From the monthly archives:

July 2006

fraught

July 31, 2006

For a while, a year and more ago I thought I’d make my fortune with the Blog World Expo (yes, there’s a wiki somewhere too). The moment passed, but I still feel the need for a blogging confab — a web communications summit — that combines the best of everything. I caught glimpses of what I’m after at BlogHer: a gathering of the tribes, a marketplace, an academy, a rich community of spirit.

I had lunch with Nicole Simon. We spoke of many things, but not about blogging… we talked politics, culture, global conditions and the pathos of the decline of the American empire… heck, we weren’t even drinking. I met Maria Benet in person, and while I wondered silently how Tom Shugart is doing these days and I thought she might know, Maria and I were just connecting face-to-face for the first time and not diving too deep into that rich history we’ve begun to develop auf blog. Rather I was fascinated by her tale of a family blog and the bear stories she used as a touchstone for her son his first year away at school.

(I’ve just popped a note off to Tom… sort of a six month check-in).

Grace Davis… holy smokes. I love her. Of course I also love Jory. And I love Mary Hodder. And Danah Boyd. And Melanie Swan. And Liz Ditz. I’m ashamed to say it but I think I might be a little easy. Melinda Casino, Aesa, Candace Gardener… no doubt in my mind, I’m a slut of Jimmy Carter dimensions. Liza (overheard muttering “I’ll never fly Northwest again”), Elisa, Silona, Adina, Glennia, Aura, Nina, Rebecca… all among the people I remember fondly. And of course there’s the Boston Babes: Betsy and Lisa and Halley. I said hello to Ponzi and asked her to remember me to Chris… she’s so good, she never batted an eye, just said certainly she would, and while I knew she was a public person with a zillion Gnomies cavorting around her public life and she didn’t really know me from Adam, well… I had to respect how she didn’t betray that. And at the same table at the same moment, I was able to stumble over my tongue and confuse Choconancy (Nancy White, who was sitting there) with HorsePigCow (Tara Hunt, who wasn’t)… all these famous writers and their famous blogs, even Homer nods.

Thinking about Grace I’m reminded of nakedjen… I met Jen at the first BloggerCon, but she had her clothes on. Jen’s a Santa Cruz bloggeuse too, but she couldn’t make it to BlogHer due to prior naked commitments. But let’s back away from the body-conscious purity of a Badger or a Nakedjen taking her clothes off because we should, and get back to the slut-motif…

Thin ice here, Buddy. Watch your step. Building a business is a lot like peddling your ass. But it doesn’t have to be, and the graceful way Mary Hodder makes her way through the minefield of obnoxious self promotion to emerge unscathed and still on message is something we can emulate. Her younger colleague, Mena Trott, hasn’t yet developed that gracefulness. Arianna of course has nothing to be graceful about. How many of us can say we stiffed Nancy Getty on the cost of our wedding? And Halley, my god… Halley… well, there was more flogging going on at this gathering than you’d expect at Miss Behavior’s B&D Salon. Some of it was graceful. Some of it was not graceful. The least graceful is the personal sell, the one that sells the CEO and leaves the product behind on the t-shirt table and the logo saturated lanyards. All of it of course flies in the face of the behavioral norms of the Winer style unconference, and to his credit I haven’t heard Dave ragging on about it much (although he does seem to agree with me that there was confusion about when and how to make a pitch). I think the first rule of the unconference was pretty well modeled… don’t be boring. Allow participation from everyone. The second rule, NO PITCHES, wasn’t acknowledged.

There has to be a middle ground, a place where the Noogles, and Ploogles, and Fuggles, and Muggles, can share information about their products’ capabilities in a technical context without pimping them. That was one of the thoughts behind Blog World Expo. There’s nothing wrong with putting the Microsoft Fembots in front of a blue screen and letting them perform, but consider the three ring circus. There your attention can drift to something more edifying like the elephant act.

[p.s. this just slammed me like the heel of my hand right in the forehead... not the "I coulda had a V8" thing, but rather just as Rome took longer than a day or two to construct, so also does a world class event. Two days isn't enough to do it justice, to do it right.]

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monetize that

July 30, 2006

Thanks to our friend Leslie in San Francisco for sending this reportage on BlogHer.

At the convention, brand-name companies lined up to greet their potential
business partners. The lunch break was sponsored by Weight Watchers.
Funding for the keynote seminar was provided by Johnson & Johnson, which
also used the event to launch momver sations.com, an upcoming “virtual
park bench” for motherly blogs. And the sex talk forum was sponsored by
Elexa, Trojan’s line of “sexual well-being products created from a woman’s
perspective.”
In the past, companies that dared place their brand on a writer’s site
typically picked an A-list blogger such as Daily Kos, and risked the
wisecracks in return for the high volume of page views.
But now, through niche ad networks like BlogHer, a company can purchase a
“parenting bundle” and get placement on three dozen blogs written by
mothers.
Dmitriy Kruglyak, a 28-year-old “health care blogger” and entrepreneur,
visited the convention to learn how to duplicate the model of bridging
advertising to blogging.
“If their niche is women bloggers, then mine is health care bloggers,”
Kruglyak said. “What they’re building for women, and selling to
advertisers, is what I want to build for doctors and nurses, and so on,
who blog.”

Here’s a cool niche, daddy coyote blogging!

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for those with regrets…

July 30, 2006

Many, many people have emailed and posted regarding their regrets at not having been able to memorialize MEG on Friday. It was a small gathering, five people, two of whom didn’t really know her but who were paying their respects none-the-less. Here’s what I think… Michelle believed in love and so many of us loved, [...]

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Homeward Bound

July 30, 2006
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end of the trail: monetize this

July 30, 2006

I turned in the POS General Motors rental at 5:30 this morning, a 2006 Pontiac GT with about 25,000 miles, a few more miles on it than my Toyota Matrix, and though a little beefier in the acceleration department, a rattletrap vehicle nonetheless. We put 1115 miles on it since last Sunday. I drove 1093, [...]

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BlogHer 2006

July 29, 2006

I think this was a wonderful event and I hope the people who worked on it received a generous dose of US dollars for the energy they put into it. Call it a success, perhaps not unqualified. Bandwidth pretty much sucked. I left the laptop in the room today. The munchies could have had a [...]

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San Jose

July 29, 2006

BlogHer

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Girl Geeks

July 29, 2006

Plenty of girl geeks here too, of course. Mary Hodder just spoke from the floor. Liz Henry is sitting a little ways away. Yesterday Liz was wearing little cat ears… or maybe badger ears? Today she looks more normal. Kind of. There’s a chef talking, eggbeater… “I’m just a a food blogger.” She’s emotional about [...]

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