Here's a quick "around the world in 300 words" on the Word Up conference held in Toronto:
Andy Sernovitz from WOMMA introduced the day with a solid case for word of mouth, the need to regulate ourselves and root out the bad players (the Honesty ROI), a simple but intuitively smart 5 step process on word of mouth and probably a good enticement for joining WOMMA if you want to be linked to marketing's future
Doug Walker from TBWA and RPS had an incredibly cool and amazing autobiographical story on the hatching and building of the Rock, Paper, Scissors tournament and the 5 translatable principles of becoming an authority, playing with faux authenticity, mutating what you start with, stoking participation and expecting accretion
Rick Murray from Edelman was the most polished speaker of the day and made a valiant case for PR types and communicators to mine an army of citizen journalists - some good advice on ethics, a really well polished and thought out Cisco community site and a good litmus test question "if my family and friends were part of this program, would I be comfortable executing it"
Matthew Straddiolo and Patrick Thorburn from Matchstick laid out two solid cases for word of mouth with their online Nokia blogging experience and offline Wine Council experience
Andrea Wojnicki from Rotman School gave a much required overview on why people talk and word of mouth that bears repeating - people talk about products and brands for 8 reasons (notice the big freebie is not one of them):
- Policing the Market
- Cognitive Dissonance
- To Connect and Be Social
- Self Enhancement
Pinny Gniwisch's segment on his company Ice.com was an eyeopener on a large Canadian company using a blog Sparkle Like the Stars to not only get their message out but to also land some runaway sales with little or no controversy
Brent Hill from Feedburner lifted the veil that shrouds RSS and how media and messaging will work and be filtered now and in the future
Maxine Friedman from Brand Intel/Brand Dimensions group provided an option I'll have to follow up on for scouting out your best influencer network
Ted Graham from Hill & Knowlton played anchorman and provided a window to the future with some clever social network maps that have the potential to be a huge and diagnostic tool in the future for a wide range of audiences. Just imagine knowing how influential you are right now at a click of a button with a visual representation of who the mega connecting hubs and regular hubs are in your professional or personal life.