Lights at Lafarge

What it All Means

Monday, September 22nd, 2008 — 4:57pm PST
Comments 13

In the last ten days alone I’ve had the chance to meet and chat with Canadian beer-making legends, interview my all time favourite band (and one of Keira’s favourite bands), talk local history with a Vancouver mayoral candidate, laughed with the internet-famous, and meet another rock star who blogs.

After coming down from Las Vegas, eleven live blogs, five events, and preparing for this week’s events (which include a hockey game, charity live blog, National Digital Media Day, and BarCamp) I have to take some time to share my thoughts on a parcel I received today from the Union Gospel Mission.

The UGM is a beacon of hope Canada’s poorest neighbourhood, the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. Through programs, drop-in centres, thrift stores, their blog, womens’ and youth outreach centres, the UGM helps those who need it most.

"Thank You" From the UGM - My Blogathon Cause

This afternoon they sent Matthew Good, Duane and I each a thank you note:

Rebecca Bollwitt, for your compassionate response to a community in need. Thanks to your innovation UGM set a new fundraising record during Blogathon Vancouver 2008 to help your friends in the Downtown Eastside.

I’m overwhelmed by this modest token of appreciation and it makes me want to do more with my Social Media for Change campaigns.

I didn’t do Blogathon for links, traffic, and recognition – I did it because through this medium that so many often find shallow and self-serving, I have a voice which I choose to use to create positive change, in big and small ways, and to make everything count.

I also have the best readers in the world; those support me and my effort, who leave uplifting or even constructive comments, and those who simply come back every day. I thank you all.

Blog World Expo 2008: Trolls, Spammers and Sock Puppets

Sunday, September 21st, 2008 — 12:25pm PST
Comments 6

I’m interested in hearing the discussion in the following session, “How to Deal with Trolls, Spammers & Sock Puppets“, with Rick Calvert (CEO and Co-Founder of BlogWorld & New Media Expo), John Chow, Patrick O’Keefe (founder and owner of the iFroggy Network), and Jeremy Schoemaker of Shoemoney.

Trolls n Spammers panel

I’m familiar with trolls and spammers although I left it to Rick to explain sock puppets: In political blogging it happens quite a bit (and on message boards) if you are a sock puppet then you’re a person who pretends to be somebody that you’re not.

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Blog World Expo 2008: Ferriss, Shinoda, Bhargava Keynote

Sunday, September 21st, 2008 — 8:37am PST
Comments 7

The past two days have gone by quickly here at Blog World in Las Vegas. I’ll have a more reflective post up during my layover in Phoenix later in the day since there’s still quite a full schedule of sessions for today.

This morning’s keynote will feature Rohit Bhargava, Timothy Ferriss (from 4 Hour Work Week), Mike Shinoda (from Linkin Park).

Tim Farriss, Mike Shinoda, Rohit Bhargava

Update: The speaker took the stage and one of the first topic is about how the name Linkin Park came to be. Not so much a music discussion as it was actually the only domain the band could register, which lead them to re-write the spelling of their band name. This launches us into a topic of business, branding, and once again the PR debate – how they are building each of their different types of business and brands by being genuine.

Side note, Time is a successful author who never even asked bloggers to review his book.

Rohit: “How important to your success is it to not be an asshole?

Mike: “The brand is not the thing you put up for everyone else to see that you think will sell your product.” “You put up something authentic and interesting – this is what I have to offer you – and if a fan comes up and their experience is consistent with what you offered them, then you have a successful brand.”

Tim: Two reasons why not to be an asshole, “You’re going to meet the same people on the way down than you are on the way up,” and “Being nice to ‘unimportant people’ ends up being extremely important.” Tim says that being nice goes a long way.

Rohit: “It’s this whole idea of karma marketing,” and asks Mike about a famous Andy Warhol quote: “In the future everyone will have their fifteen minutes of fame.”

Tim Ferriss and Mike Shinoda @ Blog World

Mike: A big part of your brand is also being humble. He says LP is not afraid of people getting their stuff out and sharing it, in fact they encourage it (100 million impressions of a Linkin Park widget!) “You are very important to us,” is what they’re saying when they embrace fan-generated content.

Tim: “Who reads your blog is often more important that how many people read it.” People waste time tracking others down who are using and sharing their product or content to try and slap them on the wrist – embrace it because it helps your ideas develop, improve, and it spreads your reach.

Tim created a PBwiki for his readers to help him edit his NY Times Best Selling book.

Mike, “It’s totally possible to put something out there and have something better than what you did come back – and that’s totally beyond the comprehension of a lot of celebrities.” Putting egos aside and allowing that feedback, discussion and suggestions can really help.

Tim, “You want to talk to your readers the way you would talk to your friends after about two drinks.” Being yourself, and being a real person will get you loyal readership and it will grow.

Mike, regarding your material, “the way [people] think of it, is the way people think of you,” it’s hard to determine between “credibility and units sold”. When you’ve created something and you’re at that step where you believe in it, you take it to someone else (in Mike’s business) and they tell you if it’s good or not. Unfortunately what someone else thinks may not fall in line with you vision. Lucky for LP, they stuck to their guns and were able to release the product they wanted.

Tim, “It doesn’t matter how many people don’t get it – it matters how many people get it.” He mentions a quote from Mark Cuban, “Write what you’re passionate about, not what you think the readers want to read.” Tim professed earlier that he’s “an analytics whore” so he knows about numbers and stats. “Don’t depend on polling readers for what they want to read.”

Mike Shinoda of Linkin Park and me

The question and answer period is running a little long and with some sort of orchestra music piping up outside in the exhibit hall it seems like they’re at the Oscars and their acceptance speeches are going too long. This was definitely a very interesting keynote – the speakers were casual, comfortable and real.

DreamBank sponsored my trip to BlogWorld this month. Sign up today to help create positive change by giving dreams, not stuff.

Blog World Expo 2008: Bloggers and PR

Saturday, September 20th, 2008 — 12:15pm PST
Comments 4

After banishing myself to the back of the room, since this is the only place I can plug in to power my MacBook, I’m all setup again for the “Bloggers and PR” session with Chris Brogan, Michael Clark, Jason Falls, and Brian Solis.

Update: It’s been announced that the Twitter hashtag for this session is #pr2 so you can follow along with quick updates. Also, Michael Clark cannot be found so we’ve got Lee Odden now as well.

The panel starts off the session with a ‘hand raising’ exercise, “how many PR/marketing professionals do we have in the room?” Brian is addressed about unlearning and relearning PR in this market right now. “The minute somebody tags a post and publishes your name, it changes the game.” Jason adds to that by saying if you’re marketing and PR you need to think through what you’re doing. “If you’re sending out a release to 400 people and bcc: / cc: them all, then you’re an idiot.” “Take a step back and think about the basics of communication: know you’re audience.”

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Blog World Expo 2008: Citizen Journalism

Saturday, September 20th, 2008 — 11:06am PST
Comments 2

There are currently 10 sessions going on at once as well as the tradeshow. I may need to clone myself about 4 times over in order to cover everything – although I’m not even going to try. I am interested, however, in the Citizen Journalism track so the next two live blogs will be on this post. The first is “The State of Citizen Journalism” with panelists Tish Grier (of Placeblogger), Michael Tippett (founder, NowPublic), and Jan Schaffer (of J-Lab).

Citizen Journalism

Update: Jan is up first to touch on the hyper-local side of citizen journalism, using the Deerfield, NH forum as an example. Their aspirations were to be a local paper but they’ve gone bigger than that online with over 220 current contributors to the site. “People are wanting to cover their community from inside-out instead of outside-in.” There are a lot of independent news sites that are hoping to close a gap. New Media Women: “Our attempt to try and understand if women were to define news, how would they define it.”

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