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Friends of Search 2014

Last week the inaugural Friends of Search conference took place in Amsterdam, and I was honoured to be asked to speak there. In front of a few hundred of the best and brightest search marketers in the Netherlands I gave a talk about personalised search – and specifically, about why personalised search results can be a bad thing.

It was doubly exciting for me as this was the first time I got to use our new brand in a presentation – we soft-launched The Tomorrow Lab brand last week, and have kicked it off properly today.

As usual I uploaded the slides from my talk to Slideshare, so you can view them online:

For a first-time conference Friends of Search was very well organised, with a great schedule packed full of top notch speakers. I managed to catch quite a few talks myself, and I especially enjoyed Marcus Tandler’s light-speed keynote about the future of search, Fili Wiese and Kaspar Szymanski’s tag-team talks about Google penalties and reconsideration requests, Bastian Grimm’s sobering talk on WordPress security, and Kevin Gibbons’ overview of the state of content marketing.

The #fos14 hashtag saw abundant use and there was plenty of live-tweeting, and the hashtag is still in active use as round-up posts from the event are being published on various blogs and news sites.

Another nice wee thing the organisers did was record short video interviews with all the speakers, which allows people who couldn’t attend to get a sample of the various talks on offer. Below you can see my video interview, and all interviews are available on the Friends of Search website here.

All in all I think Friends of Search was a top notch conference and a great addition to the Dutch digital events calendar, and I’m looking forward to next year’s edition!

P.S. Friends of Search also gave me an answer to the question “how many Google fans does it take to balance Google-skeptic Barry Adams?” The answer, judging from the conference’s morning schedule, is four. ;)

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