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Big Omaha: Afternoon sessions live blog

Note: The following live blog has been edited following the event. Changes include addition of pictures, spelling and grammar and order of updates, which were originally posted most recent to oldest.


    

1:32 p.m.  After a great lunch across the street at the Halo Institute people are settling in for the afternoon sessions. Up first will be Matt Mullenweg, founder of Automattic, who will be interviewed by Robert Scoble, blogger, technical evangelist and managing director of building43. Let’s get started!

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1:41  Automattic has 60 employees across 49 cities all over the world.

Quote of the moment:

I’m probably the world’s must frustrated WordPress user.

– Matt Mullenweg of Auttomattic referring to the open-source always improving model of WordPress.

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1:45  Scoble asks Mullenweg to explain the difference between WordPress.org and WordPress.com. Mullenweg replies, “It’s like the difference between owning a house and renting an apartment. With WordPress.org you can do whatever you want. Tear down the walls, build new rooms.”

1:52  Mullenweg thinks the social media toolbars on blogs are like mullets. Big response from the crowd on that one. Scoble admits that he’s going to keep his mullet.

Discussion continues on how blog content spreads and the trends of Facebook Likes and Digg share buttons. Mullenweg explains that they decide to implement new features into WordPress based on the longevity of that feature. They try to sift out the fads by deciding if a particular feature will still be on blogs three years from now.

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1:55  Scoble is talking about annoying ads on the web mentioning he gets a lot of Cialis ads. Mullenweg jokes that those are targeted. Big laughs from the crowd.

2:00  Mullenweg and Scoble wrap up their Q&A session. Mullenweg mentions he has enjoyed his time in Omaha and especially the local barbecue. He mentionsthat 8.5% of the web is WordPress and he loves coming to conferences to meet more WordPress users.

2:04  Gary Vaynerchuk, founder of Wine Library TV and co-founder of VaynerMedia, takes the stage. Be ready for intensity, passion, and lots of Q&A.

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2:15  Gary shares his five-minute history about how his family came to America, how he got involved in the family business, and how Wine Library TV came to be. Vaynerchuk talks about how the internet has changed the game and allowed people to build their personal brands.

Gary polls the crowd about Facebook and mobile phones. Roughly a hundred people stood up for saying they’d never have a cell phone. Every person sat down when Gary asked if any of the audience members don’t have a cell phone.

2:19  Gary talks about the new “thank you economy” and shows that you can scale one-to-one. He proves this by bringing up an audience member and scales his one on one relationship with the Big Omaha attendee.

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2:23  Gary emphasizes the importance of the term “earned media.” He thinks people online aren’t talking about it enough. Wikipedia.org defines earned media as publicity gained through promotional efforts other than advertising, as opposed to paid media, which refers to publicity gained through advertising.

2:29  Q&A begins and Gary has already offered to buy a ticket for someone to attend a conference in Washington, DC. Gary’s language is getting heated which means he’s passionate. I think Omaha digs it.

2:34  Gary gets passionate about running a business and being able to make iterations and improvements. The conversation was spurned by a question about Facebook and all the changes.

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2:40  Big props to Omaha and the Silicon Prairie from Vaynerchuk. He emphasizes that you don’t have to be in San Francisco or New York to make it. Definitely aligns with the mission of Big Omaha.

2:54  Gary flows into the break time answering questions and no one in the rooms flinches. Gary assures everyone he can turn off his foul language when necessary.

3:15  End of the afternoon break. Remaining speakers this afternoon include Danae Ringelmann and Jason Fried as well as an Extended Speaker Q&A.

3:26  Danae Ringelmann is on stage highlighting some of the success stories from her company IndieGoGo. The site strives to help people find a collaborative way to fund ideas

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3:37  IndieGoGo promotes DIWO. That stands for Do It With Others. I like it.

3:45  Ringelmann is doing Q&A now. Some good questions from the audience including how do you avoid “donation fatigue.”

3:50  Jason Fried takes the stage to another thunderous applause. Fried returns to Big Omaha for the second time. His company 37signals currently has a New York Times Bestseller book titled REWORK. Fried has 10 points for the crowd today.

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4:17  Fried emphasizes saying no or doing less. He said you can always do less and 37signals has never regretted saying no. They’ve regretted saying yes, but never no.

4:29  Speakers return to the stage now for the Extended Q&A. Robert Scoble is moderating a panel of Fried, Vayernchuk, Scott Belsky of Behance, Dennis Crowley of foursquare, and Ringelmann. You can also ask questions on the #BigOmaha hashtag on Twitter.

4:38  Speakers are sharing stories about failures in their lives and how they’ve learned from them. Interesting to hear these incredibly successful people talk about failure.

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