The full agenda for this conference was released this week and it is quite impressive. SMX is Danny Sullivan’s first big conference. For quite some time now Search Engine Strategies and PubCon have been the two shows regarding search engines that everyone attends. But now that Danny Sullivan is doing SMX, personally I think it will be the best show out there.
Let me know if you’ll be there. I’d love to meet up.
After Blog World Expo 2007 was over, I found myself back in my hotel room with my mind racing.
Perhaps it was because there was so much information to take in. But I’m sure the multiple Starbucks coffee had something to do with it as well.
So before I headed down to my hotel’s buffet dinner line, I took some time to re-evaluate if I had reached my goals and what direction I should take Hippo Internet Marketing – especially as 2008 looms right around the corner.
First, the goals. I wrote them down on the way to the conference. Here are some comments on them…
1. Gain industry knowledge and information.
I definitely achieved this. I feel like my eyes have been opened – not just to blogging and podcasting, but to the “new media” as a whole. I look forward to sharing this with my clients and other.
2. Increased motivation for improved blogging.
Here’s another score! Being around all these bloggers and hearing from industry leaders made me want to jump in. I hope I can ride this wave into 2008.
3. Gain and knowledge and tools in order to effectively start podcasting and using video online.
Definitely yes. But even more importantly, I gained some good focus on why and how I should do this. I was just hoping to learn which tools to use. Honestly, this conference was not all that great for this. Most of what was said about the tools was overkill. But I have some definite ideas on how to use video and podcasting online at Hippo in 2008! Stay tuned for some really cool announcements.
4. Find a good vendor that can create a great WordPress blog theme for me.
Got it. I had a great time talking to Matt the designer. Stay tuned for a great new theme.
5. Get links from bloggers.
I probably should have tried harder at this. But it was sort of a side-thought anyway. I did meet several people, but I doubt I’ll get much “link-love” from them. No big deal.
So four out of five ain’t bad!
By the way, if you ever attend or exhibit at a conference, it’s extremely important to write down your goals in advance. How can you reach your goals if you don’t know what they are!?!
Next thing I did was to map out how I am going to use my websites and what I need to do to use my websites, blogs, video, audio, and newsletter the most effectively to brand myself and achieve my business goals. I also made a list of what I need to do to be ready for my new plan for 2008.
It’s going to be an exciting 2008 for Hippo Internet Marketing. We have some great stuff coming up!
I know people will ask me this, so I figured I’d answer it here.
Overall, I’m glad I went. After all, it only cost $175! Great price!
However, it was not what I thought it would be. Here were some of the good and bad from it…
Good: The keynotes were good. Leo Laporte in particular was very interesting. They were all industry leaders and it’s always interesting to hear them think out loud. Many of them did not go off any notes at all and just said what was on their mind. Perfect!
Bad: The sessions were not that great. I heard many, many others say the same thing. The speakers that were chosen may have been industry experts, but they did not present in a way that was helpful. They frequently did not talk at all about what the title of the session was.
Bad: There was no beginner sessions. I went to several sessions where most of the audience were beginners looking for very basic information on getting started. They were disappointed and frequently vocal that the speakers were going way to deep.
Good: The networking was incredible. Kudos for having a “bloggers lounge” full of roundtables where we could get free wireless and recharge our laptops. I met some really interesting people that were very helpful. I learned more at the roundtables than the sessions. Several of us started skipping the sessions for the opportunity to hang out at the “bloggers lounge”.
Good: The expo was very good. Again, I found myself skipping sessions to spend time speaking to the vendors. There was a little bit of everything in there and it made for great conversations and opportunities to do business.
Bad: The food was terrible. But it usually is at these things.
Good: Free wireless for all. Thanks!
Neutral: The parties after are something I never bother attending. So I can’t really comment on them. I know a lot of other attendees go for those. Just not me. Not my style.
Overall: A great opportunity and I may just go back again next year. However, the organizer(s) really need to pay close attention to the speakers they choose and the feedback they should be getting on the speakers.
My final thoughts: Make it easier to gain feedback on the sessions. We all had laptops. Why can’t we login and make comments on the spot about what we think of the presenters and the session content? Even if it was not public, the organizers need to solicit feedback to make this event more beneficial to ALL that attend, especially the beginners.
PS: If any other attendees, show organizers, or anyone else is reading this, please feel free to comment below.
Mark Cuban gave the final comments at Blog World Expo. By this time I was pretty tired of writing and Mark is very fun to listen to. So I took no notes. In fact, I’m on the plane ride home now. He did make an interesting comment about Dancing With the Stars. He basically admitted that he did not work that hard on his dancing. Instead, he tried to work harder on getting votes. It worked for a while. There were a lot of people there live-blogging his entire speech and Q & A. So I’m sure you can read the whole thing online if you do a little searching. He is a very fascinating person and enjoyable to listen to. I think I may start reading his blog.
POSTSCRIPT: Most of the presentation is available via Google Video. It’s a little long, but very entertaining…
There was a nice session this afternoon which talked about the differences between podcasting and video online.
These can be fairly long. They can start at 20 minutes and go even longer.
People listen to these very differently than the radio.
They can start and stop the program at any time.
They choose to listen or not.
The more specialized your content is, the better. Go for the niche audience.
The more focused you are on your audience, the more they will listen.
Generally, casual and candid tone works best.
Short clips work best. Five to six minutes works best.
Online video is completely different from tv.
Viewers don’t want to sit back, relax, and watch.
They want quick and focused or they will leave.
Non-fiction works best and gets the most attention.
Take your time, plan your content, break up large subjects into small clips.
Organized your clips into a longer program later. Perhaps offer it on a CD?
Keep your content very simple and effective.
If you create repeat programs, use a format. Consistence = Professionalism
The first session this morning is an opening keynote from Leo LaPorte. You can see who Leo is by putting the name into Google. He has a ton of different radio shows and “This Week in Technology” tv show/podcast. He is also often on other tv shows such as Regis and Kelly.
He started off with explaining that there are more and more “non-geeks” here at the show. It used to just be geeks that attended these shows. Now there are more and more “normal people” here.
The term “New Media” refers to all media that uses the Internet. (Nice clarification.)
He primarily used audio as a podcaster. He does not like the word “podcaster”. Distributing audio is still strong and changing. He started as a radio dj and has done tv. Since 1991 he has been talking about technology exclusively. He came from mainstream media but talks about new media.
You needed a lot of money or to be hired by someone with money.
It was typically one person talking to many.
The audience could not talk back.
They were regarded as the authority (New York Times, NBC, etc)
Practically anyone can do it.
It’s practically free.
The audience can talk back.
If you are wrong, you will be caught.
It’s all about the conversation, not a speech.
What you should do:
Don’t try to use the old model on the new medium.
Don’t just try to do TV shows or radio shows online.
Do things that are interactive. Let the audience talk back!
Why should a person move beyond just blogging and move into Audio and Video on the web?
Look at the differences… Writing is a great way to structure your ideas and formulate your thoughts. Video is very “monkey-mind”. It tends to not be as intelligent.
Most successful TV is not intelligent, but emotional.
The more emotional your video, the more popular it will be.
Video is really good for your “money-brain” or non-intelligent stuff. Audio is very personal. You are talking right into someone’s ear.
When you are doing audio, it is very into concepts and abstract ideas.
It is ideal to do all three mediums.
Blog comments are the most intelligent.
Take a look at YouTube comments! Monkey-mind!
When you read a book, the author tends to take the back seat.
In podcasting and audio, the personality comes to the forefront.
Video is the greatest medium for creating a celebrity. You put a face with the name.
Audio is more about creating a connection with the person himself.
If you want to promote who you are, do a little video on your blog.
Try checking out ustream tv. It allows you to do that very easy.
Podcasting is in the “sophomore slump”. It has not exploded.
The number of people listening is pretty much flattened out.
To make it more successful, it needs to grow up again.
If bloggers did more audio and video on their site, it would be more accessible.
We need to grow the audience. Audio and Video on the web is so great!
He talked at length next about the long tail of all networks…
There are long tails in every industry.
If you have information on a specific topic, you should not aim to be on CNN.
You should aim to be linked up with the other people talking about your topic.
Each of us has our own network and connectors. To be successful, make the connections.
Draw people from other related hubs into your hub.
Create dialogue, not monologue.
All of us are content creators. It’s not the medium, it’s all part of the media.
The future is bright. The old media is dying.
In 20 years, the idea of someone standing in front of you and talking to everyone without talking back is going to seem very strange.
There is no benefit to people telling ideas without letting them talk about.
Telling stories (like movies) for entertainment will continue to be one-directional. But not ideas.
I’m nearing the end of day one at Blog World Expo 2007. This final presentation is a roundtable forum regarding “New Media”. Throughout the day, we are hearing this expression “New Media” more and more.
The expression refers to all of the various forms that are now taking off. The reason is that Blogging is no longer just blogging. It involves Blogging, Video, Podcasting, and other new things that are coming around as fast as they can be made. The term “blog” seems to be too limiting. And many feel that the term “podcasting” is limiting. It implies to most people that you need to use an iPod.
So this term “New Media” seems to be the new way of expressing all content that can be distributed from a central source via the web. In a similar way, “Social Media” is becoming more all-encompassing to mean all online methods for sharing content and voting on it.
On this next panel are:
Richard Jalichandra – the new CEO of Technorati (the monster blog directory)
Roger L Simon – Pajamas Media
Jeremy Wright – b5 media
Brad Hill – director of Weblogs Inc which creates some great blogs now owned by AOL
I’m getting a little tired of blogging, so I’m only going to write about things that I find especially interesting. So here goes…
Jason Shellen is moderating. He started with the creators of Blogger. When Google took over Blogger, he worked with Google Reader and iGoogle. He is now with a company called “The Secret Agency”.
Both Pajamas and b5media have huge networks of bloggers. Pajamas has about 50 correspondents around the world. Webblogs Inc has about 35 blogs.
Technorati is tracking about 110 million blogs. They try to track the authoritative blogs, not spam blogs. Technorati was originally about search and a directory. Now it is more about tracking what the global conversation is doing. They are moving toward search and discovery. They are trying to bubble up the good content, yet assist those that want to explore what is below the top 500 blogs.
It seems like Old Media is learning from the New Media. What can the New Media do that the Old Media cannot? New Media tend to blog more often. The old media had a lower level of accountability. The worst that could happen is that they would get a letter to the editor several days after. Now they get immediate comments.
Interestingly, they all admitted that almost none of them are actively blogging. Too busy. They admitted that they should do better. (Funny)
Brad Hill just made a great point that many readers of blogs never actually visit the site. They may use a RSS reader instead of looking at the site itself. This makes problems for those that are trying to get eyeballs for advertising. The advertisers pay to be on the blog, yet the viewers may never actually see the blog. They read the content in the RSS reader.
Interestingly, this reflects the nature of the blogging industry in general. For example, bloggers have typically allowed and encouraged users to leave. They link regularly. When you offer good links, your audience comes back to you. Therefore, the trick is to write in a way that benefits your audience. Then distribute your content (via rss, widgets, etc) and people will benefit and therefore return.
There is a lot of “noise” in the blogosphere. What all bloggers should try to do is be authentic and passionate. That makes for a good blog.
The trend over the last few years is that newspapers are going down. They are inaccurate because they are slow. The old media is declining in part because of what the new media is saying. We need to be responsible and fact-check. The blogosphere is challenged because it is the wild, wild west.
Questions from the audience:
How do social media sites (Digg and redit) affect the blogosphere?
Anything that is good for the user is good for us. These sites help both the publishers and user. Good original content gets found because of the social sites.
Here at Blog World Expo, there were a few vendors that are taking a concept and turning it a little differently.
So you want to write is by Ann McIndoo. She is a writing coach. She has helped over 100 authors write books. She offers coaching and a 3-day event which will lead to a manuscript. She has several offerings to assist writers. I’ll be sure to check this out a little more when I get home.
Shared Book is different. One of their offerings is “reverse publishing”. The idea is that you can write in your blog and/or select online content that is available to you. They will then turn it into a physical book. Interesting idea. Very unique.
Blurb offers bookstore-quality books as well. Theirs seem to be a little nicer quality. They also have their own software that you download and use. It looks great! If you have good content on a blog, I would highly recommend doing this.