Sunday, April 18, 2004

BloggerCon2: Reflections

While the webcast was great and the IRC even better, there is still something about being in the same room. And between rooms. Most animals don't live in the forest or the meadow, they live between. So I missed the conversation between sessions at snacks, lunch and dinner. But I didn't miss the 9 hour drive both ways and I'm glad to be here for my brother tonight.

The discussions reminded me of a maturing discussion mailing list. You have a mix of newbies and people who wrote the FAQ. The oldies wish that the newbies had read the FAQ first, but then every once and a while "out of the mouth of babes" comes a great insight. John Robb has commented on this a lot.

While David Wienberger was not as funny moderating as he is when he gives a presentation, the remark in his session about external business blogs being narrowcasted really resonated. (The IRC discussion about narrow tasking was also great!) That seems to be working with existing blogs and it is true of mailing lists that I've been involved with. It is also the key concept behind the marketing concept of positioning. And it rings true for how cable television channels developed (e.g., ESPN).

Blogging as Business was the surprise session for me. Many of the same ideas that I heard a few years ago for email marketing. (Does everyone agree that spam has nearly ruined that market?) The surprise was the depth of the examples given in the Wiki. It would be fun to have the OPML file of all those blogs, import them into my RSS reader and sample every single blog. But the really important thing about this session is that it showed that "What is a blog?" certainly doesn't matter any more. Instead, there are many different types of blogs and "What is a good blog?" is what matters.

I was surprised that I did hear anyone articulate that the blogsphere and the feed world are different. Certainly they overlap, but not necessarily.

I also heard someone say that they don't consider a blog without comments to be a blog. I don't think that many of the people in blogging for more than a year "heard" that. It is so true - people expect comments now.

I can not wait to hear what other people have to say. I enjoyed it in my dank basement watching the sun shining outside for one of the first beautiful days on the month. Thanks to all the people of Berkman Center for "putting us on."

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