AMA Learns A Lesson About The Blogosphere


This is a lesson about the influence of the blogosphere - a la BL Ochman who this fall showed the world that bloggers could change the direction of a major PR conference.

Background: The American Marketing Association developed a workshop on blogs; not surprising, the program was/is targeted to marketers; and in AMA's tradition, is being facilitated by practioners in the field ... in this case bloggers. Speakers: Seattle/NYC/Chicago. AMA asked me to chair the workshop and it's been my pleasure to work with a group of speakers who are knowlegable, nice (that's a Robert Scoble word) and passionate about sharing their experiences about blogging.

The Surprise: AMA is no stranger to putting together professional develoment workshops but even with its many years of experience the staff was not prepared for the impact that bloggers would/could have before doors were even opened to the first session. What happened? We got dished by TDavid who questioned the substance of the sessions and in turn, the value of the program.

As Pat, the director of programming told me - we might have expected this type of feedback after a workshop but never thought we'd get this type of response prior to it.

As I told Pat - AMA is playing in a new paradigm...the blogosphere. The rules are different. Hey...the rules are still being invented.

Advice From the Speakers: Henry Copeland reminded us about what Clue-Train says: markets are conversations. And Ben McConnell told us that a customer vigilante can often be converted into a customer evangelist by getting him/her involved. Robert Scoble felt that a workshop blog would help increase credibility. Great example of conference blog - Blog Business Summit.

AMA's Solution: In my role as workshop chair, I posted a response to TDavid thanked him for his suggestions (which really will help us make a better program) and cordially invited him attend the Seattle workshop as AMA's guest.

Lessons Learned: AMA takes own blog medicine. Thrills attendees. (I stole that from Henry!)

Now I must really finish packing!


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Sounds like a good event and the sort of thing we could be doing in the UK.

Posted by: James Cherkoff on Dec 17, 2004 2:53:11 AM

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