The headline of this post is borrowed from my good friend Mike Wagner who I felt captured the significance of the business blogging event also known as SOBCon 07. Here's the presentation I gave which can be downloaded from Slideshare. As mentioned in a previous entry—I stressed that blogging is a commodity. Anyone can do it. There are over 75 million blogs out there—that's a lot of noise. But I went farther in my presentation. I said this:
Stop calling yourself a blogger.
Why did I say this? Well, here are the notes I wrote for that particular slide:
"Blogging is a commodity. Anyone can do it. We are human beings with passions and interests that come out in our blogs—not the other way around. Stop calling yourself a blogger. You are a… (designer, businessperson, marketer, artist, baker, mother, grandfather, etc). Calling ourselves bloggers takes away from what makes us unique."
After I made the statement I clarified my intent to the audience. I said something along the lines of "we don't need to abolish the word blogger from our vocabulary—especially in meetings like this, but we should be careful how we refer to ourselves to the outside world". I was calling for a shift in mindset more than anything else—my theory is that focusing on the passion more so than the medium will lead to a better personal brand.
What it all boils down to is this:
Being a blogger doesn't make us unique. Our individual talents, passions and personality does. This is the stuff brands are built from—and blogs, despite all of the baggage that comes along with the word is an extension of our brands, whether it be personal or business. My presentation was at the core about building a unique brand enabled by personal publishing on the Web, and then delivering a great experience. As we discusses at the event—many folks who come across our blogs may not even know that it's a blog they are reading—what they are interested is in value.
Here's another set of notes from my deck:
"Our passions should drive what we do—what we write about. Find your passion and you will find your voice. ...Make your message an experience. Curate conversations. Facilitate relationships. This will lead to affinity and passionate communities."
You get the point. Anyway, it was a really great day for me. I finally met some good folks that I've been in touch with over the past few months. In addition to Mike Wagner, I got to meet (and spend time with) Drew McLellen as well as Mike Sansone, Director Tom, Liz Strauss and a whole lot more. It was an energetic mix of business and relationships (and laptops) ;)
Additionally, Jason Alba has pulled off some of the best note taking I have ever seen and posted them over on his site. You can view the notes as organized by speaker:
- Blog Critiques: What’s a Successful-Blog?
- Wendy Piersall, eMoms at Home, Blog Coach
- Tools Panel: Chris Cree (moderator) with MyBlogLog, Evoca, TheGoodBlogs
- Drew McLellan, Mike Sansone, Mike Wagner - The Iowa Way
- Andy Sernovitz - Word of Mouth guru
- Rodney Rumford - VideoSticky
- David Armano - Conversation by Design
- Liz Strauss: Successful and Outstanding Blogs
- Phil Gerbyshak: 10 Ways To Make It Great
- Non-virtual open mike (mic) night
In summary, SOBCon07 went well past the free sample. We got to taste the real thing—live and in person. My favorite part? Dinner and drinks after the whirlwind of activities. It was terrific to unwind in good company—and proof that business, brands and community do indeed go hand-in-hand.