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August 2007

Michael Yon, Matt and Uncle Jimbo from Black Five, other Milbloggers to speak at BlogWorld!

Author:

I just received the latest info from Andi and the folks at Military.com. This is an all star lineup. The panelists will include Matt and Uncle Jimbo from Black Five, John Noonan from Op-for, Tim Boggs, and many more.

Michael Yon has agreed to do a live video feed from Iraq (as long as we can get the technology to work).

You have to hear Captain Chuck Ziegenfuss tell the story about how Project Valour-IT run by the amazing ladies at Soldiers Angels was created after Captain Ziegenfuss suffered wounds to his hands in Iraq.

Here are the panels:

HEY, WHAT’S A MILBOG?
Moderator: Christian Lowe
Thursday, November 8 (1:30 – 2:30)

TO BLOG OR NOT TO BLOG:
MILBLOGGERS,THE DOD AND THE MEDIA
Moderator: Ward Carroll
Thursday, November 8 (2:45 – 3:45)

FROM THE FRONT
Moderator: Ward Carroll
Friday, November 9 (10:15 – 11:45)

MEANWHILE, BACK ON THE HOMEFRONT
Moderator: Andi Hurley
Friday, November 9 (1:30 – 2:30)

A sincere thank you to Military.com for sponsoring the Milblog track and to Andi, John Noonan, Ward Caroll and others for helping put this all together. You don’t have to be in the military or have family serving to appreciate what these amazing individuals have done. In fact you are a civilian you owe it to yourself to attend at least one of these sessions while you are at BlogWorld.

Why did we create BlogWorld & New Media Expo?

Author:

Lots of people have asked me that question and I read a post today at the Demystifying Digital Blog titled Blogging Comes of Age for Capitalists – Blog Trade Show. I don’t think this self proclaimed digitial grandmother meant any insult in her last two paragraphs but I felt compelled to address them.

I was almost thrown back to my hippy incarnation of the the ’70s (ok, the 60s), rallying and stomping and hooting in favor of something cool. Something hip. But, as with everything that makes money, and the blogosphere has made gazillions for a fortunate few, the big guys get their foot in the door, their fingers in the pie. If people have found ways to profit from 9/11, they can profit from anything. But that’s how it is with the people. We are capitalists. Entrepreneurs at heart. We like money.Therefore, as it was meant to happen, organizers and vendors exploit the blogosphere. In fact, in Las Vegas (!) this fall, there’s to be a Blogworld and New Media Expo. A tradeshow. The folks in who-knows-what outlandish leisure garb, dashing off blog entries from dining room tables across the American outback, are invited to gather in Vegas and learn what’s what in the ‘sphere. If you hurry you still have time to start up your own blog and make it out to Vegas.

I found blogs just after September 11th 2001. Milblogs like Mudville Gazette, Blackfive, and Michael Yon were and still are regular reads for me. In fact after years of leaving lengthy comments and having great debates on many political blogs left right and center I finally got motivated enough to create my own blog therealuglyamerican.com and started posting.
One day I emailed one of those milbloggers and asked him for an interview via email. His name was Tim Boggs. Tim agreed to the interview. I have interviewed other soldiers and Iraqi journalists and bloggers 24 Steps to Liberty and Treasure of Baghdad. Later I put two of my friends 24 steps and Tim together to ask each other questions.

To make a long story short, I was dedicated to my blog and proud of what I had accomplished. I didn’t launch BlogWorld to get rich. I wanted to attend an event like this to meet with my blogger friends, peers and industry icons. I wanted to learn how to blog better, build my readership and yes maybe make some money from this hobby I was spending several hours a day on.  Yes we hope to make money on BlogWorld someday but we certainly wont this year.
Yes there are companies who make money from blogging, lots of them like Google (I started on blogspot), Yahoo (I use MyblogLog everyday), Six Apart (many of my favorite bloggers use Moveable Type), Podango (ever heard of Twit TV?) and Technorati (who hasn’t checked their ranking or used their search?) . Thank goodness for all of them and thousands of other like them. Without them we wouldn’t have the wonderful publishing and broadcasting tools we do today. There would be no blogging or podcasting without them.
I am proud to say Military.com is a sponsor of our event and they will host a track on milblogging at BlogWorld. Matt and Uncle Jimbo from Blackfive will be there. I am proud to say Tim Boggs and I have remained friends since he as returned home and he will be an honored guest at BlogWorld. I am proud to say Michael Yon will (technology and God willing) address BlogWorld attendees via live video feed from Iraq. I am proud to say the amazing ladies from Soldiers Angels will be there. I hope you all take the time to thank them for their service and what they do.

There will be lots of other communities represented, attractions and reasons to attend but this one is particularly special for me.  I hope the Digital Grandparent and her readers will join me and thousands of other bloggers to celebrate what we have created and achieved. I hope she realizes this is about far more important things than money.

Blog on!
Rick Calvert
CEO & Co-founder
BlogWorld & New Media Expo

Why did we create BlogWorld & New Media Expo?

Author:

Lots of people have asked me that question and I read a post today at the Demystifying Digital Blog titled Blogging Comes of Age for Capitalists – Blog Trade Show. I don’t think this self proclaimed digitial grandmother meant any insult in her last two paragraphs but I felt compelled to address them.

I was almost thrown back to my hippy incarnation of the the ’70s (ok, the 60s), rallying and stomping and hooting in favor of something cool. Something hip. But, as with everything that makes money, and the blogosphere has made gazillions for a fortunate few, the big guys get their foot in the door, their fingers in the pie. If people have found ways to profit from 9/11, they can profit from anything. But that’s how it is with the people. We are capitalists. Entrepreneurs at heart. We like money.Therefore, as it was meant to happen, organizers and vendors exploit the blogosphere. In fact, in Las Vegas (!) this fall, there’s to be a Blogworld and New Media Expo. A tradeshow. The folks in who-knows-what outlandish leisure garb, dashing off blog entries from dining room tables across the American outback, are invited to gather in Vegas and learn what’s what in the ‘sphere. If you hurry you still have time to start up your own blog and make it out to Vegas.

I found blogs just after September 11th 2001. Milblogs like Mudville Gazette, Blackfive, and Michael Yon were and still are regular reads for me. In fact after years of leaving lengthy comments and having great debates on many political blogs left right and center I finally got motivated enough to create my own blog therealuglyamerican.com and started posting.
One day I emailed one of those milbloggers and asked him for an interview via email. His name was Tim Boggs. Tim agreed to the interview. I have interviewed other soldiers and Iraqi journalists and bloggers 24 Steps to Liberty and Treasure of Baghdad. Later I put two of my friends 24 steps and Tim together to ask each other questions.

To make a long story short, I was dedicated to my blog and proud of what I had accomplished. I didn’t launch BlogWorld to get rich. I wanted to attend an event like this to meet with my blogger friends, peers and industry icons. I wanted to learn how to blog better, build my readership and yes maybe make some money from this hobby I was spending several hours a day on.  Yes we hope to make money on BlogWorld someday but we certainly wont this year.
Yes there are companies who make money from blogging, lots of them like Google (I started on blogspot), Yahoo (I use MyblogLog everyday), Six Apart (many of my favorite bloggers use Moveable Type), Podango (ever heard of Twit TV?) and Technorati (who hasn’t checked their ranking or used their search?) . Thank goodness for all of them and thousands of other like them. Without them we wouldn’t have the wonderful publishing and broadcasting tools we do today. There would be no blogging or podcasting without them.
I am proud to say Military.com is a sponsor of our event and they will host a track on milblogging at BlogWorld. Matt and Uncle Jimbo from Blackfive will be there. I am proud to say Tim Boggs and I have remained friends since he as returned home and he will be an honored guest at BlogWorld. I am proud to say Michael Yon will (technology and God willing) address BlogWorld attendees via live video feed from Iraq. I am proud to say the amazing ladies from Soldiers Angels will be there. I hope you all take the time to thank them for their service and what they do.

There will be lots of other communities represented, attractions and reasons to attend but this one is particularly special for me.  I hope the Digital Grandparent and her readers will join me and thousands of other bloggers to celebrate what we have created and achieved. I hope she realizes this is about far more important things than money.

Blog on!
Rick Calvert
CEO & Co-founder
BlogWorld & New Media Expo

Blog service providers agree to register; censor bloggers for Chinese Government

Author:

This is scary stuff. From Reporters Without Borders:

Reporters Without Borders condemns the “self-discipline pact” signed by at least 20 leading blog service providers in China including Yahoo.cn! and MSN.cn. Unveiled yesterday by the Internet Society of China (ISC), an offshoot of the information industry ministry, the pact stops short the previous project of making it obligatory for bloggers to register, but it can be used to force service providers to censor content and identify bloggers.

Under the new pact, blog service providers are “encouraged” to register users under their real names and contact information before letting them post blogs. More seriously, they will be required to keep this information, which will allow the authorities to identify them. These companies have already in the past provided the police with information about their clients, resulting in arrests.

The pact says “blog providers should monitor and manage comments … and delete illegal and bad information in a timely manner.” Articles 11 and 12 urge them to equip themselves with a secure management system that allows them to keep bloggers’ details, including their real name, address, contact number and email address.

ISC secretary-general Huang Chengqing was clear yesterday when he said: “Blog service providers who allow the use of pseudonyms may be more attractive to bloggers, but they will be punished by the government if they fail to screen illegal information.”

Most people know free speech does not exist in China.  What continues to amaze me is that American and European companies continue to agree to help the Chinese government monitor, censor and suppress their citizens free speech.

SmartLink Feeds Make Amazon Links Easy

Author:

Our fearless leader Rick pointed out this post to me today:

One of the great things about the new AdaptiveBlue SmartLink Feeds are that we do all the publishing and you can sit back and make money (via the Amazon Affiliate Program) by simply placing the feed on your blog. Every week we update and republish a set of SmartLink Feeds ranging from New York Times Best Selling Books, Netflix Top Rentals, iTunes Top Albums and Amazon Hot Gadgets. If you have a blog related to any of these topics, you can grab the feed, customize it, insert your affiliate id and then add the feed to your blog. Source: BlueBlog: Make Money With AdaptiveBlue Sm artLink Feeds

I read it.

Hmm, can’t be that easy.

I read it again.

Went through the AdaptiveBlue site.

Wow, it is that easy.

So here’s the deal.  You just “grab” the Amazon widget you want, enter a little information (size, colour scheme, Amazon associate ID), get the code and insert into your blog or site (they don’t say this clearly enough, but they belong on the side bars).

Yeah that’s it.

A couple (non-active) samples here.  The nice thing is that you  can choose these “SmartLink Feeds” to match your audience.  So for A View from the Isle I would probably pick gadgets and books.

While the post is a tad over the top with leveraging the traffic and such from your blog, they have an excellent point.  Most ad offerings don’t work out so well.  And we’re not going to get into the paid/sponsored post bit.

I’m certainly going to give these a shot on my blog.  Of course I have to balance my desire for a little extra green and my page loading quickly and not looking too crowded.

And that is actually the secret balance of it all.

Is the LA Times Link Baiting Bloggers?

Author:

Four days ago the LA Times ran this Op-Ed stating blogging was not journalism. Am I the only one who noticed there was no byline for this?

The article received several links from the Blogosphere and Robert Niles from Annenberg’s online journalism review. Most were unfavorable.

The Los Angeles Times this morning insulted its readers in a stunning editorial that compared Google with Osama bin Laden and showed why Times editors simply do not understand the medium that is growing to dominate the news publishing industry.

I let that one go. Now yesterday the Times runs another piece by Michael Skube subtly titled:

Blogs: All the noise that fits

The hard-line opinions on weblogs are no substitute for the patient fact-finding of reporters.

The late Christopher Lasch once wrote that public affairs generally and journalism in particular suffered not from too little information but from entirely too much. What was needed, he argued, was robust debate. Lasch, a historian by training but a cultural critic by inclination, was writing in 1990, when the Internet was not yet a part of everyday life and bloggers did not exist.

It continues:

But they are, more often than not, trademarks of the kind of journalism that makes a difference. And if there is anything bloggers want more than an audience, it’s knowing they are making a difference in politics. They are, to give them their due, changing what is euphemistically called the national “conversation.” But what is the nature of that change? Does it deepen our understanding? Does it broaden our perspective?

It’s hard to answer yes to such questions, if only because they presuppose a curiosity and inquiry for which raw opinion is ill-suited.

“What democracy requires,” Lasch wrote in “The Lost Art of Argument,” “is vigorous public debate, not information. Of course, it needs information too, but the kind of information it needs can only be generated by debate. We do not know what we need until we ask the right questions, and we can identify the right questions only by subjecting our own ideas about the world to the test of public controversy.”

There was something appealing about this argument — one that no blogger would reject — when Lasch advanced it almost two decades ago. But now we have the opportunity to witness it in practice, thanks to the blogosphere, and the results are less than satisfying. One gets the uneasy sense that the blogosphere is a potpourri of opinion and little more. The opinions are occasionally informed, often tiresomely cranky and never in doubt. Skepticism, restraint, a willingness to suspect judgment and to put oneself in the background — these would not seem to be a blogger’s trademarks.

I should point out Skube does give bloggers some credit for breaking the Walter Reed story but quickly points out it took “real journalists” to get the full story.

So the question is; is the LA Times a newspaper that is bleeding readership really this stupid?

When you have Ace of Spades (likely the funniest blogger there is on the right)

But this entire article is fundamentally dishonest. Few bloggers claim to be able to do the sort of reporting that a newspaper of hundreds, each salaried and only expected to contribute a piece or two a week, can manage. We can”t compete on that ground, and we don’t claim to.

What we do is point out mistakes the media makes. Mistakes and deliberate omissions and flat-out dishonestly. And we question the judgment by which the MSM purports to assign stories news-value and by that assignment of priority instruct us upon what the relative value of a story might be.

and Jay Rosen (NYU journalism professor and regular at the lefts juggernaut Daily Kos)

About that Sunday op ed, Blogs: All the noise that fits by Michael Skube in the Los Angeles Times….

Retire, man. I’m serious. You’re an embarrassment to my profession, to the university where you teach, and to the craft of reporting you claim to defend. You were pulling these tricks two years ago, and the fact that the LA Times let you do it again reflects poorly on them. Ring this guy up and ask him to go bass fishing or something. You’re not doing anyone any good– you’re just insulting your own bio. And when you’re done lecturing all of us on “the patient fact-finding of reporters,” tell the godforsaken LA Times they’re going to have to run a correction. The Post hasn’t won a Pulitzer for its reporting on Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Jeez.

giving it to you with both barrels you either have to have idiots in charge or maybe just maybe they are crazy like a fox and are link baiting bloggers who have more readers than they do….

nah they really are that stupid.

JunkYardBlog provides some historical context.

Is Blogging Dead?

Author:

Not according to Hugh MacLeod at Gaping Void. In two recent posts Why We’re All Blogging Less, and Blogging Isn’t Dead It’s Just a Subset of Something Much Larger and More Important.

They are both great posts worth a full read. I do think Hugh’s post’s are in some part a reflection of the two percenters of the tech community. While many techy’s are moving on to Twitter, Pownce, Jaiku and I’m sure 10 other things I haven’t heard of yet many non tech bloggers are just hitting their stride.

Guys like Dave Winer and Marc Canter were 10 years ahead of their time. Never heard of them?

Well if you aren’t a techy blogger chances are you haven’t but they are just two of the many brilliant folks responsible for the great blogging tools you write with, read and use every day. Don’t feel bad because thats my point. I hadn’t heard of them either before we launched this show.

Blogging may be old hat to guys like Dave, Marc, Hugh and Robert Scoble but to most of the world it is brand new and it is liberating.

Hugh also nails it by saying what we call blogging today will evolve. So Will podcasting and vlogging. This revolution has just begun.

/HT Techmeme

David Sifry to leave Technorati Layoffs Expected!

Author:

Technorati has announced that they are going to layoff eight people and David Sifry is stepping down as the CEO. When I first read the headline at GigaOm I thought it was terrible news. Technorati is one of the true pioneers of New Media and David Sifry has been the man in charge since the beginning.

After reading David Sifry in his own words here maybe i’s not so bad:

If there’s one thing I’ve learned during my time as CEO here at Technorati is that making tough choices is a daily reality. But some choices are tougher than others, particularly when they involve one’s own self.

You see, I’ve made the tough decision to turn the reigns of the company over to other managers at the company. For those of you who follow Technorati regularly, you know that we’ve been conducting a CEO search since Spring and that it was just a matter of time before I made a transition. But searches such as these take time, especially in a market as frothy as this one, and I decided that rather than waiting for the process to play out, I would go ahead and transition to the board exclusively, taking on the role of Chairman of the Board.

As of today, Teresa Malo, CFO, Dorion Carroll our Vice President of Engineering and Derek Gordon, our Vice President of Marketing, will operate as a committee of the Office of the President

I have never met or spoke to David Sifry (I did hear him speak at Web 2.0) but I know he is certainly one of the people responsible for the explosion of New Media. Technorati was and is a commercial venture but there was more than just money motivating David Sifry. He is a new media guy.

One of the people mentioned in his post; Derek Gordon who I have had the pleasure of speaking with is also a true blue new media guy. If he is any indication of the rest of their team then Technorati is in good hands. Today is an important milestone for our little industry that started sprinting before it ever crawled.

Here is a little more from David’s post today:

I’ve been doing startups for almost all of my adult life. And I LOVE startups. I love the teams. I love the sense of mission, and the fast innovation. I love building something from an idea – a whiff of air over vocal cords – into a real, concrete business with real customers and a deep and real sense of corporate mission.

If you have ever done a Technorati search to find the hottest topic of the day, claimed your blog, or just went to check your rating then read the whole thing.

For more on the story visit Techmeme.

**update**

In related news Techcrunch is reporting John Furrier is out at Pod Tech.

More from John Furrier here.

Jason Calacanis thinks this could mark a Web 2.0 trend.
Stephen Baker at Business Week explains why Google is beating Technorati at it’s own game:

Just for a test, I just searched for Technorati on Google blog search. Om’s post, from 16 minutes ago, is the second I see, following this one from Barron’s. Long story short: fast, relevant results.

Then I tried on Technorati. The first post is something called The Baking Circle, with a recipe for a coconut cake. I clicked through pages of porn posts looking for Om’s post. Couldn’t find it. Later, just as I was adding links, I found this post from Epicenter.

More to come.

Gnomedex Day 2

Author:

The day started off a bit slow with first time speakers and producers of GeekBrief.TV Cali Lewis and her husband Neal Campbell. It wasn’t just their first time speaking at Gnomdex but first time speaking in public and it showed. To their credit and in keeping with the message of their talk “just start”; they did a pretty good job for their first time in front of a room of a couple hundred people. I am sure just as their with their Vlog their next speaking gig will show improvement.

LexBlog has more on their talk here.

Michael Linton has caught my attention with his Open Money presentation. I will update after I figure out what he is exactly talking about, but whatever it is it’s interesting.

It’s nearing the end off his talk and I don’t get it. Maybe you can figure it out.

Tris Hussey has more here.

[tags] Gnomedex, conference, Michael+Linton, Open+Money [/tags]

More Gnomedex coverage

Author:

About half of the attendees are live blogging the event. The other half of us are fighting with our internet connections. Since I am unable to live blog effectively please take a look at several others who are liveblogging.

CrapMonkey didn’t appreciate Robert Steele’s presentation but loved Guy Kawasaki.

The theme was “open government,” presented by Robert Steele, but it was very heavy handed and spent a lot of time picking apart political and corporate leaders. Yes, they probably deserve it; No, that’s not what I paid to participate in at Gnomedex. The day got better after that. Guy Kawasaki discussed product/company evangelism and was entertaining and informative as usual.

Marcelo Calbucci isn’t impressed at all:

A lot of uninteresting talks. The comments and questions are even worse. Lots of useless, pointless and self-serving questions and comments.

Vanessa Fox asked some very interesting questions about privacy and blogging. Tris Hussey covers it here:

Vanessa Fox, who might be a poster child for this on Controlling Your Life 2.0…

The discussion, of course, is one that hits close to home, hence the slow updates on this post …

Being out there, lacking a “private life” per se … at least here at conferences. How do you handle the privacy of others in your life?

Where do you draw the line …

Is it generational, is it personal, is it something have to just accept?

In a very awkward moment during Jason Calacanis’ presentation on spam having already ruined email and starting to ruin search and blogging; Dave Winer yelled from the back of the room that Jason was spamming the conference with a sales pitch for Jason’s new company Mahalo. They exchange was brief but definitely uncomfortable. The topic was a great one, and Jason does a great job calling people to the carpet for unethical and invasive marketing tactics. In the end. That being said Winer made a good point.

And Technosailor just called Jason out again for failing to add WordPress to Mahalo. It wouldn’t be a Jason Calacanis talk without him calling Nick Denton a liar and a piece of garbage; and he just did after giving him credit for his comment system.

This talk is getting dangerously close to a brawl with Marc Canter (sp) again calling Jason out on his business model.

[tags] Gnomedex, Jason+Calacanis, Dave+Winer, Technosailor, SEO, spam, Mahlo [/tags]

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