Live Blog Logo from Ross MatthewsAs I pack and prepare for Blog World Expo I get excited about the possibilities the three days in Vegas will present. Not only will I be networking with some folks I’ve been anxious to meet, but I’ll get to hang out and spend more time with two guys who have become increasingly important to me as colleagues and friends, Todd Earwood and Rob May.

When I sat down Monday night to think about some goals and objectives for the week, I thought about the possibility of live blogging a bit. Fortunately, I have a little gnome inside my head named Reality who sufficiently beat me about the head and face.

Don’t get me wrong, I love the fact there are committed, focused individuals who engage their audiences and provide coverage of a conference session or two others can’t attend. It’s a service and a badge of honor to be a live blogger. But it’s not for everyone and here’s why it isn’t for me:

1.  I’ll miss out on the learning

There’s a big difference between paying attention to take notes and paying attention to report. As a journalist, which in essence is what a live blogger becomes, you are focused on getting the dictation right, the quotes accurate and also observing the scene, mood and etc. As a participant, you weed out the important nuggets of information, jot them down and absorb the topic. I’m not new to blogging, but I’m still going with the attitude that I have a lot to learn. I don’t want to be distracted from that task.

2. Live blogging can make you anti-social

Once the session is over, live bloggers spend any break time between polishing, spell-checking, posting, etc., and don’t actually take the valuable 10-15 minutes to meet and greet. I practically stalked Rebecca Kelley at SMX because I didn’t want to be rude and interrupt her finishing touch application to the live blogging she was doing. (Rebecca isn’t anti-social, by the way. She was busy. But it prevented another opportunity to meet, greet and so-on. Fortunately, she split live blogging duties and wasn’t locked in her computer screen for the entire conference.) The primary reason (narrowly edging out the learning) I go to these things is to network. With the exception of the opportunity to meet up with an old college buddy who tends bar in Vegas, I don’t want to miss a chance to grow that network and meet new people. Besides, I’m taking Rob, Todd and anybody else who wants to go to the bar with me.

3. I don’t need the ego boost

The one sure-fire thing live blogging will get you, provided you let people know you are doing it, is a lot of links. While no blogger in their right mind would ever turn away inbound links, live blogging isn’t the way I’m going to build a long-term audience. The additional link love would only make me think I’m better than I actually am because my Technorati authority jumps a couple of points. And as Rob and Todd can attest, that’s like throwing a gas can in the fire place.

4. Someone else is probably doing it better

At this writing, I’m not sure who will be live blogging Blog World Expo, but I’m sure there’s one or two that have done it before. I read 6-8 live blogs of each session at SMX Social Media and marveled at the thorough-ness and thoughtful scribblings of Marty Weintraub and Vanessa Fox, among others.  Yeah, I can pepper my session recaps with jokes and Falls-isms, but I can also provide that in a daily journal entry posted just after dinner, too.

5. I don’t want to be rude

When I type fast, I pound the keyboards like I’m Lars Ulrich. I’ve had IT guys come up to me courtside after basketball games, while I’m writing an AP wire story recap, and said, “Dude, you’re going to damage the motherboard if you don’t lay off.” Because I was on deadline, I probably snapped back, “Yeah, we’ll your mother should watch where she puts her board, pal.” Still, me live blogging in a convention hall is paramount to allowing me to play spoons during the presentation.

There are other reasons, the least of which isn’t that it’s hard to do it right. I’m also anticipating I’ll be either really tired, perhaps a little hung over, or perhaps a little of both, at least one of those days. What happens in Vegas, right?

That is, unless I live blog THAT … (Eyes bulge at the possibilities).

IMAGE: Apparently doctored funny I found at Ross Matthews’s Blog.

Other Posts You’ll Find Interesting
1.    Conference Blogging 101
2.    8 Things Conference Officials Don’t Advertise
3.    I Wish I Was At Chinese BloggerCon
4.    Political Bloggers Speaking At BlogWorld
5.    Live Blogging The Torre Press Conference

[tags]blogging, live blogging, Blog World Expo, conference blogging, conferences[/tags]

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About Jason Falls

Jason Falls

Jason Falls is a leading thinker, speaker and strategist in the world of digital marketing and is co-author of two books, No Bullshit Social Media: The All-Business, No-Hype Guide To Social Media Marketing and The Rebel's Guide To Email Marketing. By day, he leads digital strategy for Elasticity, one of the world's most innovative digital marketing and public relations firms. Follow him on Twitter (@JasonFalls).

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Comments on Social Media Explorer are open to anyone. However, I will remove any comment that is disrespectful and not in the spirit of intelligent discourse. You are welcome to leave links to content relevant to the conversation, but I reserve the right to remove it if I don't see the relevancy. Be nice, have fun. Fair?

  • http://www.blogworldexpo.com Rick Calvert

    Thanks for the post and the link Jason. based on this post I have a feeling you would make a great live blogger but you are absolutely right about the draw backs.

    Enjoy yourself and please come and say hello at the show.

    See you in a couple of days.

    Blog on!
    Rick Calvert
    CEO & Co-founder
    BlogWorld & New Media Expo

  • http://www.socialmediaexplorer.com Jason Falls

    Hey Rick,

    I’ll be there tomorrow. Can’t wait to meet you and experience the magic of BWE. Thanks for stopping by.

  • http://techkeyla.blogspot.com Sujoy

    “When I type fast, I pound the keyboards like I’m Lars Ulrich…” HILARIOUS. ROTFL. All the best for the Blog World Expo.
    Cheers,
    Sujoy

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