizon for trends, understand customers’ needs, stay abreast of competitors, and serve as the conduit for future product ideas. But on the Internet, many of the most innovative start-ups have had strong technology pedigrees. IT is filled with professionals who live and breathe technology — what role can or should they play in defining product strategy and innovation?

Moderator: Lee Huang

Panelists:

  • Sandeep Varma, VP Marketing, Barnes&Noble.com
  • Dan Leeds, VP Product Development, TheLadders.com
  • Tom Smith, Director of Technology, Hearst Digital Media
  • Miles Kafka, Technology Director, Avenue A | Razorfish

Hosts: Joe Galarneau and Lee Huang

“LET’S TALK ABOUT VENDORS” ROUNDTABLE

A group of ISFers got together to discuss vendors and service providers so that we could learn from each others experiences. We discussed many types of companies but Content Management System vendors , Search Engine Marketing Firms, and Search Technology Providers were the 3 hottest topics. In general, most people were dissatisifed with their organization’s CMS solution, were still looking for a reliable SEM firm, and were satisfied with their search engine. It was a very candid meeting with a lot of practical information shared, recommendations given, and many useful takeaways.

MARCH 1, 2016 – NYC MEETING

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New York City Meeting – Roundtable
Meeting Date: March 1, 2016, Tuesday
Time: 6:00pm – 8:00pm

Members-only meeting.

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Sharing Knowledge and Building Relationships  
The ISF strives to create an environment where our members learn from each other and build relationships. At our meetings, we always have an Interactive Roundtable session that everyone loves. For the Roundtable, we “go around the table” and each attendee has an opportunity to introduce themselves, describe something interesting that they’re currently working on, as well as pose questions to the group or ask for help on something.

Questions? Contact Lee at lhuang23@yahoo.com.

ISF-NY DINNER GET TOGETHER

A group of NY-ISFers got together for a great time at Todai, a terrific Japanese restaurant with an amazing buffet. Internet strategists from the media, financial services, and retail industries attended and we discussed hot topics ranging from “emerging web technologies” to “which marketing techniques actually work” to “where does a web team fit into the corporate structure.” Great time was had by all and we all gained a few pounds.

SECOND LIFE

Nic Fulton
Chief Scientist, Reuters
David Leip
Chief Innovation Officer, IBM.com

Nic and David gave awesome presentations about Second Life to a packed house of attendees and many more online via our webcast. We learned about the big picture business and branding opportunities as well as “what’s reality vs hype.” Nic and David shared a wealth of practical tips on how to build your in-world presence as well as the various problems that will occur in this virtual world that all participants and brands need to be aware of.

Comment from our attendee from France:
“the meeting finish at 3 in the morning for me over here! but it was worth the lost sleep!”

Here are some links to recent stories about Second Life:
Reuters’ ‘Second Life’ reporter talks shop
IBM to give birth to ‘Second Life’ business group

ISF HOLIDAY DINNER

We had a great holiday dinner at Osso Buco, a family-style Italian restaurant in the Village. It was nice to get out of my conference room and to share some holiday cheer with everyone.

Enjoy the high quality photo taken from Lee’s cell phone with no flash.

GENERAL MEETING AND INTERACTIVE ROUNDTABLE

We had a packed conference room with eighteen Internet Stategists from a diverse group of leading organizations (see below for list). There was a great energy in the room as we discussed all the latest hot topics including:

  • Social networks, user generated content, coopetition with Google, SEM/SEO, blog monitoring, online videos/advertising, behavioral targeting, Second Life, and Ajax.

 

The conversations during our Interactive Roundtable session were terrific and everyone received advice and recommendations that they could immediately act upon. The conversations are continuing both online and offline since everyone got to meet each other and find areas of common interest.

We also heard some interesting anecdotes … 1 client at a financial services firm had an account balance that was so large that the number didn’t fit in the display field and thus the web app had to be updated (something to aspire to) as well as a CEO of a major corporation who got a black eye due to some unexpected blogging issues (something to avoid).

Steve Gehlen, the Founder of the Internet Strategy Forum gave an overview of the association’s goals and our accomplishments. Lee Huang gave an update on the NY Chapter.

Participants from left to right (going around the table):
Ken/Businessweek, Tim/Wyndham Hotel Groups, Karen/Siemens, Nic/Reuters, Jochen/Siemens, Chantal/Standard&Poors, Kate/Pfizer, Ilana/Lion Brand Yarn, Dan/HSBC, Rajiv/Hollywood.com, Harun/AOL, Paul/Scripps Network, Beth/Dow Jones.

Could not fit in the picture:
Robert/Rodale, Lee/VNU, Thomas/Source Media, Gary/Timex, Steve/OHSU.

CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT: NEW TECHNIQUES AND TECHNOLOGIES

Presenters:

  • Harun Asad, Director, AOL Media Networks
  • Tim Peter, Director Internet Product Development, Cendant Hotel Group (includes Ramada, Wyndham, Days Inn)

Harun and Tim gave AMAZING presentations about “Customer Engagement.” It was the perfect blend of new concepts, best practices, and real-world execution. Harun talked about “26 media choices”, compared new and traditional ROI metrics, and highlighted AOL efforts including consumer insights, interactive content programs, targeting capabilities, and measurement approaches. Tim then talked about consumer travel behavior, how Cendant has developed a sophisticated framework for engagement, and how they are redesigning their sites to further meet customer needs.

After the presentations, Harun and Tim answered a myriad of diverse and interesting questions. The Q&A session was followed by our regular Interactive Round Table session where we talked about what was on people’s minds. Conversations centered around social networks, behaviorial targeting, and wikis.

Check out their presentations. Cendant Presentation | AOL Presentation

Tim Peter – Cendant (left), Harun Asad – AOL (right)
 

ISF HOLIDAY DINNER

A bunch of ISF-NYers got together for a delicious dinner and great conversations about
e-commerce, audience measurement, podcasting and online videos.


Chantal Haberman, Standard&Poors, Director Internet Marketing
Lee Huang, VNU eMedia, Director eBusiness
Jochen Sprecht, Siemens, Manager Web Strategy
Raanan Bar-Cohen, Dow Jones, Director Product Strategy
Paul Hutton, Scripps Networks, Director Research
Harun Asad, AOL, Director AOL Media Networks
Tim Peter, Cendant, Director Internet Product Development

ONLINE VIDEOS AND USER GENERATED CONTENT

Our guest speaker, Steven Rosenbaum, CEO of Magnify Networks, gave a very insightful presentation to twenty five people about market trends and monetization opportunities for online videos/UGC as well as provided an insider’s view on his company’s innovative network of user-generated videos. The presentation was followed by our interactive roundtable session where attendees described their company’s online video/UGC initiatives.