Chinwag Live: Search vs Recommendation

Event Info

Tue 2 Sep, 2008 from 5:00pm - 7:30pm
The Slug & Lettuce (Downstairs)
80-82 Wardour Street
London, W1F 0TG, UK (Map)
Cost: £25+VAT early bird, £40+VAT standard


supported by:
Sponsored by UKTI
Event Sponsor: Sun Startup Essentials

Updated: Pictures and podcast now available.

Competitive or collaborative? Are search and recommendation chalk and cheese or will they seamlessly blend?

Are search and recommendation two ends of a spectrum with all information discovery tools somewhere in between? Our 2nd September event explores the issues for publishers, brands and business.

Recommendation sites need search engines so people can discover their content. But what about when users become regular visitors to recommendation sites? Could these visitors abandon search altogether, or do people use search and recommendation for different things?

How can brands capitalise on recommendation sites? Is there a significant difference between trusted communities and the wisdom of crowds? How great is the gap between recommendation and aggregation - personal reviews and engine-generated suggestions? And where does impartiality come in? Can the lure of affiliate revenue affect non-user-generated recommendations, or the hierarchy of results?

Join us to explore the issues and opportunities surrounding the overlapping search and recommendation space.

Where Are The Pictures?

Photographic evidence from the event, if you've got photos you'd like to add, let us know.


Walid Al Saqqaf - Co-founder & COO, TrustedPlaces
With reviews from over 800 cities in 50 countries, TrustedPlaces is the people's local city guide that allows people to discover and share online all the latest information on where to go out, via reviews and recommendations from the TrustedPlaces community of passionate reviewers. Accolades include the Guardian selecting TrustedPlaces as one of the “Top 10 dotcoms to watch”; The Times as the 7th best travel website , the BBC using TrustedPlaces in its feature on the Evolution of the Social Network. Most recently, the London-based company was listed as the 4th best start-up in the country.

Lisa Ditlefsen - Head of Search, Base One / SEO Blog UK
Lisa Ditlefsen has eight years' experience in marketing, three of them in SEO/SEM. She currently works for Base One as Head of Search, where she set up the department from scratch 3 years ago. She works on a range of high profile clients both in B2B and B2C. Lisa won the "B2B Newcomer of the Year" award at the B2B Marketing Awards 2007. This year (May 2008) she won "Best Use of Technology by Under 30 Year Old Woman" at the Blackberry Women & Technology Awards. She has also authored a chapter on search techniques in the book B2B Marketing Experts (published in 2007), and contributes regularly to publications off- and online. Ditlefsen is heavily involved with the global SEO community and founded the SEO-Chicks blog ( in June 2007.

David Maher-Roberts - CEO, The Filter
David began his career as a magazine editor and publisher aged 24, successfully raising funds to launch Unique, the first student lifestyle magazine, and The Game, a European football magazine. He went on to be publishing director at Future Games in 2001 as the board director responsible for a portfolio of 10 magazines and 2 websites. He then founded creative agency Future Plus, and from 2004-06 also served as New Media Director for Future’s entire European web operations. After leaving Future, David was New Media director at and founder / senior partner of Digital-dna LLP, where he consulted on web strategies for clients including BBC Magazines. He joined The Filter (founded by Peter Gabriel) as CEO in August 2007. The Filter takes the world of entertainment and filters it to your tastes to find music, movies and web video that you'll love, as well as entertainment news and reviews that interests you.

Luke Errington - COO, Reevoo
Luke joined Reevoo in July 2006. Independent, impartial and comprehensive, Reevoo harnesses the power of customer opinion to help shoppers decide what to buy. Reevoo helps companies including Vodafone, Currys and The Carphone Warehouse to engage with their customers and increase sales with genuine customer reviews. All reviews are written by people who have actually bought the product. Prior to joining Reevoo, Luke was responsible for the promotion and development of hotel reservation websites Active Hotels and, launching the customer review programme for Active Hotels, the first of its kind in Europe, collecting over 20,000 guest reviews per month. Previously Luke worked with global strategy consultancy Bain & Co.

Jon Myers, Head of Search / Associate Director, MediaVest
Jon has worked in search marketing and online media for 10 years. He was one of 10 experts selected by Overture (Yahoo) to help create their SEM accreditation scheme. More recently, he is a regular member of search product improvement panels with all of the major search engines within paid search. Jon has actively been involved over the years with industry bodies such as SEMPO, IPA and the IAB as a Search Task Force committee member. A regular presenter at industry events for 5 years now, Jon has spoken at Incisive Media's Search Engine Strategies (SES) conferences in the UK, Europe, and the US, as well as at Internet World, SMX, AdTech, Marketing Weekly Conferences, Annual Marketing Summit, Revolution Conferences, Online Marketing Show, and IAB conferences. MediaVest was founded in 1994 and has grown to become the leading independent media agency in the UK, with a turnover of £220m.

CHAIR: Steve Johnston - Google Consultant
Steve has spent half of his 13-year web services career as a search consultant specialising in SEO for Google. His pre-Web career was that of a bookseller, and he recently brought the BBC's Dragons' attention to, and indeed wrath upon, the business models of recommendation sites with his book recommendation start-up StoryCode. Steve has deep experience in the challenges businesses face across these methods of customer acquisition and his consultancy practice is now enjoying blue chip attention to SEO, with recent work for Autotrader, Channel 4, Expedia and The North Face.

Timings: Doors open 6pm for complimentary drinks, snacks and networking; discussion starts 6.30pm sharp until approx 8.15pm. Networking and drinks continue until late.

BOOK NOW to get our early-bird discount (limited tickets available) and have your say in this key debate for the industry in 2008 and beyond...

Event produced by Deirdre Molloy and Elizabeth Varley.



We do our best to put microphones under the noses of our panelists, for your aural pleasure. The podcasts are available in iTunes flavour, old school RSS listen using the player below or download.

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