CATEGORY: Conferences

Unbounce CTA recap: pub crawls, juice, and panels galore

We spent two beautiful days in Vancouver early last week at the Unbounce CTA Conference, which was jam packed with influential speakers and interesting topics. Marketers from all over the world swarmed the booth first thing Monday morning to take advantage of the free domains, swag, and wealth of knowledge we offered about New Domains. Our Project Refresh completely rejuvenated attendees’ mindsight on how to use New Domains to their advantages.

5 of our favorite startups using New Domains at Web Summit

We made the long trek from Denver to Dublin for Web Summit recently and it was a fantastic time that was definitely worth the journey. We learned lesson after lesson in Dublin and saw opportunity after opportunity for not only the tech industry as a whole, but also for New Domains in particular.

On the New Domain front, we saw dozens of startups using New Domains as their primary URL for business websites. This is a stark contrast to the behavior and feelings regarding New Domains that we encountered in the past at similar events. Just a year ago we were hearing skepticism from the startup community regarding New Domains, but we’re now seeing both personal adoption and adoption from up-and-coming businesses.

To highlight some of the great usage of New Domains that we saw at Web Summit, we created a list of some of our favorites (in no particular order):

We went to Web Summit and this is what happened

Web Summit: It’s a place where CEOs, startups, leaders, and innovators come together to network, drink beer, and discuss all things technology.

We headed to Dublin last week for this renowned event and had a blast interacting with attendees from all walks of life. But where there is work, there must be play, and there was certainly plenty of both. While it’s impossible to sum up the entirety of our trip in a single post, there were a few highlights of our Web Summit experience.

My Trip to Another Planet: An American Goes to Munich to Talk Domains

Smash and Shamazon do Munich

Smash and Shamazon do Munich

The Internet is freaking exploding with growth. Not only is it expanding by the creation of new namespace via new TLDs, but access to the internet across the globe is growing rapidly, supplemented by technologies like tablet devices and mobile smartphones making it even easier to plug in. Information is a commodity and as humans we are addicted. I’m pretty sure I already knew this, but I hadn’t synthesized what it means to you, to me … to all of us, until I had my mind = blown in Munich. Product Manager (and all around badass) Shannon Brown and I had the pleasure (and I use that word lightly because I’m not exactly a ray of sunshine after an 8+ hour flight) of traveling to Munich to learn about the New TLDs at the conference. Though the travel was long and exhausting, I walked away with a refreshed and energized perspective on the future of the Interwebs and the role our team is going to play in it. If you’re looking for a lowdown on who spoke at the conference READ THIS. The info nuggets and mini brain explosions about the intersection of “Life + The Internet” I walked away with are below:

tl;dr: The Internet is fundamentally changing, expanding, and growing rapidly. It will continue to alter how we live, interact, and do business. New TLDs provide an enormous opportunity for innovation, so start your brainstorming.

Vegas Rules and Going Mobile: More Takeaways from SXSW 2013

Welcome to my dream

Welcome to my dream

Another year, another transformation for the city of Austin and the hungry creatives that attend SXSW 2013.  The buzz surrounding the parties, the comedy, the surprise guests during music sets, will be its legacy.  Of course we’ll use Vegas rules.  What happened on 6th street remains… Did you skip the event this year? Allow me to summarize the experience.

Robot Comedienne

Robot Comedienne

If your only involvements during SXSW are within the blocks of sponsored events, then you’re truly missing out on the flavor of Austin. Austin has a lot to offer, from the quintessential neighborhoods that spring southwestern culture to the pride of Texan sports, The University of Texas. Take a tour of the surroundings and you’ll discover that you need a minimum of 3 weeks to enjoy it all. Don’t worry, you can venture back in October for the Austin City Limits music festival.

Dancing in the streets

Dancing in the streets

As for the actual SXSW program, you should ask yourself, “Why am I here?” Although I was on assignment to capture content for I knew this conference required more engagement to bring back the necessary nuggets to move our company to the next level. SXSW is about consuming information, experiencing content, and making connections. There were plenty of lectures that fell flat and didn’t challenge me; at times because it wasn’t well thought out, or because I recently dove deep into the topic and was full. But then there were those gems that made it worth darting out of one talk and flying across the Convention Center to catch the last 2/3rds of a discourse that filled me with inspiration and pumped me “execution” fuel. Now go forth and transfer that energy to my compadres.


Party in the pop-up

To summarize the over arching theme in one word – “Mobile.” If you aren’t thinking mobile first then you’ve already lost. This isn’t exactly a new vibe pulsing through the tech community but it is amazing to see how many companies have grabbed hold of it and have their mobile act together. Jump in, the water is just fine and there’s still time to run with the pack.

Hangin' with my Dawgs

Hangin’ with my Dawgs

In this post-digital world that seems to move at the speed of thought, getting people to slow down and experience your product was a welcomed change of pace. The back massages at the American Airlines lounge helped me embrace the AA brand. The hands on innovation at the 3M lounge tickled my tech side. The ATT mobile charge lockers were perfectly placed. Also shout outs to the Chevy, Roku, and Samsung lounges.


Single point of light @ 3M Lounge

The coup de grâce was the trade floor featuring hundreds of companies pitching their products and services with fervor. The best were displays that demanded to be picked up and played.  Again shout outs to .ME, Amazon, Pond5 and way too many more to mention.

Improv Genius

Improv Genius

My words don’t do justice to an experiential event. At the very least I hope I’ve encouraged you to go out and live, learn, and share the creativity of our world. SXSW 2014 would be a great start.

SXSW 2013: I don’t want to hear any more about SXSW 2013

That’s not true, really. It actually is an amazing time with (often free) alcohol nearly sweating from the walls of every bar–and I think Austin has more bars than houses. Actually, some of the houses are bars. But the whole “SXSW” hashtag and buzz can get a little old. Or at least I felt like I was beginning to burden humankind with one too many Tweets. You know when you get that feeling that you’ve just overstepped? Like even your friends are about to unfollow? Well, I’m sxsw singssorry, but #SXSW has bands and promotions and startups throwing crazy parties. And it’s all huge and nuts and impossible not to talk about.

But the core of the event seems very much a simple notion of basic human contact. It’s people reaching out in all directions to learn and live a little. It’s also a lot of hipsters; almost like someone cloned Mumford and Sons about a million times and then scattered them about central Texas. But it’s just weird how everyone can be their own unique individual, yet we’re all out for about the same thing: to maybe come away a little better than we arrived, even if that means a fierce hangover.

And you do improve when you meet people. You’re honestly bettered by a simple handshake and a quick conversation. Now SXSW convos can quickly turn into a one-sided startup pitch, but many of them are truly intriguing…and then there’s this thing where you realize you’re talking to someone who’s doing what we all talk about doing: cutting away the crap and focusing on one big thing. Focusing like a laser with a speed habit on a huge task to get their WWW to improve some lives. (That may sound a little idealistic but if you’re not improving lives I can’t see how you can succeed.)

We went down there hoping to get some video. We did that. I even got sick on the first day and kept the video master Baxter awake with some pretty awesome snoring. But from our tight yet freakishly expensive confines, we were able to edit together some interviews with some amazing people including, but not limited to, Scumbag Steve.

What’s the one piece of advice I bring back? I’m echoing about a hundred people when I say PLAN one daytime event and one nighttime event. You may not even need to plan the nighttime as that just unfolds like a three sheets to the wind. But keep it simple and know where you’re going because if you’re like me and ADD SQUIRREL! then you just get distracted and lost. Although…SXSW isn’t a bad place to wander. Just make sure you have a camera. And a charged phone.

Here, a police officer helps me find where I’m going because my phone died.

sxsw cop smaller

Austin really isn’t that difficult to get around. It’s just that a guy can get a little taxed toting camera equipment whilst incubating several free drinks. The good news is that with your SXSW badge you’re allowed into some swanky parties. Samsung KILLED it with blogger lounges, afterparties and a big, sexy presence that almost made you forget your phone is an Apple.

samsung sxsw

And then there’s this overall freakiness; a pleasant freakiness that makes you feel pretty good about all those inhibitions you lost the night before.

sxsw 6th street freak

This girl probably regrets making this face at me, but I love the light.

sxsw freaky girl

And I love that the entire town is disrupted by drinking and rock n’ roll, and this guy is still delivering the mail. (A reminder that people do actually live and work there so limit out-of-towner douchiness.)

sxsw austin mail guy

Finally, try to make sure this happens to you:

sxsw margaritas

I’m pretty sure we’ll make it back next year. It’s expensive, but we learned some valuable lessons about planning, simplifying and not breaking our good microphone on the second day. When you know who you want to see during the seminars, who you want to talk to throughout the day, and have some idea about where to go once the sun sets, you’ll easily make up for your investment with the amazing connections you make.

A computer science guy speaks, dances: Lessons from HostingCon 2012

By Dave McBreen,’s Director of Core Development

Before attending HostingCon, I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect.  I assumed take-aways would primarily come out of the presentations.  I didn’t expect networking to be very much fun, let alone informative.  And I saw little chance of ending up on a dance floor.

Tebow Miracle

Dave as pictured in our “Tebow Beeracle” video.

I mostly attended the technical talks.  Although these weren’t quite as technical as I would have liked, I got something out of each one.  Sometimes I would just catch something mentioned in passing or listed on a random slide that would spark an idea or point to a resource that I didn’t know existed.

Computer science majors aren’t generally the most social bunch. But I was surprised how much I took away from talks with our vendors and partners. Conversation topics ranged from backups and CDNs to DDoS mitigation and malware detection. I also spoke with a Director of Development from another company and it was fascinating hearing about the challenges faced by a team ten times our size.

Then there were the post conference activities. One after-party included an open bar, stand up comedy, an 80s cover band, and dueling DJs. It ended with the entire crew from dancing like it was the final hour at a wedding.

The trip was more fun, educational, and informative than I expected. It’s an exciting and changing industry. And its great to be a part of it.

To behold the brawn behind this blog, see Dave prepare for the London 2012 Olympics.