Just Heather
Blog Indiana Day #1: Keynote

Shawn and Noah have put together a great conference for us. I’m excited to be here to learn about the things I need to be doing to make my blog and Inexpensively what I know it could be. They really know what their doing when it comes to connecting. They’ve been on top of every question I’ve had on the conference—even the ones I didn’t think to ask.

It was a bit disconcerting to walk in and have someone I’ve never met greet me by name. I guess my avatar looks just like me. Who knew? I’m so bad about names and faces that it throws me when others aren’t. It actually happens all the time, though, so I guess I need to get used to it. (Yes, Mom, I’m wearing makeup!)

This is my first attempt at live blogging. I need to take notes and this seemed like the best idea, given the topic. These are my raw notes as they happen. I’ll come back later to fix obvious typos and errors, but if I decide to expand on anything I heard, it would be in a separate post. To quote my girls, “You get what you get, and you don’t throw a fit.”

Live Blogging Keynote

Jason Falls, Social Media Explorer: The Rules Are There Are No Rules

“If the rules are there are no rules, what the hell is this guy going to say? I’ll get to that, in about 40 minutes.”

The rules are there for a reason, but sometimes they’re meant to be broken.

Design Matters:
Design doesn’t matter in the tech/social media world because more than 50% of readers are never going to visit your website—they will subscribe to your RSS feeds instead.

The more you engage with people, the more connected you are with your audience.
A blog that does not allow comments is not really a blog. It’s a personal publication platform.

Blog Frequently:
Deb Schultz, Jeremey Pepper, Dave Weiner—Don’t blog frequently, but when they do it is incredibly compelling and engaging.
Keep it short and simple. People want short snacks in today’s attention deficit world.

Play Nice:
Some who don’t can get away with it because they are entertaining, if you get their humor and/or sarcasm.

Provide Value to Your Reader:
Value is relative—any blog will have value to someone, even if it’s just your mom.

Most blogs will never make more than $24.99 (and no one will cut you a check until you make $25)
Monetizing blogs is not about advertising; it is capitalizing on opportunities that your blog provides.

Driving Traffic:
Promote your blog.
The rules say be active on Digg, Reddit, Stumble Upon, Propeller, Mixx.
The theory is readers vote for good content. “The theory is bullshit.” None of the front page content on social media sites is actually based on what the community wants to see. It’s based on the back scratching and trading of a few hundred people.

How to Use Social Bookmarking Sites/Breaking the Rules:
Vote for good content when you see it.
Help friends with votes, if I like the content.

Social News/Bookmarking Success:
Spend all day on the site.
Get secret invites to voting circles
Pander to people via IM
“all the damn time!”

There is a lot of great advice, guidelines and “rules” but bottom line is are you happy with your blog? The success of your blog is really determined by how you feel about it.

Jason’s Rules for Blogging:
Be bold. Say something that other people are not. If your blog offers nothing different than what other people in your niche are saying, you’re just a me too. Take a different stance now and then.
Be fair. Let your opposing readers have their say. Letting them have the last word now and then is classy.
Follow the rules…sometimes. Good advice is still good advice.
Be loyal to your audience. Remember what people come there for and stay true to it. See what drives traffic. See what people comment on. Write about what your readers want to talk about.
Write good stuff!

Q. What would you call it then, if there are no rules? Aren’t we still in need of rules and guidelines?
A. I would call it Blogging Best Practices.

Q. What about ghost writers?
A. Transparency is key in social media. Ghost writers are the opposite. The biggest problem is getting found out. You run the risk of being disingenuous. It intimates that you have something to hide.

2 Responses to “Blog Indiana Day #1: Keynote”

  1. Thanks for the live blogging! Excellent! Feel like I’m there.

  2. Cool. You summed it up a lot better than I said it. Thanks!