This past weekend I was able to attend my first blogger conference, Izeafest. I was nervous at first, thinking it was just a bunch of business people talking business, but I really had a great time. It wasn’t what I expected at all.
There were blogger ’stars’, like Jeremy ‘Shoemoney‘ Schoemaker, and Merlin Mann (43 folders). These guys make serious bucks, but they were so easy going, so easy to listen to. And there was free Wii for the playing, and cool giveaways, downright food fights, funny tweets, and plenty of great information. Even though I only made the Saturday session, I took pages of notes.
There were three big plasma screens on the sides of the stage, and everyone was twittering along as fast as the speaker could talk. I was into the speakers, but sometimes the twitters made me want to laugh. John Chow (JohnChowdotCom) was at it all day, as were a bunch of bloggers. John’s one of the hardest working and most successful pro bloggers, but he has a comic side as well.
Notes from the Saturday presentations:
Merlin Mann: Merlin was my favorite speaker. He was talking right to my inner dreams, because he talked more about how to be creative, how to think, than just how to post to a blog. That applies to my desire to write, but also to film-making, art, and more. Here’s his advice:
Find your obsession, every day. Explain it to one person you respect. Edit everything. Skip shortcuts. And try not to be a d***. Get Better.
Social Networking Panel: Lena West, Sean Bonner, and Etan Horowitz. Etan seems like a pretty cool cat. Lena was all business, but had some interesting stuff to say. At one point she got in a debate with the mommybloggers about whether or not to talk about kids online, and I’m thinking, “Hey, I’m a kid and I’m online like a tidal wave, what the dealio?”
Loren Feldman: The best thing I can say about Loren is that I don’t have any notes from his talk. That’s because I was focused on everything he had to say. I’m really into video, and his 1938 Media video blog is da bomb. He’s funny, full of energy, and has years of experience at what he does. I was very happy to hear that it’s not necessary to have expensive video gear. A decent $130 camera works fine if you have talent. He stresses that good audio is very, very important in a video.
Tools&Plugins; Panel: Most of this was out of my league, but I can tell you that plug-ins and tools were falling out of Jonathan Dingman’s mouth like a waterfall. Izea also introduced a new tool at the conference, called Cloudshout. I got to meet the developer for it, and I’m looking forward to checking it out. It was also cool to see my uncle Dan on the panel. He likes to use his VC blog to try out new web toys.
Blog Design Makeover Panel: This was very cool, but you need to see it to enjoy it. Very visual. Reps from three design companies, MonkeyFoot, Unique Blog Designs, and Christopher Schmitt, did an Extreme Blog Makeover for 3 bloggers in the audience. In each case, the new design was an improvement.
The Izeahunt! – This is where things went nuts, and I found out why Ted Murphy of Izea is truly the craziest entrepreneur anywhere. But, the story of my Izeahunt will have to wait till tomorrow. For now, check out some of my photos from the event:
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Shout-outs: Etan – Interview me bro’, Pulitzer fo’ sho! Alexander – you wild, hombre. Tanya of <
a href="http://connectingmoms.com/" target="_blank">Connectingmoms.com- thanks for signing our shirt!