Lots of people have asked me that question and I read a post today at the Demystifying Digital Blog titled Blogging Comes of Age for Capitalists – Blog Trade Show. I don’t think this self proclaimed digitial grandmother meant any insult in her last two paragraphs but I felt compelled to address them.
I was almost thrown back to my hippy incarnation of the the ’70s (ok, the 60s), rallying and stomping and hooting in favor of something cool. Something hip. But, as with everything that makes money, and the blogosphere has made gazillions for a fortunate few, the big guys get their foot in the door, their fingers in the pie. If people have found ways to profit from 9/11, they can profit from anything. But that’s how it is with the people. We are capitalists. Entrepreneurs at heart. We like money.Therefore, as it was meant to happen, organizers and vendors exploit the blogosphere. In fact, in Las Vegas (!) this fall, there’s to be a Blogworld and New Media Expo. A tradeshow. The folks in who-knows-what outlandish leisure garb, dashing off blog entries from dining room tables across the American outback, are invited to gather in Vegas and learn what’s what in the ‘sphere. If you hurry you still have time to start up your own blog and make it out to Vegas.
I found blogs just after September 11th 2001. Milblogs like Mudville Gazette, Blackfive, and Michael Yon were and still are regular reads for me. In fact after years of leaving lengthy comments and having great debates on many political blogs left right and center I finally got motivated enough to create my own blog therealuglyamerican.com and started posting.
One day I emailed one of those milbloggers and asked him for an interview via email. His name was Tim Boggs. Tim agreed to the interview. I have interviewed other soldiers and Iraqi journalists and bloggers 24 Steps to Liberty and Treasure of Baghdad. Later I put two of my friends 24 steps and Tim together to ask each other questions.
To make a long story short, I was dedicated to my blog and proud of what I had accomplished. I didn’t launch BlogWorld to get rich. I wanted to attend an event like this to meet with my blogger friends, peers and industry icons. I wanted to learn how to blog better, build my readership and yes maybe make some money from this hobby I was spending several hours a day on. Yes we hope to make money on BlogWorld someday but we certainly wont this year.
Yes there are companies who make money from blogging, lots of them like Google (I started on blogspot), Yahoo (I use MyblogLog everyday), Six Apart (many of my favorite bloggers use Moveable Type), Podango (ever heard of Twit TV?) and Technorati (who hasn’t checked their ranking or used their search?) . Thank goodness for all of them and thousands of other like them. Without them we wouldn’t have the wonderful publishing and broadcasting tools we do today. There would be no blogging or podcasting without them.
I am proud to say Military.com is a sponsor of our event and they will host a track on milblogging at BlogWorld. Matt and Uncle Jimbo from Blackfive will be there. I am proud to say Tim Boggs and I have remained friends since he as returned home and he will be an honored guest at BlogWorld. I am proud to say Michael Yon will (technology and God willing) address BlogWorld attendees via live video feed from Iraq. I am proud to say the amazing ladies from Soldiers Angels will be there. I hope you all take the time to thank them for their service and what they do.
There will be lots of other communities represented, attractions and reasons to attend but this one is particularly special for me. I hope the Digital Grandparent and her readers will join me and thousands of other bloggers to celebrate what we have created and achieved. I hope she realizes this is about far more important things than money.
CEO & Co-founder
BlogWorld & New Media Expo