Somewhere around 1982, Gary Portnoy and Judy Hart Angelo wrote these lyrics for the new sitcom “Cheers!” And for some strange reason when I think of Blog World Expo Los Angeles 2011(#BWELA) these lyrics just seem to fit. And yes I do know that many #BWELA attendees had not been born in 1982…but I am pretty sure they all know the lyrics and have felt the sentiment. Heck, I have even been to Boston’s Bull & Finch Pub which served as the exterior for “Cheers!” To me the lyrics fit because while many people in the on-line world may know your name…there is a pretty good chance they can’t pick you out in a crowd of 4000+, but it is a lot of fun trying and they really are glad you came.
This was my third time attending Blog World Expo having participated in BWE09 and BWE10. Many bloggers have already posted their reviews and I am going to link to a number of those below, but I just wanted to take a few minutes to give you my overview.
I must start by talking about the Blog World Team. If you have ever planned an event – tea party, wedding, golf tournament, business meeting, Thanksgiving dinner…then you know just a tiny bit of what goes into pulling off an event of this magnitude. I am pretty sure by next week Deb, Lara, Allison, Julie, Nikki, Dave and Rick will be laying the foundation for Blog World 2012. Really? I am sure the infrastructure is already in the works for 2012. So to the Blog World Team I say thank you for a job well done, seamlessly presented and for making all of us feel welcome.
We all like to go to conference exhibit halls. It really doesn’t matter the nature of the conference, the exhibit hall is like trick or treating…you walk around meeting new people, getting a few gifts and if you are lucky you can learn about new software or hardware and take home something tangible to share with your co-workers or clients. This year I met up again with Brett Wiltshire of BLOGGER. It was fun to reconnect with Brett and learn more about BLOGGER. I also stopped and talked to Tin Dizdarevic of ZEMANTA. I love Zemanta and have used it here on our blog and deployed it on client blogs for the last couple of years. It is just a great tool. My new find this year is POND5. It will be my mission to share information about POND5 with my teammates and clients. I don’t know about you, but finding just the right photo/video/illustration for a website can be exhausting and I intend to really check out POND5.
I attended four Keynotes this year.
- Shani Higgins presenting Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere was enlightening. Nice to know that 61% of bloggers are hobbyists! While Shani gave us a lot of statistics to chew on, it was Mikal Belicove of Entrepreneur Magazine that did as Jason Falls suggested in his session “asked better questions” of Shani. It was the exchange between Mikal and Shani that made the keynote powerful.
- Brian Solis made us all feel welcome by offering us a free copy of his latest book “The End of Business as Usual” and Brian certainly did a great job of interviewing Jim Farley – Group Vice President, Global Marketing, Sales and Service, Ford Motor Company. Jim has a great story including the fact that his grandfather was the 389th employee hired by Ford Motor Company. Jim’s message: “Let people speak…listen…speak like them!” Enough said. I will make it a point to visit Ford Social and I will read Brian’s book.
- Mitch Joel handily moderated the keynote session Building a New Media Empire with Lisa Stone, Deanna Brown and Michael Stelzner. A couple of great quotes from this session: “If you see a hole – you can build a business”, “the most successful people write about what they love”, and “provide service and band together!”
- Jordan Cooper is funny and I am glad I got to enjoy his comedy as he introduced the closing keynote.
When you purchase a two-day ticket, as opposed to the full conference – you risk missing meaningful and powerful sessions. Next year I will not make this mistake. That is not to say that I did not enjoy the sessions I attended, but a number of people that I wanted to hear and meet spoke on Thursday and I arrived Friday morning. In all I attended five sessions (there were hundreds!). Hmmm…
|Jason Falls talking about B.S.
- “The Use of Digital Application and Tools to Change Behaviors to Improve Health” was interesting, but probably would have been more so if I were in the medical field. But still good to know that the health field is trying to make the most of social media.
- Jonathan Fields interviewed Chris Brogan and Leah Segedie in a “Lifestyle Makeover Roundtable”. This was a very intimate (small group of people) and personal discussion about going through a lifestyle makeover. There was great audience participation.
- Jason Falls’ session “This Is All Such B.S.: How to tell and what to do when you’re being had in blogging, social media and beyond…” The title is enough to make you want to hear what Jason has to say. Jason had a lot to say but the big take-away was: “Ask better questions and do your own work!”
- I happened upon “How Dad Blogging Can Bust the Fatherhood Stereotypes” featuring Bruce Sallan, Jim Lin, Ron Mattocks and Kevin Metzger. And yes, I know, I am not a father…but I had a great father and I wanted to listen to what these Dad bloggers had to say. Sadly this session did not have a lot of participants. It would have been better in a smaller room, but the content was over the top powerful. Each gentleman offered such wonderful insights and they were well prepared…I became so involved with listening that I forgot to take copious notes. But at the end Ron Mattocks gave me a gift of his book Sugar Milk and he signed my copy. I have started reading it…when a book can make you laugh out loud, then you know it is going to be great.
|Mack Collier leading #blogchat at #BWELA
Live #blogchat was my fifth session. I have been participating in the on-line Twitter #blogchat for over a year. Every Sunday at 8:00PM Central time people get together on Twitter to chat about blogging. So to be part of Blog World’s live #blogchat with Mack Collier was much anticipated and Mack did not disappoint his live audience. The topper was Mack’s invitation for all of the live audience members to introduce themselves with their Twitter profile names. So much fun to meet @Sherree_W, @wordsdonewrite, @BruceSallan, and @kikolani and to sit next to @allison_boyer in this live #blogchat. Great event!
My favorite part of Blog World Expo is meeting people who I have come to know through their blogs/websites or twitter. For example, I have written about 501 Mission Place and finally I was able to meet Rob Hatch who is on the 501 Mission Place team. Also I was able to meet Chris Brogan, Jacqueline Carly, Mack Collier, Julien Smith, Justin Levy and get re-acquainted with Darren Rowse.
So here’s to Blog World Expo and stopping by the Sheraton Hotel’s bar where many knew my name, but few knew my face!
|Allison Boyer, Judy Helfand and Julie Bonner