As I type up this post, I’m sitting in the Las Vegas airport waiting for my flight home to Tampa. I thought I would jot down my thoughts about this year’s BlogWorld Expo.
- Huge Growth. I was really impressed with how much Blogworld has grown. My first year was 2008 and it was pretty big then. For 2009, it was truly huge. Signs of a growing industry. I expect next year will be even bigger.
- It is a Can’t Miss. If you are a blogger, I consider Blogworld to be the can’t-miss conference of the year. There were a LOT of newbies at Blogworld, however at least they took the time to hop on a plane and come to Vegas. That shows a level of commitment that is a step toward success as a blogger. For the bloggers too lazy or cheap to come to Vegas, well, you’re missing out. I’ll just leave it at that.
- Better Monetization Track. Sure, there were those people who talk about ads, ads, ads. But, it seems there were more ACTUAL probloggers there who were talking REAL BUSINESS. Things like products, marketing. There were even a few outright internet marketers at Blogworld this year. Props to Jim Kukral for putting together the monetization track. With a few exceptions, good lineup.
- Great networking. This is the #1 reason why I come to Vegas every year for this. It is great to get that “face time” with folks. If you come to a conference like this and act shy, it is to your detriment. I had dinner with Warren Whitlock a few weeks ago and he told me the only reason he goes to conferences is to meet YOU, so he doesn’t like it when people are afraid to walk up to him. I had a reader of this blog say she was nervous to walk up to me. Me?! She did, though, and gave me a really sweet gift that I can take home to my daughter. Thanks, Coree. Oh, Coree wrote a post about this, too.
- We’re Adults, But Come On. The closing keynote was a bit of a train wreck. Kevin Pollack is absolutely hilarious. The Chad Vader guys and the Bloggess were a stretch. The keynote was dirty. I heard words come out of Guy Kawasaki’s mouth that I would have never expected (dude, you’ve got a brand to uphold – don’t blow it!). All in all, this was gutter-level humor I would have expected from a late night comedy special from crappy comedians on HBO. This is Blogworld and it is worthy of respect. Let’s act like it. I’m not opposed to a little foul language. I use it myself sometimes on this blog to get the point across. But, there are limits.
- Evolution. Leo Laporte ended his keynote by saying to everybody, “Pretty soon, you will be THE media”. Right now, it is called “new media”. But, “old media” is dying. Kevin Pollack talked about his new show which is completely internet based. Leo, of course, has his own media brand (Twit) which is completely online. Bloggers are now gaining plenty of respect as media personalities, even despite the protests of the old guard trying to call bloggers untrained. I’m beginning to see the monetization stuff move into the realm of actual business rather than “beer money” crap like banners. All in all, it is evolution. I like it. I hope it evolves into next year’s Blogworld and I think the schedule needs to be designed around that.
I’ve got some follow-up post ideas from the conference which you’ll see soon. And, if you were at Blogworld, I’d like to hear your thoughts about the conference. Please comment below and let me know.