ContentRobot descended on BlogWorld Expo on Thursday, after attending a fabulous party thrown by ShareASale and The Conversation Group at the Wynn in Vegas. We were able to network with a bunch of cool bloggers and industry bigwigs and eat some out-of-this-world (sea)food. We were off to a good start, even tho we were still on Eastern Standard Time.
The Morning Keynote
Onto the next day … After fortifying ourselves with a few cups of Starbucks, we kicked off BWE by attending the opening keynote, which featured a cool interview with Matt Mullenweg (founding developer of WordPress and Automattic) and Ed Sussman of Fast Company. We consider ourselves advanced WordPress developers and it was funny to hear Matt say that some of the WordPress tools still “suck.”
We then headed to the conference sessions. Here’s what we saw:
1. Business Blogging
This session was lead by author Debby Weil and included corporate bloggers from Cisco, Hewlett-Packard, Kodak, and Southwest Airlines.
We were reminded that businesses are still afraid of blogging (being criticized, losing control, etc.) and the technology is certainly not the key issue. The highlight of the session came when an attendee asked about ghost blogging for CEOs. A great debate ensued as a ghost blogger in the audience tried to defend his position against the panelists who were most assuredly not in his camp and preferred that CEOs that write their own stories or at least make the final edit before posting in their names.
2. Choosing a Blogging Platform
Sherman Hu discussed the major blogging tools: hosted platforms (movabletype.com, wordpress.com, and blogger) vs blogging software that you host yourself (Six Apart and WordPress are the major players).
Try as he might to be balanced, Hu made us feel pretty darned good that we recommend WordPress software to our clients. This open source solution offers the most control, community, creativity, and customization among all platforms, hosted or not. Although this session was part of the “beginner track,” we were definitely reminded that blogging (at least at the onset) is fairly technical.
3. Maximizing the Benefits of Small Business Blogs
Chock full of great ideas, Scott Allen lead the session by offering a myriad of reasons why small businesses should create blogs. Many of which are written within this blog.
He indicated that blog technology is a “better mousetrap” that allows anyone to produce content rather inexpensively because barriers to publishing online have been removed. We agree that companies of all sizes can easily take advantage of blogging.
The Conference Floor
We spent a bunch of time on the floor in the afternoon, checking out what everyone was showcasing to the blogging world. Amazingly, widgets and “souped up” blogrolls were common product offerings. We’ll be posting a separate story about the vendors and our thoughts soon.
The Evening Keynote
At the end of the day we shuffled back to where we began, and listened to the “Media Mogul Roundtable,” which was comprised of Richard Jalichandra (Technorati), Roger L. Simon (Pajamas Media), Jeremy Wright (b5 media), and Brad Hill (Weblogs Inc.) and moderated by Jason Shellen (The Secret Agency).
These ski bumps were as mushy as spring snow in New England and the ContentRobot team was uninspired by this bunch. Perhaps we were getting tired or perhaps the questions were boring, either way, we left early to start the night portion of our day.
A Night at the HardRock
1. WordPress Meetup
We wandered to the HardRock in search of meeting Matt Mullenweg and Raanan Bar-Cohen and other WordPress fanatics. We enjoyed talking with people who “spoke our language” and we felt we added a lot to the conversation. We appreciated learning how others are using the platform, what their frustrations were, why they love the software, and more.
2. Pajama’s Media Party
ContentRobot enjoyed some carved roastbeast, a chocolate fountain, and free drinks at the party. We met more people til we just couldn’t talk anymore (or listen to the awful thump, thump of the boring music) and closed out our 1st day at BWE. See some pix here.
Stay tuned for our Day 2 Adventures at BlogWorld Expo!