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Monday, November 7, 2011

BlogWorld Los Angeles 2011: A Report and Analysis Day 1

           The BlogWorld Expo and New Media Conference 2011 at the Los Angeles Convention Center is now a pleasant memory for those who attended this great event.   Talk about information overload.  My brain will be sorting out information gathered from exhibitors for the next several days.  I had some excellent tips given to me by other bloggers as well.

            Taking the Metro train was the ideal way to go.  My schedule went according to plan.  The ride was pleasant and I was at the Convention center at about 7:30 Friday morning just as I had hoped.  There's a Metro Rail station just a block away from the Convention Center so it's an easy walk once you're off the train.

          Registration was efficiently handled by a group of friendly folks hired for the event.  Some of those with whom I spoke were also bloggers and authors.   One of them was Adrienne Van Houten who has a blog called Adrienne's House.  Once I got my I.D. badge and my information package I was ready to go.

          The BlogWorld staff started the day off with an excellent networking breakfast that was free to attendees.  Here I met Jeffrey Powers of   He was assisting in the booth for a podcast company called Stitcher where every time I passed their booth Jeff was interviewing one person or another.  He gave me some great tips during our conversation.

            The Expo doors opened at 10 AM and except for a brief lunch break, I was visiting booths and talking to people non-stop throughout the day.   There were nearly 100 booths to visit and I made it to almost half of them the first day.


         My first stop was the Blogger booth where I was assisted by a fine fellow whose name I unfortunately do not find in my notes at present.  He was of great help to me in answering some questions I had and showing me how to fix some problems with my blogs.  The entire Blogger staff was an energetic bunch and they seemed to be quite busy throughout the day.

          There are too many highlights to mention in this post without making it go on too long, but there are a few that absolutely stand out.   One is Zemanta--a content suggestion engine which offers links, tags, photos, and other helpful things that can be easily added to posts without having to do the research yourself.  This is my first post to use Zemanta and I can see I will have to get used to it, but after I do I think it will be a tremendous time saver.  

          Another cool thing was all of the swag I brought home with me.  There were all kinds of t-shirts, tote bags, pens, mousepads, and other useful items.  I also got free signed copies of hardback books:  The Hidden Power of Your Customers by Becky Carroll and No Bullshit Social Media by Jason Falls and Erik Deckers.   Looks like I'm going to have some more books to review in the future.  Add to that Chris Camillo's Laughing at Wall Street which the folks at his booth said they'd be sending me to review.

         At the end of the day I recalled someone in a booth inviting me to a product demonstration at 4:00 in room 404.  I remembered this as I was wearily trudging out of the hall to head home, but I couldn't remember what it was.  So I decided to check it out.  Pagelines, a drag and drop themes plug in for WordPress blogs, was demonstrating their product.  What a spread they had there!  They offered an excellent buffet and an open bar for the few who managed to make it.  Founder and product developer Andrew Powers and his associates were congenial hosts and they explained the product which I can't use on my Blogger blog, but I enjoyed my self anyway.

          At this demonstration I met a very nice fellow who is practically one of my neighbors.  Gregory McDonald is a video producer and president of Latter Rain Entertainment.  We had an excellent discussion and will be hopefully meeting in the near future to discuss some potential collaborations.

          After the Pagelines demonstration I was ready to call it a day at about 5:30.  It had been a long day with a lot of time on my feet and I was tired.  A bit achy but quite happy I returned home and shared my day with my wife as we sifted through my bag of goodies that I'd gotten at BlogWorld.    I only spent a few minutes on the computer before I turned in for a much needed night's sleep.   I still had another day at BlogWorld which I'll continue on Wednesday.

         Do any of you use Zemanta?   If so, what has been your experience with it?

         Tomorrow on Blogging from A to Z April Challenge Blog I will also be talking about some other aspects of my BlogWorld experience.

          On Thursday Yvonne Lewis from Welcome to My World of Poetry will be offering a special treat on my dream blog A Faraway View.

          Ann Carbine Best will be my guest on Wrote By Rote this coming Saturday.

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  1. thank you for the update, i would have loved to have gone... so we will pick your brain.

    Jeremy [Retro-Zombie]
    Visit The Madness:

  2. Wow, excellent post buddy. The whole thing sounds absolutely awesome and I won't lie, I would love, love, love to go to somewhere like this in the future, it would be so amazing.

    Glad you had fun anyway man.

  3. Sounds like a fun time with lots of great information.

    Wish I could have gone, but the Metro didn't come this way. :)


  4. I'll have to check out Zemanta. Sounds like you are having a fabulous and information filled time.

  5. Thanks for sharing all of this. I'd love to attend Blogworld!! One of my Oasis sisters works up to her eyeballs at that event.

  6. So much cool stuff! Are you suffering from information overload yet?

  7. Sounded like just the event to go to if interested in blogging.
    It looked a splendid place.
    Coming to LA in Feb for three days looking forward to it.

  8. Sounds for sharing and it must have been fun.

    I hope the folks from Blogger take notes and make some changes--Wordpress has done a fantastic job in making their tools and site blogger friendly.

  9. Jeremy-- Happy to answer anyone's questions if I know the answer.

    Yeamie-- I think you would have enjoyed it and probably understood more than I did.

    Teresa --- I think they are trying to continue the Metro in your direction.

    Delores -- I'm still trying to figure out Zemanta, but conceptually it sounds like a terrific idea.

    S.A. -- You've probably gotten a lot of feedback from your friend about it.

    Kelly -- I was already suffering from information overload before I went and now I've added to my data banks--my brain is overflowing.

    Yvonne -- The convention center is quite an extraordinary place to visit.

    Slamdunk -- I definitely gathered some additional insight about both blogging platforms--there are advantages to both.


  10. Wow! Sounds like you had a good time and learned a lot!

  11. Dude, that sounds like a blast! I saw the ads in Blogger and wondered if it would be worth it. Thanks for sharing. Now I might go next year.

  12. Hi Lee, I've loaded Zemanta - and yes, it'll be cool, but it makes it a little confusing to write a post.

    Make sure to change your preferences in it to open a new page when somebody clicks on a link, so they don't navigate away from yours.

    Also, I'm going to plug some of my friend's blogs into the preferred sites, so as to link back to their sites because I love 'em.

    Will be posting my own write-up on BlogWorld on Thursday. Wonderful to meet you!

  13. Sounds like a fantastic and educational experience. I can't wait to hear more details.

  14. Sounds like a neat convention and a great opportunity for networking. Looking forward to hearing more Lee.

  15. Only half of the booths the first day? Must've been fascinating. I take it you went back for day two?

  16. Bish -- It was a great time and I hope I retained at least a bit of what went into my brain.

    Maurice -- I think you would appreciate the event. The New York version will be in June and they say they will also return to L.A. next fall.

    Beverly -- It was great meeting you and I look forward to reading about your impressions of BlogWorld. My first Zemanta post was kind of weird, but I've done a couple more that didn't seem to go too badly. It will be something to get used to and learn more about.

    Ciara -- More details coming here on this site and on many other sites.

    Paula -- I did meet some very interesting people.

    Alex -- I tried to spend some time at each booth while covering as much ground as I could. Day 2 will be discussed on my Wednesday post.


  17. I have always wanted to go to conventions like these. Are they invite only? How do you find out about them?

    I am going to check out Zemanta and the Pagelines. Thanks for the post!

  18. Sounds like an awesome day! It is so fun attending events like this and meeting new people with the same interests. Thank you so much for sharing all this great information!

  19. WOW, what a fest. So are you going to share all the Blogger tricks you learned? Better yet, did you explain our frustration to them?

    Never heard of Zemanta, I play Zelda though. :)
    Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

  20. Ashley --BlogWorld is not a convention but an Expo and Conference open to anyone who pays the admission fee. You just have to keep your eyes and ears open to find out about them. I don't recall how I heard about BlogWorld, but it was at the last minute in the beginning of September. When I found out it was in L.A. where I live then I knew I had to go. BlogWorld has a website. Mark it and check when they post the details for next year. If you're nearby then buy a ticket and go if you can afford it. It's well worth your time.

    Tracy Jo-- I'd been wanting to attend a blogging or writing event for a long time and now I've had my chance. It was a great time and I hope to attend more things like this.

    Jules -- There was so little time for me to talk to the Blogger folks since I wanted to get around to the other booths that my main focus was trying to find out about my current issues. I forgot all about those other frustrating issues. If you want to vent I guess you can try to go through the Blogger help forums and find the best contact and start corresponding with them. The crew seemed pretty helpful. As far as the tricks, I need to play with things and figure them out. I thought I understood what they were showing me, but when I got home and tried to do some of those things it didn't seem as easy. I'll let you know if I discover any really cool things that everyone should know.


  21. Hey there,
    I am just passing through from Alex's blog hop, and I am still working my way around all the blogs on the list. So I thought I would say a quick "hello" and I will stop by when I can. Great blog!!
    Eve :)

  22. Oh what a great time! I wish I could go to one of those! It looks like you met alot of really interesting people.
    blessings. Joanne

  23. I wasn't aware f this event. If its here next year I'll definitely go. I'll checkout the links and come back Wedensday for your follow up post.

  24. It sounds like it was an amazing event!

    I love Zemanta. I used to use it all the time, but then Blogger's interface changed and it doesn't appear next to the post editor anymore.

  25. It sounds as though you the event is going well.
    I haven't any experience with Zementa, but it's something I would like to know more about.
    Have fun!

  26. Eve-- Hope you'll stop back by.

    Joanne -- Wish all of our bloggers could go to a BlogWorld event. There were some real blog pros there.

    Stephen -- They're supposed to be returning to L.A. next fall sometime. Then there will be a BlogWorld event in New York City in June at the same time as Book Expo America. What a week end that would be!

    Golden Eagle -- I'm using Zemanta but with the old Blogger format. I guess I need to switch to the new interface. There must be a way to make Zemanta work in the new interface.


  27. Hi Lee .. gosh you did wonders and I do hope you remember the most important aspects of your visit. I get overload so quickly .. and tired feet and back .. and then I just want to get out! Good for you - for making the most of it ..

    Sounds as though one or two things are coming to be of use .. that's great news - and some new collaborations ..

    Cheers for now .. Hilary

  28. Hilary -- I get easily overloaded mentally and physically at an event such as this. Hopefully I've carried away a few things that will have a long term benefit.



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