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Blogging Is The New Prozac


Smile! Given the current status of the economy, the lingering winter in much of the country and soaring unemployment rates, the simple fact of the matter is, there are probably a great deal of unhappy people fluttering around this great Nation as of late.  What do we need to all get a little bit happier?  According to new reports, Blogging.

That’s right, blogging very well could be the new Prozac.  New research out of Taiwan is showing that when it comes to reports of general happiness, those that blog and keep up with some form of social media networking are just plain happier.  According to the research:

“[they] found support for deeper self-disclosure from bloggers resulting in a range of better social connections. These included things such as a sense of greater social integration, which is how connected we feel to society and our own community of friends and others; an increase in social bonding (our tightly knit, intimate relationships); and social bridging — increasing our connectedness with people who might be from outside of our typical social network…They also hypothesized and found support from their data that when these kinds of social connections increase or grow deeper through blogging, a person will also feel a greater subjective sense of well-being or happiness.”

Well I’ll be.  I always knew that blogging made ME feel better, and I’m sure a lot of you felt the same way, but now we have research on our side.  The bottom line is, in case you were ever wondering if blogging can make you feel more connected, can increase your social bonds, and can lead to a better mood, the simplest answer is…Yes.  Keep writing, keep blogging, keep connecting, your happiness will thank you.

Blog World Expo: The Best of Both Worlds!


Blog World Expo excites me.  It thrills me.  Blog World Expo is like the culmination of bloggerhood fantasies: the coming together of people who know each other quite well, often so well that we could order for each other in a restaurant, or pick out shoes for each other.  We know all about their jobs.  We know their children’s names.  We know about their pets, and their gardens, and their opinions about big government, world peace, and whether they prefer brown or white eggs.

We know almost everything about them, in fact.  Everything, perhaps, except what they really look like.  Much of the time, we couldn’t pick each other out of a lineup.

But that’s okay, because online, assuming we’re all telling the truth – and we must make that assumption -bloggers have turned this huge planet into a neighborhood of relationships – friendship, business, and everything else, deep and lasting, and proof positive that we don’t have to know what people LOOK like, to know what people ARE like.  Most bloggers have found and made wonderful, genuine friends via blogging.

Our blogrolls and readers are full of people we wish lived next door to us, or even WITH us, because we’ve come to love them as dearly as though we met for lunch daily.

You know, we’re all just so BUSY.  Most of us work and raise children and try to nurture them and a marriage and our friendships and our talents all at the same time.  Many days, something’s gotta give.  With blogging, the conversations can wait till we can get there.  Bloggers are friends who don’t put any kind of time limitation on us.  We are here, and we’ll be here tomorrow if you can’t stop by tonight.

Blog World Expo excites me.  Bloggers will be there.  BLOGGERS!  People who, well, KNOW!  They KNOW.  Blogosphere neighbors who sit on each other’s virtual sofas several nights a week will get to sit at each others’ tables for real.

For real!!!  Then again, the Blogosphere is real, too.  Blog World Expo excites me, because it is the best of both worlds.

Blogworld Speaker Interview: Joel Mark Witt


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

I actually came into blogging from the podcasting angle. I worked as the Communications and Advertising Manager at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore. The Zoo had been experiencing some financial and attendance challenges. I decided to start the video Podcast MarylandZoo.TV to begin extending the Zoo from simply a destination to an actual experience online and off. As a result I began blogging on my own — at Joel-Mark-Witt.com — to talk about the changes happening in the new media and podcasting industries. Online video has definitely driven my blogging efforts.

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

I try to post at least once a week. Writing original content is a very difficult job. I would rather post less and push for quality than just post for posting sake. I know there are some who would disagree with this. But I will post when I feel I have something to say. Not find something to say because I have to post.

I use the WordPress platform right now because of the diverse themes available. I also like the community that has sprung up around this platform.

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

I use Google Reader to monitor over 50 different blogs. I will also check out recommended posts from my friends using Reader. These have led to some neat discoveries of new and fresh content.

I will comment about once a week on a post that I find particularly engaging – more sometimes if I feel the need. I try not to make “me too” comments – but rather add value to the current post or further the discussion.

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

I am teaming up with Michael Hoffman from See3 Communications for our session talk entitled “New Media From Inside The Organization.” Michael has many years experience helping non-profits develop online media for their organizations.

In this session we are going to lay out a roadmap for executives and managers to follow. How to use new media to create feedback among customers, re-purpose content for other uses, and ways to start using new media from the inside.

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

Limit the number of sessions you attend. Spend as much time meeting people and talking in the hallways. The sessions are recorded – the hallways and networking times are not.

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


I actually use a lttle $50 Creative brand mp3 player. Never owned an iPod. Blasphemy – I know.


Great stuff, Mark. Thanks!  Looking forward to your talk at Blogworld Expo at the end of this week!  Man, that’s soon!  🙂   [Interview by Dave Taylor]

Blogworld Expo Speaker Interview: Roxanne Darling


Another in our series of Blogworld Expo speaker interviews: this is with Roxanne Darling, who blogs from the beautiful state of Hawai’i.

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

I have had several careers ranging from marine biologist to motivational speaker to health coach and working the past 12 years as an internet developer and consultant.  Our company, Bare Feet Studios, thrives on the possibilities inherent in the internet, and we live out in the forward edge looking for and testing new trends. My first blog? Something on eWorld or that very early Apple community platform back
in 1995, long since gone.

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

Roxanne Darling

Roxanne Darling

Daily across numerous platforms. I share a video blog, Beach Walks with Rox, with my Secret Cameraman, business partner, and boyfriend, Shane Robinson; I talk and he walks backwards capturing the beautiful scenery of Hawaii and our dog Lexi chasing her ball into the water. This is truly where my voice resides. I cover all sorts of topics, it is unscripted, and I love the freedom it affords me I love the power and impact that video conveys, and having the backdrop of this beauty is breathtaking even for me who sees it daily! I never knew what an impact we could have on people’s lives. The loyalty and appreciation of our viewers is
astounding, and the opportunities this show has created for us also amazing. We do our very best work here, technically, and allow our heart energy to be the director. It is a winning combination.

You can see some of our favorite episodes here: beachwalks.tv/favorite-episodes. This is a WordPress blog.

I also text/audio/video blog on our company site, www.barefeetstudios.com, about once a week.  I have way more ideas than time on this one! We do cross post our Beach Walks episodes here, as I often talk business and technology on that show. Our blog is not so much for the choir but for companies and entrepreneurs who want to learn how to use these social web tools smartly. We are big on testing and training, and we love sharing our experiences to help others be more efficient. It is also a WordPress blog.

If you consider Twitter a microblog, yes I am there, and post frequently since mid 2007. I’m @RoxanneDarling. I love Twitter for being able to have a real-time, energetic connection with people around the world. We are so geographically isolated here in Hawaii. And having said that? Twitter has enabled me to meet people in my own back yard who I love dearly and am doing deals with. (Try twitterlocal.net or Twinkle on the iPhone.)
Ditto for FriendFeed. When I am doing low intensity work, I like to keep a small window open on my desktop and drop into conversations there. I’m roxanne on friendfeed.

I have a personal blog, www.inthetransition.com, where I put things I want to get out but that don’t fit elsewhere. I do exploratory writing over there and it is very erratic.  It too is a WordPress blog. I have a Tumbler microblog account, roxannedarling, also for posting snippets of ideas, pics, links, etc.   I also have accounts at dozens of other services that cross-post for me.

Can you tell we love WordPress? Plug-ins we use religiously are  Akismet and Textile 2.

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?

On Bare Feet Studios: Using Social Media to Promote Your Event: Step 2

We try to leverage as much as we can in terms of being aware of our process and work flow so we can share it with others. We continually discover that the things we do “automatically” do not come naturally to others. By taking the time to reflect in that way, we get to both fine tune and archive things for ourselves while sharing really useful information with others.  We are currently planning Podcamp Hawaii. Part of the agreement with the Podcamp Foundation is that no one gets paid = we are all volunteers. So I am using whatever I can to build value for ourselves and others out of our (extensive!) labors.

This is a series I am creating documenting how we are building the event, and then showing how others can use these tricks to build *any* event, not just a podcamp or unconference. Fortunately, I pretty much can’t help but think in step-by-step fashion, having been a formal trainer for much of my life. That skill comes in handy for this type of posting. This post took about 1.5 hours to write, grabbing the graphic and all the links (essential to a good post IMO).

On Beach Walks with Rox: Beach Walk 669 – Bikini Madness!

This is not one of our special episodes but one of our every day, typical episodes. I get an idea on the way to the beach (7-minute drive), we shoot it in one take, then edit, encode, and post it on the site. It’s an example of how I take an idea out there in the “group mind” and attempt to shoot some holes in it with the goal of creating less stress, more freedom and light-heartedness for us all. We rely on good equipment and skills, our beautiful scenery and adorable dog, and one of my quirky ideas with a little science thrown in, to deliver a short, 4-5 minute tonic to the stress of daily life.

Each episode takes us about 15 minutes to film; setting up the gear, shooting, and putting the gear away, so we can then go swimming! It takes about 45-60 minutes to import, edit, add effects, and encode. Then about 30 minutes to upload and create the post. The more complex the show, the longer all of this takes. An episode like Island Adventure was filmed over an hour and a half experience, and took nearly 6 hours to edit, as we had thre cameras on that shoot and lots of cuts.

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

I leave comments for others at least once or twice a week, in bulk. Meaning, I like to do my reading on spurts, and leave many comments at the same time. I subscribe to blogs, and if I am on the page, I will almost always leave a comment. I believe in supporting the work of others, and I understand that letting someone know you were there and appreciating their work is meaningful. I am not a huge fan of the piling on style of comments, so I do my best to add something relevant or meaningful, if not always agreeing.

The main obstacle I find is using my feed reader on my phone. I am often lazy about doing the typing on my phone…

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

My title is “Finding Your New Media Voice.”  I will cover both the right brain and left brain aspects of answering this question.  I have found that there are actually relevant connections between your personality type and your preferred style of communication – writing, talking, or being on camera. There are also many options technically for using each of these methods, so we will look at out how to actually figure out which modality suits you best, and then what tools will make it easiest for you.  I love these type of talks because we can discus things that are usually isolated from each other in one place.

There are the gear heads right? and then there are the “communicators.”  I will attempt to merge wisdom from both sectors so people can leave here knowing what to do next – even if they have already been doing a form of communicating but not really loving it. They may just want to switch the tool they use, from keyboard to microphone to camera, to better suit their web DNA.

Of course I will address the pros and cons of each type of communication too, as that certainly weighs in to the discussion for a business considering how to use new media/social web communication

While at Blog World, I will also be announcing a new business  community site we are building, Know How Cafe. It will be the place where we take all of this stuff we have learned as web leaders, business consultants, and experimenters and share it with others. Most of the effective and engaging social media tools are free, but knowing how to use them is confusing for many.  It will be a fee-based membership site. Your readers can sign up for the early release and get a 30% discount by using coupon code “dave.” We are so excited about this! The site will let us walk our talk, and provide how to  information in many different forms – text, screen casts, videos, tele-seminars, discussion forums, etc. We will have multiple tracks based on topics. And unlike a lot of training/coaching sites, we will be home there, engaging with our members frequently while also enabling them to “self-service” at their own pace.

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

Have a plan and then go with the flow.

One of my Twitter friends, Tawny Press,  just compiled a great post on
this topic: Getting Ready for Blogworld Expo in Vegas

I am often amazed at the number of people in a given industry who do not attend conferences…though they can be overwhelming and are virtually always done before I am even half started (!) they are one of the most efficient ways to ramp your personal brand to the next level and to make valuable personal and business connections. I video’d my odd take on my first SXSW conference last spring – in the end the best way to do a conference IMO is to start with a plan and then follow your instincts. The little monkey mind will always be pushing for more or different, but sometimes, it really is just one person who is going to make the big difference in your life. No need to get distracted trying to be everywhere.

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

Mac. iPod. iPhone.

Awesome, thanks, Rox!  Hopefully you’ll bring some of that glorious Hawaiian weather to Vegas with you, so we don’t melt in the desert heat!

Interview by Blogworld Expo co-host Dave Taylor, who is connected to Rox on just about every network online. He can also be found on Twitter as @DaveTaylor and if you’re into film and the movie industry, you should also check out @FilmBuzz, an experimental news feed he’s building.

Blogworld Expo Speaker Interview: Rich Brooks


Another of our speaker profiles for the upcoming Blogworld Expo. It’s not too late to join us in Las Vegas and hear amazing speakers like Rich Brooks!

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

I started building Web sites back in 1997 because I didn’t want to work for the man any longer. As time went on I got more involved with Web marketing to help grow clients’ businesses: search engines, then email newsletters, and finally blogging.

I had a client enamored of Howard Dean and his Web marketing savvy; he asked me to start a blog for him, so I tried it out as well. Never looked back.

Rich Brooks, Flyte New Media

Rich Brooks, Flyte New Media

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

I blog three to four times a week in four primary blogs. Most of my posts are at the flyte blog, but I also write a more basic Internet Marketing 101 blog for the local newspaper, which helps me reach a different, more localized market.

In addition, I started an SEO blog with our new search engine marketer at flyte, and we have an internal, not-quite-ready-for-prime-time, NSFW flyte crew blog as well.

The flyte blog is on TypePad, which I still feel is a great blog for business people who don’t have a coder on site and just want to blog. The Maine Business blog is on a platform they coded themselves. The Maine SEO blog and our flyte crew blog are both on WordPress.

I’ve always recommended TypePad or WordPress, but until recently I found TypePad’s UI to be better for the average user; cleaner, easier-to-use. However, the last few iterations of WordPress have made it a favorite of mine.

The bottom line is I can strongly recommend both TypePad and WordPress; both have nice features, both are great for business blogs, and neither will prevent you from succeeding on your blogging career.

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?

Geez, superb? Now you’re making me self-conscious. How about just solid?

I wrote about Technorati Tags here: Do Technorati Tags Matter Anymore?

I liked this post b/c for years I’ve been promoting the benefits of tagging along with a great anecdote. However, as I looked at my own stats, I realized I got very little traffic from tagging. So, very publicly, I questioned myself and what I had been telling people.

That goes towards my “warts and all” belief of blogging honestly, plus I hope it will help a number of small business owners with their own blogs.

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

A few times a month, not nearly as much as when I started. I find it’s a great way to generate more traffic to your blog, and it shows an interest in the networking aspect of blogging. However, it’s tough to find the time to publish my own material, run a company, be a dad and find time to respond to other people’s posts. These days my commenting is more organic; I comment if I feel an urge to voice an opinion, and less as a marketing exploit.

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

I’m looking forward to both panels. The first I’ll be moderating on How to Plan, Build and Promote a Business Blog. I’ve got three great panelists with me, John T. Unger, Des Walsh and Denise Wakeman. We all have experience working with businesses on a consulting level on building a more effective blog. We’ll be talking strategy and answering questions on how blogging fits into a broader marketing campaign.

The other panel is about getting buy-in from decision makers. I think this will be helpful to internal marketers who realize the values of blogs, but need ammunition to convince their company’s decision makers.

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

Get off your track. Experience at least one seminar that you would never think of going to. Business bloggers should check out a milblog seminar; Godbloggers should go to a monetization seminar. Plan to have your eyes opened and your mind expanded.

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

Mac, iPod, and iPhone. Are they still making the Zune? Didn’t it turn out that it led to tumors?

I don’t know about that tumor part, Rich, but thanks for sharing with us!

Interview by Blogworld Expo co-host Dave Taylor, who is also going to be giving the opening keynote speech, a talk on blogging and SEO, and popping up elsewhere during the show. Dave is a prolific blogger and writes about tech support and business blogging, among other topics.

New Media Rich!


Tim Bourquin from New Media Expo has a must read post up today. Here is a small excerpt:

In the “old days” anyone who was famous in the media had the big bucks that naturally accompanied that fame. But these days, there seems to be a whole lot of folks that are “Internet famous” because of blogging, podcasting, Twitter, flickr, etc. and yet need to ask their audience for donations in order to buy a better microphone. It’s a bizarre and ironic result of the ability for anyone and everyone to start producing content and gather an audience.

I think we just need to be patient and if you look at the history of traditional media you will see lots of similarities to where we are today but more on that later. Tim Continues:

Twitter, blogs, podcasts and new media in general have created a wave of “famous” people – people with a “wealth” of attention and inbound links, but can’t pay their bills at the end of the month. Worse yet, some seem to think that if you do find a way to make your living successfuly, you’ve “sold out” and are no longer true to your audience. That’s a shame and it needs to change.

The “link” and “attention” may be the currency of the Internet, but until someone can show me how to pay my mortgage by linking to my bank once a month, that just doesn’t fly with me.

A commenter on Tim’s blog Trey hit on it, and another commenter Nick touched on it as well. I will begin to play the broken record I have been playing for a couple of years now. We are at the beginning of this “new media” thing. Of course very few are getting rich. (quite a large number are making some kind of money) . Most people in this “industry” don’t even realize they are in an industry. Many of them are just hobbyists with no real aspirations to grow beyond that (like Nick’s analogy to bands).

As Trey pointed out when radio first came along DJ’s weren’t rich, very few musicians were rich in the early days either. Actors weren’t rich when movies first came long. Athletes certainly weren’t. Sure they might have been famous but they were lucky to eek out a living. Sound familiar?

As those industries matured the money came. What brought the money?

First audience then advertisers and sponsorships. Along with those things came producers, distributors, and of course managers who took their cut.

Even today there are bands with very little “fame” who make a damn good living playing their brand of music. While countless others who may have more talent make little to nothing. In most cases the difference is a good business sense or a manager who has that business sense to go along with their talent.

Good content creators are not common, great content creators are rare. There are very few Madonna’s or Elvi, or Harrison Ford’s and a lots of character actors with bit parts or working in commercials. There are hundreds of thousands of musicians playing small clubs or making jingles for commercials and countless waiters out there who consider themselves actors, singers and artists.

In fact it is a testament to the awesome power of new media that so many people are making money or even making a living and in some cases getting rich already. Anyone see the recent list of the 25 most valuable blogs?

Gawker media worth $150 million? Huffington Post $70 million? TechCrunch $30 million? Yes those are subjective estimates but by any measure the owners of those sites are “rich” at least on paper.

What New Media has done is to lower the barrier of entry for all of us. At least some musicians were able to make a living without being “Rock Stars” before new media came along, but radio broadcasters? Actors? Producers? Writers?

No way. You needed to land a job with the local paper, network affiliate, movie studio or land a book deal with a publisher. Not any more. I am not saying we have cut out those middle men, but they are no longer mandatory to success. Now you can be successful on a much smaller scale with very little to zero investment. You can scale your “brand of content”.

That doesn’t mean that all other business rules are out the window. If you believe yourself to be a great content creator who should be rich and famous but don’t know how to make money doing it, then learn or find yourself a manager who does, or go to work for a network that can help you make money.

By the way New Media has opened lots of doors for folks in those more mature industries of entertainment. Quite a few traditional journalists, photographers, etc are now striking out on their own to make a living with new media. BlogCritics, and The Politico would be two great examples of that. Founded by traditional journalists who are now creating and controlling their own content and syndicating it back to traditional media. Sports like MMA that used to be drowned out by the MLB,NFL and NBA have new ways to reach their fans and new doors that may have never opened to them without new media.

So be patient my friends. The money will come and like so many other things Internet related, it will come at warp speed compared to traditional media’s history.

One last note if you are serious about learning how to monetize your content then Tim’s show is a great place to do it, and of course so is BlogWorld.

Learn About NMX


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