Mar 8, 2009

My First BlogOut!

We went for the BlogOut! organized by The Digital Movement yesterday. It was the second portion of BlogOut (Day 2), the Open Track, free for all. :P

Here are some interesting findings gathered at the event:

Preetam Rai gave a very light-hearted sharing on his experiences as a traveler blogger, and the tools he used to enhance his traveling experiences (eg. Food, lodging, company of locals). One of which is to collect local intelligence first, before you travel, and here are some tools:

  • Meetups – for eg. I’m planning for a trip to Japan, I can attend meetups to get to know some Japanese.
  • Global Voices - It aggregates news, blogs, etc from many sources for several countries, and shares these on one site. Text is also translated from the native language to English. Very convenient for English readers like us who aren't multilinguals :P I'm especially interested in this. Mmm...
  • Barcamps - Go for barcamps hosted at the destination countries. These are great opportunities to know more people. You can go for impromptu sharings which ranges from very lifestyle topics to very geeky topics.

Share a very funny anectote from Preetnam: his Japanese gal-friend had shared on "How to date Japanese Girls" at one of the barcamps, so he suggested for the girls out there, they can share on such genre, just interchange with the 'race'. For guys, they can just transform the sharing session to a discussion session instead "How to date Japanese girls?" since such topics are a sure-draw from the mass crowds. Haha :D... I was pretty tickled by that.

Lester Chan, an enthusiast of Wordpress has created many plugins (free!) to share with Wordpress users. At his session, he compared the two: and is the free version, abide minus the limited functionalities. Perhaps, I might give it a try eventually. It feels like a Content Management System to me though.

Anyway, the topic of free plugins also provided a lead-in to the next topic after lunch. Jon Yongfook has asked Lester if he would to choose, would he prefer a million free downloads of his plugins or 30 (arbituary number) revenue generating downloads of his premium plugins. if you were Lester, which would you pick?

This then leads us to "Fire Your Boss! Ways You Can Turn Your Blog into a Business in 2009". Jon Yongfook brought up an important point

"Advertising is not a way to monetize your blog, but someone else to monetize your blog."

That's an enlightenment, at least to me, as when I think of turning a blog to a business, one of the first baby steps I would think of is ads. Ads on my blog. But, seriously, ad revenue is really low, and it is like what Yongfook has shared, the winner is actually the companies which are really selling the products and services, and using the blogs as another avenue to advertise and push their products or services.

Take a look at what Yongfook has shared via his slides:

Claudia Lim next shared on some blogging tools she have used to enhance her blogging experience. There are of course, several blogging platforms, we can use, other than the usual ones like blogspot (yup, I am using blogspot!), wordpress, there are also Tumblr (microblog) and Posterous (blogging through email! interesting, worth checking out.) And the various blog aggregators to participate in:

Then Claudia brought up the point on: Multiple Blogs vs A Single Blog with Many Interests (classified by different categories). Which do you prefer? Currently, I am doing the latter. Consolidating all my interests under one roof, which is QQ Sandbox. Multiple blogs seem clearer, cleaner, since all of us has multiple interests, it makes sense to separate all these interests into different blogs. Different interests attract different audiences. But, that also means several more times of time, energy and effort to maintain the other blogs. Can you ensure continuous content for all these blogs?

Howie Chang, President of The Digital Movement, had the final sharing at the BlogOut session yesterday. He shared with us the book "Subject to Change: Creating Great Products and Services for an Uncertain World" and how design greatly influence the takeup of a product or service.

And the day ended with a World Cafe - a lively discussion. See ya next time, BlogOut!