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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Blogs: Conversation & Connection Enablers

070322blogher originally uploaded by Chookooloonks.
Wow! Talk about witnessing firsthand the power of conversation and connection that social media makes possible...

The first BlogHer '07 Business Conference in NYC this past March 22-23, 2007 brought it all to life. And, it was amazing.

I witnessed a multitude of blogging forms:

- live blogging [experience the entire conference via this BlogHer link thanks to live bloggers]
- video blogging [Beach Walks with Rox]
- photoblogging [e.g., Chookooloonks whose photo anchors this post]
- corporate blogging [e.g., Staci Schiller from Wells Fargo's The StudentLoan Down, Cisco's Blogs@Cisco, ...]
- personal business blogs [like Flooring The Consumer]
- small business blogs [e.g., Gift Basket Business]
- blogs to promote solutions to social issues [e.g., New Demographic addresses racism and how to eliminate it]

All those participating in social media agreed that the power comes from the conversations that develop which then create connections around the conversation. And, although relatively new [2004 saw the creation of the term 'Web 2.0', flickr.com [the photo sharing site where photos can be tagged and consequently searched on by tag name] and the blogswarm created by the Kryptonite bike lock failure [see The pen is mightier than the....u-lock]; 2005 is when GM started its GM Fastlane blog and YouTube started], as of early 2007, Technorati now tracks over 72.7 million blogs and it continues to grow.

I attended a breakout discussion about the changes being forced on traditional marketing tools [like press releases]. Social media, blogs, tags, podcasts, links, keyword searches, etc. allow for a more versatile and relevant way of connecting information with relevant audiences. The following documents helped illustrate some of the new possibilities for PR in a social media world courtesy of SHIFT Communications:

+ Social media press release template
+ A press release based on the template above: Belkin press release.
+ A template of what an online newsroom would look like: social media press room template.
+ And, SHIFT's press release based on the template above: SHIFT press room.

[Thanks to Megan Garnhum for capturing this session at The Press Release Must Die.]

Not only did I get to meet several of the bloggers included in my blogroll:
+ Mary Hunt from In Women We Trust - her account of the conference appears here: BlogHer Biz 2007
+ Yvonne DiVita from Lip Sticking [and Lena West from Xynomedia often found guest blogging at Lip Sticking]
+ Toby Bloomberg, the most gracious Diva from Diva Marketing Blog

But, I also had a chance to live the magic of connection made possible through the intensity of blog conversation later Friday evening at an event organized by CK [promoted here Bloggers Take Manhattan] during which I met:

+ Valeria Maltoni from Conversation Agent who details it all in The Manhattan Connection
+ CK from CK's Blog who describes it here: It's A Fact!
+ David Reich from My 2 Cents
+ Toby Bloomberg was there, too [see Beyond Fabulous Blogger Happy Happy Time].

And, meet new friends:
+ Matt Dickman from Techno//Marketer captures it in Magic in Manhattan [Matt, thanks for taking so many photos! My daughter enjoyed them.]
+ Lori Magno from Moda Di Magno - Blog for Stylish Living
+ Rebecca Edmonston, a.k.a. Red, CK's cousin and talented actress, who blogs at Red's World
+ Mark Goren from Transmission Marketing
+ Fard Johnmar from Healthcare Vox

I look forward to continuing this conversation online and connecting offline again soon and hope you will consider how best to create conversation with your customers so you,too, can connect and establish a relationship with them!

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