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October 1, 2008
Jones Lang LaSalle


A big shout-out to great new sponsor Nixon Peabody! They are the lawyers who know that going green takes more than recycling old ideas. Please see ad to right.


Our headline describes the apparent common denominator of the 650 participants, 75 exhibitors, and 50 speakers who poured into the Reagan Building Monday and Tuesday for the second annual Interact conference. Google, Clearspring, AOL, Intel, Adobe, Cisco—all the super-cool names in interactivity seemed on hand. Oh, and Bisnow.


Rock star Ted Leonsis, who "used to work for AOL," charms the crowd with his regular guy-ness. (He said that upon arrival, organizers asked where his people were. "I don't have people," he replied.) Ted, who coined the term "new media," said marketers need to understand the new consumer. He mentioned two of his own upstarts: lets you embed widget movies onto your own site, and beats PayPal's interchange rates by charging just ? % fees.


Ted says the new consumer wants: free, on-demand, mashed-up, shared, raw and authentic. Sounds tasty. By mash-ups, he means you can take other people's services and platforms and apply an interdisciplinary approach to serving them up. For example, he says more people watch videos from sites like NBC and ESPN when they're posted on people's blogs and Facebook pages than actually visit the original sites. If that sounds confusing, maybe you don't have a mathematician on your marketing team. Ted says you need one fast as China is graduating 300,000 math PhDs next year. Asked how local techies can survive the economic doldrums, he advised us to recruit young people who know how to manage web 2.0. We'll love for them—probably in a basement playing Nintendo Wii at this very moment.


Swedish creative-man Jacob Trollb?ck of Trollb?ck & Co. hands-down had the coolest videos (they were Honda and Nike commercials he helped design) and driest speaking style. Jacob says "creativity is king," that people are part of different "tribes," and a marketer cannot mass market to such a varied audience unless they find a way to unite them in their individuality. We think we understand.


Early birds who came to stake out a good table: AOL's Kara Reinsel, IMRE Communications' Jennifer Gaffney, Cohn Marketing's Melissa Edwards, Loudoun County's Buddy Rizer, and Cohn's Robin Lybarger and Cindy Jennings. Kara, who reminds us that AOL is still around, said she came to the conference because she works with the same website day in and day out, and wanted to meet some new websites.


Mastermind of Interact, Stephen Mealy, spent 20 years as a creative director at Bloomies, PwC and IBM. His vision for the event (which he hopes to take to other regions): help companies learn how to use the Web to market themselves.


The Ann Arbor based Google Ad Word and Analytics online sales office, which services the Northeast, was on hand. We asked them what's new. They said this week they re-did the Analytics' reporting interface with minor tweaks like new gray shading of some of the dashboard buttons. But you knew that.


Kimball Office's Christian Gillette and Elizabeth Hurley, Humanscale's Pam Bothwell, and WorkSpace's Brandi Foster and Khalid Itum. Their companies collaborated on a booth that showed off new Kimball product HUM, a cluster of workstations in the open office plan using Humanscale ergonomic furniture and featuring "Meet Me" and "See Me" spaces. HUM  comes to the market, they told us, after 84,000 man-hours of research into cognitive behavior and collaboration in the workplace. Of course, 83,000 of that was watching reruns of The Office. 


Landsdowne-based Voped (a play on op-ed): Operations VP Ellen Serrano, Biz Dev VP David Hitner, and Tech VP Ken Conner. What do they do? Help companies embed video on websites allowing for "community upload." We liked the blue in their sign.


Aquent's Jason Erickson, Susan Hoffman, and Chris Woodbridge. Jason and Chris are from their DC office and Susan is in Reston; their headquarters is Boston and they tell us they're the only global staffing company dedicated to marketing and creative. But here's the amazing thing: Last weekend Susan swam the mile and a quarter from SF's Alcatraz to shore in upper 50s water temperature. She also does a lot of "open water" swimming around here, like in the Choptank and Nanticoke on the Eastern Shore. But we thought Alcatraz was put there because the waters around it were dangerous?

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