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Why Care about Usability

Author:


BlogWorld 2010 Speaker
Tools & Technology Track

Friday October 15, 2010
Tradewinds A& B/10

Time: 4:00PM to 5:00PM

 
Usability? Reader Experience? Meh. Who cares, right?

I’ll be speaking to you at this year’s conference about your blog’s “reader experience.” That’s a simple way of saying that we’re going to talk about website usability – which doesn’t sound as interesting, right?

Website or blog usability doesn’t mean you need to walk around with a labcoat and goggles recording obtuse figures on a clipboard. You could do this if you wanted, but yo’‚d be spending a lot of time and money to uncover things that you could find out in cheaper, less time-consuming ways. But why should you care about usability anyway?

First Impressions Count

As a blogger, content is your number one priority, right? That’s the whole idea of a blog – words, pictures, and videos that help express your viewpoint, your product or service, or just you. But when that page first loads, after I type in the domain from your business card or I stumble across you when looking for tweed blankets from Scotland, I’ll see a general look and feel and some header information that will orientate me to where I have landed. This is important because I’m quickly making a gut reaction on what I find. My first impressions could tell me things like:

  • You aren’t what I am looking for.
  • You aren’t trustworthy.

Bad first impressions could me a user hits the back button before you even get to start expressing yourself. Usability can help make sure you get new visitors off on the right footing.

Easy Usability Test: Find someone in a café and ask them if they have a minute, flash up a copy of your website for 15 seconds, then ask them what they thought you were selling and what you were about. The results may be surprising.

Keeping Them Along for the Ride

Catering to new readers is hard, but catering to your regular readers is even trickier and very important for the long term health of your blog. Successful bloggers know the kinds of problems you have to avoid when trying to keep your readers along for the ride:

  • Keeping a healthy balance of revenue-generation (advertisements, sales pitches, etc) versus value-generation (content, information, and advice that you are the expert for).
  • Organizing the archive of all that content so it remains useful and easily accessible.
  • Developing a unique voice without repeating oneself .

The key to making each of these tasks a lot simpler is to really understand your Ideal Reader as clearly and detailed as possible. How do you feel when you visit a blog and feel like that blogger wrote something just for you?

Easy Usability Test: Picture your Ideal Reader in your mind, then write down a list of tasks you might want to take after reading a blog post. Now, find an innocent victim tester from your mailing list or your forum and ask them to try and do those things. You sit and watch, say nothing. Did your tester get confused or frustrated at any point?

Closing the Deal

If you’re reading this, your blog probably is a business in itself or it is attached to a business, whether that’s your widget sales or your services. So, at some point you need to bring those readers back into a call to action. Usability can help you make that call to action and close the deal, because it is tricky. How many times have you heard someone say:

  • You do what? I didn’t know that! Why didn’t I know about this service before?
  • I unsubscribed from his list – it was nothing but sell, sell, sell!
  • I definitely wanted a copy of her new eBook, but I couldn’t find it on her site. I guess it isn’t available anymore.

You have to ask people to do something, make it easy for them to do it, and you have to keep repeating yourself to remind them without being a jerk. Testing and usability gives you a structured way to do this.

Easy Usability Test: You’ll need another victim tester for this one, but find one and just ask them if they know about the products and services you provide. Do new people know what you do? What about those who’ve been around awhile? Candid feedback can make a huge difference (and improvement) to your approach.

Andy will be presenting Does Your Blog Create A Great Reader Experience? Why Ugly Websites Sometimes Make Happier Readers, on Friday, October 15th at 4 PM. If you can‚t make it, or want to know more about website usability right now, have a look at his popular new eBook, Why Your Website Sucks ˆ And How to Fix It.

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I Know Why You’re Going to BlogWorld

Author:

Amy Parmenter

BlogWorld 2010 Speaker
Content Track
Friday October 15, 2010
Tradewinds C/9

Time: 2:45PM to 3:45PM

 
Whether or not we know each other, I’m going to guess we have at least one thing in common if you’re attending BlogWorld in October.  We both want to make the most of it. 

Many of you are coming great distances at great expense.  You want to connect with other people in a way that you cannot connect online.  And you want to walk away from each breakout session with inside information, well worth the investment of both your time and money.

I get it. I’m a blogger. 

But I’m also a reporter.  And for more than 15 years I have been involved in the decision making process that occurs in newsrooms across the country to determine who or what gets coverage each day.

It’s not always about the ‘best’ story.  Or, contrary to popular opinion, the worst. 

It’s not about the best press release any more than getting a job is about having the best resume.

In fact, when it comes to television, there are at least 7 different factors to be considered before we give a story the green light. 

If you would like to leave BlogWorld with a full understanding of how newsroom decisions are made and, more importantly, ‘How to Get Media Coverage for Your Business or Blog’, join me Friday afternoon, October 15th, at 2:45.
 
I want to connect with you in a way we cannot connect online.  And, I will do my best to make it worth your while. 

(To make the most of our time together – pitch me now!!  Let me know about your blog or business in the comments, and why you think it may be newsworthy.  I will give you my feedback at BlogWorld!)

Amy Parmenter is a reporter for NBC Connecticut and CBS radio as well as a speaker and author.  She blogs at the ParmFarm.com. Stop by.  Grow.

The Military and the Media: Things Are Unlikely to Change

Author:

Thomas Kratman

BlogWorld 2010 Speaker
MilBlogging Track
Thursday October 14, 2010
Time: 11:00AM to 12:00PM

 
The Military and the Media: Things Are Unlikely to Change …and they’re certainly not going to change for the better. The military and the media are not going to learn to like each other, generally, though each may make exceptions for individuals. They’re not going to learn to cooperate, generally, though there may be some rare bouts of it. And, generally speaking, neither are their respective world views going to come into sync nor their structural antagonisms to diminish. They can’t.

So let’s start with the structural antagonism. That it exists is fairly obvious. Soldiers (likewise, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines) have a vested interest in keeping secrets. Their lives depend on it. Their mission depends on it. Their victory depends on it. Thus, their hope of ever seeing home in one piece depends on it. Moreover, for careerists, their future careers may well depend on it. This includes keeping secrets that, by rights, perhaps ought not be kept. Those careerists are human, after all, and most unlikely to want revealed anything that might show them in a bad light.

Conversely, for the media, their interest lies in the opposite direction. One needn’t attribute to them any particular hostility to the military – though that hostility is often enough too plain to deny – to recognize that their livelihoods, their standing, their personal “glory” is intimately tied to obtaining and revealing secrets that the military would wish kept, often for good reasons though sometimes not.

Secrets, however, are only part of the structural antagonism. Much also comes from the nature of war, itself, and of journalism, itself. Folks, war’s ugly and there’s little (nothing, really) to be done to prettify it. Moreover, in any society but 18th century absolutism or 20th century totalitarianism, winning the war requires popular support. Popular support and ugliness just don’t go together all that well. Thus, Soldiers want the ugliness suppressed, or at least elided over, to keep up popular support. Journalists, if they’re intent on doing their jobs (not all are), want the little girl with the napalm burns on the front page, the gut-shot trooper, screaming out his last, to lead on the Five O-clock News, and the human interest story in either to be about the wife and kids left bereft by the death of their husband and father…unless there’s a video of an allied policeman executing a prisoner which, naturally, would take precedence. It’s too much to say that all journalists are interested in undermining popular support, though some appear to be. It’s not too much to say that a substantial group is indifferent to maintaining popular support for a war.

Thomas Patrick Kratman, a political refugee and defector from the Peoples Republic of Massachusetts, is a retired infantry officer, a recovering former attorney, and a writer of political and military commentary, more or less disguised as science fiction, for Baen Publishing. You can also find him at www.tomkratman.com

BlogWorld 2010 – Thursday Night Party at Liquid!

Author:

Glamour. Style. Influence. Celebrate the kick-off to Blogworld Expo 2010 poolside at one of the sexiest venues on the Las Vegas Strip. This is your night…make it count.

Sponsors:

Hosted by …

Tech Set

Sponsored by …

Coors

dotTv

Supported by …

Squarespace

Alcohol sponsor …

The Macallan

Venue, logistics …

Light Group

Along with the informative sessions and amazing exhibitions, A big part of BlogWorld is the networking. We all know a lot of that networking happens at night so with help from our fabulous sponsors we host fun-filled parties at some of the coolest venues in Vegas every night!

Our friends at The Light Group @lightgroup are hosting two of our evening events this year.  The BlogWorld 2010 Thursday Night Party will be held at the Liquid Pool Lounge at ARIA Resort & Casino at CityCenter.

The party is open to attendees who purchase a Thursday Only Pass, Weekend Pass, and Full Access Pass (details here).  Check out who else is coming on Facebook and Plancast!

Check out this description from the folks at Liquid:

    The ultimate in poolside opulence, Liquid is defined by its distinctive contemporary ambiance and ultra VIP service. Poolside music sets a lively mood as guests enjoy the exclusivity and seclusion provided by towering palms. Two luxury VIP pools create a tempting cool oasis from the hot Vegas sun. The 50 seat Liquid restaurant offers pool side dining and a light-hearted menu from executive Chef Brian Massie. Liquid an amazing venue for those seeking luxury in a modern tropical retreat.

    Upon arrival, attendees can sink into one of Liquid’s 8 grand private cabanas, each of which is equipped with a 40” flat screen TV and mini fridge. The entire 16,000 square foot property is internet-ready, and boasts hand-crafted wicker furniture designed by Janus Et Cie.

    “From design and décor to service and cuisine, we have created an unrivaled VIP poolside experience,” said Andy Masi, CEO of The Light Group. “Liquid is destined to become the hottest, most luxurious outdoor haunt on the Vegas Strip. The daytime poolside lounge and restaurant offers something for everyone!”

We have checked this place out ourselves and it is even better at night!

By the way we first learned about @lightgroup last year when their Interactive Marketing Director @ManyaS reached out to Rick on Twitter. A few DM’s later @lightgroup was locked in as the official host of all BlogWorld evening festivities.  You can check out pictures from last year’s parties at The Bank and Jet here, here, here, here, here and here.

Stay Tuned for more details on the MashBash Friday night Oct 15 at the hottest new club in Las Vegas; HAZE.

Why You Should Come To BlogWorld If You Are A Content Creator

Author:

Chris Brogan is a person I greatly admire and respect and I am proud to call a friend. This morning he wrote a post titled 9 Ways to Rock BlogWorld Expo and said some very nice things about our event and our team.  Thank you Chris.

I was in the middle of writing this very long comment on his post expanding on some of his points and realized Chris had actually inspired me to write a post two posts of my own on why you should come to BlogWorld. This one is for Content Creators. Another will follow for Brands.

Let’s start with why you shouldn’t. This line from his post resonated with me:

it’s great to get out and socialize. It’s less useful to get out and get blotto so that you can barely attend the next day

Everyone should come and have fun. That is definitely a part of it and fun often times involves an alcoholic beverage or two, but BlogWorld is not about getting trashed.

Dave and I and truly amazing team of people including @newmediapatti @debng @jenjenholder @nikki_blogworld @allison_boyer all of our track leaders, all of our speakers, the Hanley Wood team and everyone else involved in organizing BlogWorld work extremely hard on this event all year long to help you make the most out of your content.  Please don’t come to BlogWorld to party in Vegas. You can do that another weekend.

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Learn to Create a Promotional Blog Network with the Double Duty Divas

Author:

BlogWorld 2010 Speaker
New Media 201 Track
Friday October 15, 2010
Mariners A/12

Time: 12:15-1:15 PM
Cecelia Mecca & Bridgette Duplantis
Harnessing the Power of Numbers: Creating a Blog Network

In 2009 Cecelia (Cool Baby Kid) and Bridgette (Experimental Mommy) met at a conference and realized they had many things in common: two children, a full-time job and a blog. Doing “Double Duty” was a topic they discussed at length and the Double Duty Diva network began to take shape. Harnessing the power of numbers in their blog niche to promote and support each other, they decided to join forces and streamline many of their tasks. Beginning with a few like-minded bloggers and armed with email addresses, the original network consisted of cross-promotional campaigns without a set structure.  But as the community began to grow, the Divas decided to create a home for themselves and add consultation services to their repertoire.

 
At BlogWorld Expo 2010Bridgette and Cecelia will host a panel titled Harnessing the Power of Numbers: Creating a Blog Network on Friday, October  15th.  Ranging from a behind the scenes email campaign to a full forum, Cecelia and Bridgette will discuss various blog network possibilities.  From how to get started to monetization potential, “Harnessing the Power of Numbers” will share practical tips and resources for anyone looking to create a blog network. With free community building sites such as BuddyPress.org or paid servies and community plugins for an existing WordPress blogs, a host of ideas will enable the network creator to begin building their group immediately.

Example blog networks (9Rules) will be provided to attendees, and Cecelia and Bridgette offer a range of possibilities while differentiating from a publishing network such as b5Media to a promotional one such as the Diva network.  And while promotional blog networks may offer monetization opportunities for their owners, the panel will concentrate on the power of this type of network to increase exposure, offer cross-promotional opportunities and share readership.

If you’re interested in connecting with bloggers in your niche in a whole new way, add Harnessing the Power of Numbers to your SCHED profile.

Cecelia Mecca, PhD and Bridgette Duplantis
Cecelia and Bridgette are co-creators of the Double Duty Divas and manage their own sites at Cool Baby Kid and Experimental Mommy, respectively.  They also both work full time with two young children earning them the title of chief Double Duty Divas.

A Complete Suck-Up’s Guide To Conference Networking

Author:

Conferences offer one the best environments for industry leaders to get together, teach aspiring professionals and collaborate with intelligent minds from around the world. Between the official panel sessions, break room debates and after-hours discussions, there’s no lack of quality learning opportunities bundled into the price of the conference pass.

But that’s not the real reason why you’re attending. You’re there to meet people. Important people. You don’t even plan on sitting in on most of the talks. Why waste your time learning a thing or two in a boring session when there are are dozens of “influencers” just outside the door waiting for you to flood them with your awesomeness?

You’re the conference suck-up.

To you, networking is the be-all end-all of attending conferences. Learning, listening, participating, collaborating… those are activities for the feeble minded. You already know everything about everything, right? Now’s the time to let everyone know this with brute force. Business cards in hand, you fling them any chance you get – especially towards those higher up on the perceived ladder. Of course, why even waste them at all on people who can’t help you get ahead one bit?

Your conference success depends solely on how many A-listers you can get noticed by. The amount of intrusion you can muster into their discussions. The ability to mention your “it’s like a mix between a photo-blog, social network and bird watching” project as many times as physically possible in a 90 second conversation.

This is a war of attrition. Take no prisoners. All superficial glory. Do you think all the industry superstars you look up to reached their status simply based on talent? Nonsense. You know better. It’s not about bringing value to the table. It’s all about sucking up.

As a blogger, BlogWorld Expo is the holy grail of networking events. Tons of A-listers. Tons of attendees. While you may be the jedi master of fake handshakes locally, realize you’ll be heading to Las Vegas to compete against the very best suckuptologists in the world. Be prepared for cut-throat tactics. Be prepared for casualties. It most definitely will be a dog-eat-dog environment.

What can you do to gain an extra edge on all the other slobber-overdosed networking fiends?

1. Buy the booze.

Not even the straightest edged blogstars can turn down free drinks. It’s as natural to them as cloaked affiliate links. Go with top shelf, though. Remember, their time is money. After downing six Johnnie Walker’s, it’s the perfect opportunity to discuss a joint venture deal. C’mon, you actually think they’d even consider your awful project when they’re sober?

Make sure you shove a dozen business cards in their pocket because there’s no chance in hell they’ll even remember you otherwise the next day. Sure, you may not get much out of it, but at least these rockstars will never forget the name of who got them totally hung over the morning of their important keynote.

2. Don’t just follow. Stalk.

Anyone can exchange fake pleasantries after a conference session. That’s what your competition will likely do. Instead of being part of the suck-up swarm that surrounds speakers after their talks, get guerrilla on their butts. Using your mobile phone, set up a command center to keep tabs on all the important influencers. Twitter, Foursquare, the whole nine yards. If they’re not on your list, consider everyone else as collateral damage.

Show up at breakfast. Show up at dinner. Show up at their hotel room. Call ahead and find out if their hotel stocks translucent shower curtains. It’s a perfect hiding spot to catch them alone. Once you do, shove their best selling book in their chest, mutter something incoherent and pass out. Seeing your half-naked body on their hotel room floor, the rockstar will almost be forced to help you at that point. Either they do or risk 500 other bloggers writing disparaging posts about their “inappropriate business dealings”.

3. Swag it up.

Nothing says you’re the real deal more than useless swag. That’s the secret key to a successful personal brand. T-shirts, stickers, caps, key chains, coffee mugs, mouse pads, candlesticks, arrowheads, car mufflers, tiger leashes and water towers. If you can make it on Vistaprint or CafePress, go for it. Spare no expense.

Nevermind the fact you just started a blog yesterday on Tumblr to share your pointless diatribes about the latest American Idol episode – the only way to make it is to fake it, baby! Bring enough swag to give to every human being within a 50 mile radius. Those A-list superstars would have to be blind not to notice you every step they take that weekend. Scream out your blog’s tagline “I’m going to bloggywood!” every chance you get just for good measure.

4. Photographs and autographs.

There’s no way better to pad a blogstar’s already enormous ego than to request an autograph. Of course, you don’t even have their best-selling book for them to sign since you’ve never actually read it in the first place. Having the least bit on knowledge about the A-lister’s work shouldn’t stop you from needlessly trying to leverage their influence.

Forget the digital camera, though. Bring a Polaroid so you can have them sign a photo on the spot. This way you can bring proof of your awesome sauce back home with you. Do you really care if your brother’s first reaction is “who’s this overweight slob standing next to you?” Remember, for extra bonus face time with the rockstar after taking the photo, make sure you stand near him/her awkwardly for the next 35 minutes without saying a word.

5. Ask lots of questions.

This one separates the true networking ninjas from the vomit-inducing wannabes. To prepare, map out your conference session schedule so you can be present at the end of as many talks as possible. Everyone knows that most speakers only have gas for about 45 minutes until they resort to filling time with Q&A. It’s a perfect opportunity to interject yourself as the center of attention.

Q&A is your time to shine. Raise your hand immediately. Run to the microphone. Spend the first full minute proclaiming how awesome the speaker is. In the next two minutes, ramble on about who you are and where you blog. For the following five minutes, share all your insipid thoughts on why you’re even asking the question in the first place. Forget said question. Now that you’ve completely wasted all the time for anyone else, there’s no person the rockstar will remember other than you!

Jordan Cooper is a 14-year professional stand-up comedian who showcases his sarcastic humor with videos and written rants about blogging, social media & marketing at Not A Pro Blog. Follow his hilarious daily antics on Twitter @NotAProBlog.

How to Create Mouth Watering Content for Your Blog

Author:

BlogWorld 2010 Speaker
BlogWorld Track
Friday October 15, 2010
Mariners A/12

Time: 4:00PM to 5:00PM

Hi, my name is Nathalie Lussier and I’ve been a blogger nearly half my life, starting way back on platforms like Livejournal and Blogger. A lot has changed since the early days of blogging, from awesome conferences like BlogWorld Expo to attend, to new blogging platforms, and different promotion strategies!

One thing that has remained important since the start of my blogging career has been the ability for a blogger to create mouth watering content that entices readers to share with their friends. On Friday October 15th, 2010 I’ll be sharing my experience creating mouth watering content at BlogWorld Expo in Las Vegas. Click here to RSVP for my talk!

This session is for you if you’re completely new to blogging or you want to take your existing blog to the next level. If you’ve already achieved massive success with your blog, my tips might give you some new ideas and directions, but you’re probably already familiar with some of these techniques. This session will be geared toward bloggers who want to spread the word about their business and their blog.

I run a successful food blog, where I help people eat more fruits and vegetables by enticing them with recipes, photos, and tips. If you think getting people to retweet your blog posts is hard, try getting them to eat more healthy food! I’ll be borrowing from my experience blogging about food in my talk, but the advice is applicable to any blog or business.

I’ll be covering the following topics in my talk:

  • My content creation process, from the time an idea hits to the publishing finish line

  • How to create your content in a way that really connects with your audience
  • Why it’s important to plan out your blog content in advance, and how to do it the right way
  • The only way to ensure your content lives on after you hit publish
  • My light-hearted social media approach that gives your fans a way to spread the word about you while naturally attracting new readers
  • How to choose between all the different distribution channels: Youtube, Twitter, Facebook, SEO, and guest blogging
  • When to pick one strategy and run with it, so you’ll get more results for your blogging efforts

You will leave the session with a solid action plan for creating mouth watering content. The session also gives you an in depth look at content promotion strategies, allowing you to decide which technologies to focus on to get the most out of your time spent promoting your blog content. All of this knowledge leads to more loyal readers, customers, and fans.

I’m really looking forward to seeing you at my session! So mark your calendar for Friday 4pm and be sure to tweet me @NathLussier; before the talk, and say hi in person!

Nathalie Lussier is a Software Engineer turned business owner, known as the Raw Foods Witch. She turned down a career on Wall Street to help people eat more fruits and veggies, and now blogs about making healthy lifestyle choices easier for busy people like you. From curing cravings, to designing a web presence with social media and videos, she is making her mark on the world one carrot at a time.

Yes Virginia, There Is A Military Track

Author:

The question in many people’s mind is “Why is there a military track at Blog World?” The answer is that members of the military (as opposed to the military itself) have been at the forefront of using and pushing the boundaries of new and social media. As they have done so, the military and a host of other institutions have begun to take new and social media seriously.

Milblogs have long served two distinct and important purposes. A number of them were started simply to keep family and friends informed about a particular individual, or a small group of
people. They let those interested know how they were doing, what it was like wherever they were, and some of what was going on at that location. Others started up to share broader information with those interested, to overcome the lack of reporting and in-depth analysis of events and plans, and – in some cases – bad information.

For the first time in history, a broad audience could have access to current information on events, activities, conditions, and much more at the front lines – as well as the rear, the middle, and even during transit. Those blogging from overseas helped push both the technological
envelope for new media, as well as the social envelope by helping establish that blogging was an effective and responsible means of sharing information.

As social media evolved, these same groups of people began to use Facebook and other platforms, then Twitter, and, well, you get the idea. As members of the military have moved forward on various fronts, they have also helped advance new and social media in the process.

Today, members of the military are still pushing those envelopes. As new platforms and technology are emerging and evolving, they are being given a trial by fire, in some cases literally. As they demonstrate the maturity and/or the efficacy of platforms and technology, they are also showcasing the effective and innovative uses to the world.

This year, we have an interesting line-up of panels in the military track that we hope you will consider attending. They are not just for the military or even the military-interested public: they are for those interested in innovative uses of social and new media, tech and
use trends, how social media can be done and how it works under less than ideal conditions, and even those interested in separating myths from reality. We even hope to have a surprise or two for you:

Panel 1: Surprise for now
Panel 2: Social Media: Force Multiplier for Spouses?
Panel 3: Media and the Military: Myth versus Reality
Panel 4: Ideal versus Field: Social and New Media In Less Than The Best Circumstances
Yeah, we are still working on that last title…

In the days ahead, you will be hearing more about each panel and the participants, and even getting to meet the participants a bit. We are not out to recruit; we are not out to debate tactics, and we are not out to bore anyone. What we plan to do is talk about new and social media and explore its use, its future, and trends that will be of interest to all. With a bit of context from a specialized group that has pushed the envelope and helped shape what is and what is to come.

Stay Tuned…

C. Blake Powers
Blake Powers has been blogging since 2003 at laughingwolf.net and milblogging as Civilian-in-Residence at http://www.blackfive.net since 2005. He is a consultant on new and social media and has reported as a blogger from Iraq.
His background includes working as a project manager on several Spacelab missions, serving as Director of Outreach for NASA’s Space Product Development Program, worked for the Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering, working with (and serving as furniture for) wolves, and has co-founded the charity Cooking with the Troops.
Yes, that is a real wolf in the photo.

The Politics of Scheduling a Conference

Author:
BlogWorldSchedule

By now you’ve seen the preliminary schedule for BlogWorld ’10. Right now it only contains confirmed sessions and speakers. As we approve more each day, we hope you’ll check back often for updates.

Soon after I published the schedule I was met with a flurry of questions about the sessions and panels and why they are scheduled as they are. Some speakers have expressed disappointment in missing a friend’s panel, some attendees are upset at having to choose between two “famous” speakers, and some speakers would rather not talk more than once in the same day. I never realized this before, but it’s not easy to schedule a conference.

If you’re wondering why you’re scheduled at a certain time, or you’re disappointed because two must-see sessions are scheduled at the same time, consider this:

  • Certain speakers can only talk on a specific day and time. Many of our speakers aren’t spending the entire weekend at BlogWorld. However, they’re making arrangements to fly in for the day or even a few hours. We arranged these schedules and sessions at the speakers’ convenience.
  • Most tracks are only one day. Smaller tracks such as Content or Community are only scheduled for one day. We can’t schedule a talk for Friday if the track only runs on Saturday.
  • Some speakers are scheduled for more than one talk. The last thing we want to do is schedule the same speaker for different talks at the same time.This takes some schedule wrangling.
  • Exhibits. It was suggested to me a few times that we can schedule extra sessions if we start earlier instead of sending people to the exhibit floor. This is true. However, without our exhibitors and sponsors there wouldn’t be a BlogWorld and your ticket would cost a lot more money than it does. The least we can do is offer them a couple of hours here and there so attendees will come visit their booths.
  • Keynotes. We choose the best presentations and presenters to be our keynoters, and hope all of our attendees sit in. Thus, we don’t schedule other presentations during keynotes.
  • Breaks. Without breaks for lunch and networking, you won’t meet others. You won’t land new contacts, you won’t click with that other blogger to work up a killer collaboration and you won’t find that job.
  • The puzzle. Creating a schedule is like a puzzle. All pieces have to fit into place. Moving a session isn’t easy because it has to be switched with another movable session. As you can see, most sessions aren’t movable. Plus, it’s easier to move a single speaker session than an entire panel. On a panel you’re dealing with three or four people’s schedules, not just one. If all pieces don’t fit, we have to play around for hours to make them fit.

All of the BlogWorld sessions are scheduled where they are for a reason. Sometimes that means a speaker has to run down the hall to make it to his next engagement on time or that you have to choose between two awesome sessions.

To be honest, it makes me feel good to know how hard it is to choose sessions to attend – because that means we have so many good sessions it’s hard to decide. I’d rather attendees are faced with that difficult decision than to have them not want to attend sessions because of poor content.

Do you have any thoughts or comments you’d like to discuss regarding the schedule for BlogWorld ’10? Do share in the comments. Everything we discuss helps us to know what we’re doing right, and where we need improvement.

Deb Ng is the Conference Director for BlogWorld. When she’s not playing around with schedules or bugging speakers for agreements, she’s blogging about blogging and social media at Kommein. Feel free to follow her on Twitter @debng.

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