BLOG08 – my round up

picture by Jeroen Mirck

BLOG08 had blogging wisdom between the wisecracks.

Loren Feldman gave courage: “Stay true to yourself. Someone is reading you but is too shy to comment.”

Feldman (second from left) advised: focus on your blog, forget Facebook or Twitter and let people come to you. “You have more juice if people discover you on their own. Let it happen organically and you’ll have a deeper connection with your audience…It’s more respectful.”

Food readers, apologies: this post is blog-jargon heavy.

Feldman “rarely links” because he says it is more valuable to would-be linkees if you have to do a Google search for them (tip given to him by Steve Gillmore). Me, I’m link-crazy, because it’s a reference, a credit – but I get his point. He has no faith in Wikipedia and believes it is a lazy form of journalism. Hmnnnn, food for thought (she says, as she looks up Wikipedia on Wikipedia).

Loren Feldman is an entertainer, going full-tilt at controversy. He says outrageous things (transparency is a con) but, as he puts it, “blogging is showbiz”.

After reading up on Hugh MacLeod (far left), I was inspired to draw cartoons of myself on the back of my bare business cards (done on the train to Amsterdam).

His cute and sharp cartoons formed part of his presentation, and were a great alternative to power point boringness, so that’s another idea I might mercilessly plunder.

I had already read his tips How to be Creative but they were worth hearing again.

These tips starting life as an e-book that were downloaded four million times from his website, convincing publishers he was worth a contract.  Next summer How to be Creative will be published as a book.

His advice suits all artists. He quoted Tim Burton telling him “this creative bug..it will never go away so you might as well get used to it.”

Further Macleod aphorisms: “The more talented the writer, the less they need the props,” and “Stay frugal – the more you need money, the more other people can tell you what to do.” And my favourite: “Savour obscurity.”

Can blogs make money (a recurring conference question)? The general consensus was no. But blogs lead to other things, like Hugh’s book. And anyway, “It’s not about how much money you make, it’s about how much sovereignty you have,” he said.

Sitting next to me in the picture above is Pete Cashmore (second from right), legendary founder of a blog empire yet endearingly unassuming – and reassuring. He said blogs are enduring, and “Once a blog is established – and it takes years – it has a solid foundation”. Twitter is good for marketing but is no substitute for blogs, he said.

Bloggers now have 27/7 news to compete with. Don’t bother, says Cashmore: “Choose a niche that’s small that you can be best at.”

The picture above was kindly taken by Joeren Mirck (see his rocking review) when I thrust my camera into his hands as I accepted my impromptu invite from BLOG08 to join the boys on stage.

Be authentic and don’t copy and paste, said Nalden (not pictured). He answers all comments and, “Create a loyal crowd of daily visitors. People will find you. You’ve got to have swagger,” he said, with swagger a-plenty. He ‘monetises his blog’, (yeah, from audience seeking the holy grail), making money thanks to  investment from a company who saw his product-promotion potential.

BLOG08 was great entertainment, including a Vlogging performance; a band (see guitars in right of picture above); an unicycling internet millionaire with a timely reminder of how everything we write on the web is forever; a lively and interesting media crowd and good vibes. Can’t wait for BLOG09.

For £125 return, I travelled London-Amsterdam by train and boat, saving money on hotel rooms with two overnight crossings in my own restful cabin. I left Amsterdam at 7pm (continental time) last night and returned in time for organic Sunday lunch (below) at the Prince of Wales pub in Bristol.

I came back with two questions left unanswered.

What’s the best way to save a blog’s content?

And how can I encourage people who read my blog to make a comment?

Can you tell me?

13 responses to “BLOG08 – my round up

  1. Thanks for the roundup 😉 Most useful as I lost my notepad after lunch and didn’t manage to take many noted.

    What do you mean by saving blog content?

    I met one girl in the morning who said she thought a good way to get people to leave comments on your blog was to ask them questions at the end/ feedback.

    Which you have done! 🙂

    Cheers
    L.

    Like

  2. Pingback: save google books | Bookmarks URL

  3. Thanks for the round-up Elisabeth, great read!

    One way to get comments is to write an open story. Don’t give away all your arguments, save some for the comments. And respond to every comment you receive on your blog.

    See: http://dutchproblogger.com/2008/04/06/getting-readers-to-comment-by-writing-an-unfinished-blog-post/ for more on this.

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  4. I find leaving the post open ended (as you have done) is a way to attract comments – also invite them via Twitter.
    Also including some tentative thoughts gives people something to work with, particularly if they invite disagreement!

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  5. Reward the people who do comment (by commenting back) and by sending an (automatic) email after someone left his or her first comment.

    Try to find other people who really love food and ask them for their opinion.

    You’re using the wordpress.com service, a wordpress install on your own domain has more possibilities also when it comes to comments.

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  6. Ideas for answer
    1: do you mean save as in archive? if so, cross post everyhwhere you can.
    1b: do you mean save as in “this content isn’t going anywhere and needs to be killed?”. An interesting story or blog to look at both of these is http://hitthejagspot.com/. No archives. Only daily updates of a life of a girl… Honest, pure, witty, and dramatic.

    2. Piss people off, make them laugh, ask them questions, or add Seesmic’s wp plug-in and watch them add videos.

    Just some ideas…

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  7. Say things that are controversial so they feel inspired to respond?

    This was a great read. Very interesting. Although I don’t agree with the let people discover you bit.

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  8. Thanks for discovering me and for allowing me to discover you! Great blog!

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  9. I like this quote too, “Savour obscurity.”

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  10. Haha i like the idea of Gabemac about the wp seesmic plugin! Could be a great tool to create engagement among the people who visit your site.

    I like your super food. just throw dinners or brunches and brand them with your website name 🙂

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  11. Thank you for these great comments. Yes, I did mean backing up my content so I have a copy should the worst occur, and thanks to Lisa and Gabe for some solid advice and directing me to http://codex.wordpress.org/Backing_Up_Your_Database

    The process of commenting for the first time can be daunting, so it’s worth thinking of ways to make it easier. My friend is a literary novelist and I had to sit beside her and guide her through the process. What are the obstacles, I wonder?

    Yup, ending on a question is a good device (and, hell, I forgot to do so on my last post. Must amend.)

    What a great crop of comments – I almost could not bear to write a new post and start again with none!

    But hey, onwards and upwards…

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  12. Great post about Blog08!

    And, as said before, use open ends and ending with a question to inspire people to leave a comment.

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  13. Hi, thanks for commenting on my blog! (I replied it over there!)

    Good tips here from this blog conference! I hope it was fun to be there! 🙂

    Like

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