I’m flying on my last flight back from New York (and thankful that these flights fared better than my incoming flights to LaGuardia). I finally have a little bit of time to rest, recouporate, and put into words all of the ideas, feelings, and emotions that I’ve experienced over the last week. I’ve met a LOT of great people (and I have business cards from all of you, and plan on emailing you personally very soon) as well as learned quite a bit from both the sessions and the expo floor.
Here are some of my top takeaways from BlogWorld, in no particular order.
WordPress is here, and it’s not going anywhere soon.
I was privilaged to be able to contribute to this year’s BlogWorld as a speaker. Two years ago, I applied to be a speaker on my top subjet matter of choice – WordPress. I was declined, but was allowed to speak on a topic that was “blog platform agnostic” (I spoke on “designing a killer blog” and it was received very well – especially for a room of content creators ). Over the course of two years, WordPress became one of the fastest growing blog platforms, then started to chip away at the Content Management System market as well.
This year, I was honored to be welcomed to BlogWorld to speak on WordPress. And I was even more honored (and blown away!) that it was so well received; the room was packed, people were sittin gon the floor, people were waiting in the wings and doorway with cameras, and we stayed twenty minutes into lunch to make sure everyone had their questions answered. It was an experience I’ll never forget.
Social Media “gurus” have… mellowed out over the years.
With a few unnamed exceptions, every one of the speakers and session-goers were interested in one thing: making new relationships. Not just getting a business card to pitch something to them once we all got home, but really striving to make long lasting and heart-felt relationships. I’ve made so many new contacts (and I’ll be honest – meeting and remembering people is something that I don’t excel at – but I am working on it!) and I plan on sending each and every one of them a personal email over the next week (or two… or three). But it’s not just about making new clients; these are people I hope to really connect with until next we meet (and I really hope that next time is BlogWorld LA 😉
Recommendations > SEO (to some)
I know a LOT of SEO experts (REAL ones, not just your fly-by-night hack jobs) and I can honestly say that they do great work. I can also say, however, that when it comes to recommendations, I personally tend to give weight to something recommended to me. That said, I believe that there is a place for both. How else will people be able to find you once you’ve been recommended? “Oh, I know this really awesome WordPress dude – here’s his name”. Said name is Googled, researched, and then hired (at least, that’s the hope). Don’t throw away SEO to invest in Facebook and Twitter, but be mindful of the delicate balance they hold.
Paper.li, by the way, is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with when it comes to the “curation” (recommending work from creators based on a theme or preference) of content.
The mobile web is the new web
I’m not going to coin the phrase “Web 3.0” here (God knows that we all hated Web 2.0 – why do you think we call it the “Social Web” now?) but I do see a new wave about to hit the horizon. Mobile (QR Codes and mobile based websites to start) will become more and more important as people ditch their laptops and desktops for on-the-go content consumption with readers, tablets, and smartphones. You can either create a separate mobile site, use a mobile stylesheet to adapt your current site, or just make sure your normal website is compatable with both types (the latter of which being the hardest, but also the most consistant).
People Make Mistakes
Time to address the white elephant in the room. I didn’t attend the Keynote, but I would imagine that Chris Pirillo and Chris Brogan were doing the best that they could given the sitaution. However, if you weren’t happy with it, then by all means tell Rick Calvert or Deb Ng – they are your one-stop hotline to anything with this conference, and I know on good authority that this is the kind of stuff they *need* to hear about. Whatever the reason for it, let them know and hold them to making it better. After all, we do the same thing with our brands and other people we follow; why should we treat the conference different?
Bonus: Syed Balkhi and John Chow are a dangerous duo.
Just had to throw that one out there. Although, if Syed gets together with ANYONE it can be a bit dangerous 😉
At the end of the day, I had one of the most unbelievable conference experiences I’ve ever had. If you weren’t at BlogWorld, then I encourage you to go. The investment of meeting the speakers, and other attendees, can open doors for you that you never imagined. By attending you put your ear to the ground and can hear the pulse of what’s next. Then you can take it back to your readers, or business, and act accordingly. With the advent of blogs, the power of the press has been shifted from the old guard to the “content rebellion”. We have the power to control what media we see, and how it shapes our world. BlogWorld is, and always has been, on the cutting edge of this, and if you aren’t in LA in November, then I know you’ll be missing out.
See you there!