Speaking at Marketplaces 2010

The Kelsey Group is like the ESPN of the local search and advertising world. They’re the authority. They host about four major conferences every year, attracting industry insiders from around the globe. Their next one is next week in San Diego, called MARKETPLACES 2010: THE LOCAL VERTICAL OPPORTUNITY. It’s the who’s-who and that what’s-what of local and vertical solutions and advertising. I’ve attended numerous Kelsey shows and have come to know the Kelsey staff as warm and generous professionals, and many of the conference regulars. The Kelsey Group and their conferences have been absolutely critical for CitySquares. If it wasn’t for them and their shows, I don’t think we’d be a player on this big and competitive field.

I was asked to speak at the Marketplaces show alongside Colin Pape with ShopCity and David Vazdauskas of Local Thunder. The panel will be moderated by Steve Marshall, who I always enjoy. He doesnt pull punches and he adds a certain kind of intensity to the panels. I’m looking forward to it.

I’ll be at the show from Sunday through Wednesday with my colleague and VP National Sales Todd Salerno. We have a few meetings teed up but if you’d like to catch up with one of us just email me, tweet me or send smoke signals, whatever works for ya!

If anyone wants to go, but does not yet have tickets, please get in touch with me, I have a discount code for you to save a little.

Looking forward to seeing a whole lotta people! See you there!

“You stay classy San Diego” – Ron Burgundy

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Facebook Social Ads Won’t Take My Money

CitySquares has a couple ad campaigns running on Facebook as well as a “Page”. I’ve seen very little results, but that’s not too surprising and I’m not too disappointed about it. We may throw some gas on that fire this spring but we’re not losing sleep over it. Since they announced their ad campaign feature back in November I think we’ve spent less than $15 total. Apparently our 6 cents per click isn’t enough, so I just upped it to 8 cents. That should do it, eh? Either way, I gave them the company credit card and they ding it once we hit a certain amount.

A couple of weeks ago we had some fraudulent credit card activity and we had to kill that card and get a new one (I’m still looking for the bastard who thought he could slip one past me). So naturally we had to tell a bunch of vendors about our new card number. I forgot about Facebook. So today I got an email from them, apparently I owe them a whopping $1.92 but they can’t hit our card. The email included:

Subject: Facebook Ads Alert: Payment Failure

Body:

Dear Ben:

We were unable to charge the credit card associated with your Facebook Ads account. This can happen for a number of reasons, including:

* The credit card on file has expired.

* The credit card on file was declined.

Your account is still active, but we have suspended delivery of your ads until you update your payment information. Once we are able to process your payment successfully, we will reactivate your ads.

To update your payment information:

1. Log into your Facebook Ads account at ….

OK Zuck, I’ll get right on it!

I logged in, was conveniently directed to the right page with a credit card payment form. Using the convenience Google toolbar Fill In button I filled in the usual info then I punched in my credit card info. I clicked Submit and waited. And then I waited some more. I then got an error. Something like:

We’re sorry for the inconvenience. Please try again later.

Wait a second, you went through all this trouble to ask me for $1.92 and yet the very functionality to take my payment isnt working? Nice.

And you’re valued at $15 billion?

And you supposedly made $150M in 2007?

OK OK, fine, whatever. Let me find my way back to the Ads pages so I can pay you. Wait – how does one edit their credit card info? That’s another story.

Maybe it’s just me, maybe I’m just tired of Facebook, and all the hype. But a $15B valuation? $150M in revenue? For what? Eyeballs? Where’s this money coming from? I don’t know, but it sure ain’t from my $1.92 cuz they won’t take my money today.

Facebook: If you want me to pay you some money, make damn sure that feature works first! Don’t waste my time cuz I’m already getting a little fed up. I just pictured Zucks soft, smart assed little face on 60 minutes as I punched in my credit card digits. It made me want to just stop all together. But no, I went back and tried again, and it worked, and suddenly I felt like good things were going to happen. Ah, Facebook. How I love you.

Maybe I should’ve just saved that money for, I don’t know, a half a gallon of gasoline?