Brace yourself, folks. This is going to be a long read.
I returned from New York City on Friday – on a long flight to say the least – after attending my first BlogWorld ever. I had a great time on my first trip to New York, with not nearly enough time to truly explore what the city has to offer. But I did have plenty of time to take in BlogWorld and I was very happy to have had the chance to connect with so many folks I’ve met online in an “offline” setting.
The thing about an event like this is that some of the best moments happen in between sessions. Whether it was during the moments I spent charging my iDevices at the generous amount of power stations or in the Javits Center between sessions or at the parties in the evening, there were plenty of them. I’ll get to some of those moments later, but first I want to touch on some of the sessions I went to – and how I plan to use some of the takeaways from them to get better at doing what I’m doing online.
The first session I attended was Scott Stratten’s, which was called “7 Deadly Social Sins”. There was a lot of information he presented that I have been well schooled in, but the way he presented it was wildly entertaining. I’ve seen Scott speak before (we both spoke at the first Social Media Camp in Victoria, where he delivered the keynote), and he delivered the goods once again.
Why’d I go to this session? To learn how to present from one of the best in the business. It was super-entertaining and laced with usefulness throughout.
Next up was another speaker I’m familiar with, Jonathan Fields. His session was entitled “Disruptive Publishing & Book Marketing With Social Media”. It opened my eyes to a few tactics to try with my own book launch imminent. Jonathan has a style that is both very precise and purposeful, and yet disarming at the same time. There’s an earnestness and authenticity that he possesses that really hits home, and he doesn’t just deliver that – he delivers the goods.
I keep seeing familiar faces. Adam Baker of Man vs. Debt (commonly referred to simply as “Baker”) delivered a killer talk called “Broke, Burnt-out, and Busted: How to Find Your Sweet Spot in Blogging and Business” and while I’ve never seen him speak before, I’m certainly glad I took this session in. He did a great job, making his topic accessible to both novice and advanced bloggers. It also seems as if he’s in the midst of a pivot (shifting into other areas rather than just Man Vs. Debt), and he isn’t skipping a beat in between.
The Exhibit Floor
I spent a large part of my Wednesday at BlogWorld milling about on the exhibit floor. I learned a lot about services such as Zemanta (which I’d never explored before, but had seen it on some of the sites I’ve contributed to) and even had a chance to chat with the folks over at .Me. Cali Lewis was running full on with GeekBeat and I had the pleasure of meeting both Michael Hyatt and Chris Brogan as well.
I hit up the Book Expo America floor as well on Wednesday, and it was jam-packed. I’d love to take in this show in the future, but since it was uncharted territory for me, I headed back downstairs and readied myself for Chris Brogan’s keynote.1
The Wednesday afternoon keynote was delivered by the aforementioned Chris Brogan. Called “Power Up Your Blog: Lessons Learned Over 11 Years of Blogging”, he kept it light and entertaining throughout. Plenty of information was presented too, which makes for a great all-around keynote. I’ll be seeing Chris again at the World Domination Summit, and am looking forward to it.
Thursday was another day that I found myself hitting more sessions. First up was“The Art of Writing Epic Sh*t: How to Create Content that Blows Minds and Attracts a Crowd” by another person headed to Portland in July for WDS, Corbett Barr. I’ve been following his work online for a long time, and his talk definitely inspired me to level up my content even more. (Hopefully you’ll agree.)
I only recently met Jaime Tardy through my job at Lifehack, but she’s also heading to the World Domination Summit. Her session was on“Building your Blogs Audience and Becoming an Expert with Major Press”, and I had plenty of takeaways from it. Some of the stuff I’ve been working on over the past few years (albeit sporadically), but after seeing the results she’s had by being more consistent I’m going “all in”. Jaime’s style was warm and endearing, and she kept the room comfortable. She gave us homework…and I’ll be doing every last bit of it.
Pace & Kyeli Smith
The last session I attended at BlogWorld was “How Your Blog Can Change the World” by another pair of WDSers, Pace and Kyeli Smith. Their session was accessible and went deep, but it wasn’t too meaty (a good thing). There was some practical tips that could be applied right away, and bloggers of all skill levels are already armed to do them. This session was perfect for the end of the day.
The Moments in Between
As I’ve said before, it’s the moments in between the sessions that often have the longest lasting impact at these types of events – and BlogWorld New York was no different. I had some great conversations with some great people throughout the three days, including the following:
- Craig Jarrow. It was awesome to meet the Time Management Ninja in person. I’m looking forward to us keeping the relationship going from here on out.
- Paige Worthy. Paige was the first person I met at the event, and she is also the reason my little girl now has a slap bracelet. Check her stuff out at her website.
- R-Michael. Not the one I do a podcast with, but one who listens to a podcast I do with that Michael. We had some great conversations, and I’m glad we had some time to chat over the course of the couple of days we hung out. He, too, has a website.
There were plenty more, and I’m sure I’ll connect with them in the future. Who knows? They may even appear on this weblog sometime.
The End Result
It’s already been announced that BlogWorld is going to be known as New Media Expo (or NMX for short) from now on, and I hope to make it to Las Vegas in January so I can be part of the next one. The plan is to be there.
For now, however, the plan is to take all of what I got out of BlogWorld New York and put it to good use. Starting today.
1 Oh, and I won a Jawbone JAMBOX (Amazon Affiliate link) thanks to SocialChorus. So that was pretty cool too.