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Entries in Blogging (59)


Citizen Blogging Summit: On The Panel

bloggersummit.jpgOn Friday, June 15th, I'll be appearing at the Citizen Blogging Summit sponsored by Newsradio 620 WTMJ with my good friend and fellow blogger Pete Prodoehl and blogger Jason Kotecki, who I don't know yet, but love his cartoons.

The three of us are on a panel from 2:25-3:10 called "Beyond Politics, Beyond Milwaukee" which means we get to talk about everything else related to blogging. I think we're the breather session, meant to cleanse the palette after talk show host Charlie Sykes and the political bloggers argue political theories.

I love how Pete expressed this on his post about the Summit:

I’m really not sure what to expect. Mike Rohde and I are on the 2:25-3:10 Panel, Beyond Politics, Beyond Milwaukee. I’m guessing we are the ‘tech bloggers’ or maybe the token ‘non-political’ bloggers. Anyway, I’ll just prepare for this the same way I prepare for BarCamp or Web414 presentations, wait until the last minute, attempt to do nothing, then embrace the chaos.

Classic Pete. I'm with ya Pete! :-)

I plan to discuss blogging as a method for "thought leadership" which is to say, sharing your work, process, personality and thinking, as a way to build credibility and to augment your business. That's what I find most valuable about this blog.

We're not sure if this will be on the radio, or recorded as a podcast. If I find out more before Friday, I'll post it here, and will add a link to the podcast, if there is one.

Special thanks go to Phil Gerbyshak, who told organizer Sean Hackbarth, about Pete and I as candidates for the event. I owe you one buddy! :-)

Interested in attending the Citizen's Blogging Summit? it's free, lunch is provided — just register to attend.


SOBCon08 Suggestions

sobcon08.pngNow that I've taken a little time to unpack my thoughts about SOBCon07, I felt it would be a good time to share my suggestions for SOBCon08:

• More Workshops — I would love to see more workshop sessions, like we did with the "Iowa Caucus" of Mike Sansone, Mike Wagner and Drew McLellan. The ideas and collaboration from this session was energizing, but we ran out of time.

• Longer Breaks — I wished for more/larger gaps between sessions, to congregate with others and get to know them better. I just popped out to meet with people to solve it, but I'd prefer not to choose between sessions and meeting others.

• Free WiFi — T-Mobile WiFi was available for individual purchase, but I'd prefer a free, SOBCOn WiFi service to encourage more blogging during the event. I think 3 or 4 WiFi base stations would have been about right to avoid a saturated network.

• SOBCon Speaker & Attendee Page — I'd love to see an official speaker and attendee page on the SOBCon site, with names, photos, bios, 5 favorite posts and blog links. This would help new attendees "meet" other attendees before the event.

• Unified SOBCon Page & RSS Feed — What about a single Page and RSS feed, where any post with "SOBCon" and "SOBCOn08" tags would be included? Attendees could follow a single feed, and see every related post before, during and after the event.

• All Day Coffee — In the afternoon on Saturday, a couple of attendees and I were searching for coffee but found only stacks of soda bottles. It'd be great to keep hot coffee available all day, for those of us who like the rich, black brew. :-)

I hope these suggestions will encourage the '07 attendees to suggest some ideas in the comments, and be useful for SOBCon08 next year.


Unpacking SOBCon07

SOBCon07I'm not surprised to find myself still brewing and unpacking the reverberations of this weekend at SOBCon07. The conference was a concentrated burst of energy, community and challenges, that I haven't been able to completely process.

Part of it for me, and I think for many attendees, was diving headlong into something completely new, without any expectation of what to expect, or what we'd get out of it.

I didn't know anyone but my buddy Phil Gerbyshak, so I had to step out and meet some new people. That's the wild thing though — people were stepping out to meet me, treating me as an old friend.

Some of this must be chalked up to knowing Phil, but much of the warmth and friendliness of other people seemed to be at the very core of the SOBCon vibe.

Here are some observations after much brewing and pondering:

We all came to give and take. Everyone present came ready to give something away, while being confident they would receive that much and more in return. Everyone I met was sharing energy, which encouraged me to keep sharing my energy.

This was our conference. Bloggers dreamed it up, handled the logistics, showed up and then created it like a barn raising. We connected and encouraged each other, challenged each other and made it happen. Two nights in a row, I witnessed people spontaneously gathering to talk, pulling chairs into circles until no chairs were left.

We are brands, like it or not. One thread running through the Saturday sessions was how we're all projecting a brand (ourselves), whether conscious or unconscious. From our writing to our blog design, everything we project and communicate is our brand. The challenge for everyone was how to sync your brand with who you really are.

We're communicators, not bloggers. David Armano challenged us to stop calling ourselves bloggers, and instead consider ourselves “conversation architects.” I'm a communicator — whether with words, sketches, graphics, sound or video — I aim to communicate with others through this space on the web. Rohdesign is now operating without "Weblog" in the title to reinforce this idea.

Conclusion: I had a great time at SOBCon07!

It was more powerful than I expected, and the people were wonderful. I've already established relationships with several people I resonated with, and plan to build more relationships as the week goes on. Relationships really are at the heart of SOBCon.

I was also challenged to step my communication to the next level. After 4+ years of writing at Rohdesign, I'm energized to keep on sharing, encouraging and learning.

I can't wait for SOBCon08!

SOBCon07 Attendees:
Liz Strauss
Wendy Piersall
Andy Sernovitz
Phil Gerbyshak
David Armano
Mike Sansone
Drew McLellan
Mike Wagner
Terry Starbucker
Christine Kane
Rodney Rumford
Ben Yoskovitz
Chris Cree
Robyn Tippins
Diego Orjuela
Vernon Lun
Jonathan C. Phillips
Sandra Renshaw
Brad Shorr
Timothy Johnson
Tammy Lenski
Sean Rox
Muhammad Saleem
Lorelle VanFossen
David Dalka
Todd And
John Yedinak
Joe Hauckes
Tim Draayer
Jeremy Geelan
Carolyn Manning
Sheila Scarborough
Steve Farber
Dawud Miracle
Doug Mitchell
Jeff O’Hara
Dave Schoof
Jamy Shiels
Adam Steen
Hannah Steen
Chris Thilk
Barry Zweibel
Eric Bingen
Ellen Moore
Cord Silverstein
Jean-Patrick Smith
James Walton
Sharan Tash
Vernon Lun
Tony Lee
Scott Desgrosseilliers
Mark Murrell
Kammie Kobyleski
Easton Ellsworth
Mark Goodyear
Ann Michael
Kent Blumberg
Ashley Cecil
Robert Hruzek
Sabu N G
Mazur Krystyna
Lisa Gates
Franke James
Chris Brown
Troy Worman
Karen Putz
Jesse Petersen
Terry Mapes
Andy Brudtkuhl
Lucia Mancuso
Peter Flaschner
Derrick Sorles
Thomas Clifford
Rajesh Srivastava
Claire Celsi
Jason Alba
Alex Shalman
Cristiana Passinato
Brad Spirrison
Ari Garber
Dr. Rob Wolcott
Cheryll Cruz
Sharon Scherer
Jason Wade
Jill Pullen
Doug Bulleit
Wendy Kinney
Brenda Friedrich
Ella Wilson
Chelsea Vincent
Ayush Agarwal
Paul Mangalik
Premchand Kallan
Xochi Kaplan
Michael Snell
James Bergstrom
Raj Majumder
Keith Levenson

Special thanks to Jonathan C. Phillips for providing this extensive list of attendees. :-)

Photo: Vernon Lun

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SOBCon07: Day 1 Impressions

sobcon-mike-phil.jpgI've spent a good day heading to and spending time at SOBCon07, and wanted to capture a few impressions here before I head to sleep.

The people at the conference are just amazing. I mentioned knowing only Phil coming into SOBCon, but it didn't take long to meet many friendly, warm people.

I met Tim Johnson and Director Tom (Clifford) over lunch, Mike Sansone and Clare Celsi in the restaurant, Terry Starbucker and Franke James in the lobby... and the conference hadn't even started!

I'd have a hard time naming everyone I met here, but in general everyone treated me warmly and as one of the crew right away. I feel right at home in this crowd.

Christine Kane provided a wonderful performance tonight. She's a great singer and musician, with an on-stage presence that made me feel at home and relaxed.

After the music we had a delicious light dinner, including pastries and veggies, cheese and sushi, all of very high quality. After eating, we had an open mic time, where we each shared a little about ourselves and what we do on our blogs.

After the kickoff even ended, I spent time hanging out in the room and then in "Le Bar" with many of the bloggers here at the conference, listening to their stories and how they blog. There's a common theme I see emerging from every attendee: a general amazement that this convention is really happening and that it's awesome to finally meet these friends in person.

I think it's fascinating and encouraging to watching online-only relationships expand and deepen in face to face connections. Coming in as an outsider of sorts, I'm able to see this dynamic occurring between people.

After only the first day, I've concluded I've made a great choice in attending SOBCon07, simply to meet so many wonderful, friendly people.

I can't wait until Saturday! :-)


Getting Ready for SOBCon07 in Chicago

Tonight I had a great talk with my Milwaukee blogging buddy Phil Gerbyshak, who I'm traveling with to SOBCon07 in Chicago this Friday and Saturday. I'm excited!

Phil and I are doing a road trip from Milwaukee to Chicago for the event, enjoying the time driving down, and taking it easy when we arrive. I can't wait to see Phil give his keynote speech on Saturday and talks from other speakers on the schedule.

Of the about 80-some bloggers attending, I know one — Phil. Still, this is a great opportunity to meet and get to know many new bloggers. This is Phil's crowd, so I'm sure I'll meet new people through him, and on my own.

I'll be sketching and taking notes at the event and may continue the sketchnotes approach I experimented with at UX Intensive... we'll see. I'll post a report of the weekend's activities, along with an analysis of the conference.

If you'd like to attend SOBCon07, there are still spots available.

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