BlogSavannah UnCon 08 in Review

On Friday, we attended the second annual BlogSavannah UnConference. I was very critical of the event last year, mostly due to the cold building and one person who refused to let a presenter present.

This year, we were at the very plush AASU Center on Abercorn. Wow, what a facility. It’s hard to believe that used to be a Publix. Even the bathrooms were phenomenal.

The purpose of the UnCon (UnConference) is to gather people together and let them learn from one another rather than just have one person preach information to the others. I attended sessions on Blogging and Life, Legal Considerations and Internet Public Relations. True, much of this information can be found doing a simple Google search online, but there is something to be said about discussing things offline.

When trying out new technology, it is much more helpful to talk to someone already doing it, which is why I attended the UnCon last year. I’ve been essentially blogging for years, but mostly through my website and without a purpose. Attending the UnCon led me to create three separate blogs with each serving a different audience. This is especially important for business blogging.

In one of the sessions on Friday, the subject came up about blogging and readers. If I blog and nobody reads, should I continue blogging? The answer should be yes. Only about 1% of readers actually make comments or interact with the blog host. But as a blogger, you become a part of other people’s lives inadvertently, as Andrew Odom said (he was the catalyst for the first BlogSavannah and made an appearance again this year). People who read blogs can have a very strong loyalty and look forward to reading the posts. So as long as you have something to say, there is a chance there is someone out there that wants to read.

As a business blogger, this is your opportunity to open a clear channel for communication with your consumers and clients. The blog doesn’t have to be all business, all the time, but make a commitment to its content. Make posts regularly, and be thoughtful. Don’t be afraid to make posts that aren’t business-related. If there is something on the news of similar content, or a special event happening, write about it. Sometimes a glimpse behind the scenes of mishaps or “doh!” moments helps the reader to feel more connected. A story was shared at the conference of a company that sent bills to thousands of its clients that were all over the actual amounts due. Instead of hiring a PR firm to spin it, the company reacted the very next morning on it’s blog, with the title, “Oops, We Goofed.” The blog explained what had happened, apologized to its customers, and explained how it would rectify the situation. Customers tend to be more forgiving when honesty is used.

So, here are three things from the conference that you can consider using for your own blogging purposes:

  1. Blog for your audience and blog often. Have an idea of who are your readers and make the content fresh and interesting for them.
  2. Beware of libel. You must be accountable for everything you post online. If you don’t have something nice to say, back it up with facts.
  3. Get your employees blogging. Don’t leave it up to your PR firm or media relations person. You can connect better with your audience when they feel the posts are by real people. The Playstation blog by Sony is probably the best example of what a corporate blog can be and how it can increase loyalty from its customers. Even if you aren’t into playing games, check it out and see what they’re doing because they are doing it right.



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