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I keynoted this morning and then walked up the long aisles of their exhibit hall. I was (and am) pooped, so what caught my eye was more random than usual.

I thought was going to be one of those phony permission marketing companies that are all too happy to spam you. Nope. They show you (at your request) a page of offers. None of the boxes are pre-clicked and none are pre-clicked and below the fold. The idea is that if you trick people into giving you permission to spam them, they are remarkably bad leads. Bad leads cost money. So, good for PermissionData! looks like a combination of Second Life, the early Wolfenstein, and LL Bean. They render the entries in your product catalog as posters along the wall in a 3D space. Your avatar and your friends’ avatars can wander together, talk about what you see, and click to be taken to the normal merchandising page. The guy in the booth (lost his name…sorry) and I bonded over our days playing Doom, Duke Nukem, and the under-rated Painkiller.

I met Rousseau Aurelien, CEO of SecondRotation, which aims at being the place you sell your stuff when you’re done with it. If the item is one of the thousands on SR’s list, SR buys it from you and arranges to have it picked up. It then refurbishes it and resells it or donates it. Rousseau says they pay about two thirds of the going rate at eBay. But, boom, you’re done. I asked how many people say their item is in one shape, but when it arrives, it turns out to be broken or damaged. Rousseau replied that 95% of the stuff is in the shape claimed or better. “People are generally good,” he says.

I kept running into people from Bazaarvoice. (Brett Hurt, the CEO, introduced me when I gave my talk; he said some very kind things. Thank you, Brett. It meant a lot to me.) Bazaarvoice creates customer review pages. The booth had one of the more effective marketing gimmicks: a rack of irreverent sayings you could attach to your name badge, like the “speaker” and “media” tags. I saw a whole bunch of people with “More cowbell” tags from Bazaarvoice.

I met with Daniel Wright, CEO of mporia, which does “m-commerce” (= e-commerce for mobile phones). Interesting space. It’s not going to get smaller over time. The actual transactions are handled via PayPal, or by sending the merchant an encrypted message with the credit card info.

I stopped in at Broadvision because they bought Interleaf years ago, a company I worked at for eight years. (I was long gone by the time it got bought.) Interleaf was way ahead of its time, with a structured document editor, electronic publishing system, document management system, and program-enabled documents. I often wonder why there’s no market for high end document systems for managing the creation and management of large, complex document sets. Broadvision is still selling the Interleaf system, and the maintenance stream is strong. Good to see the product is still around.

I also visited briefly in the Endeca booth because Endeca is doing great selling faceted classification (they call it “guided navigation”) systems, and I like what they’re doing. It’s been fun watching the company go from just about nothing to having an amazing client roster.

So, that was a truly random assortment. Now it’s off to the casinos to use my patented and proven Lossless Las Vegas System(tm): I don’t play. Well, I will drop $20 into gambling machines and wonder why people consider this fun. [Tags: ecommerce marketing ]

[Note: I had a stupidity glitch and ended up deleting and then rewriting from memory what this post said. The original was up for about 15 mins and this one is as close as I could come to the original. If you noticed the change, I didn’t want you to think there’s anything nefarious going on. Just stupidity.]

2 Responses to “”

  1. John, I was at last week and really enjoyed your keynote. I’ve just come across an article on slashdot that I thought you might find interesting.

    “New Zealand Police Act Wiki Lets You Write the Law

    Slashdot by samzenpus

    PhoenixOr writes “New Zealand is now on the top of my list for cool governments. They’ve opened a wiki allowing the populous to craft a new version of their Police Act, the legislative basis for policing in New Zealand.”

  2. Great site. Nice design.

Web Joho only

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