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What the Heck is Up with All these Conferences?

Author:

las-vegas-convention-center

I was Skype chatting with my sister the other morning , talking about IzeaFest as I’m still not sure yet whether or not I will attend. “Wow,” she said. “For people who want to work at home, bloggers sure go to conferences to be with people a lot.” Though I explained to her that the majority of work at homes aren’t doing so to stay away from people, she did get me thinking. There are a lot of conferences for bloggers and social media addicts.

I did a little hunting around though. There are conferences for foodies, accountants, techies, writers and more. The conferences themes don’t matter, most of us attend for the same reasons – To share, learn, meet and network.

There DO seem to be a lot of conferences geared towards the web 2.0 crowd, though. I think there are several reasons for this:

  1. This is a growing industry. Blogging, new media, social media, web 2.0…it’s all relatively new stuff. Every month new businesses, brands and individuals jump on board. With more businesses wanting to explore their options on the interwebs, it only makes sense more people will want to attend these conferences to network and learn- and more events will unfold.
  2. New rockstars are born every day. Most conferences tap some very familiar names to speak at sessions and workshops, but there are new stars and they have something to say too! Each conference introduces someone new and exciting.
  3. We want to meet the people we only know online. Times are different now. We’re all communicating online. Conferences and meetups give us the ability to meet the people we follow on Twitter or friend on FaceBook.  Unlike the old days when we only moved in small circles, we now have the ability to make friends globally. Conferences are terrific for taking those connections to another level.
  4. New products and tools emerge every day. Progress progresses. Every day new apps, programs and tools launch, some with fanfare, some without.  Each conference unveils another great new tool or product. Meeting the builders and tweakers face to face and receiving personal product demos are a valuable part of attending any conference.
  5. Not everyone can travel to Las Vegas or Austin. Let’s face it, airfare is a little pricey. Many people would like to attend conferences but the location isn’t convenient. Having several conferences throughout the country, or world for that matter, will allow interested parties to attend in the location that is most convenient.

Not all conferences are alike. Every conference reaches a different group of people. BlogWorld focuses on blogging and new media, while SXSW focuses on interactive including gaming and web hosting. BlogHer is for the women who blog, WordCamp is for WordPress lovers and Podcamp is for podcasting fans.

When we attend conferences, it’s not because we want to get out of the house. It’s to learn new ideas and to meet and network with other creative people. Sure, there are a lot of conferences, but each one is a unique experience. My only regret is not being able to attend them all.

Cool as Ever Tech TweetUp at Del Mar Racetrack

Author:

Del Mar racetrack image from Cool as Ever Tech site

Our friend Jenn Van Grove (@jbruin on Twitter) is hosting a great TweetUp this weekend at Del Mar Racetrack this weekend, not to be missed. It’s called Cool as Ever Tech, it’s on Saturday, August 8th from 12:00 Noon ’til 6pm and it’s freeeee…

So come meet SoCal tech friends from Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego for festivities, music, networking and watchin’ the races.

From the Cool as Ever Tech website:

Join us as we take over the expansive  Seaside Tropical Cabana from noon until 6pm, where many a celebrity and special guest has passed before us. We’ll eat, drink, tweet, and take in the excitement that Del Mar horse racing has to offer.

Of course, we’ll do so in über-connected and geekified style. Expect real-time Twitter walls, a livestream of the event, and gadgets, goodies, and giveaways that will make the geek in you scream with delight.

Make sure you pre-register for the event here.

Additionally, Jenn’s got some great promotions and contests going with give-aways, so check out the details on the event blog.

Follow @jbruin on Twitter and stay up to date.

See you there!

@dave_blogworld

[photo via Cool as Ever Tech]

Twiistup 6 at The Universal Hilton

Author:

twiistup1 We would like to make sure everyone knows about the Twiistup 6 at the Universal Hilton coming up this week, Thursday and Friday.  This is an event that all of you should attend and they have a killer lineup of speakers.

  • Jason Calacanis Serial entrepreneur, founder of Mahalo and co-founder of TechCrunch 50 and Weblogs. Wikipedia Link
  • James Montgomery CEO of Montgomery & Co. and CEO of Digital Coast Ventures, Founder of Palomar Ventures. Bio Link
  • Michael Jones COO of MySpace, founder of Userplane and Tsavo Wikipedia Link
  • Brooke Burke (former) Television Host of Wild On E!, Rockstar INXS, and online entrepreneur, co-CEO of www.ModernMom.com Wikipedia Link
  • Chamillionaire Grammy Award-winning and chart topping musician and entrepreneur. Wikipedia Link
  • Cyan Banister Early stage investor in Facebook, Slide, Tagged and founder of TopFans.com and Zivity.
  • Brad Feld Co-founder of Foundry Group and Mobius Venture Capital, founder of Techstars.org startup incubator. Bio Link
  • Quincy Jones III (QD3) Music and film producer/entrepreneur. Wikipedia Link
  • Dave McClure Seed stage investor for the Founders Fund. Bio Link
  • Ian Rogers Former business partner of the Beastie Boys and former GM of Yahoo Music, now CEO of Topspin Media. Bio Link
  • Andy Sack General Partner at Founders Co-op, Founder of Kefta, Abuzz and Firefly Network Bio Link
  • Ben Huh CEO of viral phenomenon www.IcanHasCheezburger.com.
  • Justin Kan Founder of Justin.TV the largest online community for people to broadcast, watch and interact around live video. Wikipedia Link
  • Chris Brogan President of New Marketing Labs
  • Mark Suster GRP Partners, venture capital. Former VP Product Mgmt Salesforce.com & 2-time CEO and entrepreneur. Bio Link
  • Brian Solis Author of Now is Gone and Putting the Public Back in Public Relations, Publisher of PR 2.0 and bub.blicio.us, Founder of Future Works PR, and strategic advisor to Fortune 500 businesses and startups. Wikipedia Link
  • David O. Sacks Former COO of PayPal, founder and CEO of Geni.com and Yammer, movie producer Thank You For Smoking. Wikipedia Link
  • Dmitry Shapiro Founder and CEO of Veoh Networks, founder of Akonix Systems and Weekend University. Bio Link
  • Lisa Rosenblatt Co-founder of iMall (sold for $565 million) and co-CEO of www.ModernMom.com.
  • Taryn Southern First person (of only 3 total) to sell a scripted online web show to mainstream TV (MTV) Wikipedia Link
  • Micah Baldwin Founder of Current Wisdom (sold 2007), VP of Business Development and Chief Evangelist for Lijit Networks. Bio Link
  • Plus Moderators, Marsha Collier KTRB Radio, Jason Nazar CEO of DocStoc, Sean Percival of Lalawag and Tsavo and Adam Weinroth of Demand Media

Some of these speakers will be at Blog World & New Media Expo coming up in Las Vegas, and this is a great way to see them in a sneak peek.  The event is described as:

Join us for the biggest Twiistup ever. Twiistup has expanded with a two-day stage program that brings together innovators in technology and media. The classic open-bar evening mixer will continue, but attendees are encouraged to attend the full conference to experience this unique program.

Get registered right away as passes for the vent can only be purchased through tomorrow. I think you may get a chance to see some of our own at the event and talk to them about what we have planned in Vegas in October.  Some of the other attendees you may have a chance to meet.  Here is the Twiistup Twitter page to check out the latest.

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Speakers and Schedule Not Yet Complete

Author:

standinline I wanted to take a moment and bring everyone up to date on where we stand with the schedule and the speakers lineup.  We are completing most of the 11 separate tracks that will be going on at Blog World Expo in October.  Panels such as the military bloggers have already been completed by their track leaders as well as the medical bloggers,  and those are being posted on blogs.  Other tracks such as the Social Media Business Summit and others have yet to be completed.  These are taking more time to develop. We are in the process of filling those positions by interviewing those that have submitted proposals and are vying for the very few spots left. Most of the track leaders have completed their tracks and we are firming up some information before the schedule is set.

Imagine if you will that we have two job openings for cool positions.  Now imagine 2,000 standing in line to interview for the positions.  You can get a sense of what we are trying to accomplish here.  I need to first speak to those that we want to provide the stage to and then make a decision based on the interviews.  That all takes much time and effort and we are trying to get through them as quickly as possible.  I appreciate your patience and understanding during this time.  Those that have already been chosen to speak will be getting an email soon with more information on the time of your panel and the information related to that panel.

I have to apologize that this is taking much longer than I myself anticipated. If you are one of the people standing in line, I am getting there, I just need to find another few moments in the day!

photo via Aldor

5 Ways to Lose Followers on Twitter

Author:

t-is-for-twitter

I talk too much. This isn’t a major revelation,though. I’ve known this for some time. Even back when I was a kid my weary parents used to beg me, pretty please, for some quiet time. My brothers and sisters would invent “let’s see who can be quiet the longest” games just to get me to stop talking. Of course it’s the gift of gab that led to my success as a blogger. It’s also costing me followers on Twitter. Seems the 140 character crowd isn’t interested in spending time with someone so chatty. I get it though. Before realizing the truth, I began researching the reasons why Twitterers stop following people. Here are the top 5:

  1. They’re too spammy: I’m on Twitter because I want to talk to people. It’s such a great way to share. Some folks take the sharing to the extreme, however, and only tweet links to their stuff. Yeah it’s ok to drop links now and again, but don’t forget about building relationships. No one likes talking with a salesman all day.  We like real conversations with real people.
  2. They’re too offensive: Not everyone is into regularly tweeted “f bombs” or nude avatars. Racism, tough talk and lots of controvery are also turnoffs. Most Twitterers are there for the light conversation. If it gets too stressful, they’re out of there.
  3. They talk too much: Like me. No one likes it when one particular Twitter stream dominates the whole timeline.  Sure, it’s fun to talk back and forth with one person and just banter all day. Think about how it looks on someone else’s screen though. When you dominate the entire conversation, you’ll lose followers. Trust me on this, I know.
  4. They have nothing in common: Most of us choose Tweeps to follow with care. For instance, I look for the people who I can share tips and ideas with and will also make me laugh. We have to have something in common though.  It’s just like the friends we hang out with in the real world. If we don’t find certain people interesting enough or sharing the same ideals, we probably won’t run in the same circles. It’s nothing personal, we just don’t mesh.
  5. They auto DM: Don’t you hate those auto DM’s you get when you follow certain people. Some of them just say “hi.” Most say “Hi, buy my ebook or view my blog.” I wouldn’t walk up to someone in the real world and say, “Hi. I’m Deb Ng. Visit my blog for more information about me.” So why do we do this on Twitter?

What are your reasons for un-following Tweeps?

Should Brands Monitor the Social Networks?

Author:

brands

Yesterday at dinner with “the girls”, the discussion turned to social networks. Some didn’t quite get the appeal of Facebook and Twitter and an interesting discussion ensued. It took an even more interesting turn when one of my friends, who works for a major national brand, felt businesses really don’t want to monitor the social networks because they don’t want to know what is being said about them. While this may be true, I believe that even though the talk might not always be rosy, it’s important for brands to hear what their consumers say about their products.

Everything is an Opportunity

The way I see it, all comments are opportunities. The truth might hurt, but how is a brand to learn about what is hurting the business if they’re not monitoring the comments? This is a wonderful chance to find which areas need improvement and which areas rock. Why wouldn’t businesses want to take advantage of social media?

Good Customer Service Means Good Word of Mouth Promotion

There have been times when I complained on a social network about poor service or an item I didn’t like. Community managers from some of these brands reached out to me via the same social networks and offered to discuss. In most cases, we were able to resolve the issue in an amicable manner. After receiving such good customer service, I sung their praises to others and they received more business as a result. How can this be a bad thing?

People Trust in Brands that “Get it”

I love it when brands embrace social media or technology. When they “get it” it means they get their customers. It means they want to work with us and use the same tools we do. It means they’re not out of touch and really do wish to find the solutions that work.

Should Brands Monitor the Social Networks?

Heck yeah, brands should monitor the social networks. To not do so means they’re missing out on an important opportunity to touch base with their users. Frankly, I don’t think I would want to deal with a brand that isn’t interested in learning what I think.

How about you?

Does Your Blog Have Balls? Join Us In New York City!

Author:

bwb_logo_block I am headed to New York City on Friday, June 12, 2009 to participate in a very cool blogging conference in New York City at Stout New York.  The event is scheduled all day on June 13, 2009.  The have lots of panelists and cool topics. Of most interest to me is the “Why We Hate You” topic which will discuss why the old media is not so fond of the new media folks. I think this will be a topic of discussion coming up in our own conference in Las Vegas.

They have lunch sponsored by Guiness, and have a great lineup of speakers, including a past keynote speaker of Blog World Expo, Gary Vaynerchuk (perhaps he will finally make that announcement that he has purchasedthe New York Jets?), and a post game party sponsored by men’s magazine GQ. I think they describe it best:

Blogs With Balls is the world’s largest sports blogger and new media gathering. Sports fans, writers, sites, teams, athletes and companies, don’t miss your chance to talk with industry leaders about the future of sports media. Scheduled speakers include: Jim Bankoff (SB Nation), A.J. Daulerio (Deadspin), Spencer Hall (EDSBS), Dan Levy (On the DL Podcast) Dan Shanoff, Bethlehem Shoals (FreeDarko.com), Dan Steinberg (The Washington Post’s D.C. Sports Bog), Michael Tunison (KissingSuzyKolber.com) Matt Ufford (WithLeather.com) and Pete Vlastelica (CEO, Yardbarker.com)

This is my first trip to New York City and I can’t wait to attend.  If you want to attend the event as well, they are taking registrations through 7:00 p.m. on June 11, which is tomorrow.  Get over and get a pass for this great event.  What else are you going to do on Saturday?

Speaking Submissions Deadline Came and Went – Now The Hard Part – Choosing

Author:

keynote1 Now the real work for me begins.  I am getting inundated with questions from everyone that has submitted speaking submissions as to whether their submission was chosen.  To be frank, I am not done reading the more than, enter large number here, submissions that were submitted and I have yet to complete the tracks that we are having this year.  I wanted to let everyone know that I am meeting this week with Rick Calvert and the rest of the team to get the draft of the final speakers and sessions completed.

Let me say this I thought that the submissions were all good for what we expect the conference to be this year and I am having a hard time deciding on the speakers that I must say “No” to and that also makes the decision making process tough.  I can assure the attendees that they are going to get the best possible lineup of experts, gurus, leaders in the field, or however we can possible label them.  No, that does not include Oprah (Sorry Oprah you didn’t make the cut.).

If any of you have any questions please feel free to email me at jim at blogworldexpo.com and I will get a response to you.

Ashton Kutcher Threatens to Stop Tweeting – Do We Care?

Author:
@aplusk

@aplusk

Dear Ashton Kutcher,

I have news for you. There was a Twittersphere long before you went on national television begging for followers, and there will be a Twitter long after.

Your threatening to stop Tweeting if Twitter turns into a reality television show is akin to the many Twitterers who threatened to stop Tweeting if celebrities (that would be you) took over Twitter with their million plus follower accounts.  We don’t care.

I mean, you go on CNN, you go on Oprah, you’re in the headlines for weeks for being the first Twitterer with one million followers, and you worry about Twitter being a sell out because of a rumored television show? What’s the matter Ashton, did John & Kate steal away your headlines this week?

You say you’re against a Twitter television show because you don’t want to be stalked. Yet you’re on television drumming up a following. You even post pictures of your wife’s butt. If you’re so interested in your safety and privacy, I’m thinking you might want to spend a little less time online? You’re a celebrity, Ashton. We find you pimping cameras, taking over the CNN building, and punking unsuspecting celebrities, and now, after all this time, you’re worried someone may stalk you because of a rumored reality television show that would be “putting ordinary people on the trail of celebrities in a revolutionary competitive format.” Heck, TMZ does this on a daily basis.

Go ahead Ashton. Stop Tweeting. Then come back a week later and see if anyone noticed.

I’m thinking no.

Sincerely,

Someone who thinks maybe you should stop for a while so more important topics can make the headlines.

Bloggers Have Mad Skills – Pay them Accordingly!

Author:

work-via-stock-xchnge1

I have a bone to pick. Something’s sticking in my craw and I need to get it out. Lately I’m coming across ad after ad for bloggers – yet no one is willing to pay for the work. Instead they’re offering “exposure” and “internships.” Hello? I’m exposed every time I walk out my front door, thank you very much, and internships offer something besides toiling away for nothing for Joe No Name. Bloggers have skills. Mad skills. Their pay should be reflective of all the work they do.

Let me break it down for the people who think bloggers should be happy to work for the glory.

Writing – Bloggers are passionate about their topics. They have to be in order to write about the same thing day in and day out. The reason businesses and individuals hire bloggers is because they don’t have the time or inclination to do so themselves. However, it’s not an “easy” job. A blogger must stay on top of all the current trends, technology and research, and write about it in a manner representative of his or her client. Bloggers don’t necessarily write off the top of their heads. There’s research to conduct, books, articles and blog posts to read, and experts to interview. Though blog posts have a casual tone, they are written in a professional manner. This alone warrants a decent pay check.

Coding -Yeah we have to know a little HTML or other coding necessary to embed images, videos and have our blog posts formatted in a manner befitting the content. Yes, a lot networks and content portals handle this sort of thing on their own. However, many clients want a blogger who can work on his own without having to call in the techies every five minutes.

Web Design – Many bloggers handle template design and other design elements for their clients’ blogs. This takes a bit of skill. Not everyone knows the best places to place widgets and ads. Not everyone can create an eye pleasing header or clean sidebar.

Community Management – Most clients are looking for bloggers because they want to create a community to help create buzz around a product or service. This means bloggers are expected to moderate and respond to posts. They answer questions, soothe tempers and keep the conversation flowing.

Public Relations/Marketing – If you’re expecting your bloggers to promote their content, this should be reflected in the pay. Building up relationships and networking is a job in itself, let alone for a blogger who is doing it for the glory.

SEO– SEO is a learned skill. It doesn’t come naturally. Knowing how to catapult a blog to number one on the search engines is something that should be handsomely rewarded.

Tell me again why bloggers aren’t worthy of pay?

What are some of the mad skills you have as a blogger?

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