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 geekazine.com. 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.