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LG Text Ed Program “Schools” Bloggers at BlogHer 2011

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LG texxtEd program BlogHer 2011

For those of you who attended BlogHer 2011 in San Diego this weekend, you may have had the chance to be “schooled” by LG Mobile and their advisory board members Jane Lynch and Rosalind Wiseman. The LG Text Ed was in session educating bloggers about teen mobile phone misuse and providing parents with valuable resources so they can teach responsible phone use to their children.

Bloggers had the chance to meet and hear from “Glee” actress Jane Lynch and best-selling author Rosalind Wiseman.

“I am amazed by the reach and influence of these women,” said Jane Lynch, actress and LG Text Ed advisory council member. “Because so many female bloggers are mothers themselves, they carry tremendous credibility amongst parents and they have the power to raise awareness about the potential dangers and consequences of risky mobile phone behavior.”

Check out this video clip from the event at BlogHer 2011.

The “LG Social Media Station”, gave bloggers the chance to test out LG’s latest Android-tablet, the T-Mobile® G-Slate™ with Google™ by LG. They posted updates to their blogs with the device, as well as status updates to Twitter and Facebook.

Did you attend this event and if so, what did you learn about responsible phone use for kids and the new Android tablet?

SoCal Social Media TweetUp at Del Mar Races This Weekend

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If you’ve never been to the Del Mar Racetrack for horse racing in the summer, you’re missing out on a great time. And Cool As Ever Tech makes it better by allowing you to connect with over 900 friends and colleagues from San Diego’s tech and industry – all in geektastic style! Expect real-time Twitter walls, a livestream of the event, tech giveaways, and introductions to some of the newest phone apps and gadgets.

I chatted with Phelan Riessen about the event.

What made you guys start Cool as Ever Tech?
The PR company for the Del Mar Thoroughbred Club approached Jenn Van Grove (@jbruin ) to see if she was up for throwing a tech event at the racetrack since Jenn led the first ever San Diego Tweetups (social gatherings for anyone on Twitter to meet there friends in real life). She pinged myself and a Enrique Gutierrez, my business partner in Digithrive and we decided we would put together this event for everyone.

What is your goal for the event?
The goal is to have an awesome time at an exclusive venue with our closest 1000 friends in the tech scene. Basically we invite as many local tech companies from San Diego’s tech scene to a day of fun at the Del Mar racetrack.

For someone who has never been, what can they expect from the event?
Meeting new people, networking, mingling and hanging out, eating, drinking, betting, mobile gadgets, tech and geek talk, giveaways, and of course beer fest and Reggae day with Matisyahu and Jimmy Cliff. What could be better?

Sounds like a great time! How can someone follow the event online if they can’t attend in person?
Follow the tweet stream #coolasever on Twitter search.

What is the audience for Cool as Ever Tech?
We invite as many San Diego tech companies as possible. Many twitter folks as well social media types will be there too. Here’s an invitation in PDF for those companies or individuals we may have missed. So far we have over 900 RSVP’s and growing.

That’s great! How can someone register if they are interested in joining?

Registrations are on http://coolasevertech.eventbrite.com/.

Can you give us an idea of some of the goodies you’re giving away?
First off we have backstage passes to Matisyahu and Jimmy Cliff. We also are giving away Winners circle / Paddock tours, tickets to future VIP concerts and stretch run tables. HP will be giving away a couple of printers and we have a couple of other sponsors that should be giving away some of their products or services as well. And we’re happy to announce we’ll also be giving away tickets to BlogWorld!

Yes, that’s true! Dave will be at the event and is giving away passes! We have 3 Expo Hall passes and 1 Weekend Pass to give away (value can be used to upgrade toward any other pass too).

Anything else you’d like to share?
The event and venue are free but you’ll have to pay for your parking, food and drinks.
More details can be found at our website. Looking forward to seeing everyone at the races this Saturday!

BlogWorld v. BlogHer: the Differences are Apparent

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Several months ago, I explored the differences between SXSW and BlogWorld. I did this because many conference attendees only have room in their budgets for one conference and want to know which conference best suits their needs. Also, I wanted to show that we’re different than the other conferences and that we may even be a better fit for most bloggers.  That post was well received, allowing attendees to make an informed decision. I thought I might do the same today after spending the last few days in New York City to attend my first ever BlogHer conference.

The BlogWorld team was there in force too; Rick Calvert, Patti “New Media Patti” Hoskings, Chris McCaffrey and I took to the floor and mixed and mingled. We made connections, observations, and yes, met lots of new friends. We helped to premiere new wines, sat in on sessions, enjoyed the most amazing Italian food and drank a lot of caffeine. Also? I learned more about the conference business and the politics, business and fun of it all by hanging out with this amazing team. So thanks, guys. Because of all of you all, I can do my job much better today. I hope to join you at more of these events in the future.

Here are some of my observations.

The “Her” Part

On my first day it was clear BlogHer is more about being a woman and a brand ambassador than it is about blogging and social media. In fact, if not for the sessions, I wouldn’t think this conference had anything to do with blogging at all.  Despite claims that BlogHer welcomes both men and women, there were very few men (who weren’t from brands or P.R. agencies) to be found. In fact, I only spoke to two men who were attending the event to learn and grow as bloggers. One of them told me he felt very out numbered and out of his element.The lobby had a sorority party feel and there were plenty of crying & cooing babies in sessions. Rick Calvert had a near miss with a vomiting child and instead of tech demonstrations some attendees were treated to pedicures and makeovers. BlogHer is not a celebration of social media, it’s a celebration of sisterhood. That isn’t a complaint, mind you, it’s only an observation.

Obvious Differences

If you’re looking to learn how to use social media to build your personal or business brand, or how to blog for a living, this isn’t really your conference. You may learn how to court a brand for sponsorship, but most attendees admit to not being there to attend the sessions. They’re there for the camaraderie, the parties, and yes, the swag.

Here are some of the things you’ll see at BlogHer:

  • The trade show floor at BlogHer has nothing to do with blogging or social media whatsoever. It doesn’t even pretend to be about the blogging. Brands such as McDonalds, Hillshire Farms, and Laughing Cow are there with plenty of free samples and gifts. (For more information read “BlogHer From the Eyes of a Reluctant Newbie: Part 1 – The Exhibits.” )
  • BlogHer has a shipping center so attendees can send home their huge and heavy swag bags. I read a tweet from one attendee who just made it on a plane with her “48 pound duffle bag of swag.”
  • Instead of tech demonstrations, BlogHer attendees are invited to suites to receive strappy sandals and massages. In fairness, Microsoft had a suite to show off the new Windows Phone, but they were lunching when we visited and didn’t get to learn much about their product. Firefox also had a suite to premiere their BlogHer toolbar. Aside from those two suites, I saw no tech, blogging or social media items.
  • Round tables for the keynotes meant attendees were more interested in having a conversation and because of this, many attendees even had their backs turned to the speakers. As is becoming the trend with most conferences, attendees appeared to be more interested in their gadgets than the talks.
  • At BlogWorld you can have your picture taken with Chad Vader, Kevin Pollak and Guy Kawasaki. At BlogHer expect to see Dora the Explorer, Mrs. Potato Head, Padma Laksmhi and Ronald McDonald.
  • Very few, if any, big name superstar bloggers or social media experts. If any of the major players were at BlogHer, I didn’t see them, nor were they speaking.

Light on the Blogging, Heavy on the Brands – Except for the Sessions

It’s not until you attend the educational sessions that you realize that  BlogHer has something to do with blogging and, admittedly, most attendees don’t attend the sessions at all. However, much of the content is educational in nature and beneficial to those looking to learn about blogging. I attended some very helpful sessions and some truly awful sessions, but I find that this is the case with most conferences (though hopefully this year there won’t be much sucky content at BlogWorld.)

While at BlogWorld we’re making a conscious effort to recruit female speakers, BlogHer only had one male speaker – the first ever. It will be interesting to see if more male speakers will be included in the future.

Sessions and panels include:

  • “This Year You’re In! Fashion Blogging is Serious Business”
  • “Pitch Me!” ( A very informative session about how to create an elevator pitch to receive products and brand sponsorships)
  • “Latinas in Social Media” ( A case study.)
  • “Radical Blogging Moms: Don’t Even Think About Not Taking These Moms Seriously”
  • “Transforming Online Places Into Art Spaces”
  • “Bringing Sex Out of the Closet”
  • “Blogging Autism: Shattering Myths, Opening Your Eyes and Finding Your Tribe.”
  • “Usability and Beginning Bloggers”
  • “Offline Networking for Bloggers”
  • “How to Use Your Blogging to Make You a Better Writer”

This Isn’t a Bad Thing

Overall, BlogHer is a unique experience. I hesitate to call it a blogging conference because, aside from the sessions, there really wasn’t much to indicate it had anything to do with blogging at all. For me, the most obvious reasons to attend BlogHer is to enjoy the company of other women and build up a relationships with brands. Make no mistake, there were many connections being made – both personal and professional. I’m not sure many of these connections involved ways to make money, however. Most transactions included the exchange of products for brand ambassadorship. I’m not saying this is a bad thing,  but I will say BlogHer isn’t necessarily the conference to attend to learn how to earn a decent living as a blogger, at least I didn’t see it that way.

I enjoyed my first BlogHer experience. If  I only had to choose one conference this year, I don’t know that BlogHer would be my choice only because I’m not looking to court brands for sponsorship or products. My reasons for attending conferences are generally to receive an education and to network with social media professionals and potential clients. I also want to learn more about blogging and monetizaton. I would attend BlogHer for the sisterhood and BlogWorld for the education and important connections.

BlogHer also allowed BlogWorld to fulfill another mission of ours – to bring women, especially as speakers, to BlogWorld. I’m happy to say we’re accomplishing that mission.

Update: August 10, 2010

I took a bit of heat for this post, and while that was to be expected, I really didn’t think I was being disrespectful. However, if you were offended by my BlogHer post, I apologize. The truth is, it wasn’t meat to slam BlogHer, it was meant to display the differences between our conference and another.  Differences that aren’t a bad thing, depending on your purpose. Value is a subjective thing. Sometimes value is in the education experience and sometimes value indicates bang for the buck. For me, BlogHer’s value came in the personal and I don’t want you to think I walked away with a negative impression. I had an amazing time at BlogHer. Sure, there are some things I found surprising, and some things I didn’t quite agree with – but that happens everywhere I go.

Let me share how BlogHer was a valuable experience for me:

  • I had a bit of lunch and attended a session with a book editor, leading to her people contacting me to write a book or two for them.
  • I met some wonderful women who will be speaking at BlogWorld in the fall.
  • I (and the BlogWorld team) were the guests of the Kendall Jackson wineries and attended a wine tasting and dinner, thanks to their gracious hospitality.
  • I met people I have always wanted to meet.
  • I enjoyed enlightening and pleasant conversation.
  • I learned about new products and services.

To add some balance to this post, I thought you might want to read another. BlogHer 10 Recap: 2400 Descend on Manhattan, which covers some of the things I missed.

I’d like to also thank all of you for your kind and thoughtful comments, tweets and emails.

Do you attend BlogHer? If so, tell us about your experience. If you don’t attend, tell us why not.

Deb Ng is Conference Director for BlogWorld and blogs about blogging and social media at Kommein. Feel free to follow her on Twitter @debng.

Meet BlogWorld10’s Music Man

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What’s good, everyone? My name’s Hadji Williams. I’m a long-time blogger and social media junkie; I’ve been online since Netscape 2.0 was fresh and 3.5-inch floppies were cool. Additionally, I’m a veteran of the advertising, marketing worlds. (but don’t hold that against me.)

And last but not least, I’m the Arts/Entertainment Track Coordinator for the 2010 BlogWorld & New Media Expo. In that capacity, I’m working with Rick Calvert, Dave Cynkin, Patty Hoskin and the BWE crew to bring some really cool music artists, forward-looking label execs and other entertainment insiders to come to #BWE10 and not only discuss the nexus between social media and the music/entertainment industries but also put on some great performances.

That’s right y’all. If all goes according to plan—and so far, so good—there will be music plus more than a little mayhem at Mandalay Bay this October.

Now, I don’t want to give too much away at this point; mainly because I’m a tease. Secondly, because we need to finalize a few things yet. But I can disclose the following for now:

(1) The Arts/Entertainment Track will be 4-6 panels packed with people who are actually doing things in this space, not talking heads and wannabe gurus spewing buzzwords and pointing out the obvious.

Continue Reading

Meet BlogWorld10's Music Man

Author:

What’s good, everyone? My name’s Hadji Williams. I’m a long-time blogger and social media junkie; I’ve been online since Netscape 2.0 was fresh and 3.5-inch floppies were cool. Additionally, I’m a veteran of the advertising, marketing worlds. (but don’t hold that against me.)

And last but not least, I’m the Arts/Entertainment Track Coordinator for the 2010 BlogWorld & New Media Expo. In that capacity, I’m working with Rick Calvert, Dave Cynkin, Patty Hoskin and the BWE crew to bring some really cool music artists, forward-looking label execs and other entertainment insiders to come to #BWE10 and not only discuss the nexus between social media and the music/entertainment industries but also put on some great performances.

That’s right y’all. If all goes according to plan—and so far, so good—there will be music plus more than a little mayhem at Mandalay Bay this October.

Now, I don’t want to give too much away at this point; mainly because I’m a tease. Secondly, because we need to finalize a few things yet. But I can disclose the following for now:

(1) The Arts/Entertainment Track will be 4-6 panels packed with people who are actually doing things in this space, not talking heads and wannabe gurus spewing buzzwords and pointing out the obvious.

Continue Reading

Are You a Hunter or a Soaker?

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I have been thinking about my conference behavior after reading Deb’s excellent conference personality article.

How I operate at a conference varies depending on the location, topic, who I will be meeting and so on, but it seems the conference activity is split into two main “modes” and I would be interested to hear if your experience.

Conference Hunter

These are people on a mission. It could be about meeting certain people, picking up as much schwag as possible, give the talk, get business, promote something, or to learn something that will help with a specific project. In my entire conference history I would say this is the most common as I mainly go to conferences that I am speaking at, and regardless I always have in mind people who I want to meet there.

I imagine these are the kinds of people who feel like they get the most value out of a conference because they have a goal in mind and a sense of accomplishment when they achieve it.

Conference Soaker

As a contrast to the people who are on a mission, the soaker is there for an undirected experience. They might party hop, flit from session to session without any kind of agenda, or just “hang out”. For them the conference is an event to “be at” rather than extract some tangible value from. They might anticipate learning something or meeting cool people, but do not set out to do anything consciously and take things as they come.

There have been a few conferences I have attended where I have very much been in this mode, and I would say this recent SXSW was one of them. Due to my speaking engagements not happening I was kind of there my default rather than with anything business rational in mind. While I did not There is something to be said for having an open diary!

Why Does it Matter?

Obviously you can be a blend of the two. It only matters in so much that I think if you do not know what you hope to get out of a conference, even if it is just to soak up the experience, then you might come away dissapointed. Before you book, ask yourself why you want to go, and then go do that 🙂

What do you think? Please share your thoughts in the comments …

You can read more from Chris Garrett at chrisg.com or follow Chris on Twitter with @chrisgarrett

What is Your Social Media Conference Attending Personality?

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After attending a few social media conferences, one becomes very aware of the various personality types of the different attendees. Many  are nothing at all like their Twitter personalities, and some of them are downright surprising. If you spent any time at one of the big social media conferences, you no doubt recognize some of these personality types:

1. The Partier: You attend conferences for one reason, and one reason only; to party. Sure, you may show up at the convention center and shake a few hands for an hour or two, but your days are mostly spent making up for your nights. Nights you don’t remember until you catch glimpses on YouTube. Not too much business happens  when you attend conferences, but you come home with enough business cards so your employer feels it’s justified. It’s all good though, no one really takes you seriously as a business person anyway. They like having you around because you’re buying the drinks.

2. The Vacationer: Like the Partier, you don’t necessarily attend conferences for their ROI value. Instead, they’re a vacation. They get you out of the house and away from the spouse and kids for a few days, making them well worth the expense. You can go out to dinner to restaurants that don’t serve crayons with the placemats, and sleep as late as you want in the morning. Maybe, just maybe you’ll even attend a session or too.

3. The Swag Collector: You travel to conferences with an extra, empty duffle bag in tow in order to bring home your swag. You’re not so much interested in the speakers or networking, and a sponsor paid for your ticket so it’s not like you have to work. For you, it’s all about what you’re coming home with. Free T-shirts, pens, and even laptop stickers have you squealing with delight. You go to the trade show as soon as it opens looking for the big ticket items so you can grab a few freebies before they run out. When you get home and your kids ask “what did you bring me” you don’t disappoint.

4. The Engager: For you, it’s about the people. You attend conferences to meet up with old friends and cultivate new relationships. You’re always seen in the hallways talking with groups of people and your dinners are never intimate affairs for two. The more the merrier. Unlike Partiers and Vacationers, you really are hoping to meet with people for both business and pleasure. You’re looking to build relationships for now and for the future. It’s no wonder you have no problem finding collaborators for your projects and know exactly who to call when specific situations arise.

5. The Star Gazer: You come to catch a glimpse of the big name superstars. You attend their sessions, stand in line for their book signings and make sure you don’t go home until you have a picture featuring you and the biggest names in the biz. For you, it’s not as much about meeting people as it is meeting the right people.

6. The Learner: For you, it’s the sessions. You came to learn from the best, and by golly, that’s what you’re going to do. You want Chris Brogan to teach you about trust and John Chow to show you how to make money online. You’re serious about getting ahead in the game. Parties and dinners don’t interest you. It’s the talks you come for.

7. The Job Hunter: You’re on a mission and that mission is to score employment. You show up in a suit and have a briefcase full of resumes. You learn who is hiring and arrange for meetings. You’re all business….not that there’s anything wrong with that.

8. The Volunteer: You can’t afford tickets to conferences because they’re so expensive. However, you found a loophole. You volunteer to help out. The only problem is, you’re so busy running around, stuffing bags and manning elevators you don’t get a chance to enjoy the conference itself.

9. The Speaker: You’re THE authority in your field and you want everyone to know it. Speaking is the best way to promote your books and your services. If there’s a conference, you’re sure to be found on a panel or session. Your advice is dead on and you can’t leave the room after your talk because your admirers have questions and want to snap photos for their blogs. Your talks go so well, the conference isn’t over before you’re planning your next talk.

10. The Pimp: You attend conferences because you have something to sell or promote. You wear T-Shirts proudly displaying your message and hand out a business card and spiel to everyone you meet. You WILL go home with multiple sales if it’s the last thing you do.

11. The “We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Badges” Guy: Conferences aren’t really your thing. You don’t like the sessions or all the hand shaking and you’re not really into frivolity. You fly to the city where the conference is held and even sign up for some parties and interesting events. However, you don’t buy a badge. You don’t need one. Everyone you want to speak with will meet you for dinner or at a party. You’ll put in a few appearances so everyone can see you were there, but you stay as far away from the actual conference as you can.

12. The Celebrity: If there are Star Gazers in attendance, they won’t be disappointed. You show up to see to be seen.  You and your entourage are front and center at all the parties and events. You have a pocket full of sharpies  for autographs and drink only the finest champagne. You time your entrances, and your exits, and never met a camera you didn’t like.

13. The Reluctant Celebrity: You’re famous in your circles but you’re not really into your fame. You want to be able to walk down the hall without stopping for autographs and photographs. You want to be able to sit and chat with your friends for more than two minutes at a time. You’re happy life is working out well for you and don’t mind sharing your secrets to your success, you just wish you could attend these things without an entourage.

What are some of the personality types you spotted at the various conferences? Do you see yourself in any of the above?

Deb Ng is founder of the Freelance Writing Jobs network. Follow her on Twitter @debng.

SXSW: The Cool and the Lame

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This year was probably my most rewarding SXSW experience ever. I learned a lot, renewed friendships, made new friends, was presented with some very attractive opportunities and all in all, had a blast. With that said, there was plenty of lamery to go around as well.

If you didn’t attend SXSW here’s what you missed (or didn’t miss…)

SXSW: The Cool

At SXSW ’10, one didn’t really need to purchase a badge because everything worth mentioning happened outside the sessions and panels. While I did attend a couple of excellent Core Conversations, the truth is, the highlights from “Southby” didn’t come from scheduled talks. As Chris Garrett said, “I paid $500 to hang out in the blogger lounge.” That doesn’t mean SXSW wasn’t worth the experience, just that sometimes the experience isn’t what’s scheduled in the official guide.

The Blogger Lounge: If you were looking for friends and conversation, the blogger lounge was the place to be. This is where we worked, shared ideas and caught up with those we hadn’t seen since the last conference. The blogger lounge provided tables and sockets for our laptops, food and drink, and even some entertainment. A good time was had by all.

The hallways: I learn more in conference center hallways than from listening to the same panelists say the same thing at each different conference. In fact, I think I spent more time in the hallways at SXSW than anywhere else. Lest, you think I was wandering aimlessly, I was talking and sharing ideas with published authors, bloggers, social media people, marketing people, and even a couple of filmmakers.

The restaurants: Whether it was Stubbs, Rudy’s or Ironworks, whether it was BBQ, Hawaiin or Tex Mex, Austin has something for everyone. Each night we tried something new and I’m happy to report that nothing sucked. Even better than the food was the company and the conversation…

The people: I’m not going to indulge in a festival of name droppery, but I will say this, I have terrific friends. Bloggers are the nicest people ever. No, really. There’s nothing better than a bunch of great minds sitting together and thinking alike. Or, even, not agreeing but having a terrific, respectful discussion.  I have more phone numbers than I can fit into my phone and more business cards than I have a box to hold them.

The City of Austin: Kudos to the City of Austin, Texas for handling this logistical nightmare. More than one person told me the college spring break is scheduled at the same time as SXSW so that there are thousands of people leaving the city at the same time thousands of people are coming in. Though SXSW is sure to be an income booster for shops and businesses, I’m positive most residents will be happy it’s over. Driving around Downtown is a nightmare for residents, for sure. Still, everyone is pleasant and well mannered and the drivers are the most polite I’ve ever seen. I don’t know if this type of conference could happen anywhere else.

SXSW: The Lame

Zone Bars: Every where I went someone was waving a Zone Bar in my face. While I’m thinking they were the reason many attendees didn’t starve, I’m also thinking most of us are leaving Austin hoping to never see another Zone Bar for as long as we live. Or at least until next year.

Panels and sessions: There were very few SXSW panels that interested me this year. Maybe it’s because all the panels are picked as the result of a popularity contests. It doesn’t matter if a session is necessary and timely, if it doesn’t get the votes it doesn’t get in. Someone with a lame panel and a large network of friends  has a better chance of getting picked than someone with a decent topic and not as many friends. Problem is, if those friends aren’t attending SXSW, does it really matter if they’re voting for panels?

Fire alarms: So we’re sitting in the audience at Darren Rowse‘s book reading and the fire alarm went off and we had to exit the building.  I mean everyone. There was no panic, and no pushing. Everyone was respectful and cooperative. Still, it was a pain in the butt to empty out a massive conference hall and then put it all back together again. The fire alarm was a dream for the Zone Bar people who stood in the stair wells passing out Zone Bars, but for speakers such as Darren Rowse, it almost put an end to the talk. We were back in the building about 20 minutes later, a little behind schedule, but it all worked out in the end. Oh and the alarm? It was a false one.

Drunk social media gurus: Hey famous social media people. Yes, you. People remember when you get drunk and sloppy in public. Folks can do a lot with a cell phone cameras nowadays and there are certain things you don’t want captured on film, if you know what I mean. Seriously though, some folks treat SXSW as nothing but a big party and forget that many of their peers and professional contacts are in attendance. It’s probably a good reminder not to do anything you wouldn’t want splashed across the front page of the New York Times, besides acting drunk in public is just obnoxious.

What are some of your takeaways from SXSW? What did you find lame and what did you enjoy?

Deb Ng is a professional blogger and founder of the Freelance Writing Jobs network.

BlogWorld isn’t SXSW (and Vice Versa)

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In the last few days I’ve been seeing a lot of “BlogWorld or SXSW?” type Tweets. Most of them are from folks who can only afford to attend one conference this year and aren’t sure where their money is best spent. While both BlogWorld and South by Southwest are “must attends” for much of the social media world, the two conferences aren’t the same. Comparing  is almost like comparing apples to oranges.

Two Different Conferences

To me, the biggest difference is that SXSW isn’t a social media conference. It’s an interactive conference (with a film and music conference also taking place at or around the same time.) To decided whether or not to choose one over another you’ll have to define your purpose for attending first. BlogWorld is more defined, it’s a blogging/social media/new media conference. It’s smaller and more intimate. SXSW is huge. This isn’t a bad thing, again, it depends on what you’re going for.

Parties

Each conference provides opportunities to meet and network with creative people. SXSW tends to have more parties and events happening, though there were more “official” BlogWorld events in 2009 than previous years. I’m not a party person. My preference is to enjoy dinner or drinks and conversation with both old and new friends. I don’t like shouting over a crowded room or watching others down too many complimentary drinks. So for me, the nightlife is all about the restaurants and the conversation. Both Las Vegas and Austin have the best of the best.

Sessions and Panels

Both events provide informative classes and discussions, my main reason for attending. If you come to learn, learn you will. Again, BlogWorld is more niche oriented while SXSW runs the gamut. Session titles at BlogWorld 2009 included:

  • “Stimulating Brand Conversations with Women in the Social Mediasphere”
  • “LinkedIn for Viral Campaigns”
  • “Why Blogs are Your Number 1 Social Marketing Tool”
  • “How Social Media is Changing the Definition of News”
  • “How to Build a Large Loyal Audience with Podcasting.”

The BlogWorld panels more or less touched on blogging – including niches such as mommy blogging, real estate blogging, sports blogging and milblogging. Sessions also discussed community management, affiliate and relationship marketing, podcasting and business.

South by Southwest Interactive does include many social media type topics, but also, anything that appeals to geeks outside of the social media spectrum. Behold some “Southby” sessions for next week:

  • “Cooking for Geeks: Science, Hacks and Good Food”
  • “Dude, This is My Car!”
  • “Web Fonts: The Time Has Come”
  • “Are Content Farms Good or Evil”
  • “Can You Copyright a Tweet?”
  • “My Three Year Old is My Usibility Expert”

In addition to session and panels, South by Southwest also has “Core Conversations.” These aren’t sessions but instead interactive discussions revolving around a certain topic. I led a Core Conversation at last year’s SXSWi and it was an incredibly rewarding experience. I like that it enables the audience to be a part of the entire discussion rather than getting in a few questions at the end.

Something else to consider is that who gets to speak on panels is sort of like a popularity contest at SXSW. Potential speakers submit proposals but they’re put the vote. Though SXSW also has a committee to appoint speakers, if a potential speaker has a huge network to vote for him, he’s a shoo in. At BlogWorld, a committee looks over each panel and decides on which sessions will best serve the BlogWorld community.

Money, Lodging and etcs.

SXSW is a more expensive event for me mostly because the hotels cost more money, especially if you want to stay close to the convention center. The flights cost about the same and meals are about the same. However, the Las Vegas monorail is cheaper than taking cabs around Austin. For the most part, you’ll be able to stay in a hotel close to the Las Vegas Convention Center when you attend BlogWorld. Not so in Austin. Hotels fill up a year in advance and if you don’t book extremely early you may find yourself staying miles away and having to pay a $20 cab ride each way.

When you’re in Las Vegas for BlogWorld, you can take the monorail or a cab to get to the various parties, hotels and activities. Austin’s clubs, pubs and restaurants are usually within walking distance, though some are a brief cab ride away.

Edited to Add: Ooops thought of one more MAJOR difference. South by Southwest is much longer. While Blogworld can last two to three days, expect to spend at least five days in Austin if you which to attend as many sessions and events as possible.

BlogWorld or SXSW?

Again, you can’t compare. Both BlogWorld and SXSW are different events. I enjoy both events and take away something different from each. My preference (and not because I happen to blog here) is for BlogWorld for one reason – it’s more intimate. It’s big enough that it’s a “big event” but not so big you’re overwhelmed. I walk down the hall and know almost everyone I see, even if it’s on a “wave hi” basis. I’m not a party person and I’m not a crowd person. Though both SXSW and BlogWorld are my “never miss” events each year, if I had to choose one place to be it would be Vegas, baby.

How about you? What are some of the differences you see between BlogWorld and Southby …and do you have a preference?

Deb Ng is founder of the Freelance Writing Jobs blog network.

Blog,Web and Social Media Conference Schedule for 2010

Author:

CES, which ended a few days ago, marks the beginning of the conferences season. If you’re like me, you try to make it to a few choice events throughout the year, though there are too many for me to attend them all. One of my frustrations is in finding a list of conferences for the entire year so I can plan ahead.

Today, I’d like to present this list of conferences for 2010.  Check back though, as I’m going to offer updates throughout the year.

January

February

March

April

May

June

August

  • BlogHer Business – August 5 – New York City
  • BlogHer – August 6 – 7 – New York City
  • Affiliate Summit East – August 15 – 17  NYC
  • Gnomedex – August 19 – 21 – Seattle

October

Did I miss something? Let me know in the comments and I’ll add it to the next update.

Deb Ng is a professional blogger and founder of the Freelance Writing Jobs network. Feel free to follow her on Twitter @debng.

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