The Bend WebCAM (Web + Creative And Marketing) Conference brings two of Central Oregon AdFed’s highly successful conferences together into one dynamic event bursting with insight and inspiration.
Attracting some of the most innovative thinkers from up and down the West Coast and across the country, the WebCAM will allow attendees to explore topics on three separate tracks, including web marketing, search marketing, social media and SEO on the Web side, and brand management and marketing communications on the creative & marketing side. Or people can mix and match from all three tracks.

Mark Knowles helped put together the conference and was kind enough to answer some of my questions.

1) Please give us your background and tell us what you do for a living.

I studied Computer Science & Business Management in college. There I learned FORTRAN, a dash of Unix, some assembler, etc. I was never good but, I loved what it could do. Then the PC happened, DOS, WordPerfect, Lotus, Novell, LAN Manager, OS/2, Windows, NT, Citrix, etc. In those days, gaming was snipes and Zork. Social networking was borrowing a floppy disc from a colleague. I think it was 1996 when I met John Audette at Multi Media Marketing Group (MMG) and he had some interesting little projects for us, he called “Ad Apps”. We were writing software and creating websites and saw MMG as a leader in the world of online marketing. John’s work piqued my interest and I ended up getting into search engine optimization and added that to our website design business. That was a long time ago. Today, I work with Pixelsilk and Smart Solutions doing somewhat similar work. The more that things change, the more they stay the same ;-).

2) Why did you decide to put on a 2 day conference in tiny Bend, OR containing full tracks for both SEO and Social Media?

Our clients said “Why don’t you put on a 2 day conference in tiny Bend, OR with tracks for Search, Social Media, and Creative Marketing?” We said “yes”. Just kidding. Actually, AdFed (Advertising Federation of Central Oregon) shared their vision with us that they would like to combine search, social, and creative marketing into a single conference to engage both sides of your brain. Like real life. We loved the idea and started pitching in to help immediatly.

3) For a first time conference, you got a heck of a good speaking roster…please give us some of the highlights.

That’s a tough question to answer because with this speaker line up, any session could be that memorable highlight. We do have three great keynotes from marketing leaders Chris Winfield of 10e20, Tim Girvin of Girvin, Inc. and Jim Riswold of Wieden Kennedy, a top drawer social media panel moderated by Chris Winfield, a live SEO hot seat where several websites will be reviewed by our star studded panel and moderated by Todd Friesen of Position Technologies, Oh, and we can’t leave out the Brew Ha-Ha Thursday night. The social event of the conference for all attendees.

If a topical overview would help, here are some of the things you can learn about next Thursday and Friday… SEO Framework, Reputation Management, Bold Collaboration, Working Search, Link Building, Radio and Audio Love, Expert Social Media panel examines sites, incredible networking event at the Brew Ha-Ha Thursday night with Four of Bend’s finest beers. Local Search, Zappos Case Study, $6 Million Creative, Lessons from Search Failures, Viral Campaigns, Humanitarian & Cause Related Branding, What you need to know about Social Media, Straight up SEO, Social Media Butterfly, and employment branding.

Another helpful angle may be to understand who our speakers are and who they have worked with. It’s an impressive lineup including… Microsoft, OutSpoken Media, Weiden + Kennedy, Apogee Search, Search & Social, Xhang Creative, Girvin, Inc., GetListed,org, Audette Media, Zappos, 10e20, Creature, Position Technologies, Yahoo!, Saatchi & Saatchi, Nike, Nieman Marcus, Rose City Radio, SEMpdx, New York Times, Boston Globe, Seventeen, TV Guide, Hewlett Packard, Citygroup, TicketMaster, Lending Tree,, American Express, T-Mobile, Expedia, Capital One, Edmunds, AT&T Wireless, K2 Skis, Starbucks, HBO, Pepsi, Palm, Apple, Nordstrom, Warner Brothers, Procter and Gamble. Clearly first class experience to learn from.

4) What sorts of people are you hoping to draw to your conference?

Professionals, business owners, entrepreneurs, executives, managers, and front line operators who’s job involves a website or any sort of marketing. All businesses and individuals that are or should be utilizing the search, social, and creative marketing for their business. Just them, no one else. 😉

5) One can’t hold a conference in Oregon without beer being a featured component…please tell the audience your plans in this area.

Thursday night, October 15th, Audette Media and Pixelsilk are hosting the first annual “Brew Ha-Ha!” at The Blacksmith Restaurant in Bend. Every conference attendee can enjoy a flight of local brews. Four of Bend’s tastiest breweries are featuring one of their craft beers on the flight. The conference speakers will be at the Brew Ha-Ha too so, come meet them and have a round. Are you thirsty yet?

6) Many don’t know how many prominent folks in the SEO community live / used to live in Bend…please expand on this.

You’re right, there are a lot of folks unfamliar with the history of Bend, Oregon and SEO. About 13 years ago John Audette founded MultiMedia Marketing Group (MMG). It is arguable that MMG was the first company in the United States to do Internet Marketing and only Internet Marketing. The tag line was “The Internet Marketing Company”. Some of the folks on John’s early roster you may have heard of, Disa Johnson, James Gunn, James Puntney, Derrick Wheeler, Marshall Simmonds, Andre Jensen, Jeremy Sanchez, Bill Hunt and more. If you follow these guys you will find that most of them are leaders in the SEO community today. It is a fascinating story. Today, John’s son Adam runs AudetteMedia and may be the first second generation SEO in the world. 😉 To better understand those early days, we started a site several years ago, The The History of SEO where we ask prominent folks in the SEO community how they got started and what they were doing beforehand. I find it very interesting and some of it is hilarious!

7) Your company Pixelsilk has become very visible in the SEO community with its new CMS…please give us a high-level overview.

Wow, thank you for that question. Pixelsilk is a content management system that provides full HTML and URL control for professional web development while making site editors jobs easier than ever. Check it out online, it’s a must see but, then again, I am biased. 🙂

One thought on “My Interview With Mark Knowles (Bend WebCAM)

  1. There’s so much misinformation out there that people don’t really know what is and is not. It’s refreshing to see people that know what they’re talking about. You have an Informed commentary seems to be a rare commodity these days. Keep it coming.SEO Marketing Company

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