Is Attending a Blog Conference Worth It?


I often read about how at-home bloggers, and other work-at-home-preneurs, are prone to feeling disconnected from society. Personally, that has not been my experience. While I might not be meeting my newly found ‘blogging buddies’ for drinks anytime soon, I feel that since I started blogging, I have made more connections than I would have otherwise.

Aditya Mahesh recently blogged about How To Overcome The Disconnection of Working Alone.

And it is going to be the tipping point for me when it comes to blog conferences. [Read more…]

Blog Indiana 2009 conference announced


blog-indiana-2009-logoThe second annual blogging conference for Indiana has been announced. It will run from 13th to 15th August 2009 and is designed to bring together bloggers, marketers and small business owners from across the state, encouraging and empowering them to make the most of online social media.

Speakers include Chris Brogan, Jason Falls, Chris Baggott, Brad Ward, Douglas Karr and Tom Britt, with discussions covering Twitter, Facebook, blogging for beginners, business blogging, monetization, political blogging, and other more advanced topics. [Read more…]

Elite Retreat open for registrations: 35 places up for grabs


elite-retreat-logoThis year’s Elite Retreat, which will be held in New York City on October 1st and 2nd, is now open for registration.

This year’s speakers include Seth Godin (keynote), Jeremy Schoemaker, Neil Patel, Chris Winfield and Brian Norgard (check out the speaker profiles for more information).

The event is exclusive (35 places based on merit, not first-come-first-served) and relatively expensive ($4,950 counts as costly as far as I’m concerned), yet it has some high profile fans so is something worth considering. [Read more…]

WordCamps 2009

wordcamp logo

wordcamp logoThe year is off to a great start for fans with WordCamp Las Vegas, WordCamp Indonesia 2009 in Jakarta, Indonesia, a snow-filled skiing and photography WordCamp Whistler, two WordCampED educational WordCamp events in Worcester, Massachusetts and Vancouver, BC, Canada, WordCamp Jena in Germany, a warm WordCamp Miami, followed by a wintery WordCamp Denver.

In between the conference style WordPress events called WordCamps, intensive one to two day events with top notch WordPress and blogging experts, are a bunch of WordPress Meetups, community social gatherings to talk about WordPress and blog related issues.

WordCamps began in 2006 after Matt Mullenweg, founder of WordPress, attended some of the earliest BarCamp events which were the start of the “unconference conference,” an informal gathering of like-minded folks who let the natural course of a gathering happen, where experts share what they know with anyone interested and willing to listen and learn.

While WordCamps were meant to follow an unstructured format, they quickly evolved into serious conferences, ranging from a couple dozen to hundreds of participants with workshops, special sessions, multi-track sessions, and a lot of events in and around the WordCamp program.

In 2008 Year-End Wrap-Up, Matt Mullenweg said there were 29 official WordCamp events in 2008. There are expected to be almost double that number this year.

From those reporting in to the WordPress staff, approximately 3,400 people attended the various international events, and was there for most of them giving his famous “State of the Word” address on where WordPress was, is, and the future of WordPress. That’s an average of 117 people per event, and while I don’t have the specific numbers for all the WordCamps, Podcamp and WordCamp Hawaii in October had more than 600 registrants at the Hawaii Convention Center, WordCamp Israel 2008 (English) in Tel Aviv had over 500 for their second WordCamp event. [Read more…]

Hawaii Geek Week Begins in Honolulu

Studio Artist software demonstration at Macoctoberfest in Hawaii

Mactoberfest in Honolulu, Hawaii, on Saturday, October 18, 2008, started the first of a week long celebration called Hawaii Geek Week.

Designated by the governor of Hawaii, there is a week of tech events all over Honolulu, ending with PodCamp/WordCamp Hawaii.

The first event, Mactoberfest, was a great success with a photography and computer tech swap meet and a day of speakers covering web technologies and applications. It began with myself, Lorelle VanFossen, speaking about how WordPress changes lives, followed by Lorenz Sell of iLovePhotos, John Dalton of Studio Artist, and a great panel discussing the past and the future of web technology, blogging, and journalism. OhScrap has some pictures of Mactoberfest. [Read more…]

Aloha Hawaii Geek Week!

Aloha! I’m heading to Hawaii for the official Hawaii Geek Week October 18-25, 2008. Want to join me?

Actually, it all started with the wonderful coincidence of having two packed weekends of web and blog tech conferences, Mactoberfest with the Hawaii Macintosh and Apple Users Society (HMAUS) on Saturday, October 18, 2008, and the week ending with Podcamp and WordCamp Hawaii on October 24-25, 2008. With so much web tech goodness, more workshops and events were thrown into the calendar.

The Hawaii Macintosh and Apple Users Society (HMAUS) and their Secretary and Ambassador Eugene Villaluz decided to approach the governor of Hawaii to declare Hawaii Geek Week. [Read more…]

Hello Appfrica: An Interview with Jon Gosier


appfrica.gifAppfrica is an international technology conference and think-thank, taking place in Africa of course. The idea is to bring together researchers, educators, businesses, industry leaders, and organizations, to talk about uses of web technology. The goal being to find new ways to further develop the educational process in the developing world, as well as talking about online innovation from an African point of view overall. The first panel is on July 31st at the Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda.

Jon Gosier is involved in the Appfrica project, so I shot him some questions to get to know what it really is all about.
[Read more…]

Second Blogging for Business (B4B) Conference opens registration

Registration for the second annual Blogging for Business (B4B) Conference, to be held in Salt Lake City, has opened today. This year’s event takes place on Friday, June 6, the theme being “engage”.

Speakers include Jake McGee from Ant’s Eye View, Dave Bascom from, and Cydni Tetro from NextPage.

Subjects on offer include building customer evangelists through blogs, optimizing web sites to reach bigger audiences, and how companies can embrace the Internet as traditional marketing is challenged.

“Blogs have become a critical tool to get messages to and interact with key audiences today. This conference is intended to help marketers and business leaders more effectively plan, deploy and maintain an online media strategy — either their own blog or by engaging the audiences of others — that will profit their organization,” said Matthew Reinbold, conference organizer.

Registration is $299 per delegate, with more information available at

Last year’s event took place on October 22.

Choosing between Twitter, live blogging or fast publishing

I love it when bloggers write about conferences I cannot attend. Blogs and Twitter are my main resources to stay in touch with conferences such as the Web 2.0 Expo in San Fransisco last week. Bloggers take different approaches to cover conferences which all have their advantages and disadvantages. The main three approaches are using Twitter, live blogging tools or fast publishing.


Twitter is a useful tool to stay in touch with both conference organizers and attendees. Stay up-to-date with schedule changes, keynote transcriptions and videos and people in the room. Twitter is used more and more often by speakers to answer questions from the audience or from people who are not attending the conference. The downside of such interaction is that there are always people out there to get their 140 characters of fame and add a lot of noise to the signal.

One of my favorite uses of Twitter during conferences is a backchannel people can send their posts to. During the Next Web conference in Amsterdam a few weeks ago a backchannel was created where all posts that included #nextweb were posted. By following the backchannel you can get information from everyone actively participating in providing content from the conference.

Live blogging

CoverIt Live is one of the most popular tools used for live blogging. It provides an easy and instant way to provide your blog readers with the latest news without having to refresh the page:

Your commentary publishes in real time like an instant message. Our ‘one-click’ publishing lets you drop polls, videos, pictures, ads and audio clips as soon as they come to mind. Comments and questions from your readers instantly appear but you control what gets published.

It is an excellent solution for blog visitors if you are “live reading” the blog. However, for archival (and SEO) purposes I am not too fond of using such tools. For example, I wanted to check out Mashable’s post on Matt Mullenweg Announces Related Posts and Themes for Photo Bloggers. If you use an external service such as CoverIt Live the content is not actually a part of your blog but it is embedded into your blog from their server. The fact that your content is embedded has consequences for indexing and finding the content. Be aware when using such tools that your live coverage will not be indexed nor be part of your blog’s archive.

Fast publishing

This is my personal preferred method of blogging conferences and keeping up with conferences. At the Next Web Conference we covered the whole conference with only two people and took turns in covering the keynotes. After a thirty minute keynote we would have another thirty minutes to turn our notes into a blog post and publish it online. While thirty minutes to edit your notes is not much it provides you with just enough time to turn them into a coherent blog post.

Why do I prefer fast publishing over Twitter or live blogging? Your blog is not as good as its latest post, it is the archive that counts. Which is your preferred method?

How to Talk to a Blogger

Romance Writers of America and bloggers meet to talk about web publishing - photograph copyright Lorelle VanFossenI’ve arrived in the southern part of the Mid-Western United States for WordCamp Dallas and have already started meeting fans and friends. While I love to talk blogging anywhere and any how, I’m finding it interesting how some people are having trouble talking to a blogger. This goes beyond “what is blogging?” This is when you are a blogger confronted with another blogger and you want to ask questions, but you don’t know what to say.

I’ve had people rush up, all excited to talk to me, then stumble with their words, unable to get out anything intelligent. I know they are brilliant people, but talking blogging requires some planning, especially when meeting someone you’ve come to know so well online. In person, the dynamics change. One person asked me to tell them how I got started. Hm, let’s see, how do I sum up 14 years of blog struggles in 10 seconds or less? Another person said, “Well, so what do you blog about?” Since I knew that they knew what I blogged about, we both know it’s an awkward question and that they are just trying to say something until something better comes along.

Another popular question is “Where do you find things to write about?” How do you come up with blog stories and articles? While the answer can be interesting, from one blogger to another, we know where blog stories come from: anywhere and everywhere.

While these are good questions to ask, they are not the questions bloggers should be asking other bloggers. Let’s put the nerves aside and look at some tips on how to talk to a fellow blogger about blogging.
[Read more…]