John Eckman

Sr. Practice Director: Community, Content, and Commerce
John Eckman has over a decade of experience designing and building web applications for organizations ranging from small non-profit organizations to Fortune 500 enterprises. As Sr. Director of Optaros Labs, John works with Optaros clients — including Turner Broadcasting, the Associated Press, Rodale Publishing,, and 20th Century Fox - to put in place strategies for leveraging the Assembled Web to drive revenue, deepen customer engagement, and increase their digital footprint. He received a BA from Boston University and a PhD from the University of Washington, Seattle, and completed an additional Master's in Information Systems from Northeastern University in 2007.

Posted on 05 Apr 2011
I shared the slides from my social commerce talk at the Magento Imagine conference earlier, but now the video has been posted: I’ve also taken the audio from that video and converted the SlideShares slides into a screencast, which syncing the audio to the slides: With Friends Like These, Who Needs Revenue? View more webinars [...]View post
Posted on 18 Mar 2011
Change the Rules (Photo by Satish Krishnamurthy, cc-by license, , rotated and cropped) Some of the most interesting innovations in eCommerce are based on simple changes to the context of the customer-store interaction. Private Event Retail, for example, turned on its head the idea that your goal is to be as accessible as possible to [...]View post
Posted on 14 Mar 2011
"I Am" photo by Allison Felus, cc-by ( ) The metaphors we use to describe digital technology end up misleading us. We attempt to understand new technologies by bringing the context of previous experiences and hoping to find relevant analogies, but those analogies often carry other unintended meanings and can obscure possibilities. For example, we think [...]View post
Posted on 24 Feb 2011
I’m a big fan of Criggo, a blog that runs bad headlines, editor’s mistakes, and other humorous ephemera from newspapers. Today I found this entry from a few days ago, appropriate since I’m at eTail West: Is it really so simple? No need for community and content, no need for exclusivity or behavioral psychology, no [...]View post
Posted on 17 Feb 2011
I download lots of whitepapers, ebooks, and webinars, habitually – just part of trying to keep up to speed with what’s going on in eCommerce, social computing, content management, and open source software in general. Often downloading these things requires registration, and some level of profile information: an email address, a phone number, a corporate [...]View post
Posted on 14 Feb 2011
Last week I had the opportunity to attend and speak (“With Friends Like These, Who Needs Revenue?“) at the inagural Magento Imagine eCommerce conference in LA. It was a great show, with way too much going on for a simple summary, but I’ll try my best here to capture some of the highlights and point [...]View post
Posted on 11 Feb 2011
The first part of this week I was out in Los Angeles for the inaugural Magento Imagine eCommerce conference (more about that to come). En route, I ended up trying (via standby) to get on an early flight for one leg (ATL to LAX), and just got squeezed onto the flight as the last passenger. [...]View post
Posted on 05 Jan 2011
The highly anticipated release of Drupal 7.0 has finally arrived, and to celebrate release parties are being held across the globe. (Optaros is one of the sponsors of the Boston Drupal Users Group release party - see you there?) Check out the video tour below for an overview of the new release, and then go find a release party near you . Drupal 7 Marketing Video from Lullabot on Vimeo .View post
Posted on 27 Aug 2010
Today Sears announced the launch of a "new footwear experience" at . It's worth checking out as yet another example of a mainstream, multichannel retailer embracing what we've been calling the assembled web, both in terms of the convergence of content, community and commerce and in terms of the widely decentralized and distributed nature of the experience, which crosses, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Vimeo (full list of links in the press release ). The release describes it as though it were a microsite or independent website ("the newly launched Shoe | View post
Posted on 24 Aug 2010
I'm absolutely loving the new , launched over the weekend. They've dramatically simplified navigation on the homepage, offering the user the choice of Department, Brand, or Conversation: The main content in the center offers a flash-driven set of vignettes, allowing the Nordstrom team the ability to set up editorially driven, fashion magazine style interactions which lead directly to shopable category pages. The Department navigation menu cascades nicely once you're in a primary department (for example, once you're in Women's, all the subcategories fan out to the right, | View post

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