Saturday, August 16, 2008

Blog Indiana Day One Updates and Links

Well the first day of Blog Indiana's first statewide conference is completed, with some networking on tap for this evening. Indy Star article on Blog Indiana this morning. The presenters first went over the early results of the Blog Indiana survey of bloggers. Here's the list of sessions today and tomorrow.

The seminars were solid, with quite a few of the major sponsors presenting. Guess what, when someone presents and they want to sell their product, the democracy of bloggers kicks in and they have a ton of opinions. (Photo thanks to Day One Blog Indiana Photos by helloleticia )
I didn't attend the legal issues seminar, but saw many a tweet on the blogindiana searchboard exclaiming the need to become an LLC and post some legal disclaiming language.

45 minutes probably wasn't enough time for many of the seminars and for sure the panel discussion felt rushed with only 45 minutes alloted and no questions for the attendees. Corporate blogging in general created some great questions. Doug Karr was shooting some live video at one point, not sure the exact link.

Panel "How Social Media Impacts Elections" Some some thoughts from the panel on social media and it's impact on politics:

  • The Democrats and Liberals bloggers have had a virtual monopoly until very recently in Indiana. The advent of Hooser Access and it's member blogs has changed this somewhat during 2008.

  • Barack Obama, represented on the panel while John McCain's campaign didn't even respond to requests, has maximized the social medias for getting the word out, recruiting grass roots, and fundraising. They have also needed to use this tool to combat news items attacking Barack for lack of experience, racism at his home church, his original position against and now for oil drilling, and a host of issues surrounding the release of the book Obamanation. (See Hoosiers for McCain for our representation from John McCain, although not an official campaign site)

  • Compendium Software was the title sponsor with a package that encourages companies to use blogs to dramatically increase their SEO by cross-posting the same post across multiple topic driven sites at once. Although pretty heavily "sold" as a presentation, the idea raised some interesting questions about SEO and redundant posting. Update: I've been chided in the comments by Doug Karr and told more information about the presenter's abilities and committment to the technology world, duly noted. I found the presentation very helpful, and was interested in checking out Compendium's platoform.

  • I skipped the last sessions and spent some follow-up time with bloggers, mainly political, from Blue Indiana and Hoosier Access. General consensus was a good event, raising some issues for follow-up. The political bloggers for the most part got along quite well, with little of the problematic attacking that epitomizes talk shows on TV.

That's it for now. More later.


Chris Hedges said...

Hi Steve,

Thanks for providing updates from Blog Indiana!

Sounds like it is a worthwhile and informative event. The LLC idea is interesting -- as well as having an umbrella insurance policy, just in case.

Jonathan Thomas said...

Yeah, I sort of balked at the Compendium presentation (you may have notice my colleague and I shaking our heads disagreeing). I couldn't believe he was suggesting duplicate content is not a bad thing. I didn't really care for that presentation, I thought it would be more nuts and bolts, but it was mostly a sales pitch for the usefulness of blogging and Compendium's platform, which I would avoid completely. I don't mind a sales pitch, but the substance just wasn't there.

Douglas Karr said...

Re: Compendium - this isn't duplicate content. It's the same content. If you utilize categories or tags on your blog and you categorize/tag the post under "Politics" and "Republican" you can look that content up, by category, and see it under 2 different pages.

The reason for Compendium's method isn't to post duplicate content... it's to organize the content to be found on a variety of search results. Compendium also has some cool tools to help you measure your keyword density so that you don't overdue it as well.

Chris is a consummate, passionate representative of his company. He's also very selfless in the tech community here in town. He's been a mentor to me personally. He's also been in charge of 2 tech companies that have put Indy on the map and employed many people.

Let's face it, his application hasn't even been out for a year and he's hitting a million in sales. His sites are at the top of SERP everywhere. I think he knows a little bit better about what he's doing to capitalize on Search Engines than any of us.

DISCLAIMER: I do own stock in Compendium. So should you.

Douglas Karr said...

PS: Thanks for the mention!

briefs said...

Doug, I think that Jonathan felt Compendium to be a competitor, you know how that makes a person think a bit more critically.

I did think that the major sponsors, and those committed to the industry as you've suggested, should have a chance to really present their products. I liked the idea actually.

It might be nice though is the sessions were disclosed up front so that it was easy to see which ones were pushing a product and which ones were doing plain ole teaching.

You know a lot more about the Indy blogger and tech company scene than we do in NW Indiana, keep us in the loop.

Finn said...

I have to back my Region's play. We don't want to start a Silicorn war, but the Advanced Corporate Blogging session had people shaking their heads from the people, more than just me and my colleague (btw, we don't work for a Compendium competitor - it's pure passionate curiosity with which JT speaks. Our employer makes several millions as well). There was confusion as to the methods of content. I thought the content method was to mad-lib the content and run keywords pertinent to the derivative topics. I get that. A little lame, and if people really read the sites, it'll read redundant more than poetic (quality/quantity debate), but we get it. What caught peoples' gaze was when it was suggested that the blog pages had the same content but that the TITLE (not the tagging)was swapped around to hit keywords. It was suggested to run two pages with duplicate content, but one page would have "See Spot Run" as a title on one page and "Spot Run See" as another, just to hit the keyword phrase. 1)Right now, Google will display the page with the exact keyword in the title and not the other (instead of getting duplicate listing) BUT last news I read was that Google was going to pounce on the duplicate content. 2) RSS feeds and XML site maps - they catch that sort of broad matching. The time wasted on that could be better spent optimizing another page and aiming for additional, supplemental content and more pages to index.

His measuring of metrics sparked other debates, but to me, it sounds like he was telling us about ecommerce blogging and not corporate blogging, which had most thinking it was solely a product push.

The methods leave room for competition for those with more passion for entrepreneurship than myself. Hope this helps them. Don't even get me started on their keyword research :-)

The other seven sessions and the 2 panels, I enjoyed thoroughly. I even enjoyed the controversy in the ACB session (PR genius :-))I enjoyed the community. We in the Region have to search for Indiana news because we get plastered with Chicago stuff, so we also really enjoyed getting to know the people and the scene. Forgive us, we don't know the cliques and sects and we don't want to step on toes. We hope we get invited again.

Chris Baggott said...

I thought I should chime in and appreciate the feedback very much.

As Doug says, I tend to get a little passionate and look at Blogging as an amazing demand generation tool by exposing your human-ness and that of your organization.

We developed Compendium because we felt that the traditional 'Author-centric' aspects of blogging wasn't addressing the needs of either business or the searcher for that matter.

I take the opinion about too much product pitch seriously and appreciate the feedback and will temper that in the future. Thank you.

I guess I also took advantage of being on my "Home Court" and I know a lot of people locally are interested in what the business is hindsight I can see where I might have blurred the line for what was advertised.


Chris Baggott
Compendium Blogware

Chris Baggott said...

I'll hit one other thing on the Analytics.

Most of our clients are Corporate with about 50% B2B. We have a few eCommerce but most are about Demand Generation.

One of the Myths of Corporate Blogging is that the value is in the repeat visitor. That's where your worry about redundancy becomes relevant.

The reality is the value of Corporate Blogging comes with the first time visitor. That's what the analytics should be telling you, and how you should use them to guide your program.

What are they keywords that are driving your traffic, who's converting and why?