Boston Area Meetings
Don’t lie to me. I know that some of you were half hoping that the world was going to end last week at the dawn of the new millennium, so that you would never really have to embrace this whole Internet thing. Well, I’ve got some good news and some bad news for you.
The good news is that January 1 came and went without any major disasters, and you can sleep easy once again knowing that all those years of flossing your teeth and pouring money into your 401K account have not been wasted.
The bad news I’m afraid, is that the Internet is here to stay, and if you have any hope of doing the same, you really do need to spend some time figuring out how it will impact your industry, your company, and (most importantly!) your career. I am therefore happy to present you with a (totally biased and not the least bit comprehensive) list of resources that will start you on your way towards another thousand years of career growth. My suggestion is that you pick two of three of these to get you started.
“Permission Marketing,” Seth Godin. This book changed my life! Godin explains why the mass marketing approaches developed over the last 50 years — and that we all accept as truth — are becoming less and less effective, and how the Internet is playing a role in allowing companies to interact with customers quickly, inexpensively, and much more effectively than ever before. Whether you care about the discipline of marketing or not, this funny, quick, read provides a great insight into how the Internet is changing business forever.
“The One to One Future,” Don Peppers and Martha Rogers. With chapters like, “Collaborate With Your Customers,” and “Make Money Protecting Privacy, Not Threatening It,” this 400 page book is filled with perspective and real life examples to help you understand what is changing in the Internet economy, and why.
“Interactive Week” (www.interactiveweek.com). Although it’s available online, it’s much easier to read in print form, and since it’s free, I prefer to get it in the mail (horrors!). If you are looking for a single publication that covers the net, this is the one for you. It covers the latest deals, business models and Internet news, and it’s nicely organized into topical sections such as “Content,” “Infrastructure,” “Business to Business,” etc., so you can easily zero in on the topics that interest you, and skip those that don’t. Go to the web site and sign up there.
“The Industry Standard” (www.thestandard.com). Weekly as well (but not free), The Industry Standard goes into much greater depth than Interactive Week, with feature stories on companies, trends and the Internet economy in general. You’ll need to invest more of your time with this publication, so go to the web site and take them up on their offer of “4 free issues” before subscribing.
“Mass High Tech.” Free to subscribers in the Boston area, Mass High Tech is good for keeping in touch with what’s happening locally. Although it officially covers technology in general, it’s very Internet-centric, and the short, company focused articles will keep you up to speed on what the regional buzz is. These guys seem to discover interesting local companies long before The Boston Globe ever knows about them, and you’ll really be in touch with what’s happening if you spend some time with MHT.
ELECTRONIC NEWSLETTERS (all free)
“The ClickZ Network” (www.clickz.com). ClickZ has an extensive web site, but I like the daily, brief, focused e-newsletter that they put out the best. Each issues tackles just one or two thoughts on a specific online business topic, and you’ll find that the daily ritual of reading it is an easy way of keeping in tune with all the changes taking place on the web.
“INSIDE 1to1” (www.1to1.com). Published by the Peppers and Rogers Group (mentioned above), this (more or less) twice monthly e-newsletter focuses on the changing relationship between companies and their customers. Peppers and Rogers really are the acknowledged gurus of Internet marketing, and if you can stand the fact that they often write as if they are well aware of that fact, you’ll pick up some good insights here.
“Jesse Berst’s Anchor Desk” (www.zdnet.com/anchordesk). Daily and news oriented, JBAD is good for keeping in touch with all the deals, mergers, IPOs and other “business of the net,” happenings. The subject headings of the newsletters are very descriptive, so you can easily decide whether to read or delete as they arrive in your mailbox!
BOSTON AREA MEETINGS
INTER@CT. Inter@ct is a division of the Mass Software Council, and as far as I’m concerned, the single best place to hang around if you want to stay in touch with the people and the businesses that are building the local web economy. They offer three types of events on a regular basis:
Factory Tours: Two hour, Monday evening events at hot local start ups, typically featuring the company founders who talk about how they got there, and answer questions. Examples of recent tour locations include Fairmarket and Gamesville. FREE.
Hyperlinks: Two hour, Tuesday evening events on specific web related topics (e.g. “Choosing an ISP,” E-commerce and the holidays,” etc.). These are also FREE, and usually attract 20 people or less, so they’re a good place to get your feet wet with this group!
Morning Events. Held about once every six weeks, these are fairly large (150 attendees or so), and are typically held from 8 – 11am at a local hotel. They often have panelists from local companies, presenting on various topics of interest. Sessions are usually in the $50–$80 range per person.
That’s all for this edition; now get out there and jump into the web!!