Yesterday night, after a boring cabaret gig, I was asked where I am from. I had to think for a few seconds before providing the (right?) answer.
Of course, I am Italian. But where am I really from?
I was born in Sicily. I left the island when I was 18. I spent 28 years in Milan. Austin, Texas, was my home town for some time in the late nineties. Now London, where I moved +3 years ago. I have been travelling at least 180 days per year in the last 10 years, mainly around the two US coasts and Europe. I fluently speak three languages – and I should seriously refresh my Italian. My daughters live in Milan. For now. My parents in Sicily. The rest of my family – spread around Italy and US.
Whenever I fly back to London, after a trip, I think: yes, back home. Same thing happens, now with a less convinced attitude, every time I land in Milan.
So, where am I really from?
First, I’ve learned that the Italian SEO community is small circle of badass experts, has a huge reputation and is super respected internationally. I’ve met lots of incredible SEO folks and I’ve attended so many great sessions. The level of SEO knowledge here is just impressive. I’ve learned a lot, and I invite all of you (the 5 readers of this blog) to get to the SMXL site and to look for the presentation decks once they will be made available. Some were really remarkable. Hat tip to the Italian SEO community.
Second, I’ve learned that the folks who have organised this event are a small team of professionals who have put a lot of passion with the event organisation and have made something special with a very personal touch. Yes, there might be some space for improvement, but what on earth hasn’t things to be improved? Well done, Sante and team. And thanks again for having me as part of SMXL speakers lineup.
Third, I have learned that most of the Italians attending were super-fluent in English and the simultaneous translation was used mainly by non-Italians to understand local speakers. And I was very proud of it.
Fourth, I’ve learned that very few speakers have addressed content marketing or content strategy as a topic; and that there is still a lot of confusion about content and social media. Social media are a content distribution channel. One of the many. Without a solid content strategy you won’t go anywhere. But still many presenters addressed social media as they were the atomic particles of their strategy. That should be content, instead.
Fifth, I’ve learned that there are still social media stars in Italy. They talk about stuff like hashtag, impressions and viral things. One session was even called “meet the media stars”… And the worst thing was that I saw many youngsters taking selfies with them (while they’d have spent a much better time attending SEO sessions).
Finally, my session. I’ve learned that after presenting so many times in English, I need to make a much better job whenever I switch to Italian, which ironically is my mother language. Also, I’ve learned that the topic (how to apply principles of psychology to design, content and social media) has generated lot of interest, questions and contacts. The deck is here (http://bit.ly/psychologysmxl) just in case you want to have a look.
Strange days. Strange weeks, the last four weeks. Many changes. Good and bad changes, but let’s (always) try to see things from the positive side.
Lot of content marketing strategy projects. Different firms. Different sectors. Different scenarios. Technology. Finance. Industry. This is just fascinating.
Investigating new domains too. Design, psychology and human behavior. This is what I am going to present, for the first time, next week in Milan. Moving away from global content strategy stuff – but just momentarily.
I miss spending time with my girls but I know that there will be a time when things will change and I will recover all time lost.
Strange days are not always bad days. You need to stop. View things from all available perspectives. And learn.
After years of being a lonely and grumpy blogger I decided to invite guest bloggers to write on ContentMarketingAcrossBorders. The first three authors that have kindly created custom content – or gave permissions to share existing content – for CMAB are Molly Clarke, Maël Roth and Pam Didner.
CMAB is now open to all Global Content Marketing experts willing to share strategy and best practices with a global audience via this dedicated channel. Thank you!