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Are Keynotes and Twitter A Bad Match?


I have been reading about a situation at Web 2.0 Expo that has me as an organizer of speakers a bit befuddled.  Danah Boyd’s presentation took a turn for the worst and it turned out to be a bad experience for her and for the attendees. For the long story short version you can see a recap of what I am talking about over at Maggie Fox’s blog.  She talks about the wisdom of crowds and how people can be rude and completely out of character.  I have seen this happen in other areas and the idea that people act differently online than they do in real life is another post for another time.  What I am interested in from the mechanical side of things is whether the Twitter stream itself is a bad idea for presentations.

This year at BlogWorld & New Media Expo we had some of our own keynotes with the Twitter stream behind the speaker.  You can see some snippets on YouTube of Leo Laporte by Mediafly.

As you can see the Twitter stream was active and going on during the session.  Leo did a great job with his discussion, but what would have happened had he been attacked during the presentation by people that did not like what he had to say or how he said it?  Leo has been doing this a while and would probably take the heckling with a grain of salt, but that does not seem to be the case at all times with other speakers.  I watched as another speaker was lambasted during his presentation at an event just before BlogWorld Expo.

I suppose the important question is, should a Twitter stream be an active part of the presentation?

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Medical Bloggers at Blog World Expo 2009


Medical bloggers at Blog World Expo, October 15th, 2009

September 7, 2009

(The following post has been written by Kevin Pho, MD, blogger and medblogger track panelist. The original post can be found here, at Kevin, MD)


I have been graciously invited to participate on a panel in the medical blogger track at Blog World Expo 2009, held in Las Vegas on Thursday, October 15th.

Medical bloggers at Blog World Expo, October 15th, 2009 My panel, entitled, The State of the Health Blogosphere: We’ve Come A Long Way, Baby, will be moderated by Emergiblog’s Kim McAllister. I am honored to be joined by Nick Genes of Blogborygmi, and founder of Grand Rounds, as well as Kerri Sparling, a leading diabetes patient advocate who blogs at SixUntilMe.

I started blogging in May of 2004, and yes, medical blogs have come a long way. Just the fact we now have a dedicated track at the premier new media expo is a testament to that.

When I started, blogging was on the media fringe. The medical profession didn’t know quite what to make of it, and was hesitant to embrace the medium. Fast forward to today, and it is now standard that medical institutions be engaged with social media, whether it be blogs, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

Personally, KevinMD.com has opened many doors for me, including the opportunity to write for, and be interviewed by, mainstream media organizations. And with health reform dominating the conversation, it’s gratifying to know that I’m doing a small part to make my voice heard.

Thanks to the tireless work of Kim and Val Jones of Better Health, for realizing the vision of a prominent platform at a premier media event.

Thanks also goes out to sponsors Johnson & Johnson and MedPage Today for their essential contributions.

I will be joined by the who’s who of the medical blogging world, with three other panels planned:

i) Staying On The Good Side of HIPAA: Safe and Ethical Blogging Practices
ii) Blogging For Change: How To Influence Healthcare Through Blogging
iii) The Value of Blogs To Hospitals, Industry, and News Organizations

Here are further details on the medblogger track, including information on registration and hotel discounts for other medical bloggers.

I hope to see you all there.

5 Ways to Lose Followers on Twitter



I talk too much. This isn’t a major revelation,though. I’ve known this for some time. Even back when I was a kid my weary parents used to beg me, pretty please, for some quiet time. My brothers and sisters would invent “let’s see who can be quiet the longest” games just to get me to stop talking. Of course it’s the gift of gab that led to my success as a blogger. It’s also costing me followers on Twitter. Seems the 140 character crowd isn’t interested in spending time with someone so chatty. I get it though. Before realizing the truth, I began researching the reasons why Twitterers stop following people. Here are the top 5:

  1. They’re too spammy: I’m on Twitter because I want to talk to people. It’s such a great way to share. Some folks take the sharing to the extreme, however, and only tweet links to their stuff. Yeah it’s ok to drop links now and again, but don’t forget about building relationships. No one likes talking with a salesman all day.  We like real conversations with real people.
  2. They’re too offensive: Not everyone is into regularly tweeted “f bombs” or nude avatars. Racism, tough talk and lots of controvery are also turnoffs. Most Twitterers are there for the light conversation. If it gets too stressful, they’re out of there.
  3. They talk too much: Like me. No one likes it when one particular Twitter stream dominates the whole timeline.  Sure, it’s fun to talk back and forth with one person and just banter all day. Think about how it looks on someone else’s screen though. When you dominate the entire conversation, you’ll lose followers. Trust me on this, I know.
  4. They have nothing in common: Most of us choose Tweeps to follow with care. For instance, I look for the people who I can share tips and ideas with and will also make me laugh. We have to have something in common though.  It’s just like the friends we hang out with in the real world. If we don’t find certain people interesting enough or sharing the same ideals, we probably won’t run in the same circles. It’s nothing personal, we just don’t mesh.
  5. They auto DM: Don’t you hate those auto DM’s you get when you follow certain people. Some of them just say “hi.” Most say “Hi, buy my ebook or view my blog.” I wouldn’t walk up to someone in the real world and say, “Hi. I’m Deb Ng. Visit my blog for more information about me.” So why do we do this on Twitter?

What are your reasons for un-following Tweeps?

Should Brands Monitor the Social Networks?



Yesterday at dinner with “the girls”, the discussion turned to social networks. Some didn’t quite get the appeal of Facebook and Twitter and an interesting discussion ensued. It took an even more interesting turn when one of my friends, who works for a major national brand, felt businesses really don’t want to monitor the social networks because they don’t want to know what is being said about them. While this may be true, I believe that even though the talk might not always be rosy, it’s important for brands to hear what their consumers say about their products.

Everything is an Opportunity

The way I see it, all comments are opportunities. The truth might hurt, but how is a brand to learn about what is hurting the business if they’re not monitoring the comments? This is a wonderful chance to find which areas need improvement and which areas rock. Why wouldn’t businesses want to take advantage of social media?

Good Customer Service Means Good Word of Mouth Promotion

There have been times when I complained on a social network about poor service or an item I didn’t like. Community managers from some of these brands reached out to me via the same social networks and offered to discuss. In most cases, we were able to resolve the issue in an amicable manner. After receiving such good customer service, I sung their praises to others and they received more business as a result. How can this be a bad thing?

People Trust in Brands that “Get it”

I love it when brands embrace social media or technology. When they “get it” it means they get their customers. It means they want to work with us and use the same tools we do. It means they’re not out of touch and really do wish to find the solutions that work.

Should Brands Monitor the Social Networks?

Heck yeah, brands should monitor the social networks. To not do so means they’re missing out on an important opportunity to touch base with their users. Frankly, I don’t think I would want to deal with a brand that isn’t interested in learning what I think.

How about you?

Bloggers Have Mad Skills – Pay them Accordingly!



I have a bone to pick. Something’s sticking in my craw and I need to get it out. Lately I’m coming across ad after ad for bloggers – yet no one is willing to pay for the work. Instead they’re offering “exposure” and “internships.” Hello? I’m exposed every time I walk out my front door, thank you very much, and internships offer something besides toiling away for nothing for Joe No Name. Bloggers have skills. Mad skills. Their pay should be reflective of all the work they do.

Let me break it down for the people who think bloggers should be happy to work for the glory.

Writing – Bloggers are passionate about their topics. They have to be in order to write about the same thing day in and day out. The reason businesses and individuals hire bloggers is because they don’t have the time or inclination to do so themselves. However, it’s not an “easy” job. A blogger must stay on top of all the current trends, technology and research, and write about it in a manner representative of his or her client. Bloggers don’t necessarily write off the top of their heads. There’s research to conduct, books, articles and blog posts to read, and experts to interview. Though blog posts have a casual tone, they are written in a professional manner. This alone warrants a decent pay check.

Coding -Yeah we have to know a little HTML or other coding necessary to embed images, videos and have our blog posts formatted in a manner befitting the content. Yes, a lot networks and content portals handle this sort of thing on their own. However, many clients want a blogger who can work on his own without having to call in the techies every five minutes.

Web Design – Many bloggers handle template design and other design elements for their clients’ blogs. This takes a bit of skill. Not everyone knows the best places to place widgets and ads. Not everyone can create an eye pleasing header or clean sidebar.

Community Management – Most clients are looking for bloggers because they want to create a community to help create buzz around a product or service. This means bloggers are expected to moderate and respond to posts. They answer questions, soothe tempers and keep the conversation flowing.

Public Relations/Marketing – If you’re expecting your bloggers to promote their content, this should be reflected in the pay. Building up relationships and networking is a job in itself, let alone for a blogger who is doing it for the glory.

SEO– SEO is a learned skill. It doesn’t come naturally. Knowing how to catapult a blog to number one on the search engines is something that should be handsomely rewarded.

Tell me again why bloggers aren’t worthy of pay?

What are some of the mad skills you have as a blogger?

Blog World Expo Wants to See You At Web 2.0 Expo


webexsf2009_home_header_bg1 We are giving away a free badge to a special Blog World and New Media Expo blog reader, radio listener or other friends.

You can win a badge to Web 2.0 Expo very simply. Here is how.
Just tell us you want to go to Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco coming up on March 31, 2009 through April 3, 2009, and let us know why we should give you a badge.
Link to this blog post and to the folks at Web 2.0 Expo and tell your best yarn about why we should give you a badge.  The badge includes all of the conference awesomness:

Conference Plus Workshops
Access to

* All sessions (Wed-Fri)
* Workshops on Tuesday, March 31
* All keynotes
* Expo Hall & events held there
* All networking events
* Web2Open
* Lunch (Tue-Fri)
* Official schwag
This is a $1745 value that we will be providing via the generosity of the folks at Techweb and O’Reilly Media, Inc.

UPDATE:  3/2609:  The deadline for entries into this giveaway will be Midnite tonight, March 26, 2009.  Get your entry in before that time.

Blog World Expo Radio – Episode 1 From SXSW in Austin Texas


SXSW Interactive

Our show comes to you live from last Saturday at SXSW Interactive at the Techset Blogger Lounge presented by Windows Mobile.

Our guests on this show live from SXSW Interactive in Austin, Texas:

Ewan Spence and his Twitter is @ewanspence
Wendy Piersall and her Twitter is @emom
Justin Levy and his Twitter is @justinlevy
Patti Serrano a caller and her Twitter is @iGrandma
Aaron Brazell who we all know as @technosailor

I want to definitely thank the folks at Windows Mobile and the Techset group for letting us have our show.  Special thanks to Stephanie Agresta and Brian Solis for allowing us to have the fun we had there.

Hopefully at Blog World and New Media Expo we can have as much fun!

The virtual worlds at Web 2.0 Expo


Just when you thought you were rid of me, here I come with some more news from the Web 2.0 Expo.

This might not be news per se, but it is a nice summary of the virtual worlds panel at W2EClub Penguin is one that I am actually familiar with.  My 9 year old daughter is in that community and she loves it.  From a parent’s perspective the focus on safety and security is very reassuring.

The virtual world phenomena is going to become more interesting and more compelling as emmersive technologies are developed.  Imagine working with colleagues in something like Second Life, but you don’t experience it through a monitor and keyboard but through something more akin to total VR.  Believe me it isn’t that far off.  Think about how crazy we thought affordable touchscreen laptops were a few years ago.  Heck even laptops that are thin and light.

I’m telling you, it’s just around the corner.


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Last session … all media, all the time …


First, I have to tell you, I’m wiped out.  This has been a darn long week and my brain is full.  Thomas Hawk, Scoble, Chris Pirillo, and Jeremiah Owyang are on stage getting ready to tell us about the world of video blogging, lifecasting, podcasting, twittercasting, coffeecasting … okay I made those last two up.  You get the idea.

I’ve been Jeremiah’s show a couple times now.  This morning I felt like I was on a mini panel session, and that was really cool.  That is certainly a benefit to the conference!

Chris just Twittered that this is all coming live on http://live.pirillo.com/ …

Okay is history being made or is this hype?

Robert is covering the basics … blogs, search etc…

Thomas, who really is an amazing photographer, is talking about zooomr and controlling the images associated with your company.  Wow, yeah.  Never really thought about that!

Is online identity and openness and social media changing .. politics?  Scoble was talking about his experience with John Edwards on the plane … yes.  Covering all the bases.

Chris is talking about the recent experience of the earthquake in Mexico … bit of luck that I think made a bit of Web 2.0  history.

Scoble has 3000 followers!  Jeez … I don’t know if I could handle that … Chris says that they are all sneezers … if Robert says something (sneeze) then it spreads rapidly across the Net.  Now, this can be good, but it also could be bad.

Ah, Thomas has made the point that there are so many channels now. We have started developing large social communities …

Are we visionaries or just able to see the vision?

Ah the killer question from the floor: “And how does it help my business?”  Ooh Scoble and Chris bantering back and forth … just a wee heated.

Twitter to help your business … it would take time but if you can get one of the people like Scoble or Chris or other major twitterers to follow you … you can get news out fast.  You can start your community, start your viral campaign … it’s new, it’s unproven, but I think some smarts and creativity will find a way.

Now, while I was twittering, they moved to search.  Well … oops.  First question from the chatroom … How does ustream.tv change things … revolutionary or complimentary?  The ability to be live take things to a new level and building a new community.

Is Chris blowing this all out of proportion?  Is it all that?  Yes … because ustream is free, it is making the world of broadcasting on it’s head.  This expanding the audience, getting better questions, better info, faster easier.

Chris caught on Twittervison that his video wasn’t working … and fixed it!  Wow.

Okay they have 10 mins left … I bet they go over, but I’ll have to leave … sorry I have to get to the airport!

So … the take away from this whole panel is … the conversation from blogs, forums, etc.  It’s being connected to find ways to improve and fix your product … and maybe find your best evangelists.

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