Just back from BlogWorld Expo in Las Vegas, and I have a few observations:
- A little history: three years ago, I attended the Podcast and New Media Expo in Ontario, California, which has since merged with BlogWorld. It took place right after the very first PodCamp in Boston, and it seemed that the social media world was growing at a crazy rate around me. Chris Brogan, for example, had just come off of co-leading that first PodCamp, and was already in his new job working for Jeff Pulver. He was on his way on a trajectory that now sees his co-authored book, “Trust Agents,” doing very well and Chris is a much sought-after speaker. It has only been three years. It’s not just Chris, there are so many others I met then (CC Chapman comes tom mind) who have done incredible things in the last three years. The current BlogWorld seems a lot bigger than that Podcast Expo was, but the community feeling remains.
- Back then, there was quite a bit of excitement about the possibilities of podcasting. Perhaps now podcasting as a medium has become all that it will be (which is not “dead” by the way), and the excitement is now moving towards newer shiny objects such as Twitter and Facebook (we weren’t on Twitter yet at the 2006 Podcast Expo, hard as it is to picture), or maybe even trying to figure out what the next big thing is. I didn’t get a sense of what that will be (lifestreaming? nah).
- I have written before about how meeting face-to-face is still the best way to cement relationships. After BlogWorld, I can clarify further; events like this are no time to spend a lot of in-depth time with people. I did spend a good deal of time with a few people, but the majority of the time was spent saying hello to people I hadn’t met yet or hadn’t seen in some time. Even a quick wave or hug in the hallway is enough to give the online continuation of those relationships a lot more relevance. It’s a connection we can fill out better over time and distance using the new tools of social media.
- Did I say relationships? I led a short session on the last day of BlogWorld called “Digital Symbiosis: How Bloggers Can Benefit from PR and Vice-Versa.” I was happy that the audience, an even mix of PR and bloggers, was fully engaged and participating. I learned , as I had hoped, something valuable about what bloggers want in a relationship with PR, as one blogger in the audience led me away from talking about “relevant” pitches to talking more about how ongoing relationships provide value. Essentially, bloggers don’t care how much is on a PR person’s plate or how many different types of clients there are to pitch, and how many bloggers there are out there to try and find and know inside and out. A blogger only cares about their relationship with you, a thought that coincided nicely with something Jeremiah Owyang of Altimeter Group said about business communications with customers via social media in a previous session.
- It was nice to get back in a live podcasting environment, as I was an impromptu guest on Aaron Strout and Jennifer Leggio’s “Quick-n-Dirty” podcast. I really need to get back into regular podcasting, simply because I enjoy doing it.
In all, a whirlwind of a conference, and now I must get to work solidifying all those relationships, new and renewed, that were sparked at BlogWorld.