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It’s a Joke

Are We Hypocrites, Tasteless Smut Peddlers or Just Plain Dumb?

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If you haven’t heard there was quite a reaction to our closing keynote at BlogWorld New York. From some very heartfelt honest posts with valid complaints from people like Marcus Sheridan and Jennifer Fong to the typical peanut gallery who like to use every social media controversy as a way to promote their own agendas.

While Dave and I were watching the closing keynote Thursday we were both cringing. The videos were too long, they weren’t being played at the right times, the band wasn’t able to rehearse with the guests beforehand so they weren’t right on cue, the mics were feeding back when they worked at all. The Rhythm was completely off. What we thought could have been our best closing keynote ever was falling apart before our eyes.  We felt terrible for Chris Brogan who had agreed to host the show and kept trying to get it back on track.

Then we saw the reactions. People weren’t complaining about the production, they were complaining about the content.  Andrew Breitbart was too political for some, Shauna Glenn’s video was demeaning to women in technology said others, How could we allow Sara Benincasa to perform a very adult stand-up routine where she eviscerated literally everyone and everything we had been talking about for the last three days after we had asked Danny Brown and Gini Dietrich to change the original title of their blog post from “Doucheblogs and Spin Doctors” to something else?

After reading some of the posts and comments, we were relieved. This was something we could defend. Dave, Deb, Patti and I were all talking to each other in a series of phone calls and I asked Dave to just record the conversation we were having.

I think this better explains why we chose the format and the guests we did so please listen to that at the bottom of this post.

We do need to apologize to anyone who was offended by the humor and who felt like they were not warned sufficiently ahead of time. We thought we had made this clear in the show directory, in our email newsletter, on our blog and the online schedule but we obviously completely failed.

Please accept my personal apology for that. I promise you it will not happen again. People will know full well going in what to expect.

We would also like to apologize to our panelists and our host Chris Brogan for any negative reactions they may have received because of their participation. We wanted this to be fun for everyone. Dave and I are responsible for this, not anyone else.

That being said even with the complaints we still believe there is a place for this type of content at BlogWorld.

Our industry is made up of millions of communities and content creators and hundreds of thousands of genres. We believe we have a responsibility to represent as diverse a group of these communities and styles of digital content creation as possible.  We owe it to all of you. We owe it to each other.

In his segment Andrew Breitbart told the story of how when Bill Maher said some very offensive things on his old TV show Politically Incorrect it was Shawn Hannity and Rush Limbaugh who came to his defense. Bill Maher wrote a personal letter to Limbaugh to thank him. The men couldn’t be further apart in their world views and throw hammers at each other daily over the airwaves but at the end of the day, they are all part of the same community of content creators.

This is a lesson we in new media can learn from some in the old media.

We would love to hear your feedback as well. How do you suggest we present this type of content in the future?

Are we completely off base?

Cartoon: It’s all relative

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Mind watching my computer? I'm going to step out of the new media lounge and get some fresh air in the corridor.

The one thing that cheers me up about the fact that there’s only a little more than an hour left in BlogWorld is this: the prospect of seeing sunlight again. Hearing the chirping of birds, the wind whispering on my cheek, the cursing of a driver who just got cut off on the Strip. Aaah.

That said, if I had to be indoors for three days, this was a pretty dang swanky place to do it in.

Cartoon: “Besides, isn’t all video ‘mobile’? I mean, the pictures move.”

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The day ended with a session on video, chaired by Susan Bratton of Personal Life Media, and featuring Dermot McCormack, Executive Vice President of MTV Music Group Digital; Dick Glover, CEO of Funny or Die; and Jim Louderback, CEO of Revision3.

There were some great moments, including the revelation that the budget of a typical Funny or Die video is… drumroll please… what’s that? We can’t afford a drumroll? That must be because the figure is only $2,000.

But the moment that grabbed me early on was the emphatic statement by one of the panelists that one huge factor affecting the future of video right now is the rise of mobile. And given how many conversations I’ve had with people who are still trying to get their minds around just how huge a platform mobile is, well, that spurred this cartoon.

One person covers eyes in despair as the other points to a huge TV camera and says 'See? Wheels.' Caption: Unclear on the whole 'mobile video' thing.

Chris Garrett’s killer content

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2010.10.14.garrett-thumbnail

Chris Garrett wrapped a bang-up presentation on creating killer content a little while ago, and one of his slides jumped out at me. It was a good slide, even a great slide… but I thought it could use just…a little…extra.

Venn diagram pointing out that few people want to know what you just ate

(My belief that almost nobody cares what you just ate has been magnified for the purposes of this drawing, actually. It all depends on what you’re aiming to do with your blogging.)

Toonblog: Opening Keynote – Scott Stratten and Unmarketing

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If you mail one post in, you hurt your blog

It was a wildly energetic start to the morning from Scott Stratten, author of UnMarketing. He’s a terrifically visual speaker – which was mighty appreciated while I was drawing this!

Graphic record of Scott Stratten's opening keynote

(By the way, let me second Scott’s comment about the horrific roaming fees Canadians have to pay when they’re in the U.S. Never mind the casinos – I could lose our house just by switching my iPhone’s data roaming back on.)

Cartoon: In transit

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I flew in from Vancouver, BC this afternoon and drew this one on the flight. This being my first time travelling to Las Vegas, my nose was pressed against the window throughout our descent. (Socially awkward, since I had an aisle seat.) Also, since I mainly know Las Vegas through old episodes of CSI, I found myself ascribing some pretty gruesome backstories to what I was seeing. (“Oh, right – that’s the ridge where they found that guy’s mummified knees!”)

At any rate, I made it – pens, iPad, graphic tablet and all. I’ll be toonblogging for the next three days, so keep watching the blog for updates. Mostly non-gruesome ones.

Cartoon: My card. Oh, no, wait…

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I’m as guilty of this as anyone. You meet someone at a conference, you find a real connection – be it personal or business-related – and you exchange cards.

But as you hand yours over, you yank it back. “Oh, sorry,” you say, and fumble for a pen – “I just changed cell numbers. Let me just write in the new one… Hmm, you can’t really read that, can you?” (Of course they can’t, because you’re trying to write it on a little card with a big thick Sharpie, the only thing you could find in your bag.) “Do you have a pen? Or just some pointed instrument I could use to draw some blood?”

So if your business cards are out of date, set aside some time today to get some new ones printed in time for BlogWorld. (I promise: I’m doing just that as soon as I finish writing this.)

And if you want to stand out a little, here are a few ideas for business cards that make sense in for a social media conference:

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