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Blogworld Speaker Interviews: Patrick O'Keefe


Yeah, I know, I’m a bit late with this one. Somehow Patrick’s interview fell through the cracks but he’s an interesting chap and I wanted to get this out. So let’s just secretly agree we’ll pretend this was posted just before the Expo, not afterwards, okay? 🙂

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

I own the iFroggy Network, a network of websites, and I’m the author of “Managing Online Forums“, a practical guide to managing online communities and social spaces. I’ve been developing websites for about 10 years and managing online communities for around 8. For me, blogging is an extension of what we’ve been doing for a very, very long time – creating content – but as far as calling it “blogging” specifically; 2004, I guess.

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

Patrick O'Keefe

Patrick O'Keefe

I blog multiple times per day. I blog at YanksBlog.com, ManagingCommunities.com, Bad Boy Blog, my personal blog and elsewhere. Right now, I use Nucleus CMS and WordPress and I am very slowly converting my Nucleus CMS sites to WordPress. I like WordPress due to it’s ease of use, reliability and excellent plugin community.

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?

Post #1: “Five Things Bad Boy Needs to Do to Improve it’s Online Strategy” on Bad Boy Blog

In this post, I took a good strong look at what Bad Boy Entertainment, a record label and company that I’m a big fan of, could do online to improve it’s strategy and, as such, make more money. This post is the result of my years of watching the company and how it operates, as well as the network of contacts that I have made within it. My writing process was rather straight forward, as I have a great deal of knowledge about this subject. I came up with the topic randomly while working and the article itself took me probably 4-5 hours to write and tweak.

Post #2: “Has Anyone Called You Hitler, Stalin or Gestapo? (or “How I Know Iím Doing My Job”)” on ManagingCommunities.com

I like this post just because it’s so true. The topic came to me randomly and it took me an hour or two to write it up. The writing process pulled upon my experience managing communities and being the one that people direct their anger at, when they are told that they are unable to do something.

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

I would say on a virtual daily basis. I do most of my blog reading through my feedreader, Bloglines. So, that is how I find the entries.

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

I have a book signing and two panels, all on Sunday, September 21. The book signing is at 10:00 AM PT. After that, the first panel is at 12:15 PM PT and it’s called “How to Deal with Trolls, Spammers and Sock Puppets.” I’ll be joined by Rick Calvert, the founder of Blog World Expo, John Chow of JohnChowDotCom (http://www.johnchow.com) and Jeremy Schoemaker of ShoeMoney (http://www.shoemoney.com). We’ll talk about how to deal with these difficult types of visitors and members. How to view their comments and how to manage them.

The second panel is at 3:00 PM PT and it’s called “Avoiding Disaster: How Not to Use Social Media.” On this one, I’ll be joined by Darren Rowse of ProBlogger (http://www.problogger.net) and b5media (http://www.b5media.com), Lee LeFever of Common Craft (http://www.commoncraft.com) and Jason Falls of Social Media Explorer (http://www.socialmediaexplorer.com) and Doe-Anderson (http://www.doeanderson.com).

I really feel that you learn as much from what not to do and who you don’t want to be, as you do about best practices and examples. So, that’s what this panel will focus on. We’ll talk about ways that you can damage your brand through your actions on social media outlets, such as communities, forums, blogs, social networking sites, social bookmarking and everything in between.

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

This sounds funny, I guess, since I have a signing and two panels, but don’t get overly caught up in following a schedule and going to panels and being here and there. Mark your must haves and get to them, but for me, the best part of these conferences has been in networking and meeting people. And some of the best networking you do is in the hallways, at the parties, etc. Panels are great, but you don’t want to be running from place to place and forget to actually meet people and network.

I admit that I’m not the most experienced conference attendee, though. This will be just the second tech conference I’ve been to, following this year’s South by Southwest. I attended 1 panel, 1 core conversation and a handful of book readings or portions of them (mainly so that I could see what they were about before I gave mine). And yet, I don’t regret it. I had a great time and I met a lot of people. It was great. I’m looking forward to Blog World Expo being similar.

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

I use PCs. I use Windows Vista Ultimate on both my desktop and laptop. My MP3 player is actually a Creative Zen Xtra, but I do have an iPod Nano that I received for free, in a giveaway, that I keep plugged into a speaker next to my bed. Cell phone wise, I don’t use one! *gasp*

Thanks for playing our game, Patrick. Hope you had a great experience at Blogworld Expo 2008.



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