- WEB STARTUPS
- WEB JOBS
- ALL TOPICS
The first annual BlogPhiladelphia has come to a close and overall I thought it went well. As I noted in my first day wrap-up (and session postings), this felt like a meetup rather than a conference. I don't care for the term "unconference" as it just feels made up to be different. I also noticed that only about half of the attendees from day 1 made it back to day 2.
The Viddler guys have lots of videos, check them out and you can feel like you were here.
Hats off to Alex Hillman and Annie Heckenberger for their great organization and very positive attitudes. I know Alex was a bit nervous but the word I heard is that he is a good faciliator.
I met a bunch of very smart and interesting folks. One suggestion to all bloggers: get a business card made. Doesn't have to be fancy but when you hand it to someone it helps to keep your blog top of mind. Here are a couple of people I met whose blogs are worth checking out:
- Chris Conley – Startup or Bust – writes about his efforts to create a startup
- Valeria Maltoni – Conversation Agent – writes about marketing and communications
- Whitney Hoffman – LD Podcasts – podcasts for parents of kids with learning disabilities
Lastly, here are my suggestions for improvement for the next BlogPhiladelphia:
- Initial panel discussion should feel more like a panel rather than 5 individual interviews
- More panel discussions, perhaps one each morning and after lunch
- More than just name on badge; company name, blog url, etc could have easily been added
- Let people sign up for open grid sections ahead of time so they can prepare
In summary, I think BlogPhiladelphia is a needed event here and will certainly grow as the locals start to talk to each other more. I look forward to covering the event in the future.
Local food note: The picture below appears to be the pizza of Philadelphia. It looks like the ugly stepchild of NY and Chicago. Weird.
Day 1 at BlogPhiladelphia is now complete. This was my first "unconference" I have been to and so far its pretty good. I am not sure why everyone feels such a need on labeling things as all it does is make people create comparisons. In my opinion BP is basically a multi-threaded meetup (nothing wrong with that). I wouldn't call it a conference or an unconference. Actually I don't care for the term unconference, it bugs me.
I give high marks to the conference coordinators as everything seemed to go off without a hitch. Lunch, snacks, semi-decent Wifi were better than most other meetups of this type.
Other sites to check out BlogPhiladelphia coverage:
- Viddler – they are videotaping most of the segments
- Technorati for other posts
Don Bain from the electic sheep company led a discussion about virtual communities and Second Life. I noticed that Don does not show a lot of emotion.
Some stats in his presentation: Eight million items are created every day on Second Life, 12 gigabits per second aggregate bandwidth, 40% of users in Europe.
- Says we are in the first inning for virtual worlds.
- Shows us Second Life and the Ben and Jerry's area. Why not call your friend and physically GO to Ben and Jerry's.
- Lots of cross-cultural interaction recently, especially between continents.
- I enjoyed the discussion as many of the attendees clearly have been online for a longtime. We discussed MUDs, AOL, etc. and compared them to Second Life.
- Honestly, I don't get it. I really don't get it. I might be lame, but Second Life is like irc in 3d with advertisement areas. It's a cute game but with all of their stats, how long before people leave the real world completely?
Also, Jillian from Phillyist liveblogged today so you can get a full play-by-play from her.
The first breakout sessions of the morning are:
- Separating blogging and your online social life – Alicia Dorset
- Creating and leveraging digital video online – Dina Kaplan
- Blogging and business – Dave Coustan
I spent 33% in each session for maximum velocity and here are my comments:
Alicia – Her session was 2nd in terms of attendees and there was a good number of people asking questions and sharing their thoughts. In general, keeping both separate is hard when you attach your name to your blog and to your social networks. It's the same thing when working for a large company. Companies are searching for current employees and prospective employees on the social networks and almost using them as part of resume/review process.
Dina – her session felt like a blip.tv infomercial. In 30 minutes, she said Ze, Amanda, and Rocketboom each over 10 times. I would have preferred to hear her speak about the general industry (which to her defense, she may have started with that). It's clear by the number of attendees and the spirited discussion, that video is hot.
Dave – the largest number of attendees here. A good discussion about blogging from the corporate perspective. This is really an area that will expand over the next year. More companies are realizing the power of blogging and the direct discussion between company and consumer.
Nice job by all and I tell ya the a/c here is awesome!
Alright, so I am here at blogphiladelphia and so far the wifi is strong (yay!). Name tags only have name (boo!). Pretty cool bag of goodies including a Phillies hat (ok fine).
Josh Hallett from hyku was named as the "father of the unconference." This is my first time at an unconference which appears to mean no tools are used. Of course my demo will be using a powerpoint. Oh well, let's see what happens :) Josh notes that there are no generalizations allowed. The leaders are called "session leaders" not "moderators".
The first panel: The State of Social Media and Thoughts on the Future
Featuring: Caroline Marks (Ziddio), Vincent Veneziani (CrunchGear.com), AJ Daulerio (Philadelphia Magazine and Deadspin.com), Neal Stewart (Flying Dog Brewery), Emily King (Intelligent Travel blog from National Geographic Traveler). Moderated by Joey Sweeney, Philebrity.com
What are you looking for currently?
Caroline: Interopability between social networks – she is waiting for the trillian
Neal: Looking for it to appear a little less clunky
Emily discusses that they are using typepad while they try to decide what software the National Geographic group will go with. Hmm. She explains the struggle between maintaining trust with the brand and the want to move fast.
Vincent from CrunchGear explains how he and John Biggs joined CrunchGear and they are trying to keep their standards high by checking sources and have a good sense of humor as well. He explains the ups and downs of a blognetwork. You get a budget, get to go to trade shows for free. Crunchgear does not take comment flaming seriously and believes you will always have people who hate your site.
Caroline discusses the background of Ziddio (which is part of comcast). It seems to be a video sharing site with contests.
Overall, I think the discussion was average because it was basically Joey asking direct questions to each blogger vs. an open discussion. I would have preferred that. The short open discussion with the attendees was strong.
Update: Don't forget to come to the pre-party and say hi! I will have some of our exciting merchandise to give away and a few big surprises.
I am VERY excited to announce that CenterNetworks is sponsoring (along with Flying Dog Brewery) the pre-party for BlogPhiladelphia. This is our first sponsorship (thanks to our sponsors!).
If you are near Philly, check out this "unconference" and register quick because there are only a few spaces left. It's free! It looks like a great lineup of speakers and who can pass up the opportunity to run up the Philadelphia Art Museum stairs like Rocky?
Drop me a line if you plan to attend!