Blog08: blogging, vlogging and rock stars
Even though blogging has been around for quite some time, it was the first time that Amsterdam played host to a conference dedicated to blogging, Blog08. An initiative of two enthusiastic Dutch youngsters, it was mainly an inspirational event, disguised as a kind of rock show. Although there was a live band, the ultimate rock star was “bad mother vlogger” GabeMac who closed the conference with a rocking vlog performance. The audience joined him in singing “we will, we will vlog you!” But the major theme of this conference was being passionate about blogging, which also applies to people who are in it for the money.
Blog08 kicked off with a challenging question, asked by Internet entrepreneur Patrick de Laive, host of the show: “What year did you start blogging?” It made me realize that I actually started blogging on 30 July 2001. I had a homemade MyWeb homepage without comment option that later evolved into Comicbase.nl. I was a frontrunner, as many attendees started blogging in 2005 or even later.
Pete Cashmore (his real name), founder of tech blog Mashable.com has only been blogging for a few years, but he has a good excuse: he is only 23 years old. However, this young millionaire’s advice was right on the money: “be passionate about what you blog about, work hard, keep on going and analyze the results of your writing.” To market your blog, Cashmore prefers five social media: Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, Digg and StumbleUpon. Here is his advice for building a rocking blog:
Another influential youngster was Dutch lifestyle blogger Nalden who proudly told the audience that his positive approach turns lawsuits into advertising deals with companies like Universal. Visit Nalden.net to see his “new type of blog”: a rich media experience, created by Momkai, with continuously changing wallpapers. The smart thing is, Nalden sells these wallpapers for advertising purposes. “It is the best way to infiltrate a niche audience,” says the guy with the golden sneakers. Even Universal sponsored a wallpaper to promote N-E-R-D. “First they wanted to sue me, now they want to advertise on my website.” This is what Nalden learned from blogging:
Some of the speakers were more abstract. For example, Dutch serial entrepreneur Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten compared the Internet to God and concluded that bloggers want to become more divine. An amusing presentation, featuring a unicycle act, but not practical. The same could be said about cartoonist and marketing blogger Hugh MacLeod (Gaping Void) who talked amusingly about creativity, which he believes is the result of hard work and not of making a job out of your hobby. Oneliner of the day: “The guy marrying his mistress creates a vacancy.”
There were two panel discussions during which the crowd got angry. First, a couple of journalists held a very old-fashioned view of blogs (check out here, here, here and here for more details – in Dutch), after which three prominent speakers and a female British blogger got tied up in an endless discussion about the transparency of blogging.
The only funny thing in this second debate was the angry, Andrew Keen-like blogger Loren Feldman who criticized the majority of bloggers for being irrelevant and egocentric. Due to his colourful language, Feldman (they called him “fuckman” on the Twitter back channel) was of course exaggerating in order to push bloggers to do their best, but it didn’t really fly.
See also my news article for Emerce.nl (in Dutch).