#PayPalX #DMCW #WorldSeries – Money, Media, Mania

27Oct10

What a week to be in San Francisco!  Not only is the very sold out PayPalX developers conference partying hard, but Digital Media Conference West is here as well, with pandemonium set to reach an all time high at 4:30pm at nearby ATT Park.  Not sure how Kevin Rose & Alex Albrecht are going to focus on Diggnation Live at Moscone but I’m sure it’s going to be with their Giants caps on while chugging their sponsors beers.

I have to say I’m most impressed with PayPalX this year.  Who would think money could be so much fun but from start to finish today it was a mobile-social-local lovefest for the 2,000 coders that packed the house.  Not sure why PayPal is branding a 2-click solution when frictionless means 1-click*, but that said, PayPal opening their platform has led to incredible innovation that is starting to make our lives so much easier.  Now you can send money via email, text, cell and bump to PayPal and non-PayPal users.  I got a demo of their iPhone app to tip the bartender and was amazed to see how easy it was to pay with the phone.  The guy doing the demo raved about how he’s paid his rent with PayPal, bought beer at ballgames with PayPal, etc.  As the evening went on, money started getting tossed around like play money.  Some guy on the dance floor even tried to email me a Euro just for kicks.  I could see how important it is not give your phone to friends who have been drinking, and to password protect it.

As for the speakers, the surprise guest at the opening keynote was Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook who talked about paying Facebook developers with PayPal.  Today, there’s Marc Andreeson, Tim O’Reilly, Kevin Rose, Kara Swisher, Shira Lazar, Dave McClure, Roelof Botha (Sequoia), Dana Stalder (Matrix) and more.  Interesting that schwag was not on high order, a livescribe pen is available for pickup at 8am this morning at registration.  Best of Schwag on the expo floor goes to rfinity for their light balls, a hit on the dance floor with Soul in the Machine. Second runner up goes to BillFloat for their rubber ducky.  And of course, the conference will end today with the Hackathon winners, Diggnation Live and other big surprises.

Kudos to AccessPR for the nonstop delights.  I never mention the PR agency in my blog posts but this one deserves it.  Not only did they make sure the press attended with many, many friendly emails and calls, but they didn’t miss an opportunity to deliver the brand message, or show the benefits and features of the PayPal offering in a way that resonates.  From the string quartet during the morning queue, to Bling for Beer, to lounges with Connect 4 and Checkers, and alcoves with Pac-Man and X-Box.  LED hula hooping, cotton candy, mini hot dogs and midnight pub crawls.  They even coddled with craft cocktails, games and super-exciting prizes like that Sony Google TV I really wanted but Spotify won. Next up is a press event in NYC for consumer media where they are staging clever vignettes on how PayPal can be used in our daily lives, and you can bet it’s going to be the talk of the town.

*Ah the fine print…the FTC requires this disclosure.  My very own client PlaySpan was a sponsor of PayPal X and had news of their own.  Here are the press releases I wrote:  http://www.prweb.com/releases/2010/10/prweb4704754.htm and http://techcrunch.com/2010/07/09/playspan-brings-pay-per-view-micropayments-to-online-video-marketplace/ and news on PlaySpan providing payments for Facebook credits: http://venturebeat.com/2010/10/13/facebook-credits-expands-reach-globally-in-deal-with-playspan/

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