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SXSW Panel: The Rise of the Blogebrity and is Amanda really Miss USA?
Last afternoon I attended a panel, "The Rise of the Blogebrity" which included Nick Douglas, formerly of Valleywag, Amanda Congdon, formerly of Rocketboom. Nick now runs LookShiny and Amanda vblogs for ABC News and Starring Herself. There were two other videobloggers on the panel, Casey McKinnon (Galacticast) and Karina Longworth (Netscape). Also on the panel was a stats guy, Henry Copeland and was moderated by the head of Blogebrity, Kyle Bunch.
Before I get to my comments, does anyone else think that Amanda looks like Miss USA Tara Connor? When Amanda walked in with her new hairdo, I had to do a doubletake! Both beautiful women (amanda photo from Jeremiah). As much as I gave Amanda a hard time a few months ago, I think she did a good job on this panel.
I think the panel was pretty good, and I give it a 8/10. Overall the discussion was good, it would have been nice to dive deeper into why it even matters if you are a celeb and what makes someone a celeb. There was one audience member who asked a 10 minute question and hogged the mic. Why do people mic hog!!! Check out the panel pics on flickr.
Here are my unedited notes:
They begin with a overview – Nick notes that he used to write for valleywag before he was fired. The computer was screwed up and they couldn't get it fixed.
Copeland – focus on the Forbes 25 – Talks about the levels between 1st and 23rd (calacanis) – showing that you don't need to have tons of traffic, just be quotable. do you live on the coast and are you a male?
Then he disected the Technorati 100 – some are from overseas, 7 are services, some blogs with 400,000 impressions, numbers are totally meaningless.
Copeland- there are popular areas or networks – it depends on the area
Congdon – how often do i see them – do i see them – are they writing books, television, etc. – it's about full coverage – that's how I evaluate – like Jeff Jarvis is a good example
Longworth – there are those who were already celebs before they became web celebs – for film celebs – is a guy named david hudson
McKinnon – when i think of celeb video people – i think of ask a ninja and ze frank – if you are in the ny times, you are a celeb
Douglas – its interesting how more people watch my video than read my notes in the ny times, yet this is bigger
Congdon – when my gramma saw me on Frontline, that was big for her
Douglas – I am a lazy person and a hipster — waxy.org, thermopolus,
Bunch – where do things go from here with video?
Congdon – there are still books and tv – and they live together, 3 of us are video bloggers
Longworth – there are more people who are naturally writers
Douglas – cult of personality will happen with video blogging
Bunch – quality vs quantity
Douglas – quality is most important
McKinnon – quality in all aspects is most important
Copeland – the best of all are these daily filters – dailycoast is great
Bunch – what's the importance of being a celebrity?
Douglas – how much will your audience stand letting you sell them out? humancloud has drawings that he scribbles, but he also sells prints and made a brand
Bunch – Amanda is a great example of someone who has been able to talk to the big stars and celebs
Congdon – it's access, that was one of the main reasons I went with ABC when I left Rocketboom and the other thing that drives me is that I could leave the mainstream and still make a living – that's what drives me.
Longworth – I had a decent amount of influence over blogs and I had no health insurance and when I got an offer to take a corporate job, I took it.
McKinnon – audience participation drives galacticast – talks about a guy who helped fill their need and how they helped him.
Douglas – I like being able to bore thousands of people a day
Bunch – how do you transcend the first job to being a public personality
Congdon – never introduce yourself as "formerly from…" – she talks about how she wrote the rocketboom stories but never was really known as that she did it – and that was tough for her
McKinnon – I have started to brand my name vs Ms Kitka.
Douglas – Everyone would say "You are Valleywag" and I tried to make sure people know I am Nick not the site.
Congdon – if I am walking in NYC, I will get noticed, but in other cities, I don't get noticed as much
Longworth/McKinnon – we get noticed at conferences mostly
Bunch – is it always ok to be approached or does it bother you?
Congdon – the only time I find it's a problem is when I am getting ready to speak, but otherwise I love it. I try to reply to email also.
Longworth – I like it – but I don't like being hit on.
McKinnon – it's nice as long as it's not creepy
Douglas – it's only bad when people think I am Nick Denton
Bunch – these ranking systems have a lot of flaws – and going forward how do we fix this so it's not just the boys club over and over
Congdon – I am in the process of creating a show for HBO. I think that internet culture is becoming more and more mainstream I think that as the two cultures converge we will see more and more blogelbrities become more celebrities.
McKinnon – there are issues with getting listed on IMDB for video bloggers
Question – isn't attention the most important
Copeland – page impressions are the most important
Question – when will the bloggers become inaccessible as you become bigger?
Congdon – it happens but everyone has their own breaking point, if you can only do 10 fans a day, do that
Douglas – look at Ze, he made a forum to get people to talk
Question – some of the video blogs have more views than some cable tv shows – as advertisers get into the game, how do you deal with it as you get more overtly.
Congdon – I work with blip – they helped me get in touch with paltalk and dove. It was great because it worked best with my audience. It gives the viewers power to help determine the advertising. There are people who will find anyway to connect with an advertiser.
Question – we are getting mixed celebrity and people with influence – you dont have to have 150 million in pageviews to be able to monetize. This woman just kept going on and on with her question which is really just some comment.