— 31 January 2005 —

Blog, Blog, Blog & Wiki: Parte ye Seconde

Summary: Second day wrap-up of the Blog Business Summit. Where I try to write the same amount about me as I do all the other speakers. ;)

Tuesday morning was opened by another breakers at The Crumpet Shop, which is on the corner of 1st and Pike Place. So good. [insert remembrance drool here]

There’s something very home-like about walking through the market as it staggers out of bed. I was walking around the corner on Pike and an orange fell from where some lady was putting them for sale. She picked it up, made eye contact with me, then tossed it to me as I walked by. Hey, free orange. I got lucky with the weather; no rain and mid- to high-50s. I think I should concentrate my new dayjob looking in the PacNW (including Vancouver, right Boris? ;)

Tuesday — Sleep and Excitement Make Everything All Right

First up after the morning milling outside the auditorium was DL Byron (who invented Clip-n-Seal which I have one of and I encourage you to buy many) and D. Keith Robinson. They spoke about what it takes to have Good Blog Design: Accessibility, Transparency, and Clarity. They showed a number of sites that were good in their eyes. This site fell into that category, thanks fellas. Unfortunately, WiFi connectivity problems prevented them from getting to the best part: showing us some blog designs that suck! Good web design is good web design. Just because a blog might be looked at as different somehow from a “regular” website, doesn’t mean you should eschew taste. Design is part of how you communicate with your visitors. And yes it is important even if most of your visitors find you via RSS. Sweet thought though: insert a thumbnail screen shot of your blog in the feed so people remember what it looks like.

I have to admit I spaced the last 10 minutes or so of their talk. Nervous about getting up on stage I guess. From my acting background, I knew I would be nervous. I get really nervous just before going on, but once I set foot upon the stage, and look out over the audience it all washes away. And that’s what it was like when Lenn Pryor and I got up there to talk about Corporate Blogging: Strategy and Policy. Lenn and I only got to really coordinate for about 2 minutes before we started. We did it while the set up guy, Seneca, got our mics working and hooked up our laptops to the projector. It went pretty well. We switched back-and-forth between my XHTML version and Lenn’s slides. Took questions as we went, which I prefer, but I only got through just over half what I wanted to talk about. I have enough to easily fill an hour so perhaps I should look into taking this show on the road more often.

I wasn’t able to attend the session with Buzz Bruggeman and Pete Blackshaw on Marketing Strategies and Tactics: PR and Beyond mostly because of a number of people wanting to talk to me after my presentation, which I suppose is a good thing.

During lunch, Jason Fried talked about Basecamp. He gave a rather in-depth demo and talked about pricing, the Everything Basecamp blog, and how people are using it. There were a few questions from the audience. It wasn’t really well attended, but there were about 30 people in the room, and lunch was still going on. Someone sitting next to me said, “This is a sales pitch.” My response was to say, “Yes,” but I was thinking, “Well, duh!” I already use it so I know it rocks.

After lunch, Robert Scoble and Buzz Bruggeman were back up on stage joined by Anil Dash to talk about Dealing with Bloggers: Partnering and Defense Strategies. I actually felt like they didn’t get to the heart of what the talk was supposed to be about, according to the write-up on the sessions page. The content on the big screen was Robert’s Blogging Manifesto. I prefer Blogging Cantos, but that’s just because I hate Ezra Pound. Buzz and Robert hopped through the manifesto, but I think Anil made some salient points.

One of the talks I was looking forward to had Nick Finck presenting Enhancing Internal Communications with Blogs, Wikis, and More with Mary Hodder and Biz Stone. I had traded a couple of emails with Nick before, but this was the first time we’d met in person. Nick, Mary, and Biz talked about how they use blogs and wikis within their own companies/pursuits. Nick and Mary made some great points backed up by real-world examples which I think helped people on the business side of things understand how installing blog and.or wiki software might be of use. I especially thought the focus on wikis, primarily by Mary, was worthwhile. It was the Blog Business Summit, but wikis do and will play an important part for enhancing internal communication. Besides, who doesn’t want to get rid of Lotus Notes.

The last session of the day was on Media Blogging: Podcasting and Beyond. I have an interest in podcasting and the unfortunately named vlogging. I mean honestly people… say ‘vlogging’. Now say blogging. They sound similar, especially to those of us over 30 who are hearing impaired and mumblers. Why not vidlogging. At least those who are uninitiated can guess what it means. Okay, sorry for the mini-rant. This session, given by Lenn Pryor, Chris Pirillo, and Jake Ludington was too much on the tech side for me. I still think there is too much focus on the tech aspects of podcasting and that other one, but I am willing to be patient until it becomes much easier to produce. They did mention a number of out-of-the-box solutions, which is good to see, but it is still out of my price range. I think the biggest thing you need to do before you podcast or that other thing is test, test, test. Quality of the cast is important, but do we want to listen to your actual voice for 2 to 20 minutes? But who knows, perhaps I’ll podcast my next post. Especially since I happen to have all the software I need to do it. Guess I better test it first, because reading me is hard enough, right?

And that was that. After the summit officially ended, I was interviewed by Jon Froda and Jesper Bindslev, both of E-Mediators. They recorded it onto their iPod, which made me jealous. They asked me a lot of questions and I tried to answer every one. I think it went okay. Hopefully there will be a version available for public consumption at some point, but as of this writing they are still in Seattle doing research to support their thesis work at Copenhagen Business School. After that we wandered forever looking for a restaurant I could eat at. The vege thing rears it’s head again. We had a great dinner and more great conversation.

A good time was had by all. I look forward to the next summit, which I hope will be later this year. Special thanks to Steve Broback, Toby Malina, and Kim Larsen, all of whom I worked with in varying degrees as a speaker and attendee. They made the conference go off without much in the way of hitches. The lack of wifi and general internet connectivity I blame on the conference center itself. While the employees of the conference center seemed nice to deal with, the lack of connectivity at a web-topical conference was unimpressive, especially in such impressive surroundings. And lastly, I agree, I don’t get the big deal about Aeron chairs…

On a related note, here are some sites that I found that mentioned either my talk or Business Logs related to the summit:

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