My expectations of the conference were merely to listen and learn; however, I quickly realized the conference was a forum for us to talk with each other and learn from others what works and what doesn’t.
I sat in on the breakout sessions about vlogging (video blogging), mommy blogging and internet public relations strategy. They each brought new meaning to why I blog, what I am after with blogging and what makes other people’s blogs popular. In the vlogging session, the presenter traveled with his wife across the country and decided they would post a video everyday of their experience. They even set up a map for readers to post suggested stops along their tentative route. They did a great job. They shared a passion of finding America, posted everyday and invited their readers to become a part of their journey. The presenter went on to explain that as with writing in blogs, video segments must also be authentic, relevant and appealing enough for readers to want to return to the site and see what is going to happen next. One example of a successful video blog we discussed is The Zefrank Show. This guy developed a funny niche and then he committed his time and energy to keeping it current and fresh. Check it out … I promise you can’t watch just one!
The Mommy blogging session brought together some interesting local women who blog for a variety of reasons. The presenters Ginger Heidel and April Groves blog for very different reasons. Anne Hart, our very own Southernmamas.com attended to learn about what other moms are doing. Skirt magazine editor, Jessica Lebos, was also in the conversation offering insight to blogging in business and blogging for herself. One mom doesn’t allow any comments on her blog because she stated that her original purpose for the blog was to chronicle her baby’s growth and make a type of scrapbook for her. One mom feeds off the comments, she brings up issues she wants people to comment on so she can become part of a conversation. One mom wants accurate and current information on the web about living with children on the autistic spectrum so she blogs about her research and personal experiences with this issue. It was great to hear their perspectives and good to know there are no rules to blogging for personal use. The internet marketing session was presented in part by Marjorie Young of CarriageTrade. She discussed strategies for marketing and promoting your business using a blog as a tool. Most of the attendees in the room either blog as part of their job or want establish a business blog to promote their products.
I learned that the blog communication tool will forever change the face of how we share information, research products and establish business reputations. It is a fascinating new way of doing business and I got a free t-shirt!