Many Ways To Listen & Learn


Heart_5 One important outcome of social media is the ability to listen and learn from our customers, and even our employees, through the unfiltered conversations of consumer generated media. However, there are other ways to understand our target audiences and that of course is through primary research.

Skipping around the blogosphere I found three posts that included research studies that might be of help to you:  women in social media, engaging employees and marketing to African American women. I'm leaving a few virtual bread crumbs for you to follow and perhaps travel down a few new paths.

One - A must read is the BlogHer Second Annual Women and Social Media Study. Elisa Camahort, BlogHer, explains the history of the study. The research takes a close look at the habits and attitudes of heavy users - women who participate in any social media activity at least weekly. 

Participants, who were online were more likely to spend less time engaging in traditional media activities like watching TV (30%), listening to the radio (31%), and reading magazines (36%) or the newspaper (39%).

A few more findings - Women are nearly twice as likely to use blogs than social networking sites as a source of information (64%), advice and recommendations (43%) and opinion-sharing (55%), while they are 50 percent more likely to turn to social networking sites as a means of keeping in touch with friends and family (75%),

Two -  Continuing my virtual blog travels I found that Sybil F. Stershic at Quality Service Marketing wrote a great post based BlessingWhite’s 2008 Employee Engagement Report. We're learning that social media influences more than marketing. It's not just about the brand <-> customer relationship. Social media impacts the entire organization from who is hired to management's trust of employees. It becomes even more critical for mangers to understand how to inspire and engage their staff.

Three - Michele Miller, Wonder Branding, concentrates on marketing to women. She well understands that success is dependent on realizing that this segment is more complex than it may appear. There are niches within niches. One important segment is African American women.

Michele points us to an interesting study by Lattimer Communications  that found " 86% of African-American women say that advertisers need to do a better job of understanding and marketing to them." Lattimer-communications-six-personas-black-woman-2008 Lattimer has developed six psychographic profiles.

Hat Tip to Brittany for taking the time to let me know about a broken link And forwarding a solution! 

Etiquette For A Social Media World


Etiquette Last week I had the honor of participating in BlogHer Biz '08. Part of my gig was to lead a round table discussion. Our talk turned to etiquette in social media. What is proper and polite in the digital world of social networking?

The Divas round the table kindly agreed to share their thoughts ..  What does social media etiquette mean to you?

  • Lori Magno, Digital Hive Modadi Magno: Be Nice. Is it really that hard? disagree with me, tell me why - I'll respond. Can you phrase it in the form of a question? Are you "you" or are you hiding behind "anonymous?" Be. real. You will be rewarded.
  • Yvonne DiVita, Lip-Sticking: Be open & honest. Respect the fact that its not all about 'you.' It's about the whole community - that's a group of people, not just one person. By the way be sure to check out the stylish new header on Lip-sticking.
  • Sarah Levy, Mini-et-Moi : Respect and responsibility. Be respectful of the writer and the community and behave as though you are part of a long-term relationship. (If you're angry or want to rant and rave, wait a bit before you hit "send.") Take responsibility for what you say - even if you want to do so anonymously.
  • Kristin Livermore: Respect the relationship you're developing and respect the community. Understand and learn about who you're talking to so you can have a real conversation.
  • Amy Pagiutte Cisco: Be open to sharing and responding to information and contacts in a way that is always respectful, honest, transparent. Understand who you are communication with so that your commentary can be absorbed appropriately. Don't rant -> always be respectful.
  • Jenna Woodul, Live World: Social media implies and requires civility.
  • Jeanette Gibson Cisco: If you wouldn't say it to someone in person, don't say it online. Be respectful and transparent.
  • CB Whittemore, Flooring The Consumer: Rules For Behavior Extended Into Social Media. Courtesy matters. More specifically:
  • Being polite and relevant
  • Apologize for interruptions
  • Adding value throughout interaction
  • Active listening
  • Not bullying

Not too different from how you would expect your children to behave. So with technology that would mean silencing cell phones during meetings, and not distracting side conversations (or tweets).

  • Toby, Diva Marketing: Remember what your mama taught you: Don't lie. Don't cheat. Don't bully. Play nicely together.

Girlfriend, not only did I also have the pleasure of  interviewing the lovely Goodwill of Greater Washington Fashionista Diva blogger, but I played Runway moderator describing the Fashionista's vintage Goodwill outfit. Check out the Goodwill eBay store for the Goodwill_fashionista_shoes_2 jazzy shoes she wore. Nice recap of the session on  what's your story

Bloggers Take New York, New York


New York New York .. it's a helluva town the Bronx is Up and the bloggers are all over the town!

I'm Speaking at BlogHer Business 08


Hope to share an appletini or two with some of the nicest divas and divos this week.

BlogHer Business '08
Blogger Social

Remi Adams On Questions To Ask Before You Blog


New York! New York! Get ready for the women bloggers. BlogHer Business convenes Wednesday night with an open happy hour. Two days of panels and keynote speakers follow 3/22-23. This is BlogHer's first entree into the business conference arena and from the speakers the BlogHer Diva's (Elisa Camahort, Jory Des Jardins and Lisa Stone) have brought in .. seems like another BlogHer hit.

In preparing to moderate the panel "Should You Blog?", I’ve had The Best Time getting to know the amazing, and very different, women - Penelope Trunk, Remi Adams and Roxanne Darling - who will open the discussion. We call it  the “opening” since our job is to jump start the conversation opening the doors to creating dialogue with and among the people attending. 

Remi_adams_2 In the second mini interview with the panelists, Remi Adams, director of public relations for Homestead Technologies encourages you to ask a few questions before you launch a corporate blog.

Toby: We are speaking at the BlogHer Business Conference on the panel "Should You Blog?" The panel is part of the track "How Do I Get It Right the First Time?"  How can you get a corporate blog  right the first time?

Remi: Make sure that the purpose of the blog is well thought out before embarking upon it. What’s the point of the blog? Who is the audience? How will it be used? Who is writing it and in what voice? What information will be divulged and will that information need to be cleared with anyone within the company? These are just a few of the questions people should ask themselves before creating a corporate blog. Also, ask yourself a question people rarely ask of themselves: Do you have the time or resources to create content?

Toby: The blog, CEO Unplugged, is written by the Justin Kitch who is the founder and CEO of Homestead .. and your boss.  What advice would you give marketers who are considering encouraging their CEO to take a step into social media and launch a blog?

Remi: I think a good question to ask is whether or not the CEO has a clear focus, and if blogging as a medium is a good one for that person as a communicator. Some people excel at public speaking; others’ are much more interesting and persuasive as writers. Every medium does not speak to the talents of every person, and I think that since blogs are so accessible and easy to create, people don’t view them as they would any other PR or marketing opportunity. I wouldn’t encourage every CEO to act as a company spokesperson, if they wouldn’t shine in that role on behalf of their company; and the same should be true of the CEO who would like to author a corporate blog. In many cases, CEO’s divorce themselves of the corporate blog and devote their time to writing a personal blog so that they can express their personal opinion more freely.

Toby: What is your personal goal for attendees to take away from our BlogHer Business panel "conversation?"

Remi: I would like attendees to ask themselves a few personal questions before establishing their corporate blogs. There are certainly no right or wrong answers; merely questions that will help people better define their individual paths.

If you've enjoyed the interview with Remi Adams, catch the mini interview with Penelope Trunk. Penelope offers some great tips on how bloggers can create relationships with main stream media.

Party! With The Bloggers! - Hop over to CK's Blog to find out about the Happy Happy Blogger Meet-up On Friday March 23 in NYC. With CK leading this party there is sure to be more than champagne corks popping at Flutes in midtown Manhattan!

Penelope Trunk On How To Connect To Main Stream Media


Divas (and divos too!) the days are ticking down to BlogHer Business in Manhattan on March 22-23. This is the third year that I've been honored to speak at the only conference that focuses on women bloggers. I'm excited to be moderating the panel "How To Do I Get It Right The First Time?" on day two. Penelope Trunk, Remi Adams and Roxanne Darling will join me in exploring issues that business blogger face. I thought it would be fun to give you a preview of our conversation through a series of mini interviews with these savvy divas.

First up is Penelope_trunk Penelope Trunk, columnist for the Boston Globe and Yahoo! Finance. Penelope blogs at Brazen Careerist. Penelope offers us a side of blogger relations that is not frequently discussed .. how bloggers can catch the attention of main stream media. She also give some great advice on what I call the "Brand Is Me Blog" .. using blogs as a live resume.

Toby: We are speaking at the BlogHer Business Conference on the panel Should You Blog? The panel is part of the track How Do I Get It Right the First Time? In the new social media world how you can build relationships with the media right the first time?

Penelope: A very effective way to get my attention is to link to my blog or comment on my blog. There are a million bloggers in the world, and the first on the list of new blogs I'll look at will be those somehow connected to my own community. After a few blog-based interactions, I feel like I know you a little. Then, when you approach me and say, "Will you write about this? I want to get the word out?" I'm more likely to say yes.

A pitch from a blogger is more straightforward than a pitch from a publicist. A blogger usually emails and says, "Here I am!" There is no fancy pitch. This is a fine way to approach me as a blogger. However if a random publicist approached me this way, for example, to promote a book from a mainstream publisher, I'd probably think there's something wrong with the book. I expect a different pitch from someone who is not a blogger. This is probably not fair and not rational, but at least I'm being honest.

Toby: Your column in the Boston Globe focuses on career advice. Is a "brand is me" blog a good idea for someone in a job search mode? If you agree what type of content would help close the deal a little faster? If you disagree, what harm would it do?

Penelope: A blog can make the difference between a mediocre career and a get-to-do-all-the-fun-stuff career. But this means thinking about blogging and job hunting with a more contemporary bent. To blog merely to get a job strikes me as disingenuous. It's similar to calling up people in your network only when you need a job. That's not really networking, that's just asking for favors.

Blogging is about sharing ideas with a community. A successful blog has to be about connecting with a community. Someone who is blogging just to get a job probably will not engage people in a way that makes the blog relevant to a community. So maybe the person should write white papers instead, and publish them on a web site -- that's a way to get your ideas across without pretending to link into a community.

Increasingly, job hunting is a continuous process that never ends. People are changing jobs a lot more often than they used to. Young people change jobs more than every two years. At any given time 70% of workers are looking for jobs. So instead of treating a job hunt like an event, and blogging for that moment, think about maintaining a blog as something you do always, to keep your career vibrant.

A column I wrote lists all the things you can do for your career by maintaining a blog. I actually was not a blogger when I wrote this column. But this column is what made me realize I needed to start blogging in order to keep my career relevant. I also think there are career benefits to blogging periodically. But the benefits are not as big. (A  post that Penelope wrote includes more information.)

Toby: What is your personal goal for attendees to take away from our BlogHer Business panel discussion?

Penelope: I want people to know that the mainstream press is really interested in quoting bloggers. But if the journalists don't read blogs every day (which they don't), it's really hard to find bloggers to quote.

This is because there is no good way to search for blogs. For example, I was looking for a blogger to quote about the funeral industry. And the first blog that came up in my google search was someone who posted about how hard it was to find someone blogging about the funeral industry. Absurd.

Also, offline media has established ways to measure credibility. These rules do not apply to the blogsphere, so many print journalists do not know how to pick out the credible bloggers from a long list of relevant blogs.

Because of these two problems, it's very hard for a lot of mainstream journalists to quote bloggers, even thought they want to. Which means that if you approach the mainstream media as a blogger with established credibility, you will have to compete with fewer outlets in order to get quoted.

I find this is true in places like PRleads as well. I learned this the hard way. My book is coming out in May, and it's called Brazen Careerist -- the same title of my blog. I have responded to plenty of queries from journalists. I described myself as a blogger and an author, and the journalist has printed the blog name instead of the book name. Not great for my book publicity, but evidence that journalists are choosing to quote bloggers over authors.

Note: Cross posted on BlogHer

At BlogHer With Elisa Camahort - Interview Part Two


Interview with Elisa Camahort - Part Two: BlogHer The Vision, Future Direction
Read Part One: Back-story of BlogHer, Why A Biz Conference

Last month I caught up with Elisa_camahort_1 Elisa Camahort, BlogHer, in DC. Over an almost leisurely breakfast, I was watching the clock to make a noon flight, we chatted about blogs, women in social media and the challenges and opportunities facing the BlogHer founders - I like to call them The Diva Trio - Elisa Camahort, Jory Des Jarden and Lisa Stone as they build an organization that is focused on women in social media.

Toby/Diva Marketing - What was the light bulb moment when you realized that BlogHer could be bigger than one event and a community website?

Elisa Camahort - Again, it was the community that told us. The volumes of online and offline feedback after BlogHer ’05 were remarkably consistent. They asked for more events, for an online place to “meet” every day, and a segment of our community asked us how they could make more money doing what they loved. We already knew that women are power consumers, and that women are power communicators, and that women are power connectors. But if you put all of that together: you get online community, original content, offline conferences…and an optional advertising network.

Toby/Diva Marketing - Where have you found your biggest opportunities?

Elisa Camahort - First, when we’ve actively sought them. As much as I believe that it’s everyone’s job to eradicate their own conscious or unconscious biases, I also believe that you have to go out and ask for what you want. Make them tell you “no.”

Second, when we’ve listened. Some of the best ideas come from the community. People often define Web 1.0 as one-way communications vs. Web 2.0 being two-way communications. I take that a step further and say that online community is circular communications. Speak, then listen, then respond. Rinse and repeat. You’ll get smarter, and your community will feel invested and empowered.

Toby/Diva Marketing - Let’s take a step into the future. How will you market BlogHer to ensure that you maintain the positioning and brand awareness that you’ve developed? In other words, how will you differentiate BlogHer from possible competitors?

Elisa Camahort - Jory Des Jarden, Lisa Stone and I are part of the community, and that’s what makes this brand tick. We are committed to continuing in partnership with our members – of and – and think that will do the trick.

Here’s how we interpret “partnership”: We try to differentiate ourselves by our level of service and responsiveness. By the variety of experiences we offer, online and off. By the fact that we are about community…about helping all boats rise together. And by how personally we take every aspect of our business…including helping customers understand the blogger perspective. We are each bloggers, after all, I started out as a personal and political blogger, before becoming a business blogger.

Lisa is a journalist-turned-blogger focused on the media and politics. Jory is an author and identity blogger looking at work and life. By tapping into our passion about blogging and passion about our Mission… which is to create opportunities for education, exposure, community and economic empowerment for women bloggers.

We have big plans…to continue to improve the content and experience on, to further expand our educational and conference endeavors, to continue to work with the community to create  more of the opportunities that our Mission speaks to.

Toby/Diva Marketing - Let's end this on a personal note. From Elisa Camahort's perspective where do you see your biggest challenges and opportunities and fun as you head into your social media adventure?

Elisa Camahort - My biggest challenge personally has always been to not try to do everything myself. Particularly now that I have a wonderful Event Planner, Kristy Sammis, working for me I need to let go of total control of all aspects of every conference detail. That's always been my challenge as a manager going back into the corporate world, and is still a challenge.

The second challenge is that we are dedicated to serving the community, but our community is extremely diverse. Taking very wide-ranging community input and deriving the best case decisions from that input is challenging, but in the most mentally stimulating way!

The opportunities are huge and exciting. We really do want to change media, and change the way the media approaches women. And really, at the very 40,000 foot level I don't want to just change media, hell, I want to change the world!! It sounds kind of grandiose, but really, the world has a ways to go :)

And the fun? You could not interact with the women (and men) who make up the BlogHer community and not have fun. I get emails or read comments on the site every single day that make me laugh out loud. Or, even better, incite me to take action about something I believe in.

Laughing and taking action every day: a recipe for a pretty fulfilling life, right?

Lessons Learned - As has become a Diva Marketing tradition, let's take our cue from Elisa and BlogHer and spin some lessons learned.

  • Listen and learn from your customers.
  • Build partnership relationships with your customers.
  • Let people in to help you. Don't be afraid to delegate.
  • Pursue new opportunities that may seem a bit .. out there.
  • Ask for what you want. Make them tell you "no."
  • Dream BIG. Take ACTION. Laugh EVERY DAY!

At BlogHer With Elisa Camahort - Interview Part One


Last December I had the pleasure of leading a panel discussion at the first Healthcare Blogging Summit. Elisa Camahort, one of the founders of BlogHer, was a panelist and Sunday am we met for  a DBO .. Diva Breakfast Out.

Although I've been involved, as a speaker, editor and supporter, of BlogHer since the early days that be .. 2005, I was curious to lean how within, what seemed like seconds, BlogHer had morphed from one workshop - to an online community - to an ad network - to two niched conferences.  Elisa agreed to recreate our conversation about the back-story of BlogHer and the challenges and opportunities facing the  Blogher_2Diva Trio -  Elisa Camahort, Jory Des Jardins and Lisa Stone - as they build a social media company.

Part One - The Back-story of BlogHer and Why A Biz Blog Conference

Toby/Diva Marketing - Let’s give Diva Marketing’s readers some of the BlogHer back-story.  How did BlogHer come to be?

Elisa Camahort - Back in early 2005, Lisa Stone and I were introduced by a mutual friend, who insisted we needed to know one another (probably because we were the only two avid bloggers he knew.) We had lunch and talked about our frustration over a question roiling through the mainstream (political) blogosphere, namely “Where are the women bloggers?” We each were not only bloggers ourselves, but knew and read many many more of the same.
The assumption was all too often that women weren’t blogging about the topic being considered, whether technology, politics, business etc.  So when Internet and technology conference speaking rosters were skewed 80­90% toward male speakers, and when media reports on the burgeoning blogosphere quoted and cited nearly 100% male bloggers, the rationale was that the rosters merely reflected the gender ratio out in the real world. The only problem with this rationale was that neither casual observation, nor, more objectively, the statistics reported by the Pew Internet & American Life Project supported it.

So Lisa asked me about an idea she had: How about a conference for women bloggers – would I join her to make it happen? If we did, would women bloggers come? My emphatic answer to both questions was “yes” – and our partnership was born. We got right to work on it. We decided to see how many women bloggers we could gather at a conference by and about women bloggers. Men were invited and welcome, but the point was to feature the voices of women bloggers. We threw the idea out to the community in a series of blog posts and were met with an immediate and passionate response.

We also discovered almost immediately that while two heads are better than one, a triumvirate was what we really needed. I had met Jory Des Jardins at a conference…where we bonded over being the only two people taking notes on paper (not typing away in a laptop) during a session.  We started out asking her if she’d like to “help a little”, and ended up sucking her completely into the BlogHer way of life!

Toby/Diva Marketing - Who does what? How are responsibilities defined?

Elisa Camahort - Lisa, Jory and I are co-founders of this organization, and we’re organized to leverage our unique strengths and experiences.

Jory handles all of our sales, business development and partnership activities. This includes both conference sponsorships and advertising network customers.

Lisa is our editorial and community guru, and is really the chief user advocate. She manages the web community, both technologically and editorially. She also handles blogger relations…making sure our editors and ad network partners are taken care of.

I manage our overall marketing and our events in particular. This means logistics, of course, but also programming. I’m constantly on the hunt for great, fresh voices to bring to our conferences.

We are each advocates for our particular area, and advisers to the other two areas. Most significant ideas in any of our three areas are shared amongst us, and it’s inevitable that three of us are way smarter than any one of us.

Toby/Diva Marketing - Let’s step back in time to 2005.  How in the world did you pull off the 2005 BlogHer Conference with no infrastructure, when you, Jory and Lisa were holding down full-time jobs and with minimum funding? 

Elisa Camahort - Because of the community. Don’t get me wrong, Lisa, Jory and I worked like madwomen…but at every step of the way when we asked for help, someone stepped up to deliver. The women’s blogging community didn’t respond to the idea of a BlogHer Conference with a passive “entertain me” attitude. On the contrary, they reacted with an active “What can I do?” spirit. Volunteerism contributed to every aspect of the conference. We like to call it “do-ocracy.” (More on that concept is here:

Toby/Diva Marketing - What was the vision that you, Lisa and Jory had for the first BlogHer Conference?

Elisa Camahort - We wanted to answer that question “Where are the women bloggers” with an emphatic “Right here!” We wanted to make that question sound ridiculous if anyone asked it again. And we wanted to create an opportunity for women bloggers to meet one another and find common ground no matter what their blogging passion was.

Toby/Diva Marketing - Flash forward to 2007, BlogHer is now the premier online community for women bloggers, an ad network and not one but two conferences are planned for this year.  What is the difference between the two conferences?

Elisa Camahort - Thanks for the kind compliment Toby. The BlogHer ‘07 Conference this July in Chicago will be the next generation of the annual conference we’ve had in Silicon Valley in ’05 and ’06. It’s for all women who are interested in blogging, be they as bloggers, bloggers-to-be, or blog readers, regardless of topic or focus. We’ll continue to have the diverse schedule of sessions and events we’ve had, covering everything from the highly personal to the politically charged to the purely professional.

We’ll continue to promote do-ocracy, and look for ways to expand that empowered do-it-yourself approach beyond the Birds of a Feather sessions and Room of Your Own tracks. And we’ll continue to help all women to attend by heavily subsidizing the conference registration fee and feeding people!

BlogHer Business is our inaugural topic-focused event. Essentially we took the Business track from BlogHer and decided to expand it.  Lisa, Jory and I are were all heavily involved with business blogging and helping businesses to grok social media long before we formed BlogHer, so this was a natural first focus area for us. Lisa helped launch such blog networks as and Jory helped launch the ThirdAge blog network and consulted for such companies as Pluck and Rojo. I was an early business blogger, blogging for clients on topics as varied as healthcare, theatre and Internet trends. (I wrote for five client blogs at one time.)

We also had been to multiple business-related blogging conferences and felt we could add value in this arena. We consider BlogHer Business to be a “deeper dive” into a part of Blogher’s overall agenda. And in future we hope to expand the kind of deeper dives we make. BlogHer Tech? BlogHer Election ‘08? BlogHer Arts & Crafts? BlogHer Finance? We expect the community will point us in the directions we should go.

Toby/Diva Marketing  - Does a separate conference for business bloggers have anything to do with the buzz last summer about mommy bloggers and business bloggers having different interests?

Elisa Camahort - Actually, no. As I said, we’re not dropping business topics from the annual event at all. We’re just digging deeper. It’s an incredibly rich and deep topic area. The BlogHer annual event is about finding common ground and celebrating our differences. And promoting one another. And validating quality work and writing, no matter its subject matter. If anything, we’re figuring out how to address our greater community’s divergent interests head-on and see what we can learn from unexpected sources.

Toby/Diva Marketing - Why the steep price increase for the NYC conference?

Elisa Camahort -  It might be easier to explain how the annual event prices are kept low. And why we want to continue to do so. Lots of the people who attend the annual event aren’t blogging as part of any business or job. They can’t expense it to anyone or deduct the trip at tax time. It’s pure out-of-pocket expense…it is really a luxury for a lot of folks. So, if we keep the registration fee low, if we feed you all day, if we try to find hotel options that are affordable…or at least can easily support room-sharing, then we can make sure that we can accommodate, or rather be accommodated by more bloggers.

Sponsors make a lot of that possible. Their involvement means we can feed people. Their involvement means we can have more meeting rooms available. Their involvement helps us have subsidized childcare. Their involvement means we can help speakers with travel expenses…which means that we can feature a broader diversity of voices than just folks who can afford to travel to conferences all year long, All of which means that we don’t have to rely on registration fees to cover the expense of the conference. Which they don’t.

BlogHer Business, on the other hand, is targeting folks who are exploring social media as part of their business or job. In addition, it’s a targeted event with a much smaller planned size. Fewer attendees with a more niche interest, means a smaller pool of sponsors will be involved. And in order to serve these bloggers where many of them are (New York) rather than less expensive cities, the cost of doing this conference will be much greater.

Thursday Jan 25th - Part Two: Vision, Future Direction

I Love Bloggers


Kisses I love bloggers. Really I do. Even those A-list bloggers who pretend that they are not..don't want to be and are stepping down from their A-list bloggy towers. Even those bloggers who sometimes get on a rant and want to 'save the blogosphere' from itself. Even the geek bloggers and the mommy bloggers. And of course the seniors like Millie and Ronnie.

Why do I love bloggers? Most. Most. Most. Bloggers are ... curious people who are in a continuous learning mode. They like to push the envelope. They're brave about sharing themselves and their ideas. They're friendly, generous and kind. And they love to talk about blogging! (My non bloggy friends will only let me talk blogs for seconds. Except Max of course, who listens most of the time. Tho I think that's because he knows he'll end up with doggy chocolate kisses!).

: Don't tell me about the bloggers who are mean, closed minded and evil. I know all that. Read the first words above Most. Most. Most.

For the students at Bentley College who might ask, "What does this have to do with marketing?" It's part of the networking game babes. It's all about the Corner Grocery Store relationship. It's all about the conversation. If I like you and you like me we're more likely to do business together, pass along referals, serve as a resouce. Call it Web 2.0 Networking or any thing you like ...  Read Scott's, Pothole on the Infobahn, Top Ten Questions on Web 2.0 very funny.

Read Carol's, Driving in Traffic's take on the Atlanta Biz Blog dinner at Grape at the Forum. And the generous post by Josh at hyku (Josh has links to all) and the Diva Potato Chip Girl who brought along a cute non bloggy friend to dinner because she didn't know that bloggers would totally love her - even without samples of Potato Finger Chips! Jory, Lisa and Elisa ... I see an Atlanta BlogHer contingency in our future.

Toss of a pink boa Pink_boa_12to Teresa & Josh thanks for pulling this together!

This is networking the "C-Generation" style. Divas & Divos, it's buzz word time .. taking a drink of the Kool Aid .. throw in some gin or vodka or tequila if you must.

C - Generation: People who create and consume their own content while creating community.

Oh, one more reason to love bloggers...most bloggers...they're just fun!

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BlogHer Reflections


Opening session BlogHer - Lisa and Elisa and Jory challenged us to keep 3 questions top of mind:

1. What did we learn?
2. What would we do with the information?
3. What would be recommend for someone who wasn't at BlogHer?

BlogHer was not a conference focused only on business blogging. Sure there were several sessions about biz blogging including an informal session led by Charlene Li, Forrester. 
Sidebar: Made my day when Charlene said she read and liked Diva Marketing..lesson learned (again) never know who is reading your blog.
Sidebar: Charlene Li posted findings from a recent Forrester study on RSS.

BlogHer was a conference that embraced people from multiple corners of the blog world. It was a time for people (divas and divos) to challenge the status quo of blogging. To question the current models. To explore strategies to do it smarter and better.

Halley Suitt and Charlene Li jump started the morning off with an lively debate about how  "A-list" blogger linking and the Technorati 100 influenced establishing, visibility and perhaps credibility of bloggers. The concept was so controversial that it made it's way into the blogosphere.

Question: Why should we place so much emphasis on Technorati or any of the blog search engines for that matter when most people use traditional search engines like Google or Yahoo! or MSN? In fact, the amount of link farm spam that pops up on Technorati searches is reason not to depend on it.

Then there was the odd reaction from a few male bloggers to the suggestion of creating a list of women speakers. I mean really...what's the big deal?  Plain silly. Here's Robert's post:

Renee Blodget, on how to get more women to speak at conferences: "We talked about the lack of women speakers at technology conferences....and what to do about it. There's a need to create a master list of powerful interesting and dynamic woman and what they want to talk about, so we have access to this list when an opportunity comes up to recommend someone when asked or proactively submit someone's name."

Renee, we already have that list. It's called Google (or MSN or Yahoo, they all pretty much work similar).

I used to hire speakers. And that's EXACTLY what I used to do. Go to Google and see who is known on a particular topic. I'd search for "DHTML Guru" "DHTML Expert" "DHTML book" "DHTML Tips" "DHTML Techniques" "DHTML Community" and other searches like that. I'd make a list of the names I kept seeing over and over again.

Here's a hint: you can get on those lists. Just blog and blog well.

So the real trick isn't to make some sort of new list. It's to teach people how search engines work and how to get other people to notice that they have expertise in a certain area.

Question: Why would anyone search the internet if they could go to a credible, list where information is aggregated? Perhaps includes comments about past speeches, references, testimonials.

BlogHer was most valuable for me when I explored new worlds. Friday found myself drinking a California chardonnay with bloggers who were into political blogging and journalism Chris Nolan, Roxanne Cooper, Liza Sabater and Jill Fallon. Right from the word go I was taken out of my biz/marketing blogging comfort zone. What fun. And thanks for the drink Roxanne.

On my way to BlogHer Sat am met, Anina, a young woman who made her way from MN to Paris and along the way became a successful fashion model. Anina is a hot chick (and smart diva) who codes and wants to turn the fashion world onto blogging. In fact she's doing a blog project with Six Apart.
Sidbar: Podcast with Chris Ritke at 49Media

Girlfriend, I will never look at "mommy blogs" or "identify blogs" in the same way again. How to Get Naked took a look at how much should one risk in exposing one's self in the blogosphere. Koan, one of the panelists, even managed to audio tape the session. Take a hop to her blog to listen to a very interesting thread. Other panelist were Diva Ronni Bennet and Heather Armstrong aka Dooce one of the most popular mommy bloggers and one of the most trafficked blogs on the internet.

One of the highlights of BlogHer was meeting old and new friends Yvonne, Jill, Elena, Celeste, Susan, Christine, Elisa, Susannah, Sally, Amy, Mary, Evelyn, Arieanna and Matt.  And many, many more... Lisa you were missed.

1. What did we learn?
Divas, when you go to BlogHerBlogher_shoes next year make sure you plan time for a pedicure ... never know  your little piggies might show up on a post. Complements of Renee.

That we can learn from all corners of the blog world. That issues facing mommy bloggers, political bloggers, non profit bloggers and biz bloggers are very similar.

2. What would we do with the information?
Use new insights and ideas to create a better blog. What's better? What are your goals?

3. What would be recommend for someone who wasn't at BlogHer?
Identify a couple of blogs outside your comfort zone; add them to your reader and follow them for a few months. Perhaps even pop in on the conversation.

Then start a saving your pennies for BlogHer 2006!