Thursday Buzz: Get a Room Even If Your House Is Nearby

The conference may be in your hometown, but one association management pro advises against commuting to the event. Also: the story behind the data champion fueling much of BuzzFeed's growth.

You may not have to travel far to get to a local conference, but that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to skip the stay at the hotel.

On his blog, Association Executive Management’s David M. Patt argues that attendees, even local ones, should stay in the conference hotel as a way to keep focused on their primary task—namely, attending the event.

“[A]t 4:00 p.m. you should not be deciding whether to attend an educational session, go back to the office, or get home early,” he writes. “You should be at the conference.”

Staying at a hotel, he argues, keeps you from worrying about potential traffic tie-ups and which method of commuting is best. It also removes the temptation to do office work instead of attending conference sessions.

“You can save money by not purchasing a plane ticket,” he notes.

Thoughts? Agree or disagree?

Thinking Inside the Data Box

Everyone knows BuzzFeed has tons and tons of traffic, and some would dismiss that success as the result of cat lists and clickbait. But one employee, Dao Nguyen, has worked wonders in fueling BuzzFeed‘s rapid growth with data.

“We have a lot of data; she is really good at seeing what it means,” BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith told Inc. magazine’s Christine Lagorio-Chafkin in a profile of Nguyen.

For example, there’s the way Nguyen re-examined the company’s editorial tactics on weekends. As Lagorio-Chafkin writes:

“Nguyen says she decided to try to boost BuzzFeed‘s lackluster weekend traffic by first approaching an editorial director and asking about her current strategy for socially promoting existing content, because she recognized the site being shorter-staffed on the weekends necessitated such an approach.”

So now, BuzzFeed has a small bit of code that tells editors on Fridays the top 20 posts that should be promoted as a result of the data team’s analysis.

For the full story—and a few tactics Nguyen has employed that your association’s editorial team may want to replicate—head over to (ht @googleanalytics)

Other good reads

A big branding problem: The mobile-payment service Isis Wallet is undergoing a name change, to Softcard, because it had previously shared a name with the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS.

App of the day: The iOS app Reporter periodically surveys you about what you’re doing. In other words, it allows you to get analytics about how you use your time.

Twitter’s short experiment in messing with its typeface is over: Gotham is gone, and Helvetica Neue is back.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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