As 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 Iâ€™ve been anxious to meet, but Iâ€™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.
Donâ€™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 canâ€™t attend. Itâ€™s a service and a badge of honor to be a live blogger. But itâ€™s not for everyone and hereâ€™s why it isnâ€™t for me:
1.Â Iâ€™ll miss out on the learning
Thereâ€™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. Iâ€™m not new to blogging, but Iâ€™m still going with the attitude that I have a lot to learn. I donâ€™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 donâ€™t actually take the valuable 10-15 minutes to meet and greet. I practically stalked Rebecca Kelley at SMX because I didnâ€™t want to be rude and interrupt her finishing touch application to the live blogging she was doing. (Rebecca isnâ€™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 wasnâ€™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 donâ€™t want to miss a chance to grow that network and meet new people. Besides, Iâ€™m taking Rob, Todd and anybody else who wants to go to the bar with me.
3. I donâ€™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 isnâ€™t the way Iâ€™m going to build a long-term audience. The additional link love would only make me think Iâ€™m better than I actually am because my Technorati authority jumps a couple of points. And as Rob and Todd can attest, thatâ€™s like throwing a gas can in the fire place.
4. Someone else is probably doing it better
At this writing, Iâ€™m not sure who will be live blogging Blog World Expo, but Iâ€™m sure thereâ€™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.Â 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 donâ€™t want to be rude
When I type fast, I pound the keyboards like Iâ€™m Lars Ulrich. Iâ€™ve had IT guys come up to me courtside after basketball games, while Iâ€™m writing an AP wire story recap, and said, â€œDude, youâ€™re going to damage the motherboard if you donâ€™t lay off.â€ Because I was on deadline, I probably snapped back, â€œYeah, weâ€™ll your mother should watch where she puts her board, pal.â€ 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 isnâ€™t that itâ€™s hard to do it right. Iâ€™m also anticipating Iâ€™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 â€¦ (Eyes bulge at the possibilities).
IMAGE: Apparently doctored funny I found at Ross Matthews’s Blog.
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3.Â Â Â I Wish I Was At Chinese BloggerCon
4.Â Â Â Political Bloggers Speaking At BlogWorld
5.Â Â Â Live Blogging The Torre Press Conference