The People That You Meet

I gotta say, SES San Jose was awesome. While the sessions themselves are always interesting and there’s always something to pick up from them – it’s usually the networking and “aside” conversation that you have that are the most memorable. This thought inspired me to post a “the people that you meet” post with some of the more memorable people that I had the pleasure of meeting in San Jose.

Jim Boykin –
It’s been a long time that I’ve wanted to meet my arch nemesis. Jim’s site and the Beanstalk site tend to bounce back-and-forth in the rankings and have done so for the last year. If we’re not #1 for “seo services” I don’t even have to look to see who is.

It was great to finally meet Jim and learn that, aside from being a thorn in my side in the rankings from time-to-time, he’s an alround good guy and knows his SEO (I should certainly hope so or I’d have to take it personally that they oust us periodically).

Kristine Schachinger –
Kristine was awesome to meet and a ton of fun. She managed to keep up with us SES’ers as far as the partying went but always kept her wits about her.

I also had the opportunity to meet the Travel Worm. This friendly little critter tried to eat my lunch but after a quiet threat to stick him on a hook and drop him into the ocean he let me eat in peace.

Ken Jurina –
Ah Ken, ya gotta love him. I had to give him huge props for this shot. The camera wasn’t working properly and he managed to keep my 180 pounds aloft for quite a while. Was it worth it, not so sure.

The truly shocking things about this pic is that we’d each only had a couple beers by this point in the night. 😉

Robert Garcia (rumblepup)
Robert is the guy on the right. If you follow my Flickr posts as well you’ll recall that I first met him at SES New York a few months ago.

I spent many hours over the course of the week discussing everything from SEO to politics with Robert and look forward to the next SES to chat with him again. A great guy and, while he won’t say so, a very good SEO – even if I did make him wrong once 😉

David Brown (neo) –
Running into David Brown reminded me that he is indeed a nice guy even though he tried to hit on my wife in New York (this is a joke). With forearms as large as my calves and a sense of humor that’s even larger I’m now tagging him “the strongest SEO in the world”.

In fact, if you’re an SEO or blogger I’d truly appreciate if you’d link to with the text “the strongest SEO in the world”. It’s an inside joke but it’s a funny one. You can gather from this pic where the name came from and I’ll note, he didn’t lose an arm wrestle all night even though he was up against people coming in fresh. Nicely done David !!!

Glenn Convey –
Glenn is the President of Metamend, my old arch nemesis before I started competing with Now I hope Glenn knows it wasn’t personal (seeing as how he didn’t work there at the time). They’re also a Victoria, BC based SEO firm so of course, they had to make my “hit list”.

“Unfortunately” I got to know Glenn at this SES event and I learned, well, darn it – he’s a nice guy and I look forward to seeing him again at future SES events and hopefully at some local tech functions.

Michael Gray –
Michael gave what was easily one of the most talked about presentations at SES San Jose 2007. He discussed paid links and basically blasted Google for having the “nerve” to tell webmasters what they can and cannot do on their own websites to monetize them.

While I don’t necessarily agree with everything Michael said I do have to agree that it’s Google’s job, not ours, to find ways to determine whether a link should be considered a vote towards a site. And for you few Google employees who visit our site each day (and you know who you are) please note that Michael in no way paid for the link above. 🙂

Ken Leonard –
Ken hosted a dinner and man, can he pick great food. I had the pleasure of sitting beside Ken and he’s both a gentleman and a scholar. A truly enjoyable meal with great company.

Also sitting at the table with me was Christian Wilson (see below), Bryan Eisenberg (author of a book I’m a huge fan of, “Waiting For Your Cat To Bark”) – Bryan, it was a true pleasure to meet you, Cresta Pilsbury (also from HackerSafe) and others who were sitting farther away from me and thus, I didn’t have the pleasure to get to know.

Christian Wilson –
As always it’s a pleasure to chat with Christian. I met him at SES San Jose last year, again in New York and once again had the pleasure of his company this year.

Christian is an all around great guy, a credit to his company, and was kind enough to hold on to my bag of geek-toys overnight saving me from having to hit the hotel before heading off to the Google Dance (and with the lineup
s to get there, that saved me about an hour).

Big thanks to Christian and his fine publication to which I am a subscriber (and you should too, heck – it’s free :). Click here to sign up.

Big apologies to the many people that I met who couldn’t make the list. There were a couple criteria I had to weed it down to – I needed to have a picture, I needed to have chatted with you for a while, and well – I needed to think that it was great to have met you. Admittedly, the picture issue is the most limiting as I often found myself so interested in the conversations that I didn’t stop to get a picture taken such as occurred in my many conversation with Bill Slawski (and if you read this Bill – you really did make me nervous as heck in the personalization session :).

Thanks to everyone who made SES San Jose the great success that it was. Special thanks to Chris Sherman, Danny Sullivan, Incisive Media, Bill Slawski, Jim Hedger, and my wife for creating the environment that I get to share and partake of new and insightful ways to do the job I love so much.

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