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American Political Leaders Are Clueless About New Media


Yes that is a generalization, but I would argue it is generally true. Presidential advisors Karen Hughes and Mark Penn demonstrated it in their keynote talk at BlogWorld last year. Congressman Weiner is learning about the true meaning of transparency right now. Former GOP Congressman Chris Lee learned that photos on Craigslist are not private. The latest evidence is this interview with leading Democrat Congressman Barney Frank in the Atlantic.

In the interview Congressman Frank says he likes to read The Economist, The New York Times, The Hill, Roll Call and Politico as well as books on British history. Then he says this:

I don’t get news on my phone. I don’t use Facebook or Twitter. I want substance. I’m not betting on stocks. I don’t deal in emergencies and I don’t know CPR. There’s enough possibility of misunderstanding as it is without 140 character tweets. Of course, when you’re talking about somebody getting shot, tweets have been good. But generally, I want more than you can get on a phone.

Apparently Congressman Frank is unaware that he can read all of his favorite newspapers, magazines and books on his phone or that he is missing quite a bit of “substance” by limiting himself to outdated forms of media distribution.

Then he says this:

The trouble with new media is the fact that there’s no screen. Anyone can publish anything. We still have the notion that if it’s printed it has some validity.  Previously, you had to convince at least one other person that it was worth printing. Now, anyone can print anything in this medium. In general, there’s a lot more gossip and fragmentation.

Apparently Congressman Frank has never heard of The National Enquirer, The Sun and scores of other gossip oriented newspapers, magazines, TV shows etc. I assume he has forgotten about Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Jack Anderson; whose political gossip segment was a feature on Good Morning America for nine years.

There is no arguing with Congressman Frank’s point that there is more gossip and fragmentation. What Congressman Frank fails to realize is that there is more of every kind of media available. In the same way cable and satelite opened up new distribution channels for radio and TV, New Media has democratized all media.

New Media has given us the most free, open and democratic media in all of human history. That is in direct keeping with American ideals. Our political leaders should be doing everything they can to educate themselves about it, embracing it and advocating for it.

***Update 6.6.11*** Weinergate is getting bigger. And with BlogWorld NYC keynote speaker Andrew Breitbart’ latest post you have to ask is the Blogosphere about to notch another politician resignation in its belt?


Watch the BlogWorld Keynotes LIVE!


Watch all the BlogWorld keynote presentations live, powered by Ustream, and participate in the social stream here! For keynote schedule see below.


Thursday October 14:

  • 8:30 AM: Opening Keynote: Stand Up, Stand Out, Stand Together Islander G
  • 2:45 PM: Keynote: Convergence of Media and the Future of Unscripted Drama on the Web Islander G
  • 5:15 PM: Keynote: Behind The Wristband: How LiveStrong Evolved From A Cause To A Movement Islander G

Friday October 15

  • 8:45 AM: Keynote: State of Digital Communications in Politics Islander G
  • 5:30 PM: The Future of Web Video Islander G

Saturday October 16

  • 9:30 AM: The 7 Harsh Realities of Blogging for Bucks Islander G
  • 5:00 PM: “New Media LIVE!” Talk Show – Closing Keynote Islander G

For more details on presenters, panel information, and the entire conference visit our online conference schedule.

And after the show, tune into our BlogWorld Ustream channel to view the keynote again or watch missed presentations.

Twitter Rolls Out 'Suggestion For You' Feature


For those who love the Facebook’s “Friends You Might Know” feature and/or are sick of the #FF stream, this weekend’s Twitter announcement is perfect for you! In a new blog post, they reveal their latest feature for users: Suggestion For You.

The algorithms in this feature, built by our user relevance team, suggest people you don’t currently follow that you may find interesting. The suggestions are based on several factors, including people you follow and the people they follow. You’ll see these suggestions on Twitter.com and the Find People section. If you like a suggestion, click “follow”; if you don’t, click “hide,” and we’ll try not to suggest that user again.

The new features are also going to be available to developers via an API, allowing them to incorporate the new friend suggestions into Twitter clients.

I don’t currently have it available on my account, but look forward to checking out the feature. I find myself browsing through my friends’ follow list periodically, looking for applicable and interesting new people to follow. This makes it that much easier!

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It's Ok to Make Money Blogging


We all want to be millionaires from blogging. Few of us achieve that level of success. Nevertheless, you wouldn’t be here unless you were at least interested in making money with your blog, if you aren’t doing so already. And, it is totally possible to make a livable income through your online business. The first hurdle in making money online is to realize that it is ok to make money online.

I repeat: It is ok to make money online.

The general public seems to have this perception that everything online should be free. That’s slowly changing. While the Internet is a great place to find free information, people really will shell out money for quality. You shouldn’t feel bad about charging for this quality.

A few weeks ago, I asked bloggers on one of my mailing lists to fill out a survey about their biggest blogging frustrations. One of the questions directly asked bloggers to choose from a list of common things bloggers want (more traffic, more money, etc).

One of the people who responded…well, her response kind of threw me for a loop. In a very snooty manner, she said that it never even crossed her mind to care about money or traffic; she does blogging for the love of it. Throughout the rest of her responses, she kind of implied that it was a bad thing I was doing, encouraging people to monetize their blogs. Apparently some banner ads or the occasional promotion of an affiliate link when you do a review is ok, but anything other than that is evil. It’s apparently a disservice to readers to be concerned with making money on your blog.

Personally, I believe that she’s part of an old school way of thinking that is dying out – and thank god. I believe the exact opposite. If you aren’t concerned with making money on your blog, that’s a disservice to readers. Yes, there are some great hobby bloggers out there, but the ability to make money with your blog means…

  • …you can quit your day job and devote more time to learning about your niche, providing better information to readers on your blog.
  • …you also have more time to spend answering emails and helping readers, since you no longer have to work at a non-blog job to pay the bills.
  • …you can offer readers multiple levels of interaction – free for people who just want basic information, and paid for people who want to learn more.
  • …you have more money to spend on blog design, increasing not just the look, but also the functionality of your blog.
  • …you are able to attend events in your industry, which gives readers a more direct experience on your blog, without worrying about paying the bills.
  • …you can pay for better hosting.
  • …you can buy items to review on your blog.

I read an interesting article the other day about paying for information, and although I’ve since lost the link, I can tell you this: The article compared websites to cable channels. No one expects cable to be free because it was never free from the start. People only expect information products online to be free because this form of entertainment and knowledge started out being free. More and more, however, the masses are understanding that you can’t get everything for free. Readers are becoming more accustomed to paying for ebooks, reports, videos, membership areas of websites, and more. At the very least, they’re starting to realize that if you buy products from affiliate programs, you’re supporting the website that you enjoy.

So if you’re a  new blogger, the point is that you need to stop feeling guilty for trying to make money online. Yes, there are scummy ways to go about doing it, but as long as you aren’t tricking your readers, you deserve to see some income from your website. You put a lot of hard work into providing useful information, so there’s no reason to feel bad when you start seeing revenue.

Allison Boyer is a writer for BWE’s blog and the owner/manager of After Graduation. She thinks it’s funny how people who don’t like monetized blogs would never imagine doing something (like writing professional blog posts) without getting paid.

Image credit: sxc.hu

Introducing the BlogWorld 2010 Monetization Super Panel


For weeks, you’ve clamored for a tidbit or taste..something, anything,  to entice you into buying a ticket for BlogWorld. I’m happy to reward your patience today as we kick off panel introductions with one of our most popular events: The Monetization Super Panel.

Each year, BlogWorld features a “Make Money Online” Dream Team to bring you firsthand tips and tricks so you too can earn enough as a blogger to enable you to quit your dull office job. Each year, you tell us that it’s not enough. You ask questions and mob our superstars after each session. “Guys,” you ask them. “How can I be more like you? How can I get a $100,000 Adsense check?”

Monetization Track Leader Jim Kukral and I had a blast  putting together the monetization panel to end all monetization panels. “This is my favorite panel at BWE and it should be yours too,” said Jim. “How often do you get the chance to pick the brains of some of the most successful bloggers in the world about how they make money? Actually, I know the answer to that question… once a year, at BlogWorld.”

This year our dream team includes Jeremy “ShoeMoney” Schoemaker, John Chow, Anita Campbell and Darren Rowse … and guess what? The Monetization Super Panel will be an extended session, so you leave with your brain chock-full of tips and ready to take action. “Out of all the panels and speaking engagements I do a year I enjoy this one the most,” says, ShoeMoney. “Getting hands on with with  attendees helping them in the site clinic and Q&A is very rewarding.”

The panel includes:

  • Tips from each blogger – John, Jeremy, Anita and Darren will each tell you about their best monetization tips and secrets.
  • Blog critiques – Each blogger will critique blogs chosen from members of their community and discuss the best ways to monetize those blogs. The individual bloggers will most likely choose the blogs by hosting contests. Stay tuned to learn how to have your blog critiqued live during the Monetization Super Panel.
  • An extended Q&A – Most panels include a 15 minute Q & A session, but we’ve come to learn that’s not enough time for  a super panel. At BWE10, not only will we have an extended two hour session but part of that panel will feature at least 30 minutes for a Q&A.

The monetization panel is a longstanding BlogWorld tradition, if you can consider two prior years to be longstanding. We’re proud to continue this same tradition and would like to thank all of our panelists, especially those who continue to come back each year so you can benefit from their wisdom.

“I love being part of the BlogWorld Expo Super Panel,” John Chow tells us.  “The enthusiasm of the panel and the audience are among the highest of any panels I have participate in. I am really looking forward to the 2010 session. ” So are we, John.

Considering the successful bloggers who are sitting on the panel, I’d say this is worth the price of admission in and of itself. However, it’s only a drop in the bucket. Stay tuned for more updates regarding speakers and panels for BlogWorld 2010.

Deb Ng is Conference Director for BlogWorld and blogs about blogging and social media at Kommein. Feel free to follow her on Twitter @debng.

Out of all the panels and speaking engagements I do a year I enjoy this one the most.  Getting hands on with with  attendees helping them in the site clinic and Q&A is very rewarding.

How To Follow Through on Your “How Can I Help You?”


At Blogworld 2009, Social Media Marketing was still a concept in development. A few weeks later, Mashable declared that there were 15,740 “Social Media Experts” on Twitter – a number indicating that many people were claiming to be experts, and that few were. At Blogworld 2009 itself – the motto seemed to be “How can I help you?” The motto was touted by all of the big names as a means, I guess, of getting would-be social media enthusiasts into giving mode rather than receiving mode. The problem was – the phrase was too vague. “How can I help you?” became “let me show you how to retweet,” “here’s how you post a message on your friend’s wall,” and “follow me and I’ll follow you.” It’s no exaggeration – after Blogworld 2009, Twitter account’s bios all over the place started reading “how can I help you?” and no real concrete help was being given. So I propose an alternative: “What can I do for you?”

“What can I do for you” commits you to action. The word “do” implies that you’re willing to work with the person – not just tell them that about tools and very general concepts. It implies that you’re willing to sit with the person face-to-face, show them how to set up a Hootsuite account, and then show them what the best possible way to garner a following for their niche industry is. And then – show them how you maintain a schedule for that routine. It implies you’re willing to put some skin in the game.

Here are some things you can do to break the ice for yourself and really truly do something for someone:
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