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John T. Unger

BlogWorld Expo

John T. Unger November 28, 2007

Blogworld expo Sunset
Bloggers heading off into the sunset on the last day of the conference…

As you can see from the photo above, there are great light shows to be seen in Vegas even before the sun goes down and the strip lights up! I shot the above picture as everyone was leaving the conference and heading home to put all their newly learned expertise into their blogs.

BlogWorld was a great chance to meet some of the other bloggers I've long wanted to catch up with in person. I spent a lot of time hanging out with Denise Wakeman and Patsi Krakoff of The Blog Squad and Rich Brooks of flyteblog.com. Rich and I have worked together in the past on projects, but we've never met in person before so it was great to sock back a few brews and get to know each other better. I'm looking forward to working more with all three in the future.

The panel on Blog Design went pretty well and we got some very complimentary feedback. Edith Yeung wrote a very nice recap of her notes on the panel as 50 Habits of a Highly Effective Blogger. Thanks Edith! Denise has also posted a tip sheet you can download from her blog which reproduces most of the material from our handout at the panel. She also posted some quick interviews with me and Rich (among others). Zac Johnson has a nice collection of links to other videos from the event posted here.

Among the other bloggers I had a chance to chat with were Andy Wibbels, Dave Taylor, Liz Strauss, as well as many new bloggers just starting out, such as Carlos R. Hernandez who found the courage for his first post after attending the show and Tyler Ford.

The trade show portion of the show was, in some ways, the most interesting part for me. I got to meet a lot of developers and found some cool new products and services I'll be writing up soon. Some of the people I met were people I've interacted with over the web in the past, such as Matt Colebourne of coComment, who was really fun to talk to in person. I loved the idea of coComment when it first launched, but after a lot of problems with the Fire Fox plugin, I'd given up using the service. After talking with Matt, I think I'll give it another try as he assures me that the issues have since been fixed. That would make my day since I feel that a lot of the best content I've put online has been in comments on other people's blogs rather than my own posts.

I only got to chat briefly with Alex Iskold of Adaptive Blue because he had an early flight out, but Fraser Kelton and I had some really great conversation about advanced ideas for search and presentation on blogs. Alex and Fraser and I have been talking a lot over the web lately so it was nice to connect in person. Fraser introduced me to Leslie Osbourne at Lijit as a possible connection to pursue my ideas for "staged" or "tiered" search further. Both Adaptive Blue and Lijit are crafting some brilliant web tools that I'll be covering in more depth soon. Speaking of search, I was also pretty impressed with what I saw from LingoSpot.

I had a really great conversation with Dom and Josephine Vonarburg of AddThis. I was all set to give them a hard time about the drop down version of their bookmarking tool not being available from their main site (the only link was formerly on one of their blog posts). But they surprised me and had already corrected the omission. Sweet.

Another stand out company was BlogTalkRadio. I did a quick last minute interview with John C Havens and Jason Shellin. The interview was fun and because they were literally tearing down the trade show around us, it was also pretty funny. I really haven't explored podcasting in any depth previously, but I've been thinking a lot more about taking it up lately since I often find it much easier to talk about things than write them… And I could see how doing a call-in show on BlogTalkRadio could be a great way to provide a weekly TypePad  phone support group. There's an awful lot of quick fixes I could more easily explain over voice than I can by writing emails. Something to think about.

In the end, I feel like BlogWorld was a great opportunity and I definitely hope to attend again next year.
The best part for me was definitely all about connecting with people off line and getting a chance to put faces to names.

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