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010 The Podcast Report – Leo Laporte Coming To NMX – Podcast Community Manager – And More!


Hey everyone, Cliff Ravenscraft here. I’m back with another episode of The Podcast Report.

Podcast Community Manager
I’m very excited to welcome Megan Enloe as a co-host to The Podcast Report. Back in August, the staff of NMX hired Megan to come on board as a community manager for the podcasting community. In the episode, we explain how this differs from my role as the director of podcasting for the conference.

One thing is for sure, I could not be happier to work with Megan to bring about the full vision that the staff of NMX has for the podcasting community. You’ll get to hear a great deal more about this vision as we produce weekly episodes of The Podcast Report between now and the show in January.

New Name, Dates & Location

In this episode, Megan and I talk briefly about the official announcement of the name change from BlogWorld & New Media Expo to NMX (New Media Expo). We also talk about the fact that the next event is coming up January 6-8, 2013 in Las Vegas. The room rates are only $99 per night and if you’re a geek like me, you may want to stay an extra day or two to check out CES.

Leo Laporte Coming To NMX

I’m super excited to announce that Leo Laporte will be providing our Keynote address for Monday, January 7th. Leo is going to be doing something out at NMX that you will simply not want to miss. However, we’ll talk more about that in next week’s episode of The Podcast Report.

Register For NMX Today!

If you are serious about your podcasting efforts, I highly recommend that you attend the leading podcast industry conference. If you haven’t registered yet, click here to get registered today.

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Yahoo! and You Too


Stan Slap Kicking off our 2013 BusinessNext Social conference (formerly the Social Media Business Summit) on day one is Stan Slap, president of the international consulting company called, by remarkable coincidence, “slap.” Stan has a history of accomplishments as a CEO with as many as 5,000 employees reporting to him and has served as a director of several companies with their CEOs reporting to him, which he prefers a whole lot more.

Stan has directed the successful expansion for companies ranging from Patagonia to Pennzoil. He designed the plan that helped Oracle sell their strategic intent to 40,000 employees in 167 countries and developed employee re-engagement plans for HSBC, Europe’s largest bank. He has created winning brand strategies for companies from Deloitte to Black Entertainment Television. He has invented many successful advertising campaigns, consulted to leading advertising agencies and personally written slogans for companies from Coca-Cola to Checkpoint Software.

I had the pleasure of working with Stan in 2002-2003, back in the days when he spiked his hair and his book Bury My Heart in Conference Room B was merely a life changing experience. Ten years later, thousands more people are living their values at work, and Bury My Heart in Conference Room B is a New York TimesWall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller.

Stan’s latest thinking – advice to Marissa Mayer on how to go about restoring Yahoo! to its former glory – is featured today on Forbes.  Stan begins:

“I don’t know Yahoo! personally; they’re not one of my company’s clients. But I know how cultures work and how to work them. The turnaround that Marissa Mayer is attempting will be decided by the reactions and actions of its manager, employee and customer cultures – in that order. You may not know Yahoo! either but these are the same three groups that are deciding the success of your own company while you read this sentence. Listen up.

A culture is not simply a bunch of managers, employees and customers. When they form as a culture, each of these groups is far more self-protective, far more intelligent and far more resistant to standard methods of corporate influence.”

In the article, part of Mark Fidelman’s “Socialized and Mobilized” column, Stan outlines Marissa’s main challenges — to foster the manager culture’s willingness to treat the success of the company like a personal cause; to win the trust of an employee culture pre-conditioned to be weary and wary; and to regain its brand status, which has been the subject of sightlessness inducing self-abuse — and how to overcome them. 

To hear more of Stan’s take on business today, be sure to register to see him live and in person on January 6th at the BusinessNext Social conference in Las Vegas (powered by BlogWorld).

NMX Speakers Announced


Although NMX in Las Vegas may be months away, the team here is fast at work to make it the best conference yet. We have some neat, new things we’ll be rolling out for January and we’ll give you updates as we finalize details. Today, however, we want to tell you about our first batch of confirmed speakers and their session topics.


Bill Belew

4 Concrete Steps to Get 1,000,000 Relevant Unique Visitors to Your Blog


C.C. Chapman

How To Add Photography Into Your Marketing Mix


David Copeland

Ten Blog Posts That Got Shared, Informed Readers, Generated Clicks and Kicked Ass In 2012


Dino Dogan

How To Build a Community of Fanatics


David Gass

How Much Can I Sell My Blog For?


Patti Londre

The Art of Becoming a Leader In Your Niche


Peter VanRysdam

Defining and Maximizing Conversions Through Better Usability


To help you learn more about these speakers, be sure to click on their names above. We’ve also included all the many ways you can connect with them (e.g. blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc.). No reason to wait until the conference to start networking; why not start now!

Haven’t registered for the big event yet? Discounted tickets are available until September 15th, so don’t delay. After that, all passes will go up. So be sure to lock in the best price by registering early.

See you in Las Vegas!


Red Routes: What City Busses Can Teach You about Website Usability


Even though people in London drive on the wrong side of the road, there are still some things we can learn from their transit system. Their bus system, just like every other one in the world, is designed to get people where they want to go quickly and easily. However, they’ve found a way to optimize travelers’ experiences using a system called red routes. This same logic can help you optimize your website to guide your visitors to the information they’re seeking.

As you might expect, some places in London are more popular than others. In fact, just 5 percent of the city’s roads make up a third of the traffic. The city decided to fast-track busses on those popular routes by creating red routes, which received their name courtesy of the double red line land markings. These routes place restrictions on other traffic patterns and prohibit parking in bus lanes. By optimizing the efficiency of these routes, they’ve managed to reduce wait times on those routes by 15 percent in the first five years.

Now think about your own website. Chances are there are one or two pages off of your homepage that make up at least a third of your traffic. On my Web design company’s site, for example, most of the traffic from our home page goes to either a page about our services or our portfolio. I know that these are important pages to my visitors, and I also know how frustrating it can be when you can’t find what you’re looking for on a website. Therefore, I want to make sure this majority group can easily find links to that content.

Just as in London, Web developers now commonly refer to these critical paths as red routes. And, just as in London, optimizing them can have a big effect on your most important metric: conversions.

Identifying Your Website’s Red Routes
The first step is to identify these routes. A quick look at your analytics can shed some light on how visitors flow through your site today. Granted the paths might not be as easy as it could be for visitors, but these numbers will show you the popular tracks your customers are actively seeking out. By improving the flow to these red routes, your goal is to more easily direct the more passive visitor down the same path. After all, all red routes should lead to a conversion.

Optimizing Your Website’s Red Routes
Now you have two good pieces of data: where you want your visitors to go on your website, and where they’re currently going. It’s time to put those together to create a simple path for users to not only get to those pages, but more importantly, to also get from those pages to a conversion. Take this site as an example. Two obvious goals for this site are to get users to opt-in to the BlogWorld newsletter, and to register for the NMX conference. At the same time, let’s assume the most popular page after the home page is the most recent blog post. That is why there are prominent banners on the right of all blog posts showcasing these two things. There are plenty of sites that just feature these types of calls-to-action on the homepage, and they’re missing out on a big opportunity.

Testing Your Website’s Red Routes
Once you’ve identified your red routes and set them up, it’s time to see if they work. While things might look obvious to you, it’s best to try some user testing to see what an average visitor thinks. When testing your own site, it’s always a good idea to give users a series of tasks to complete to see how difficult it is for them. Think of this like a virtual scavenger hunt on your website. You want to know if users can easily find what they want, or in this case, what you want them to find. This is much more valuable than simply asking how your site makes a person feel.

In this kind of testing, it’s critical to test your red routes. Can people locate the content that is most important to them? There is nothing worse than a customer on an ecommerce site who is ready to buy but can’t find the product they’re after. Likewise, a visitor to a blog that can’t find the “subscribe” or “share” buttons would be equally frustrated.

Red routes are just one important way to give your visitors a better experience on your site. If you’re looking for more tips, then you’re in luck. I’m speaking at NMX in January on defining and maximizing conversions through better usability. I hope to see you there!

The Devil Is in the Details: A Blogger’s Guide to Best-Kept WordPress Secrets


Last week, at BlogWorld in NYC, I found myself thinking about the conference in a different way. I had recently organized WordCamp Seattle for the first time. And as I watched BlogWorld unfold, I could relate to all the energy the organizers had expended up to then, and what they would be experiencing over the next three days—although BWE was easily 10 times bigger than my event. The key to a successful conference is attention to the details. because it’s the small things that can make a big difference in an attendee’s experience.

And as I finished presenting my session at BlogWorld, I thought about how the experience of WordPress users can also be affected by the small details. WordPress is notorious for hiding small, simple solutions. Some of the brightest people I know have struggled for hours with something that should just have taken them mere minutes.

When I share these small details at workshops, I always find at least one person who has been using WordPress for months, only to finally have their ‘a-ha moment.’ More often than not I will hear a gasp coming from a chair somewhere in the back row.

It was no different at my session at BlogWorld.

Those freaking’ WordPress details that can drive a blogger mad

The Kitchen Sink

If you have been working with one row of buttons in your editor window, live dangerously and click on that last button. Now you suddenly have a whole new row of options.

Editor Window Size

By default, the editor window isn’t very big, which makes it hard to see much of the post or page you are working on. Here are two solutions: 1) grab that ridged corner in the bottom right and drag, or 2) go to settings > writing and increase the number of lines in the size of post box.

Privacy Setting

Are you not showing up in Google? Sometimes by default, or perhaps when the person was setting up your site, they may have blocked your site to keep the search engines from indexing your page before your site was finished. Make sure you check out your privacy settings under settings > privacy.

Changing Your Homepage from a Blog to a Static Homepage

This is a biggie. So many times bloggers find a simple theme, but down the road decide they would rather have the homepage, or landing page, a static intro instead of a lists of posts. They would rather see the blog as an inside page. It’s pretty simple. Create a page, call it homepage, and add your content. Then create a page and call it ‘Blog,’ but don’t add any content to it. Now go into your settings > reading and change “Front page displays” to “Static Page.”

Your Publicly Seen User Name

Typically, when you create a username to sign in to your WordPress dashboard, it isn’t your actual name (for security reasons, of course). Your user name might be something like: bobX45Ng88. But when you do a post, you don’t want it to say “Posted by bobX45Ng88”. So go into your profile, fill in your first and last name, and then, from the drop down menu by “Display name publicly as,” choose your first, last, or both names for your posts. Or you can create a nickname and use that instead.

Hide Comment Box on Pages

This is a common mistake. There is nothing more strange looking than to find a comment box on a page of a site. For example, if I see a comment box on your contact page, I think, what the heck? Am I supposed to say something like “Wow, great contact page. I never thought of doing one like this. I really like how you created this form.” Your theme may allow you to turn off comments on all pages globally, but if not, when creating a page, scroll down to your Discussion options and uncheck the “Allow Comment” box. It will make your readers and your blog much happier.

So, there you have it, just some of the small details in WordPress that can drive a blogger crazy.

What other things have taken you over the edge of sanity?

Come Speak at NMX Las Vegas


I am happy to announce that our speaker submission form for New Media Expo Las Vegas 2013 is now live; with some great new features. Along with our name change from BlogWorld & New Media Expo to New Media Expo (NMX), there are some new features to the speaker submission form, as well as the entire conference schedule, that you should know about.

What’s New

New Media Expo (NMX) focuses on the Blogging, Podcasting, and WebTV industries. Within each of these industries we will have tracks discussing content, community, and commerce as it relates to helping educate content creators achieve their goals. We will also discuss tools and, of course, represent our various niche communities.

As such, there are now questions that identify what industry you are a part of, the track you want to speak in (content, community, commerce), and the specific topic within each track (for example, mobile, monetization, etc.). You will also be asked to identify an education level for your presentation, as we are seeking a percentage of beginning, intermediate, and advanced sessions.

Part of the excitement of these new features, is that we will now be able to show attendees sessions based on their own unique goals. For example, here are some options an attendee would see to help them come up with their own personal conference schedule:

  • I am a blogger who wants to build a business, what sessions should I take?
  • I am a podcaster who wants to grow my community, what sessions should I take?
  • I am a blogger who wants to create better content, what sessions should I take?
  • I want to learn how to create better content in the WebTV industry, what sessions should I take?
  • I am new to blogging, podcasting, and WebTV, what are the beginner sessions I can take?

These are just a few samples of the options attendees will see when trying to locate sessions to attend. This will help attendees enjoy an educational experience that is organized, goal-based, and flexible.


Here are a few questions you might have. If there’s anything else you need to know to aid in the submission process, please feel free to leave your questions in the comment box below.

Where are the tracks that I’m used to seeing?

The tracks are now called Content, Community, and Commerce. The ones you used to see such as Monetization, Content Creation, Mobile, Traffic & Distribution, etc. are now topics within these three main tracks.

What about the niches? Are they still represented?

Absolutely.  We will have rooms dedicated to our special niche communities such as parenting, milblogging, education, etc.

Apply Now

Here is a link to the new submission form, which will be live until July 31st, 2012. We look forward to receiving your submissions and can’t wait to see you at the show in Las Vegas on January 6th – 8th, 2013 at the RIO Hotel & Convention Center.

The BlogWorld Daily Wrap-up for Wednesday, June 6th


Attending live events is kind of like attending a reunion every year. Each time you go, you get to see the people you’ve met in the past. But you also get to meet new people. Then the next year, you get to see all of those people again and meet a few MORE new people. Your networks and friendships grow like a snowball. I love it. There’s nothing like meeting folks from the virtual world in person.

So if you can go to live events like BlogWorld, you should go. But sometimes you can’t go to the actual live event, and that’s why BlogWorld has me working on their Virtual Ticket program, which brings the entirety of the conference’s content and a bunch of bonus footage to people who can’t be there in person.

So here I am, live from New York. Not on Saturday night, though.

Today, my Virtual Ticket partner Lisa and I caught up with a lot of cool folks. We hung out with Syed Balkhi, Jonathan Fields (who is trying to distract me from writing this post right now), Derek Halpern, Pat Flynn, and a ton of other folks. Oh, and I forgot to tell the world that yesterday, Jason Van Orden gave me his salad totally out of the blue. Thanks, Jason. I owe you a salad.

Here, as promised, are two more interviews we recorded for the Virtual Ticket, which we’re giving to you for free because we’re just that cool:

First, I talked to Syed Balkhi about growing your traffic. And yeah, I know… everyone talks about that and we all secretly think it’s impossible to actually do, right? But Syed had some actual, practical tips. Check out the audio file below:

NOTE: Last time I saw Syed in LA, he was wearing a necklace that said “AWESOME” on it. He wasn’t wearing it this time, but claims to still actually BE awesome. You be the judge. The audio is below:

Second, I talked to Mur Lafferty about distributing your books via free podcasts. I’m actually in the process of doing this myself for my book The Bialy Pimps, so this was an interview with a nefarious ulterior motive. But you’ll dig it anyway:

The only thing I’ll add as a P.S. is that today I talked to Peter Shankman about how he uses ADHD as an entrepreneurial superpower. And he mentioned that when he gets wound up, he’ll sometimes drop and do pushups to burn off steam — even if he’s on a plane. So I told him to drop and give me 10 and Peter and I did pushups in the conference hallway. Yes, we got it on video for the Virtual Ticket attendees.

Oh, yeah. I should mention that you can still get the Virtual Ticket if you haven’t already, or you can add the Virtual Ticket to your live conference registration by emailing us or stopping by the registration booth.

I’ll drop another wrap-up (and more interviews) tomorrow. Stay tuned!

The Blogworld Daily Wrap-up for Tuesday, June 5th


I’m here at Blogworld in New York, having a good time, meeting a lot of cool people, meeting some old friends and learning a ton of stuff – particularly about my new interest in podcasting.

Since I am in charge of producing the virtual ticket, I thought it would be cool to give you a rundown of what’s going on at Blogworld and to let you know who we are talking to and what’s going on here in New York in case you can’t be here.

I started the day by coming into the speakers room and hanging out with Srinivas Rao, Father Roderick Vonhogen, Leslie Samuel, and a handful of other cool people. Then I attended a panel session by Mur Lafferty and Rob Walch on conducting interviews – really cool information. I heard Scott Stratton and Jim Krukal face off in what was basically a cage match over the merits of self publishing versus traditional publishing. Check out the audio clip of our interview with Jim, talking about the merits of self-publishing below:

Here’s a behind-the-scenes audio clip of Srinivas Rao chatting with us about the evolution of a platform and when it makes sense to go into multiple forms of media.

And as the host of the Virtual Ticket, I’ve created some killer content today just for the Virtual Ticket holders. If you’re one of them, you’ll find interviews with:

  • Father Roderick Vonhogen, a Catholic priest who has a podcast about pop culture and Catholicism (which you would think would be an odd mix). It just goes to prove that can you use new media in all sorts of applications – not just the ones that we normally think of.
  • Rich Brooks talked about ways to come up for topics for your blog so that you never run out of things to write about in your blog.
  • Rob Walsh chatted with me about how to get the best interview for your podcast.

Here’s another video from the BlogWorld conference floor. If you’re not in The Big Apple, here’s what you’re missing:

I will be posting more updates and interviews for you to listen to each day – both tomorrow and Thursday. And don’t forget, you can still get into Blogworld without leaving your home by picking up a Virtual Ticket. And if you’re onsite, head over to the registration desk and ask for the Virtual Ticket, and they’ll add it for you!

Stay tuned until tomorrow!

Book Review – Customer Service: New Rules for a Social Media World


If you have a business, you need customers. Plain and simple. Ironically, most consumers these days complain that customer service is at an all-time low. If you’re a smart business person, now is the time to turn that trend around and start setting yourself apart from the competition!

For those new to the social media space or who want to amp up their customer service efforts, I highly recommend you check out Peter Shankman‘s latest book, Customer Service: New Rules for a Social Media World (Que Publishing, 2011).

Probably best known for founding Help a Reporter Out (HARO), Peter’s someone who has made a career out of thinking differently. In this book, his version of thinking differently is reminiscent of a time when people saw people as humans and not merely as numbers. From identifying the different types of customers you’ll encounter online, including the complainers and the braggers, Peter tells you how to deal with each of them through your social channels. He also discusses how to drive revenue, keep an eye on the competition, utilize freebies, identify how your customers like to be communicated with, and how to monitor what people are saying about you. However, he also emphasizes all the human elements of customer service: how to acknowledge customers, show appreciation, create brand loyalty, and what to do when something–anything–goes terribly wrong.

There are also seven valuable case studies that profile companies who are succeeding in the online space by thinking outside of the box and offering value. My favorite is the story of Bravo! Italian Restaurant and Bar.

Some business books are a labor to read, but Peter’s is incredibly user-friendly. For a book that offers great advice, insights, suggestions, and is incredibly educational, it’s a surprisingly easy read.

So, in short, if you’re not maximizing your online efforts to connect with your customers, engage them, excite them, and make them lifelong fans, you need to pick up a copy of Customer Service: New Rules for a Social Media World. And, although, lots of social media books become outdated within months of publication, I have no doubt you’ll want to keep this one on your book shelf to reference time and time again.

BlogWorld’s own Shane Ketterman recently interviewed author Peter Shankman and they talked about all things social media, including pinning, poking, and Peter’s Top Ten Tweet of 2011 (which yielded some incredible customer service and amazing PR for a social media savvy company!). Be sure to check out the video below.

EDITOR’S NOTE: To see Peter live and in person, be sure to see his session When It Gets Real: What Happens When Your Fun Little Personal Brand Has to Grow Up at BlogWorld New York on June 6th!

The BlogWorld New York 2012 Keynotes


As the Conference Director for BlogWorld & New Media Expo, I’m pleased to present you with the Keynotes for our New York show.  All three of these are going to be must-see events and the line-up is fantastic.  As our industry takes shape and matures, we know how important it is for our attendees to learn and be entertained.  And these three Keynotes do just that.  They will be June 5th, 6th, and 7th at 5:00 pm in the special sessions room.

Tuesday, June 5th

“The History and Future of Media”

Gary Hoover   Deanna Brown   Paul Kontonis  

“The History and Future of Media” is going to be an amazing discussion split into two parts.  The first part will be led by Gary Hoover.  Gary is a legend in his own right. He is the founder of the famous company site, hoovers.com as well as BOOKSTOP which was sold to Barnes & Noble for $41.5 million.  Gary blogs at hooversworld.com and produces content for his YouTube channel teaching entrepreneurship based on over 50 years of experience.  He will be talking about the history of media with a discussion titled, “The Makers Of Modern Media.”

Following Gary’s talk, we will cruise into the future with an incredible interview done by none other than Robert Scoble (Rackspace, Scobleizer).  Robert will be interviewing Deanna Brown, the CEO of Federated Media.  Before joining Federated, Deanna served as President for Scripps Networks Digital where she led Scripps into the future of the digital space. She then founded CondeNet, the digital division of publisher CondeNast.  She has worked with Yahoo, AOL and has over 25+ years experience in digital media.

Joining Deanna will be Paul Kontonis.  Paul is the chairman and founding member of the International Academy of Web Television (IAWTV).  We are very excited to have Paul be a part of this Keynote.  He is the VP, Group Director of Brand Content at The Third Act, Digitas’ brand entity who has executive produced over 25 web series including successful online branded entertainment for Warner Bros, Armor All, Experian, Holiday Inn Express, Phillips Van Heusen, and IZOD IndyCar.

Join us on the big stage to learn about the history and the future of new media with Gary, Robert, and Deanna and Paul.

Wednesday, June 6th

“Power Up Your Blog: Lessons Learned Over 11 Years of Blogging”

Our keynote for Wednesday will be “Power Up Your Blog: Lessons Learned Over 11 Years of Blogging” with Chris Brogan. Chris is a blogger, author, coach and all around awesome guy. In fact, when you see Chris, it’s hard not to walk up and shake his hand or give him a huge hug.  He’s just that type of a guy you wanna talk with.

We are happy to have Chris back as our Wednesday keynote.  Chris is the President of Human Business Works and co-author of the New York Times Bestseller, Trust Agents as well as Google+ For Business: How Google’s Social Network Changes Everything.  He blogs as chrisbrogan.com and speaks with companies all over the world including Disney, SAS, Ford, Pepsico, and many others.

Whether you are a blogger, podcaster or WebTV producer, you don’t want to miss this Keynote as Chris never fails to educate in all areas of content creation and new media.

Warming up either Tuesday or Wednesday will be Tom Webster reading his spam (yes, we said spam).  Tom is one of our speakers and the blogger behind Brand Savant, however, he also has a Tumblr blog where he frequently reads his email spam and it’s a comedy warm-up that you really don’t want to miss.

Thursday, June 7th

“New Media LIVE!”



Get ready for another BlogWorld “New Media LIVE!” event. If you have been to our show before, then you know how exciting New Media LIVE! can be.  It is done in a fun, humorous and sometimes irreverent way so you can unwind after three incredible days of learning and networking.

For BlogWorld New York 2012, the host of New Media LIVE! will be comedic filmmaker Mark Malkoff.  He will be joined by guests: Jenny “The Bloggess” Lawson, YouTube star, Chad Vader (Aaron Yonda and Matt Sloan), satirical humorist, blogger and author David Thorne; with an opening warmup by comic blogger, Jordan Cooper.

Join Us!

If you haven’t already registered for BlogWorld New York, there’s still time (get your ticket now!). Remember, we have 175 sessions, 140 speakers, an exhibit hall, and the best networking parties around! We can’t wait to see you in New York!


Learn About NMX


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