Blog 08 / #Blog08
Back to the office this morning and there’s a bit of time to reflect on the past week and in particular catch up on where we’ve all been and who we’ve been talking to.
Scott has already reported on Mippin’s coffee social at the Tuttle Club last Friday morning, where we announced the launch of some very nifty Social Content Discovery tools for Mippin mobile users. See below for more info.
Now it’s my turn to talk about Blog 08 (#Blog08) over in Amsterdam last Friday. With a history of alternative thinking when it comes to government, Amsterdam was probably the perfect backdrop for the Blog 08 conference, which was billed as an introduction to the Rockstars of the Web, with the Great and the Good and the deliberately Bad (Mother Vlogger GabeMac) from the blogging world on stage.
The conference was organized by Patrick de Laive, Ernst-Jan Pfauth and others from TheNextWeb, who seem to have a lot of experience and passion for blogging, web entrepreneurship, marketing and events, and a track record possibly as infamous as any of the speaking Rockstars. Patrick and Ernst’s skill for putting on a great show came across right away, as the live band kicked off the day just after 9 am and a succession of speakers and panelists chosen for their uncompromising and original stance on blogging and its future talked about their own successes, their experiences of building blog businesses, and what they’d learnt when things didn’t go to plan. It was encouraging stuff and at times felt like a Rock version of “My Way” by Frank Sinatra (or a more comprehensible Sex Pistols version.) In any case the crowd definitely seemed to appreciate the presentations, as the “woops” were pretty constant and the live interactive commenting boards via Twitter never stopped turning.
Thankfully the Rockstars at Blog 08 only resembled their name sakes in spirit, so we were treated to some articulate and occasionally intense discussion about the current state of blogging and its evolving role in relation to established and user-generated media (both complementary and a threat, as consolidation is only just getting started), blogging’s accepted importance as a communications platform (with blogs about Chinese human rights abuses through to Hollywood gossip reporting more available and much improved thanks to bloggers), and other essential considerations facing each blogger seeking to preserve independence and creativity (namely should they monetize? Yes they should and Mippin Mobilizer can be part of the monetization solution because of its simple, effective way to reach new readers and generate incremental revenue). In fact opinion was often polarized though most topics seemed to return to the same main topline points; that blogs in general will continue to be a democratizing influence on the web; that there should be more women bloggers; there should be less blogs about tech (though more tech blogs posts about Mippin!).
In summary I think Boris Veldhuijzen van Zanten’s speech about the parallels between bloggers and God provided the most insight at Blog 08 on the future of blogging. It was that there was a general agreement that something fantastic started 3 – 5 years ago with the unbounded enthusiasm of hundred million or more international voices suddenly vocalized thanks to a clever bit of enabling technology called a blog platform, and with it the ability to tell people the world over about their interests and experiences, to share, learn, improve, enjoy and potentially make money. I don’t know if bloggers are God but I got the impression most of the ones attending Blog 08 were at least singing from the same hymn sheet. It’s great that Mippin can be part of the next step forward for many bloggers.