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September 2008

Sparkplugging Heads to BlogWorld

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This is a guest post by BlogWorld Speaker and rock star blogger Wendy Piersal:

Most people who know me, know that I am a conference junkie – I go to as many conferences as my schedule and budget will allow. Those of you headed to BlogWorld don’t need convincing of the benefits of being at conferences: the networking, the learning opportunities, the networking, the PR bump, and… the networking.

Most of the authors who write for my blog network don’t go to conferences – and this year, I decided I wanted to change that. I’ve given my team hours and hours of blogging and business training – but in the end, they are mostly just learning from one person – me. Bringing them to a conference would allow them to learn so much more from a completely diverse group of experts.

Choosing which conference to bring them to was pretty much a no-brainer. While other conferences like BlogHer and SOBCon are phenomenal events – whenever anyone asks me for a recommendation on which conference to attend, I tell them that BlogWorld is a must attend event. My team is very diverse in both topic coverage and skill sets. Some I’d call intermediate bloggers, some I’d call advanced bloggers. Some are new media experts, some are mommy blogging experts. BlogWorld is simply the ONE conference I could bring them to in which every single one of my authors would walk away from it with tremendous value.

The project isn’t just great training for my team – to have 12 people at the show live blogging and with Flip Video cameras is a huge opportunity for us. We’ll probably blog more in our three days in Vegas than we have in the last month. Plus having a brand-name sponsor like Epson opens a lot of doors for us, both now and in the future. We are a live case study on how a blogger can leverage everything you have into bigger successes.

We’ve even set up a brand new blog on our network and a new YouTube channel just for our BlogWorld coverage. We personally can’t wait until we get there. If you see any of us, please stop and introduce yourself – we’d love to talk to you!

Blogworld Speaker Interview: Joel Mark Witt

Author:

Q: In two sentences, highlight your background and professional experience to date. One bonus sentence: how’d you get started blogging?

I actually came into blogging from the podcasting angle. I worked as the Communications and Advertising Manager at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore. The Zoo had been experiencing some financial and attendance challenges. I decided to start the video Podcast MarylandZoo.TV to begin extending the Zoo from simply a destination to an actual experience online and off. As a result I began blogging on my own — at Joel-Mark-Witt.com — to talk about the changes happening in the new media and podcasting industries. Online video has definitely driven my blogging efforts.

Q: How often do you blog? What platform do you use? Why?

I try to post at least once a week. Writing original content is a very difficult job. I would rather post less and push for quality than just post for posting sake. I know there are some who would disagree with this. But I will post when I feel I have something to say. Not find something to say because I have to post.

I use the WordPress platform right now because of the diverse themes available. I also like the community that has sprung up around this platform.

Q: How often do you leave comments on other people’s blogs? How do you find their entries in the first place?

I use Google Reader to monitor over 50 different blogs. I will also check out recommended posts from my friends using Reader. These have led to some neat discoveries of new and fresh content.

I will comment about once a week on a post that I find particularly engaging – more sometimes if I feel the need. I try not to make “me too” comments – but rather add value to the current post or further the discussion.

Q: Tell us a bit about your talk at Blogworld Expo. Topic, key points you’ll cover, etc?

I am teaming up with Michael Hoffman from See3 Communications for our session talk entitled “New Media From Inside The Organization.” Michael has many years experience helping non-profits develop online media for their organizations.

In this session we are going to lay out a roadmap for executives and managers to follow. How to use new media to create feedback among customers, re-purpose content for other uses, and ways to start using new media from the inside.

Q: How do you recommend new folk best experience a major conference and expo like Blogworld Expo?

Limit the number of sessions you attend. Spend as much time meeting people and talking in the hallways. The sessions are recorded – the hallways and networking times are not.

Q: Easy ones: Mac or PC? Ipod or Zune? Iphone or Blackberry?

Mac AND PC.

I actually use a lttle $50 Creative brand mp3 player. Never owned an iPod. Blasphemy – I know.

iPhone.

Great stuff, Mark. Thanks!  Looking forward to your talk at Blogworld Expo at the end of this week!  Man, that’s soon!  🙂   [Interview by Dave Taylor]

Blogworld Speaker Interview: Chris Baggott

Author:

Another in our series of Blogworld Expo speaker interviews, this is Chris Baggott, CEO and Co-founder of Compendium Blogware.  Ready?  Here we go!

Q: In two sentences, highlight your background and professional experience to date. One bonus sentence: how’d you get started blogging?

I began my career doing database marketing in the catalog industry.  My frustration was that in spite of a terrific insight into customer behavior, I was stuck sending a batch of similar books to everyone regardless of the specifics related to individual data.  This led me to Co-found ExactTarget the worlds leading Data-driven Email Service Provider.   As the company evolved I realized that although Email is perfect for building dialog and relationships with people you already know, it does nothing for acquisition.   The number one online activity other than email is search…this led me to found Compendium Blogware.

Q: How often do you blog?  What platform do you use?  Why?

Chris Baggott

Chris Baggott

I blog nearly daily.  Every employee in our organization is empowered to blog.  Probably 8 drive most of the program but our goal is to make sure as a company we generate at least three posts a day.  We use Compendium obviously because it’s the only tool that is SaaS, designed to empower employees and built for SEO through the unique “Compending” algorithm.

Q: Point us to one or two recent postings on your blog that you think were superb, and tell us a bit about your writing process. How long did it take for you to come up with the topic?  How long to write?

Blogging Best Practices

I write about our clients and general blogging best practices.  Specifically my goal is to get business and other organizations to realize that blogging can have a legitimate ROI.  It’s ok to be both Social and drive your business forward.  Seth Godin gave me the best advice ever when he told me to be Pithy.  Most bloggers in business feel like they have to write articles or whitepapers every time they sit down.

I just write 200 or so words about what I’m thinking regarding my business and my industry…and especially my customers.

Q: How often do you leave comments on other people’s blogs?  How do you find their entries in the first place?

I use Google Alerts for a lot of our keywords so my inbox is full every day.  I try leave two comments a day, but not so good at keeping that promise.

Q: Tell us a bit about your talk at Blogworld Expo.  Topic, key points you’ll cover, etc?

I’m doing two sessions.   The first is on Friday called Corporate Blogging; Myths & Reality with panelists Paula Berg of Southwest Airlines and Mario Sundar of LinkedIn.  We are going to discuss the recent Forrester report on business blogging and some of the disappointments and the gap caused by focusing on the wrong metrics of success.

Then on Sunday at 12:15 I’m giving a solo talk/discussion titled: How to Track, Measure & Adjust Corporate Blogs for Maximum ROI.  A lot of business blog inititatives never really get traction because perhaps the organizations are measuring the wrong things and don’t fully appreciate the power of business blogging to drive actual ROI.

In this session will discuss some new metrics and tactics to accomplish both the humanization that comes from blogging as well as drive ROI.

Q: How do you recommend new folk best experience a major conference and expo like Blogworld Expo?

People have to think about their specific goals.   Are you just wanting to share your personal journal?  Do you want to make money through a publishing model through Advertising or are you a business with specific demand generation and engagement goals.

It is easy to get off track with so many different models and objectives for blogging to forget what your specific end game is.

Q: Easy ones: Mac or PC?  Ipod or Zune?  Iphone or Blackberry?

Mac all the way.  Ipod of course.   Iphone but switching as soon as possible to the Blackberry Bold.

Thanks, Chris. Looking forward to both of your spots at the podium!


Interview by Blogworld co-host Dave Taylor, who blogs about tech support, business blogging and attachment parenting, when he’s not spending a ridiculous amount of time on Twitter (where he’s @DaveTaylor).

Blogworld Expo Speaker Interview: Dave Taylor

Author:

Remember that classic book Jekyll and Hyde? yeah, well, I’m interviewing myself here. You can roll with this, though, right? Sure I can. Great, I knew you’d be good with this. See ya in Vegas in just a week. Yeah, see ya in the mirror, Dave. Bwahahahahahah!

Q: In two sentences, highlight your background and professional experience to date. One bonus sentence: how’d you get started blogging?

Great question, Dave!  I’ve been involved with the Internet since I first logged in to the network back in 1980, while I was a student at UCSD. Back then it was the ARPAnet and only academic institutions and research groups were plugged in. Over the years more and more commercial use trickled in until the floodgates were opened to what we have now.

Along the way, I become very focused on how people communicate with each other via electronic systems, and spent years developing email systems and building email backends, notably the first X400 gateway for Hewlett-Packard and the Elm Mail System that ultimately was the most popular command-line based email app for a few years in the Unix community.

I got into blogging through writing tech books (notably Creating Cool Web Pages, Teach Yourself Unix, and the like). What I found was that readers would constantly email questions to me seeking clarification or help and that I would answer the same question again and again. My first attempt at creating a “knowledge base” was a forum, but, for various reasons, that didn’t work out, so I converted it into a weblog once I’d heard about those. My first blog posts were in May 2003.  It’s worked out pretty well since then. 🙂

Q: How often do you blog? What platform do you use? Why?

I am a blogging junkie, I think. On my Ask Dave Taylor tech support blog, I typically write 2-3 days a week, but during those periods write two or three postings and schedule them out so that there’s a new article every day. I’ve done that for years.

In addition, on my business blog at Intuitive.com I write probably once or twice a week, on average, though I’m in the midst of a long series of iPhone application developer interviews which has given me an atypically frequent schedule.

My third blog, the Attachment Parenting Blog, the posts are completely sporadic. Sometimes I’ll write two posts in a day and other times it’ll languish for a week or two with no activity at all. I’m too busy being a single dad to three [wonderful] children to blog about parenting! 🙂

All of my weblogs are built atop Movable Type, which I’ve used from the beginning. I know and respect WordPress (which is what we use for the Blogworld Expo Blog, by the way) and like Matt, but I started with MT and have stuck with it through the years. And, I might add, been rewarded with a stable platform that’s never failed on me and never (knock on digital wood) been hacked or compromised.

Q: Point us to one or two recent postings on your blog that you think were superb, and tell us a bit about your writing process. How long did it take for you to come up with the topic? How long to write?

Like most prolific bloggers, I am a very fast writer. I’ve written twenty books and been published over a thosuand times in magazines and newspapers, I have a weekly column in the local newspaper and a monthly column in Linux Journal. I can write.  As a result, I rarely spend more than about 15-20 minutes writing and editing a blog post, which is obviously a boon to productivity.  One aspect of this that people don’t tend to talk about, by the way, is the value of learning how to write so that you don’t need to edit yourself. It’s a learnable skill, but takes lots of practice.

In terms of good postings, hmmm… here’s one: Hey DirectTV!  Lying to customers isn’t a good way to drive business! What I like about this posting is that the title’s engaging, the story is interesting, and that there’s a good close. Of course, it’s also interseting that it’s been up a few weeks and the marketing team at DirecTV hasn’t responded, which demonstrates that I’m right: they’re not listening to their customer community.

Another one, off my tech support blog: How do I stop applications launching when I start up my Windows XP PC? Again, a pretty typical reader question, but after writing thousands of Q&A entries, I feel that my style of answering, with screen shots and a simple narrative, makes it very easy for people to follow along and so the site really does help a ton of folk gain control over their electronic chaos of their lives. And that makes me feel like there’s a direct benefit to my blogging efforts above and beyond me just having the proverbial bully pulpit.

Q: How often do you leave comments on other people’s blogs? How do you find their entries in the first place?

I try to leave at least a comment or two on other blogs each day, but admit that I am slacking on that as my workload (esp. regarding Blogworld Expo) has increased. I both read about 200 RSS feeds with Google Reader (which rocks!) and use a couple of very refined tracking patterns with Filtrbox, a more powerful alternative to Google Alerts, etc.

Q: Tell us a bit about your talk at Blogworld Expo. Topic, key points you’ll cover, etc?

Uh oh, I’m supposed to be talking at Blogworld Expo?  Awww jeez, I better start pulling some notes together!  Just kidding, Rick, just kidding. 🙂

I am honored and delighted to have been given a keynote slot and will be opening up the entire conference with a talk on the past, present and future of blogging entitled “How We Got Here: The State of Blogging and Where It’s Heading”, followed on Saturday with a talk on Ten Things You Need to Know About Search Engines and Findability, in which I’ll take my best crack at explaining why search engine optimization (aka SEO) is your friend as a blogger.

Q: How do you recommend new folk best experience a major conference and expo like Blogworld Expo?

I’ve been going to conferences since, well, for a long time.  A really long time. And I have learned that a little bit of planning and scheduling coupled with some flexibility can make your experience quite a bit better. Specifically, I suggest that you print out the conference schedule now and circle just the half-dozen talks that look the best. Leave holes in your schedule, but ask yourself not only “is this a good topic?” but also “is this speaker an expert on this subject too?”

The holes that you’ve left spend hanging out at the lounge, talking in the hallway with other attendees or socializing with those speakers whose sessions you’ve just enjoyed. Be open to tagging along to a presentation with a new friend too – you never know what’ll happen.

Once the main conference is over, don’t just hide in your room and watch TV (or go to the casino and gamble). Find out what parties are going on, find out where people are staying and check out the bars at those venues, and follow some of the speakers on Twitter too (start by following me: @DaveTaylor)

Q: Easy ones: Mac or PC? Ipod or Zune? Iphone or Blackberry?

Dude, you know what I have, why are you asking?  Oh, yeah, we’re blogging this interview. So hard to keep track. Must. Stay. Focused.

Mac and PC. Well, at last count, five Macs, two PCs.  iPod. Again, six iPods?  Seven?  It’s insane. Oh, you know that already. Bwahahahahahaha! And iPhone, of course. Heck, I have tons of free iPhone help on my (our?) blog, I have to own an iPhone.


Dave was interviewed by the handsome, vivacious, charming and extraordinarily modest Dave Taylor.  Yeah, we’re confused too.

Kings of Keynotes!

Author:

So we just talked about some of the rockstar speakers that we are going to have at blog world expo but wait till you hear our list of keynote speakers!  We really have some great folks.

My, where to begin, here is a brief description of this years keynote speakers at blog world expo

  • Chris Alden, chief executive officer and chairman of Six Apart.
  • Anil Dash is chief evangelist at Six Apart
  • Timothy Ferriss is author of the #1 New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and BusinessWeek bestseller, The 4-Hour Workweek
  • Richard Jalichandra, president and chief executive officer of Technorati
  • Guy Kawasaki is a managing director of Garage Technology Ventures, an early-stage venture capital firm and a columnist for Entrepreneur Magazine.
  • Steve Rubel is a digital marketer with over 15 years experience. He currently serves as Senior Vice President and Director of Insights for Edelman Digital, a division of Edelman – the world’s largest independent PR firm.
  • Mike Shinoda is a Japanese American musician, record producer and visual artist best known for his vocal and musical endeavors with his band Linkin Park and solo project Fort Minor.
  • Gary Vaynerchuk, a self-trained wine expert, is revolutionizing the wine industry.

As you can see we have quite an impressive lineup and one thing that we really tried to do this year is diversify by getting experts and thought leaders from various fields.  Where else are you going to find keynotes by a wine guru, a musician, a venture capitalist, and a senior level executive?

We are very proud and honored to have these folks keynote in Las Vegas and we hope that you can join us for what is going to be a truly remarkable event next week.

You can still get tickets to the event if you haven’t already.  You are sure to leave this expo with a slew of new valuable connections and game changing techniques and strategies that will help make you a better blogger.

See you next week!

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Rockstars of the Blogosphere

Author:

When you think of a rockstar who comes to mind?  For me it’s folks like Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, the Beatles, etc.  Now when you think of a blogosphere rockstar who do you think of?  Chances are whatever person you just though of is going to be at blog world expo this year!

We have 200 speakers at blog world expo and guess what?  They are all rockstars of the blogosphere.  I’m talking about folks like:

  • Laura Fitton (Pistachio on Twitter)
  • Chris Brogan
  • Brian Solis
  • Shawn Collins
  • Robert Scoble
  • Lee Odden

Just to name a few.  We are also going to feature leading military and political bloggers such as:

  • Matt Burden (Black Five)
  • Greyhawk (Mudville Gazette)
  • Jane Hamsher (Firedog Lake)
  • Erin Kotecki Vest (Queen of Spain)

Bloggers from virtually every industry are going to be at this event to lend their ideas and experiences to other bloggers from around the world.  If you are a seasoned blogger or someone who is just looking to get started with a blog, you are going to find invaluable insight and networking opportunities.

One of the things we are most excited about this year at blogworld expo is the “blockbuster” panel which is going to feature some of the true “rockstars” of blog monetizations.  The session, Making Money Online with a Blog, will be moderated by leading expert, Jim Kukral. Panel participants include big-time money making bloggers John Chow, Brian Clark, Zac Johnson, Darren Rowse, and Shoemoney.  This panel is going to be one you are not going to want to miss.

Be sure to check out our list of other “rockstars of the blogosphere!”

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Blogworld Expo Speaker Interview: Shama Hyder

Author:

Q: In two sentences, highlight your background and professional experience to date. One bonus sentence: how’d you get started blogging?

I run a small online marketing firm based out of Dallas called After The Launch. We specialize in helping professional service firms market themselves online. I started blogging a year ago because I wanted a platform to share my expertise. What better way to do that than blog?

Shama Hyder, Principal, After the Launch

Shama Hyder, Principal, After the Launch

Q: How often do you blog?  What platform do you use?  Why?

About 3 times a week. I’d like to blog more, just need to find the time! We use WordPress. LOVE It! Wouldn’t use anything else. It’s constantly evolving, and you have so much flexibility to customize it how you want. Plus, it’s great for the search engines. Some of our posts get picked up within hours! We build ALL our client sites on Word Press.

Q: Point us to one or two recent postings on your blog that you think were superb, and tell us a bit about your writing process. How long did it take for you to come up with the topic?  How long to write?

Hmm. Good question! Okay, here is some shameless self promotion.

Top 7 Resources You Had No Idea Existed: I like finding cool hidden web secrets and sharing them with my readers. There are some amazing things out there!

Our most popular post has been: Top 10 Ways to Use Facebook to Promote Your Business For Free . I chose the topic (Facebook) because it’s something I am VERY comfortable with. I have been using it for over 3 years. Both posts took me about 30 minutes to write. Writing comes fairly easily to me.

Q: How often do you leave comments on other people’s blogs?  How do you find their entries in the first place?

I have blogs I frequent, and will comment anytime I feel really moved by a post-which is often when it comes to my favorite blogs. I find entries and new blogs through 1) Twitter and 2) Google Alerts. I follow the coolest people on Twitter-and they are always sharing great links! Then I have Google alerts set out for terms I think are key. Example: Social Media Marketing. So, I’ll follow such terms and the blogs they inevitably lead to.

Q: Tell us a bit about your talk at Blogworld Expo. Topic, key points you’ll cover, etc?

It’s going to be awesome. : ) Well- I am planning for it to go that way anyways. My talk will be on Facebook. How to strategically use Facebook to leverage your business, brand, and blog. I am going to be covering a few key case studies and hopefully leave the audience with an action plan for how they can make the most of Facebook for themselves.

Q: How do you recommend new folk best experience a major conference and expo like Blogworld Expo?

Sneak into the speaker’s lounge! Okay, kidding-but they have good food there. : ) I’d say spend time in sessions and the lounge. Don’t be shy-go up and say hi to people. Last year was the first time I went and I had JUST started the blog. I remember coming up to you Dave and being “star-struck!”-but I did manage to say hi. : )

Having something that’s a conversation starter also doesn’t hurt. Whether it’s a funny shirt or a cool piece of technology (NOT the Iphone). My laptop has a sticker with our company name (After The Launch) on it, and it ALWAYS gets people talking. I love that!

Q: Easy ones: Mac or PC?  Ipod or Zune?  Iphone or Blackberry?

Hehe. I am going to get into so much trouble for this I know. PC (gulp). Ipod or Zune- neither. I listen to stuff on my laptop which I take EVERYWHERE. Iphone or Blackberry? Yea… an old T-Mobile Samsung. My new(ish) Tmobile dash was chewed up by Snoopy the Puppy (err…office mascot). So, I am not big into gadgets. I am much more on the business applications and marketing side of technology.

Thanks so much for your contribution here, Shama!  I’m sure that your talk will be great and look forward to it in just a week!


This interview was done by Dave Taylor, who has been blogging and involved with the Internet since Heck was a Pup. You can find his early cave paintings on tech support and business blogging and you can, of course, follow his adventures on Twitter at @DaveTaylor.

Blogworld Expo Speaker Interview: Roxanne Darling

Author:

Another in our series of Blogworld Expo speaker interviews: this is with Roxanne Darling, who blogs from the beautiful state of Hawai’i.

Q: In two sentences, highlight your background and professional experience to date. One bonus sentence: how’d you get started blogging?

I have had several careers ranging from marine biologist to motivational speaker to health coach and working the past 12 years as an internet developer and consultant.  Our company, Bare Feet Studios, thrives on the possibilities inherent in the internet, and we live out in the forward edge looking for and testing new trends. My first blog? Something on eWorld or that very early Apple community platform back
in 1995, long since gone.

Q: How often do you blog?  What platform do you use?  Why?

Roxanne Darling

Roxanne Darling

Daily across numerous platforms. I share a video blog, Beach Walks with Rox, with my Secret Cameraman, business partner, and boyfriend, Shane Robinson; I talk and he walks backwards capturing the beautiful scenery of Hawaii and our dog Lexi chasing her ball into the water. This is truly where my voice resides. I cover all sorts of topics, it is unscripted, and I love the freedom it affords me I love the power and impact that video conveys, and having the backdrop of this beauty is breathtaking even for me who sees it daily! I never knew what an impact we could have on people’s lives. The loyalty and appreciation of our viewers is
astounding, and the opportunities this show has created for us also amazing. We do our very best work here, technically, and allow our heart energy to be the director. It is a winning combination.

You can see some of our favorite episodes here: beachwalks.tv/favorite-episodes. This is a WordPress blog.

I also text/audio/video blog on our company site, www.barefeetstudios.com, about once a week.  I have way more ideas than time on this one! We do cross post our Beach Walks episodes here, as I often talk business and technology on that show. Our blog is not so much for the choir but for companies and entrepreneurs who want to learn how to use these social web tools smartly. We are big on testing and training, and we love sharing our experiences to help others be more efficient. It is also a WordPress blog.

If you consider Twitter a microblog, yes I am there, and post frequently since mid 2007. I’m @RoxanneDarling. I love Twitter for being able to have a real-time, energetic connection with people around the world. We are so geographically isolated here in Hawaii. And having said that? Twitter has enabled me to meet people in my own back yard who I love dearly and am doing deals with. (Try twitterlocal.net or Twinkle on the iPhone.)
Ditto for FriendFeed. When I am doing low intensity work, I like to keep a small window open on my desktop and drop into conversations there. I’m roxanne on friendfeed.

I have a personal blog, www.inthetransition.com, where I put things I want to get out but that don’t fit elsewhere. I do exploratory writing over there and it is very erratic.  It too is a WordPress blog. I have a Tumbler microblog account, roxannedarling, also for posting snippets of ideas, pics, links, etc.   I also have accounts at dozens of other services that cross-post for me.

Can you tell we love WordPress? Plug-ins we use religiously are  Akismet and Textile 2.

Q: Point us to one or two recent postings on your blog that you think were superb, and tell us a bit about your writing process. How long did it take for you to come up with the topic?  How long to write?

On Bare Feet Studios: Using Social Media to Promote Your Event: Step 2

We try to leverage as much as we can in terms of being aware of our process and work flow so we can share it with others. We continually discover that the things we do “automatically” do not come naturally to others. By taking the time to reflect in that way, we get to both fine tune and archive things for ourselves while sharing really useful information with others.  We are currently planning Podcamp Hawaii. Part of the agreement with the Podcamp Foundation is that no one gets paid = we are all volunteers. So I am using whatever I can to build value for ourselves and others out of our (extensive!) labors.

This is a series I am creating documenting how we are building the event, and then showing how others can use these tricks to build *any* event, not just a podcamp or unconference. Fortunately, I pretty much can’t help but think in step-by-step fashion, having been a formal trainer for much of my life. That skill comes in handy for this type of posting. This post took about 1.5 hours to write, grabbing the graphic and all the links (essential to a good post IMO).

On Beach Walks with Rox: Beach Walk 669 – Bikini Madness!

This is not one of our special episodes but one of our every day, typical episodes. I get an idea on the way to the beach (7-minute drive), we shoot it in one take, then edit, encode, and post it on the site. It’s an example of how I take an idea out there in the “group mind” and attempt to shoot some holes in it with the goal of creating less stress, more freedom and light-heartedness for us all. We rely on good equipment and skills, our beautiful scenery and adorable dog, and one of my quirky ideas with a little science thrown in, to deliver a short, 4-5 minute tonic to the stress of daily life.

Each episode takes us about 15 minutes to film; setting up the gear, shooting, and putting the gear away, so we can then go swimming! It takes about 45-60 minutes to import, edit, add effects, and encode. Then about 30 minutes to upload and create the post. The more complex the show, the longer all of this takes. An episode like Island Adventure was filmed over an hour and a half experience, and took nearly 6 hours to edit, as we had thre cameras on that shoot and lots of cuts.

Q: How often do you leave comments on other people’s blogs?  How do you find their entries in the first place?

I leave comments for others at least once or twice a week, in bulk. Meaning, I like to do my reading on spurts, and leave many comments at the same time. I subscribe to blogs, and if I am on the page, I will almost always leave a comment. I believe in supporting the work of others, and I understand that letting someone know you were there and appreciating their work is meaningful. I am not a huge fan of the piling on style of comments, so I do my best to add something relevant or meaningful, if not always agreeing.

The main obstacle I find is using my feed reader on my phone. I am often lazy about doing the typing on my phone…

Q: Tell us a bit about your talk at Blogworld Expo. Topic, key points you’ll cover, etc?

My title is “Finding Your New Media Voice.”  I will cover both the right brain and left brain aspects of answering this question.  I have found that there are actually relevant connections between your personality type and your preferred style of communication – writing, talking, or being on camera. There are also many options technically for using each of these methods, so we will look at out how to actually figure out which modality suits you best, and then what tools will make it easiest for you.  I love these type of talks because we can discus things that are usually isolated from each other in one place.

There are the gear heads right? and then there are the “communicators.”  I will attempt to merge wisdom from both sectors so people can leave here knowing what to do next – even if they have already been doing a form of communicating but not really loving it. They may just want to switch the tool they use, from keyboard to microphone to camera, to better suit their web DNA.

Of course I will address the pros and cons of each type of communication too, as that certainly weighs in to the discussion for a business considering how to use new media/social web communication

While at Blog World, I will also be announcing a new business  community site we are building, Know How Cafe. It will be the place where we take all of this stuff we have learned as web leaders, business consultants, and experimenters and share it with others. Most of the effective and engaging social media tools are free, but knowing how to use them is confusing for many.  It will be a fee-based membership site. Your readers can sign up for the early release and get a 30% discount by using coupon code “dave.” We are so excited about this! The site will let us walk our talk, and provide how to  information in many different forms – text, screen casts, videos, tele-seminars, discussion forums, etc. We will have multiple tracks based on topics. And unlike a lot of training/coaching sites, we will be home there, engaging with our members frequently while also enabling them to “self-service” at their own pace.

Q: How do you recommend new folk best experience a major conference and expo like Blogworld Expo?

Have a plan and then go with the flow.

One of my Twitter friends, Tawny Press,  just compiled a great post on
this topic: Getting Ready for Blogworld Expo in Vegas

I am often amazed at the number of people in a given industry who do not attend conferences…though they can be overwhelming and are virtually always done before I am even half started (!) they are one of the most efficient ways to ramp your personal brand to the next level and to make valuable personal and business connections. I video’d my odd take on my first SXSW conference last spring – in the end the best way to do a conference IMO is to start with a plan and then follow your instincts. The little monkey mind will always be pushing for more or different, but sometimes, it really is just one person who is going to make the big difference in your life. No need to get distracted trying to be everywhere.

Q: Easy ones: Mac or PC?  Ipod or Zune?  Iphone or Blackberry?

Mac. iPod. iPhone.

Awesome, thanks, Rox!  Hopefully you’ll bring some of that glorious Hawaiian weather to Vegas with you, so we don’t melt in the desert heat!


Interview by Blogworld Expo co-host Dave Taylor, who is connected to Rox on just about every network online. He can also be found on Twitter as @DaveTaylor and if you’re into film and the movie industry, you should also check out @FilmBuzz, an experimental news feed he’s building.

Microsoft and their New Mouse

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Today Mr. Softy (as Cramer from Mad Money likes to call them) unveiled a new tracking technology called BlueTrack.  This new technology will supposedly allow users to use their mouse and virtually any service.  The new mice featuring BlueTrack will debuted sometime in the Fall, according to the Microsoft blog,  and will be sold at Best Buy stored.

According to Microsoft:

“Microsoft’s BlueTrack Technology works on more surfaces than both optical and laser mice. The large, blue beam and specular optics architecture, in conjunction with a Microsoft-designed image sensor and proprietary pixel geometry, generates a high-contrast picture of the mousing surface that allows exceptional tracking accuracy. The BlueTrack Technology light beam emanating from the bottom of the mouse is more than four times as large as the average laser beam used in today’s mice, enabling reliable mouse tracking even on difficult surfaces such as carpet.”

So how much is this new magic mouse going to cost us?  Well there are two versions coming out, a full size and a mini, the full size will cost $99.95 and the mini will cost $79.95.  Is it going to be worth it?  Eh, we’ll see, if the mouse can really work on virtually any surface then it may be worth the price, especially if you are a mobile user.  I am definitely a mobile user and I can’t count how many times I have had mouse problems on various surfaces at coffee shops, flights, etc.  Of course, there is always the little pad on the laptop, but who has the time to play around with that? 🙂

If you want some more information on this new mouse or if you would like to see a demo, then visit the Microsoft BlueTrack page.

What do you think about the new mice?  Are you going to shell out the $80-$100 to buy one or just stick with your current one?

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Blogworld Expo Speaker Interview: Rich Brooks

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Another of our speaker profiles for the upcoming Blogworld Expo. It’s not too late to join us in Las Vegas and hear amazing speakers like Rich Brooks!

Q: In two sentences, highlight your background and professional experience to date. One bonus sentence: how’d you get started blogging?

I started building Web sites back in 1997 because I didn’t want to work for the man any longer. As time went on I got more involved with Web marketing to help grow clients’ businesses: search engines, then email newsletters, and finally blogging.

I had a client enamored of Howard Dean and his Web marketing savvy; he asked me to start a blog for him, so I tried it out as well. Never looked back.

Rich Brooks, Flyte New Media

Rich Brooks, Flyte New Media

Q: How often do you blog?  What platform do you use?  Why?

I blog three to four times a week in four primary blogs. Most of my posts are at the flyte blog, but I also write a more basic Internet Marketing 101 blog for the local newspaper, which helps me reach a different, more localized market.

In addition, I started an SEO blog with our new search engine marketer at flyte, and we have an internal, not-quite-ready-for-prime-time, NSFW flyte crew blog as well.

The flyte blog is on TypePad, which I still feel is a great blog for business people who don’t have a coder on site and just want to blog. The Maine Business blog is on a platform they coded themselves. The Maine SEO blog and our flyte crew blog are both on WordPress.

I’ve always recommended TypePad or WordPress, but until recently I found TypePad’s UI to be better for the average user; cleaner, easier-to-use. However, the last few iterations of WordPress have made it a favorite of mine.

The bottom line is I can strongly recommend both TypePad and WordPress; both have nice features, both are great for business blogs, and neither will prevent you from succeeding on your blogging career.

Q: Point us to one or two recent postings on your blog that you think were superb, and tell us a bit about your writing process. How long did it take for you to come up with the topic?  How long to write?

Geez, superb? Now you’re making me self-conscious. How about just solid?

I wrote about Technorati Tags here: Do Technorati Tags Matter Anymore?

I liked this post b/c for years I’ve been promoting the benefits of tagging along with a great anecdote. However, as I looked at my own stats, I realized I got very little traffic from tagging. So, very publicly, I questioned myself and what I had been telling people.

That goes towards my “warts and all” belief of blogging honestly, plus I hope it will help a number of small business owners with their own blogs.

Q: How often do you leave comments on other people’s blogs?  How do you find their entries in the first place?

A few times a month, not nearly as much as when I started. I find it’s a great way to generate more traffic to your blog, and it shows an interest in the networking aspect of blogging. However, it’s tough to find the time to publish my own material, run a company, be a dad and find time to respond to other people’s posts. These days my commenting is more organic; I comment if I feel an urge to voice an opinion, and less as a marketing exploit.

Q: Tell us a bit about your talk at Blogworld Expo. Topic, key points you’ll cover, etc?

I’m looking forward to both panels. The first I’ll be moderating on How to Plan, Build and Promote a Business Blog. I’ve got three great panelists with me, John T. Unger, Des Walsh and Denise Wakeman. We all have experience working with businesses on a consulting level on building a more effective blog. We’ll be talking strategy and answering questions on how blogging fits into a broader marketing campaign.

The other panel is about getting buy-in from decision makers. I think this will be helpful to internal marketers who realize the values of blogs, but need ammunition to convince their company’s decision makers.

Q: How do you recommend new folk best experience a major conference and expo like Blogworld Expo?

Get off your track. Experience at least one seminar that you would never think of going to. Business bloggers should check out a milblog seminar; Godbloggers should go to a monetization seminar. Plan to have your eyes opened and your mind expanded.

Q: Easy ones: Mac or PC?  Ipod or Zune?  Iphone or Blackberry?

Mac, iPod, and iPhone. Are they still making the Zune? Didn’t it turn out that it led to tumors?

I don’t know about that tumor part, Rich, but thanks for sharing with us!


Interview by Blogworld Expo co-host Dave Taylor, who is also going to be giving the opening keynote speech, a talk on blogging and SEO, and popping up elsewhere during the show. Dave is a prolific blogger and writes about tech support and business blogging, among other topics.

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