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Its All About the Show

Ewan Spence Interviews me at SxSW

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If you were to charge there is a certain amount of navel gazing in the blogosphere and at events like SxSW you would be right. The fact is when events like SxSW and BlogWorld happen it gives us new media content creators a chance to meet up with old friends, make some new ones and meet many of our peers, mentors, and thought leaders that we admire from afar.

So you get a lot of people interviewing each other. I certainly did my share of interviews there, and was flattered when the famous kilt wearing podcaster Ewan Spence found me worthy of an interview.  You can listen to that interview here.

The Most Diverse Conference in the Blogosphere

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This post was inspired by a Lena West post over at Lip-Sticking. Lena approached me after the Mark Cuban keynote this year and asked about speaking in 2008. (I haven’t forgotten you Lena). In the post Lena ask:

Really, where are all the female web 2.0 rock stars?

Well a lot of them were on the stage at last year’s BlogWorld & New Media Expo.

I couldn’t help taking the opportunity to tout our record on involving women and minority speakers at our inaugural event.

I must give Dave Taylor who served as our Education Director full credit for bringing this to my attention. Early on in planning the event he told me we needed to make a concerted effort to involve female speakers. Until that point it just wasn’t on my mind but as soon as he said it I knew he was right. If we really wanted to be attract the most diverse group of bloggers the world has ever seen, then we needed to consciously reach out and include women in the same way we were reaching out to dozens of communities like milbloggers, political bloggers, godbloggers, sportsbloggers, etc.

Like Lena and so many of you I have seen the same old boys club of speakers over and over again. Many of them are great, but hearing the same talk, or the same message from the same folks every couple of months gets old.

With that said, here is a list of great women who spoke at the first BlogWorld & New Media Expo last November:

Stephanie Agresta
Paula Berg
Toby Bloomberg
Sue Bohle
Butterfly Wife
Jennifer Cisney
Anna Creech
Jory Des Jardins
Maggie Koran Fox
Vanessa Fox –
Amy Gahran
Mary Katherine Ham
Lynne d Johnson
Rachelle Jones
Marjorie Kase
Kathie Legg
Carla Lois
Charlotte-Anne Lucas
Mary Jo Manzanares
Taylor Marsh
Jeralyn Merritt
Dawn Olsen
Wendy Piersal
Daniel Phung
Sarah
Robyn Tippins
Denise Wakeman
Debbie Weil
Leora Zellman

Charline Li was originally on the schedule but had to bow out due to a conflict and was replaced by her colleague Jeremiah Owyang. Leesa Barnes had a last minute conflict and was replaced by Jason Van Orden. Arianna Huffington was scheduled to give our second keynote but had a conflict.

You can add to that list at least a dozen other women that we approached to speak but were unable to attend for one reason or another. It turns out about 30% of our speakers were women. We didn’t have a particular number in mind just that we needed to make a concerted effort to include great female speakers.

I would argue there is no other event that even comes close to attracting the diversity of bloggers that we were able to draw to the first BlogWorld.

I remember reading an issue of Wired shortly before the show where they had this pull out map of the “blogosphere” with major bloggers from different communities being the planets and similar popular blogs in those communities depicted as moons.

I knew we had achieved our goal when I saw most of blogs in their blogosphere were attending or speaking at our show.

Our goal for 2008?…

reach even further and get even more communities to participate, hold their own meet ups during the event and draw an even more diverse group both as speakers and attendees. To that end if you know a great blogger / speaker who you would like to see but who never seems to get their moment in the spotlight, please let me know rick@blogworldexpo.com.

THANK YOU EVERYONE!

Author:

**Update 11.29.07**

I knew I was forgetting people when I put this post up but more than anyone else DJ Steve Boyett (who posted in the comment section) really did an amazing job at the opening night party and deserves a huge thank you and a sincere apology from me for this and other slights (.

**

All of you, from our exhibitors and sponsors to every speaker and attendee who came out; Thank You for all of your support. Thank you for believing in this idea and thank you for putting so much effort into making our first industry wide event a huge success. Thank you for your faith in us and for being a part of this revolutionary medium. Here is just a sampling of the buzz out there for the event. From national television coverage, to six hours of national radio broadcast from the show , to nearly three thousand posts about the show being tracked by Technorati, to over 2,000 photos posted on Flickr, Videos and more.I would also like to thank several people for going above and beyond including Jim Turner from One By One Media who really bought into the vision of the show and volunteered so much of his time to help out, Eric Olsen and his wife Dawn from BlogCritics, Jeremy Wright, Darcie and the rest of the b5 media team, Roger L. Simon and the crew at Pajamas Media, Rob Neppell at KithBridge / TTLB, Scott Bourne at Podango, Tony Conrad at Sphere for all of his help and introductions, Hugh Hewitt who plugged our event more times than I can count on his radio program, Duane Patterson, Chuck Defeo and the rest of the Townhall.com team, Marc Levin, Jerome Armstrong, Tyler and SB Nation, Aaron, Derek and the rest of the Technorati gang, Ward and Loree at Military.com, Andi, John Noonan all of the milbloggers for coming out and for their service, Tim and the Know More Media team, Professor David Perlmutter from the William Allen White School of Journalism, Dustin from GodblogCon, all of our keynoters including Matt Mullenweg, Leo Laporte, Richard Jalichandra, Jason Shellen, Brad Hill, Larry Benet and the amazing Mark Cuban who gave the perfect closing keynote, my partners (Dave and Libby) and staff for all of their hard work, my wife Dawn for putting up with months of 18 hour days missed family outings etc, Dave Taylor for all of his work on the conference, Stephanie Agresta, Chris Heuer, Brian Solis, Jeremy and Jeff from Under The Gun Media, Scales, Kris Krug, Chris Brogan, Kevin from the Weblog Awards, Henry from Blogads and many more. I am sure there are at least a hundred I have left off of this post but to everyone who helped make this dream come true and for believing that our industry was ready for an event like this; THANK YOU.

This is not Mike Arrington’s Fault. It’s Mine

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First off I apologize to everyone for not responding to this sooner. It’s the day after the show and I was wiped out this morning, then stuck in the car all day driving back from Vegas.

I just spoke to Mike again after re-reading our email exchange on Nov 6th and 7th and apologized profusely for giving him bad information in one of my emails.

This was a simple miscommunication and he certainly didn’t intentionally not show up. I tried to tell folks at the show who were understandably disappointed that this was a mistake and we were not blaming him and we would figure out exactly what happened after the show. This kind of thing happens when you have more than 100 speakers at a conference. People get sick, urgent things come up and sometimes wires just get crossed and the latter is what happened here.

So here is the background in all of it’s glory. Mike and I spoke on August 16th. I told him what we were trying to do with the event and asked him to speak at the conference. He said he would love to as long as we would cover his hotel and airfare. I agreed. He asked if he could be on a panel with Om Malik as they are friends and thought they would give a great talk. I agreed. We also talked about a panel titled “raising venture capital for your new media business” which would be similar to a talk I saw Mike moderate at Web 2.0. Mike agreed to do that one as well. I also had my staff send over a confirmation email and a speaker agreement several times.

At the end of our conversation on the 16th I asked if we could start promoting his appearance and he said ok.

We did.

Mike was on the home page of our site for the last month, included in several email newsletters, print and web ads. Lot’s of people were talking about Mike’s upcoming appearance including Duncan Riley who writes for TechCrunch. It never occurred to me that Mike was not clear on the time and date. We were all expecting him to come and very excited about it.

Skip to Nov 6th (my staff and I are were already on-site setting up) I got copied on an email from Brad Feld saying Mike may not be able to make it. I emailed Mike that night to please let me know if he wouldn’t be able to come. He replied right away, told me he just never got the event on his calendar and had a conflict on Thursday the 8th but offered to fly in Friday morning in time for his first panel:

 

I am booked this week, particularly on Thursday when I’m doing an interview with Senator McCain. Friday is open, though. It’s possible I could fly in to Las Vegas in the morning and be there by 10:15…want me to do that?

So obviously he was trying to make it. Mike told me this morning and again tonight that he really wanted to come and was excited about the event. He just didn’t get it on his calendar and had forgotten about it. I understand exactly how it could happen. He is an extremely busy guy with thousands of demands on his time. I know there is no possible way he can read all of his emails because I can’t read all of mine and he is much busier than I am.

And here is a case in point where I completely failed. In our email exchange on the 6th and 7th I had told him his panels were on Thursday the 8th. That was incorrect.

Hi Mike,

We received an email earlier tonight from Brad Feld saying that you might not be able to make it out to the show for the two panels we had you scheduled for.

Both are on Thursday Nov 8th. The first is The Cult of Blogging with Leo Laporte and Om Malik at 10:15 – 11:45

The second is Raising Capital for Your New Media Business at 1:30 pm with Brad Feld, Dan Rua, David Cohen, You and Ted Murphy.

Please let me know as soon as you can if you are not going to be able to make it. I know how busy you are but people are going to be disappointed as we have been promoting this for a couple of months now on the website and in our attendee newsletters.

Looking forward to hearing from you and hopefully seeing you on Friday.

Now I knew his panel was on Friday but for some inexplicable reason (6 people asking me questions all at the same time while I was typing that email most likely) I said Thursday.

I didn’t realize my mistake until re-reading our emails tonight. As soon as I figured out what I had done, I called Mike to apologize. He accepted.

Our goal for BlogWorld from the beginning has been to create a market place, a meeting place, a learning source, and help build a stronger foundation for this amazing medium that we all care so deeply about. We know each other online, and BlogWorld is a place to get to know each other in-person, educate one another and strengthen our community. We’d never mislead anyone, so the few comments raised today implying we did are simply misplaced, Those of you that know me and the BlogWorld team know better. The comments disparaging Mike without hearing all of the facts…well, let’s just say that we’re all human and jumping to conclusions can be a learning experience. Instead of rushing to reply to comments made today, I wanted to be sure I had clarity about what Mike and I had discussed first. And, as you can see, I made a mistake that led to the calendar confusion, and that simple communication contributed to Mike missing the first BlogWorld.

I’m going to ask Mike to come out for the 2008 event, and I certainly hope he does. And you can bet, I’m going to double check my email before hitting “send”. Sorry Mike, and thanks for understanding everyone.

Blog On!

Rick

This is not Mike Arrington's Fault. It's Mine

Author:

First off I apologize to everyone for not responding to this sooner. It’s the day after the show and I was wiped out this morning, then stuck in the car all day driving back from Vegas.

I just spoke to Mike again after re-reading our email exchange on Nov 6th and 7th and apologized profusely for giving him bad information in one of my emails.

This was a simple miscommunication and he certainly didn’t intentionally not show up. I tried to tell folks at the show who were understandably disappointed that this was a mistake and we were not blaming him and we would figure out exactly what happened after the show. This kind of thing happens when you have more than 100 speakers at a conference. People get sick, urgent things come up and sometimes wires just get crossed and the latter is what happened here.

So here is the background in all of it’s glory. Mike and I spoke on August 16th. I told him what we were trying to do with the event and asked him to speak at the conference. He said he would love to as long as we would cover his hotel and airfare. I agreed. He asked if he could be on a panel with Om Malik as they are friends and thought they would give a great talk. I agreed. We also talked about a panel titled “raising venture capital for your new media business” which would be similar to a talk I saw Mike moderate at Web 2.0. Mike agreed to do that one as well. I also had my staff send over a confirmation email and a speaker agreement several times.

At the end of our conversation on the 16th I asked if we could start promoting his appearance and he said ok.

We did.

Mike was on the home page of our site for the last month, included in several email newsletters, print and web ads. Lot’s of people were talking about Mike’s upcoming appearance including Duncan Riley who writes for TechCrunch. It never occurred to me that Mike was not clear on the time and date. We were all expecting him to come and very excited about it.

Skip to Nov 6th (my staff and I are were already on-site setting up) I got copied on an email from Brad Feld saying Mike may not be able to make it. I emailed Mike that night to please let me know if he wouldn’t be able to come. He replied right away, told me he just never got the event on his calendar and had a conflict on Thursday the 8th but offered to fly in Friday morning in time for his first panel:

 

I am booked this week, particularly on Thursday when I’m doing an interview with Senator McCain. Friday is open, though. It’s possible I could fly in to Las Vegas in the morning and be there by 10:15…want me to do that?

So obviously he was trying to make it. Mike told me this morning and again tonight that he really wanted to come and was excited about the event. He just didn’t get it on his calendar and had forgotten about it. I understand exactly how it could happen. He is an extremely busy guy with thousands of demands on his time. I know there is no possible way he can read all of his emails because I can’t read all of mine and he is much busier than I am.

And here is a case in point where I completely failed. In our email exchange on the 6th and 7th I had told him his panels were on Thursday the 8th. That was incorrect.

Hi Mike,

We received an email earlier tonight from Brad Feld saying that you might not be able to make it out to the show for the two panels we had you scheduled for.

Both are on Thursday Nov 8th. The first is The Cult of Blogging with Leo Laporte and Om Malik at 10:15 – 11:45

The second is Raising Capital for Your New Media Business at 1:30 pm with Brad Feld, Dan Rua, David Cohen, You and Ted Murphy.

Please let me know as soon as you can if you are not going to be able to make it. I know how busy you are but people are going to be disappointed as we have been promoting this for a couple of months now on the website and in our attendee newsletters.

Looking forward to hearing from you and hopefully seeing you on Friday.

Now I knew his panel was on Friday but for some inexplicable reason (6 people asking me questions all at the same time while I was typing that email most likely) I said Thursday.

I didn’t realize my mistake until re-reading our emails tonight. As soon as I figured out what I had done, I called Mike to apologize. He accepted.

Our goal for BlogWorld from the beginning has been to create a market place, a meeting place, a learning source, and help build a stronger foundation for this amazing medium that we all care so deeply about. We know each other online, and BlogWorld is a place to get to know each other in-person, educate one another and strengthen our community. We’d never mislead anyone, so the few comments raised today implying we did are simply misplaced, Those of you that know me and the BlogWorld team know better. The comments disparaging Mike without hearing all of the facts…well, let’s just say that we’re all human and jumping to conclusions can be a learning experience. Instead of rushing to reply to comments made today, I wanted to be sure I had clarity about what Mike and I had discussed first. And, as you can see, I made a mistake that led to the calendar confusion, and that simple communication contributed to Mike missing the first BlogWorld.

I’m going to ask Mike to come out for the 2008 event, and I certainly hope he does. And you can bet, I’m going to double check my email before hitting “send”. Sorry Mike, and thanks for understanding everyone.

Blog On!

Rick

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