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aaron hockley

Join Us for a Photo Walk at NMX 2014


photo walk Recently, we confirmed that Aaron Hockley and Darlene Hildebrandt will be leading a photography workshop, “Photography for your Website: from Camera to the Web” at NMX 2014, and now we have even better news for photographers: this dynamic duo will also be leading a photo walk at NMX 2014.

The official NMX 2013 Photo Walk will be held on January 3 starting at 3:30 PM. Meet us out front of Bally’s Hotel on the Strip – look for the gang with cameras near the garden and taxi stand area.

You do not have to be a professional photographer, or even have a fancy camera. Just come with whatever you have to take a few photos, even your Smart Phone is fine!

Then, attend Aaron and Darlene’s workshop to learn how to take those pictures to the next level.

This special event is free, but please register here if you’re thinking about attending so Aaron and Darlene know how many people to expect. See you at the show!

Special Announcement: Introducing Our First Group of Speakers for NMX 2014!


This year, we opened registration for NMX earlier than ever before. Today, we’re happy to announce our first group of speakers, which includes several NMX speaker alumni and a few new faces.

Early bird ticket prices expire this week, so if you haven’t yet picked up your ticket, register now to see sessions with the following speakers:

Aaron Hockley

Aaron is no stranger to the NMX stage. In addition to speaking at NMX, he has also written several posts here on the NMX blog. Check out his posts “Image Manipulation Tricks For Bloggers!” and “More Than Words: Better Blogging with Photos.”

Learn More and Connect with Aaron >

Amanda Blain

Amanda is the queen of Google+ and if you missed her session at NMX 2013, now’s your chance to see her speak!

Learn More and Connect with Amanda >

Andrea Vahl

One of my best memories of NMX 2013 is watching Andrea as Grandma Mary interview Scott Monty from Ford. Will Grandma make an appearance at NMX 2014? You’ll have to come to the show to find out!

Learn More and Connect with Andrea >

Chris Ducker

Chris is one of the most passionate people you will ever meet. His energy is infectious, and his session at NMX 2014 is one you don’t want to miss.

Learn More and Connect with Chris >

Cynthia Sanchez

Cynthia is brand new to the NMX stage, but not new to the NMX community. Her knowledge of Pinterest is unmatched, and we’re super excited to welcome her to our list of speakers.

Learn More and Connect with Cynthia >

Dave Delaney

Dave is the the author of New Business Networking and was named must-follow digital expert on Twitter by Billboard Magazine. We can’t wait to have him speak at NMX 2014.

Learn More and Connect with Dave >

Dino Dogan

Dino’s session at NMX 2013 had attendees buzzing with excitement, and we’re so glad he’s coming back for NMX 2014. Check out Dino’s interview with UFC’s Dana White from last year’s show.

Learn More and Connect with Dino >

Jessica Northey

If you saw Jessica’s session at NMX 2013 or her pre-show “Twangout” with Guy Kawasaki, you know she’s a firecracker. Don’t miss her session at NMX 2014.

Learn More and Connect with Jessica >

Kristi Hines

We can’t wait to have Kristi Hines speak at one of our events for the first time! Check out the guest post she wrote here on the NMX blog: “Guest Blogging in 2013: The End of Unsolicited Guest Posts?

Learn More and Connect with Kristi >

Mitch Canter

We always love having Mitch on the NMX stage. When it comes to design and WordPress, his knowledge is second to none. (And he’s also one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet!)

Learn More and Connect with Mitch >

Rich Brooks

Who better to speak at NMX than the guy who has been to every single NMX/BlogWorld since it started? Rich’s sessions are always popular and packed with information, so make sure you get a seat early.

Learn More and Connect with Rich >

Rob Barnett

With his company My Damn Channel, Rob has worked with people such as Bill Clinton, Oprah Winfrey, and Rolling Stones, as well as helped emerging talent build their audiences. We can’t wait to have him share his knowledge on the NMX stage.

Learn More and Connect with Rob >

Robert Scoble

If you haven’t seen Robert Scoble speak, now’s your chance! He’s interviewed technology innovators, and we’re happy to welcome him back as an NMX speaker to share what he’s learned.

Learn More and Connect with Robert >

This is just the first wave of speakers we’re announcing for our 2014 conference. If you’re interested in speaking, you can still submit your proposal here. Our deadline is September 2, but as you can see, we’re announcing speakers even sooner, so don’t wait to get your proposal in!

And remember, if you’re as excited about our speaker line-up as we are, pick up a ticket to NMX 2014 this week. Early bird pricing expires on Friday, June 21. You can register for NMX here; tickets start at just $97.

Free Gift: “Picture This” Photography Guide from Aaron Hockley [12 Days of Giveaways]


A free gift from NMX Speaker Aaron Hockley: Picture This: Proven Techniques for More Impact and Attention with Photos for Blogging and Social Media

Here at NMX, planning for our January event is in full swing…but that doesn’t mean we don’t have time for the holidays! That’s why, every day from now through December 25, we’re featuring a brand new giveaway for the entire NMX community!

Images are becoming more and more important online, especially with the rise of social networks like Pinterest. In this guide from photographer Aaron Hockley, you’ll learn all about using pictures online. His guide covers:

  • Photo copyright for bloggers
  • Where to find pictures for your posts
  • Using visual social media (Instagram, Pinterest, etc)
  • Image use for SEO
  • How to edit/prepare pictures for the web

And more! If you’ve been struggling with using images in conjunction with your online activities, this is the giveaway for you!

Like all of our 12 Days of Giveaways gifts, Aaron’s guide is completely free for members of our brand new community, NMX University. (Don’t worry – membership there is also free!) You can download the free PDF for a limited time!

Find out more about this guide and register for NMXU here, of if you are already a member, simply log in to NMXU here to download your free copy today!

Find Your Next Article Topic Through Observation


One challenge for bloggers of all sorts is that of finding interesting topics for articles. I’ve found it’s not too hard to come up with many topics simply by turning on one’s observational skills

Up, Up, and SomewhereAs I write this article I’m wrapping up a day of travel from Portland to the Bay Area for a workshop and the evening’s meet-and-greet activities, and I made some observations throughout the day. Think about what you write about, and see if you can find something interesting amongst the things I’ve noticed today:

  • the woman next to me on the plane who saw my iPad and asked if it was “a droid”
  • the Southwest Airlines boarding process, which is different than all others
  • saying goodbye to my wife and kids
  • the business process where airlines will oversell a flight and then bump people because there isn’t enough room on the plane
  • a friend making an email introduction between his boss (who will be at the same workshop) and I
  • being told that I’m the focus of an article someone is writing about connecting with people online and then turning those connections into meatspace meetings and friendships
  • using time on an airplane for leisure (sleep, reading a tabloid) vs. business (writing, reading an industry publication)
  • the notion of a VIP or premium customer who bypasses the line that’s for the “regular” folks
  • the temporary inconvenience of road construction which will lead to more capacity when it’s finished
  • meeting a podcaster in real life whose work I’ve followed for several years online
  • learning from other workshop participants vs. learning from the workshop instructor
  • keeping in touch with family while on the road

I could see topics for article about business, tech, mobile, travel, friendship, and family. What other potential articles could be written based on the observations of a day?

Using Flickr Groups For Engagement & Content


Last October at BlogWorld & New Media Expo, Kris Krüg and I spoke about using photography to improve your blog. One of the suggestions I gave was to offer a way for your readers to submit photos that might become part of your blog’s community. While this won’t make sense for everyone, for some types of blogs it’s a natural fit. If your blog has a geographical focus, readers could offer photos of the city, neighborhood, or region that you cover. Perhaps you blog about a product or brand; I’m sure it would be great to see how folks would capture that in pictures.

The idea is great, but setting up and managing the infrastructure for reader-contributed photos could be a lot of work. Here’s an easy solution: use a Flickr group.

Netting under a trapeze at Emerald City Trapeze

The primary feature of a Flickr group is the photo gallery. You can configure it such that members can post photos and optionally set restrictions on the number of photos that a member may post in a given period of time. Flickr groups may optionally have a discussion board, or you might choose to direct your community to participate in discussions elsewhere if you’d rather have those conversations in your blog’s comments or forum. Anyone may join Flickr for free and you can configure your Flickr group to allow open membership or be moderated.

Your reader’s photos can provide a good source of material for your blog as long as you’re up front about using them. When I ran the Flickr group for OurPDX (a now-defunct group blog focused on the Portland area), we indicated to members that by posting photos posted to the group, they were granting OurPDX a license to use that photo on our website. One of the options in a Flickr group is to present a set of “rules” to a user upon joining; we included this in the rules as well as in the description of the Flickr group.

Once you have a set of photos from readers, use those as a point of engagement. You might pull photos from the Flickr group into your blog’s sidebar, or perhaps you’ll want to occasionally pull one of the photos in as the focus of an article on your site. Behind the scenes, you might find someone with some photo talent that might become a great resource for other contributions to the site.

To create a Flickr group, head over to the Flickr groups page and click the “Create your own group” link in the upper right. It doesn’t take long to set up a group, seed it with a few photos, and then announce it to your audience!

More Than Words: Better Blogging with Photos


Aaron Hockley
Photography Tips for a New Media World

Room: Tradewinds A & B/10
Friday, October 15 2010

Time: 11:00am-12:00pm

You’ve heard the tips from various sources about how photos can be used to liven up your blog posts. Whether they’re supporting material for a text post or standing on their own as content, photos and other graphics give a bit of pop to the otherwise mostly-textual web.

Today’s point-and-shoot and DSLR cameras offer great resolution and all sorts of features for prices that are lower than ever. You’ve decided (rightly so) that taking your own photos means you’ll have more authentic and unique content than if you find images elsewhere for your site…

… but then you realize that your photos might suck.

It’s okay. You’re headed in the right direction, and it’s not hard to polish off your social media photo skills. Here are a few tips to up your game:

  • Before shooting: Don’t obsess about camera gear. 99% of the cameras are better than 99% of the photographers. Whether you have a point-and-shoot, a fancy DSLR, or a camera phone, you have what you need to get started creating images. Since you’re here reading the BlogWorld blog, I suspect that you’re amongst the digitally-savvy… your iPhone or Android smartphone probably has a camera capable of great images.
  • When shooting: Fill the frame. Get close so that your subject fills most of the viewfinder. There’s an old photo adage that says when you think you’re close enough, get closer. For photos embedded into blog posts this is even more true – you’ll want your subject to take up all of the screen real estate that it can.
  • When embedding: Bigger is better. You went to the effort to create a nice photograph; don’t lessen the impact by only showing a 100 pixel thumbnail. There’s a reason why Flickr’s “small” size is 240 pixels – I consider that the minimum for effective use in a blog post.
  • When inviting engagement: Instead of just posting a photo as supporting material on your blog or Facebook page, put up an interesting picture and ask readers to come up with a caption. Folks can invent some hilarious captions and you’re sure to get a variety of responses. You can do it as a contest with a prize or not… either way you’ll get people talking about your article and picture.

If you’re interested in more tips both for photography and how to use photos on your blog and social media outposts, join me along with Kris Krug for our BlogWorld session called Photography Tips for a New Media World. Kris will be diving into a bunch of advice and secrets for creating better photos and I’ll be talking about getting those photos online and how to best integrate them with social media to drive interest and engagement.

Aaron Hockley is a photographer and blogger who has been involved with social media since 2002. He attends and speaks at various new media conferences and is often quoted and consulted on the use of social media by the photography industry. Follow along with Aaron on Twitter (@hockley) or keep up with his latest musings at Picture Pundit. He can be reached by email at aaron@hockleyphoto.com.

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