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Three Days in Vegas – BlogWorld & New Media Expo 2010 When and Where


Quentin Tarantino

I am seeing a huge number of searches now that we are in the new year all looking for Blog World 2010.  People are searching I suppose to find out the details since we are about 10 months away from the event.  The other issue is probably related to the the fact that 150,000 people were geeking out in Las Vegas with each other and are looking forward to SXSW and Blog World Expo. We have not yet worked out the venue details at this time, but the show itself is going to take place on October 14-16, 2010 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  The first day of the show on October 14, 2010 is the Social Media Business Summit.   The final two days will be the trade show and convention featuring the exhibitors on the show floor.  Once the show venue is determined and those details are confirmed and completed we will be making that announcement.

Until then, feel free to get it on your calendar, and start making your initial plans. Once the other details are confirmed, we will be able to provide more precise information about hotels, parties and all the other fun that we have for three days in Vegas.  Three days in Vegas is either a great title for a Tarantino movie or perhaps my next blog post.

Now I have to run off and see if Mr. Tarantino is on Twitter.

Photo via FusedFilm.com

Another Twitter During Conference Opinion


As I continue to hear about problems with Twitter and conferences I think I will make this something I will be asking all of our speakers about for 2010. I am thinking that Twitter will not be anywhere near our stages unless of course the speaker wants this to be a part of their presentation. Chris does a great job with his own conference in Seattle at Gnomedex.

Thanks for your opinion on this Chris. You can read Chris’ post and perhaps give him your thoughts as well. Should Twitter be banned at conferences on stage?

Coordinating Participants from Around The World


One of the more interesting, and fun (honest) things about putting together the military blogging track is working with participants who vary a great deal. We literally are planning on having panelists participate from Afghanistan and else where. Adding to the mix is the fact that we even have one or more participants who are expecting, which may impact if they are there in person or take part in other ways. We are looking at phone, video, and even twitter to bring in remote participants. The technology used to share news, information, and discussion on a variety of topics is interesting, and will be an integral part of our panels. We hope you will join us at the milblog track on Thursday, and learn a bit more about us. In the days ahead, I will begin introducing you to some of our panelists. Also, we are going to be announcing some news here soon, so keep checking back. Meantime, if you’ve got questions, give a yell and I will do what I can to answer them. Also, you might check out http://laughingwolf.net and http://www.blackfive.net as I am going to be up to something the next couple of weeks that you might enjoy.

Social Media Explosion Not Translating into Jobs, Yet.


We all know the hype behind social media, heck, we all LOVE the hype behind it.  We all know how much easier it is to get in touch, stay in touch and find New people to want to be in touch with, when you’re using social networking, and any or all of the tools of social media at your disposal.  It’s easier to find people, meet people, and, if the original claims were true, find employment.  Or is it?

So far, not so good according to new reports.  While social media and social networking has been lauded as the newest, best and brightest way to network and find new forms of employment, it doesn’t look like the results are living up to the hype…yet.  Instead of the onslaught of new social media and the technology behind it leading to the creation of a whole new set of job skills, job descriptions and yes, job openings, it seems like so far people are turning to internal, existing employees and just asking them to adopt new responsibilities.

Here’s what JetBlue had to say, that says a whole lot about the current hiring status of some of the biggest, and most active companies when it comes to new media:

“Rather than hiring external social-media savvy people…we looked internally for people who happened to be active on social media in their personal lives.”

Will this change?  Right now, we can’t say, but given the current recession state of our economy, it seems a lot more likely that internal hunting is going to continue to take place, and a lot of these responsibilities that might have otherwise required a new employee, are going to be passed around to the existing ones.

This isn’t to say it’ll always be this way, anything could happen, and all of you job hunters would be extremely wise to add as many new social media and social networking skills to your arsenal.  Just a thought.

The Speakers Lineup Taking Shape For 2009: A Quick Update


keynote1 All this week I have been working with the staff here to get the lineup of speakers put together for the event and we are just now after pouring through the many submissions and proposals sending out the emails of those that have been accepted as part of our curriculum and those that were not chosen to be speakers at the show.  I also have a long list of people I will be contacting in the next few days to interview and discuss with them their proposals to further determine if they will or will not be accepted.  This is a long process to say the least.  We had a very large number of proposals and have a small amount of places for those proposals to fit.  To all of those that have proposed a role in our event, first of all thank you, and second we appreciate your patience.

2008 twitter-session-with-erin-kotecki-vest-stowe-boyd-blogworld-2008
We are alerting all of you that are definitely part of the program and those that could not be accepted, and we are even alerting you if you are still in my pile of “maybe” for lack of a better term.  Those emails are being sent out as I type this post.  I wanted to have something here that might explain why you received the email you did and make you aware of the fact that our lineup is in an early stage of development.  I can answer questions here or via email as well, so please feel free to contact me.  If you have not received an email of acceptance or an email telling you your proposal was not accepted it is because I am still in the process of either contacting you or working to get space for the session or waiting on another session to be developed to allow us to decide.

I am very excited with the sessions, the content of the conference and what we have in store for the attendees at our event.  You can follow my Twitter stream to get further info at @Genuine you can follow the blogworld feed @blogworld or email me at jim at blogworldexpo dot com.

To all of you that have been accepted as speakers this year CONGRATULATIONS! Now please start spreading the word. Blog, Tweet, Podcast and upload videos to YouTube and let folks know you are speaking at BlogWorld & New Media Expo This year! Link back to this post and we will do the same and retweet your announcements.

To everyone who submitted a speaking proposal this year regardless of if you were accepted or not; THANK YOU! I look forward to meeting everyone of you at BlogWorl d & New Media Expo this year.

Does Your Blog Have Balls? Join Us In New York City!


bwb_logo_block I am headed to New York City on Friday, June 12, 2009 to participate in a very cool blogging conference in New York City at Stout New York.  The event is scheduled all day on June 13, 2009.  The have lots of panelists and cool topics. Of most interest to me is the “Why We Hate You” topic which will discuss why the old media is not so fond of the new media folks. I think this will be a topic of discussion coming up in our own conference in Las Vegas.

They have lunch sponsored by Guiness, and have a great lineup of speakers, including a past keynote speaker of Blog World Expo, Gary Vaynerchuk (perhaps he will finally make that announcement that he has purchasedthe New York Jets?), and a post game party sponsored by men’s magazine GQ. I think they describe it best:

Blogs With Balls is the world’s largest sports blogger and new media gathering. Sports fans, writers, sites, teams, athletes and companies, don’t miss your chance to talk with industry leaders about the future of sports media. Scheduled speakers include: Jim Bankoff (SB Nation), A.J. Daulerio (Deadspin), Spencer Hall (EDSBS), Dan Levy (On the DL Podcast) Dan Shanoff, Bethlehem Shoals (FreeDarko.com), Dan Steinberg (The Washington Post’s D.C. Sports Bog), Michael Tunison (KissingSuzyKolber.com) Matt Ufford (WithLeather.com) and Pete Vlastelica (CEO, Yardbarker.com)

This is my first trip to New York City and I can’t wait to attend.  If you want to attend the event as well, they are taking registrations through 7:00 p.m. on June 11, which is tomorrow.  Get over and get a pass for this great event.  What else are you going to do on Saturday?

Yes Drill Sergeant! Military Goes Social Media


air-force Yesterday, my esteemed colleague talked about whether or not blogging has officially jumped the shark.  Today, we’re wondering what the term will be when it comes to Twitter and Facebook now that news is surfacing that in addition to the White House joining into the social media fray, now the U.S. Military is doing the very same thing as they’ve officially adopted not only a Facebook page, but a Twitter as well.  The most surprising, and strangely impressive thing is they are actually using Tweets to spread and deliver “hard news” to those that usually get their information online, rather than printed services.

That’s right, the U.S. Military effort in Afghanistan is actually using social media to help aid an entirely new communication effort.  When asked why the change of heart, as they famously created their very own video sharing site called TroopTube that was more secure than the conventional YouTube, the Military was actually pleasantly open about their motives.  They were quick to say that they are using both their Twitter and Facebook page to:

“engage non-traditional audiences directly with news, videos, pictures and other information from Operation Enduring Freedom…and to preempt extremist propaganda”.

Sounds good to us.  It’s just amazing to see how far the spread of both popularity and usefulness both of these services are seeing.  What started as an extremely brief way to alert those around you as to exactly what you were doing has turned into a full-blown way to not only communicate news, but also receive it as well…a fact the Military seems to be counting on, at least in a supplementary way.  Jumped the shark?  Nah, I think it’s just holding onto it’s fin and is using it to go a whole lot further, a whole lot faster.

Twitter Becoming Huge Conduit For Information


twitter-bird From Twitter’s humble start as a way for you and all of your friends to update each other on what’s going on, where you are, what you’re thinking and what you’re doing, it’s hard to believe where things have currently landed.  A year ago, would you have believed that some of the most popular celebrities in America would be not only using Twitter, but championing it and spreading a huge amount of their news on the service?

Would you have believed, only a year ago, that some of the most major and popular news stories were literally broken on Twitter?  No.  Probably not.  The bottom line is, over the last year, Twitter has shifted from a small, personal place to update your own social networking statuses, to a full blown hotspot and conduit for information.  Twitter has rapidly become THE place to go for any and all things information…from breaking news, to the actual pulse of this world, it’s hard to argue against it.  Everyone from Shaq to Oprah to the FBI to President Twitters, so when you want or need information that’s absolutely up to the minute, why would you go anywhere else?

According to an article we just found, Twitter:

“…isn’t just about celebrities or the silly anymore. It’s about real information, in real time…Sometimes that can be tweeters telling people about a shooting in their town, or about who was arrested overnight and is now in the county jail. Or letting residents know about severe weather headed their way.“Twitter is a scanner. It’s a scanner of life, scanner of the country,” said Jen Reeves, an expert in new media and a professor at the University of Missouri School of Journalism.”

We couldn’t agree more.  Fast forward 10 years from today and the need for major newspapers or even yes, the News, might be completely gone.  Why listen to a reporter’s second-hand report of a situation when you could hear directly from the people that were there and actually witnessed what happened?  The time is coming…the time is now.

During Recession, Marketers Turning To Social Networks


In today’s economy, I’m fairly sure just about everyone has been feeling the pinch.  When it comes to bigger companies, one of the divisions that I’m sure has been struggling, is the marketing division.  How do you advertise your product to people who are struggling with their own financial issues, without spending more money than you can afford?  That is the question plaguing a great deal of companies today and they are finding answers in unlikely places.

Those “unlikely places” are getting far more likely in today’s day and age.  According to new reports, marketers are increasingly turning to social networks to reach their potential clients without blowing huge sums of money they just don’t have.  According to a new study by WhitePaperSource, when over 900 of the leading marketers were asked about their marketing habits:

“…more than 88 per cent of the business establishments are using social media sites, such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter, to reach out to their clients and further enhance their exposure beyond the conventional reach using other traditional means.”

What’s more, this is actually a pretty new thing.  Of those that responded, almost 2/3 of them have only been turning to social networks in the last few months.  While there are definite positives and negatives to employing this time of marketing plan, it’s clear that it’s a style of marketing that is getting huge and needs to be addressed.  On the plus side, it is Free.  On the negative side, it is, as noted, fairly time consuming to update and more importantly, monitor community and social reaction to your brand.

The study showed that those that have taken the plunge are actually seeing surprisingly great business returns.  Traffic has been up, exposure has been spread and business increased.  Again, a great idea if you can afford the time to deal with the brand you are spreading.  So, all of you in the marketing world, sound off…has social networking helped your business or brand?  Are you turning to social networks?

Did Ashton Kutcher Exploit The Children Of Africa?


While searching for other blog posts about the recent hubub over the hypothetical possibility of Oprah Keynoting BlogWorld this year, I came across another post that stunned me and brought a whole new perspective to Kutcher’s million Twitter follower quest that I hadn’t considered before.

Blogger Clement Nthambazale Nyirenda has a post accusing Kutcher of exploiting the children of Africa in order to be the first person with one million followers on Twitter.

You really need to read the entire post before commenting, but I would sincerely appreciate your comments when you have read Clement’s post as well as this one.  For now, here is an excerpt:

Ashton Kutcher, an American based actor, is trying to use the Malaria problem in Africa in his quest for personal glory.  It all started when Ashton Kutcher challenged CNN for  Twitter supremacy. As I write, the online community is abuzz with Ashton’s competition with CNN to see who can be the first to attract 1 million followers on Twitter. Ashton has vowed to donate 10,000 mosquito nets to at-risk families in Africa on World Malaria Day if he wins the race by April 25. As a result, many people on twitter are following him simply because they think that by so doing, they are helping in the fight against Malaria in Africa.

I, for one, am completely against Kutcher’s motive. Why should I follow him on twitter for him to release the nets to folks who are suffering in Africa? This guy wants to use Africa for his own fame.

After reading the post, it took a moment for everything to sink in. Did Kutcher exploit the children of Africa?

I quickly concluded it was quite the opposite and wrote a long comment on Clement’s blog. At the end of that process it brought me back to the hue and cry from the Twitterati that Kutcher’s drive to one million was a sham and against everything Social Media stood for.  That still doesn’t sit right with me. I have said before and I will say it again, I think @aplusk absolutely gets new media and certainly as well as any celebrity who has crossed over into our world.

Yes, his one million followers dwarfs one of Twitters earliest adopters and champions  Robert Scoble (82,000 followers). It makes Jason Calacanis’ drive to become King of Twitter look like childs play.

But didn’t Kutcher just prove something that many have been saying about Twitter and Social Media all along?

Didn’t Kutcher just leverage his celebrity and social media to raise awareness and money for a worthy cause?

Isn’t it very similar to what @amanda did with the amazing Twestival event, but on an entirely different scale?

Starting as one person’s idea, Twestival involved tens of thousands of people and raised over $250,000 for worthy causes.

Kutcher’s drive to a million Twitter followers started as one person’s idea and raised $300,000 with just two checks. One from him and one from Oprah Winfrey. It also involved well over a million people in the social media space and millions more in the traditional media world. The CNN coverage alone was immeasurable to Malaria No More.

The cover of their website says it all:


Some are saying celebrities’ new found fondness for social media will ruin it, but they are simply wrong. It will certainly bring a new set of problems that we will have to find ways of dealing with. There will be clueless celebs just as there are clueless businesses and other clueless people who try to use these tools the wrong way. As Beth Harte suggests, we should call them on it when they do.

But the biggest take away from all of this is that celebrities’ adoption of social media is a sign of the beginning of the beginning of new media reaching its full potential.  Adam Kmiec does an excellent job pointing out the pluses and minuses of the mainstreaming of new media much better than I can here.

Bottom line.  The change we have all been espousing for so long is finally coming. This is a good thing for all of us.

Here is the comment I left on Clement’s blog:

Wow your post may have been well intentioned Clement but you couldn’t be further from the mark.

Ashton Kutcher doesn’t need to donate 10,000 nets to Africa or $1 to anyone to raise publicity for his goal of reaching one million followers on Twitter. He could have done that without you, without the nets or anyone else.

Instead what he chose to do was use the occasion to make a very significant donation to a very worthy cause. You should be very grateful he chose a cause close to your heart instead of someone else or none at all.

Furthermore he just raised awareness of this problem to not just the one million people who followed him on Twitter, but the millions more who watched him on Oprah and all the publicity raised on CNN and every other news outlet in the world that covered this story.

This may have been the biggest publicity this cause has ever received and it is all due to Ashton Kutcher. Yes he could have given the money to buy these nets without ever mentioning it. He could have given the money anonymously. He certainly comes off as the type of guy who would do just that. But if he did that what would you have? 10,000-nets. No millions of other people now being aware of this problem and donating $5 and $10 here and there. No world wide publicity raising awareness of this issue.

What Ashton Kutcher did for the children of Africa was far greater in value than just give money; he gave you something very few people in the world could.

And what is his reward for doing so? You didn’t just look this gift horse in the mouth, you spit in his face.

I humbly suggest that you seriously rethink your position.

What’s your take?

Two people I greatly admire have weighed in on the implications of the great Twitter Race.

Jeremy Owyang’s take here.

Brian Solis may have the best post on this seismic shift yet.

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