ConvergeSouth 2013 Notes, Morning Sessions

ConvergeSouth BannerConvergeSouth 2013 has come and gone and once again was a fantastic learning experience. If you’ve never attended, I encourage you to make plans now to attend in 2014. Watch for announcements.

As I did last year, I’m posting my notes for a couple of reasons.

  1. I need to capture them in a single place for my own benefit and to show my boss what he paid for.
  2. If you can benefit from my takeaways, go for it.

A few things to keep in mind:

  1. These are notes, so most of it isn’t in complete sentences. English majors, get over it.
  2. Where I could, I included links to presentations that you can click for more info.
  3. If you attended (or if you were a presenter), post a comment and share your takeaways or fill in any holes or errors in my recollection. I wasn’t able to attend every session (bummer) and I didn’t take complete notes even on the sessions I did attend. (My mobile device battery couldn’t keep up through the day, partly because I tweeted a lot of the memorable moments; apologies for blowing up your Twitter feed. Check me out at @ChipStudebaker if you’re curious.)
  4. I’m breaking my notes into a few posts to keep it from going on forever. 

Keynote: Social Media Marketing Law

Glen Gilmore

Glen Gilmore @GlenGilmore

You can’t libel me in real life and you can’t do it in Twitter either.

“Social media is a lot of fun until the lawyers show up.”

Social media releases: permission to post your picture. May not protect you from getting sued, make sure release has been reviewed by a lawyer.

So much of social law is about common sense. If you’re taking somebody else’s work, particularly their photograph, get their permission.

What if somebody says something bad about us? Get over it, not everybody is going to like you. If it is a real complaint, you want to hear it. If it’s just graffiti you can block them.

Glen’s slideshare presentation

12 Must-know Tools for WordPress

Sue Polinsky

Sue Polinsky @SuePolinsky

If you use WordPress (WP), install it securely.

  • Don’t use the WordPress 5-minute install
  • Don’t use the 1-click installs
  • Don’t use the cheapest websheet

Change your password if you update your website from a public wi-fi network

Update WP – the latest version is 3.6.1 – if yours is older than 3.4, update it! But if you’re unsure how to do it, ask a geek for help. And back it up before you update it! Actually, back up all the time. Back up on a schedule, and back up before making changes. Know what your hosting company backs up. Backup Buddy and VaultPress are not free but they are good.

Use a custom secure WP login. Do a Google search for WordPress to find links for secure login

Get 3 strong passwords and use them for all your logins. You can remember 3 and most sites will allow 3 login attempts before locking you out.

New WP themes have complex features and example data. Be wary of custom frameworks.

You can create a theme in Photoshop (or a free program such as Gimp). Make sure it is 1200 pixels wide.

Be wary of free WP themes – they can be evil. Malware may be injected in your theme.

Use a child theme – update the parent when the theme is updated. Customizing happens in the child theme. Major WP updates mean you need to update your theme first. Use child themes.

Shortcodes are buttons you click to format on screen tools. WP has built in shortcodes.

When choosing plugins, look at when they were written, when they were last updated, and whether they work with the latest version of WP. You can search plugins at

Jetpack is a good plugin.

Don’t use a lot of plugins, and delete any you’re not using any more. Don’t hesitate to buy some; “free plugins eventually break your site.”

If it’s a mission critical website, go to rackspace.

Building Authority Online

Mark Traphagen 2

Mark Traphagen  @MarkTraphagen

Nothing personal – Google will hit you with a penalty with a smile on their face.

Establishing credibility and trust with your audience lead to permission to market to them. As long as you know “enough,” you can be perceived as an authority

To be perceived as an authority, sometimes you only need to be a chapter ahead.

Connect your personal brand to your company brand.

Build networks to get your content out.

Content has got to be contextually rich to be successful with Google’s Hummingbird semantic search.

Google+ posts will affect page ranks but will depend on shares and likes

No 2 people on earth see the same search results any more. You gotta be relevant to people. – Google+ authorship & author rank community

Content Marketing: that which gains you authority and trust

How do you stand out? Through thought leadership.

Don’t sell until you’ve earned the right to sell. Provide useful, helpful content first.

Attention is the new currency. You have about 8 seconds to get site visitors’ attention. Nobody reads the whole page (almost).

The new SEO is integrating content and social.

Mark’sslideshare presentation  


for more notes, check ConvergeSouth 2013 Notes, Afternoon Sessions.

Were you there? Add your takeaways in the comments section.


3 thoughts on “ConvergeSouth 2013 Notes, Morning Sessions

  1. Pingback: 2013 ConvergeSouth: That’s A Wrap! | ConvergeSouth

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