Something New Means Something New to Learn
It started two years ago, with a tiny idea that had a respectable turnout. Many folks I met at that first Blog-to Show are folks I still see. When we’d been talking about Creative Networking, it seemed natural to brush off the old idea and try it again.
I forgot that things on the web grow exponentially.
And where there’s big growth, there’s bound be big learning.
You’ll find the entire showcase here and a debrief below.
What I’d Hoped and What I Found
The longer I work with social media, the more value the tools as a way offer people a way to connect around something they care about. When you offer what’s fun and useful, the connections naturally follow. I’d hoped that the idea of showcasing our blogs would offer that.
The Blog-to show proved that out more than I expected.
- More people submitted blogs.
- More people cleaned up their blogs for visitors.
- More people visited the show.
- It also took more time and was more fun than I expected.
- More people said “thank you” thank I would have dreamed.
Even reading the submissions made me feel more connected to the folks who participated this weekend. The comments and conversations speak to the generosity of those who came.
Taken and Missed Opportunities
Some 30 entries arrived in the first few two hours after I announced the Blog-to Show. From then forward, submissions rolled in faster than I could process them. At one point on Friday, entries arrived a rate of one per minute. When I got home from my Friday meetings, I had a pile over 100 deep, While I worked on that pile, 100 more came in.
Doing so many at once, I saw the varied levels of investment people put into this opportunity to offer this “mini-blog” resume. How well the submission was formatted and finished seemed to show how seriously the blogger thinks about his or her blog and the community that would gather.
- The submission request had five distinct parts chosen to give value to all show visitors. Over 30% of the submissions had missing information.
- Some submissions offered straight sales copy. In the overall picture, those submissions stood out in a way that might not have helped them.
- Some folks don’t do brief. Those who wrote a novel — when the request was a sentence — might have been reflecting their blog writing. I found myself thinking that with so many to choose from I might choose based on the quantity as well as the quality of what submitters wrote
- Some folks didn’t use the requested subject line which meant their email ended up in the wrong place in my email filters.
From a marketing viewpoint, these are all things I’ll remember when I enter the next such submission myself. People remember when you make their life harder and when you make their life a breeze.
What the Technology Did that Surprised Me
I planned the event for Saturday, because traffic is lower the issue of damage if something went awry. Problems occurred with my XML-Sitemap plug-in, the server timings, and published posts that didn’t show up on the front page.
The mystery of the disappearance of posts 163-201 was found later on my dashboard. Though the timestamps clearly showed them published in sequence, somehow they were in reality rescheduled to post at 3 hours, 4 hours, and 5 hours after the rest were done. Great WordPress minds are researching what happened there.
I also stretched the limits of my clipboard to copy and paste — it became a resource suck. Apologies to those who’s links got pasted incorrectly in the process. As far as I know all are well now. Thanks to all who were generous in calling such things to my attention. That’s what community is about.
If you’re wondering, after all were compiled and formatted, it took about 2.5 hours to copy in and timestamp the individual entries.
How It Will Look Next Time — Get Ready!
Enough of you who participated this time (and some folks who just missed getting in) have asked about if there will be a next one. It seems that the opportunity to make something even better won’t let me leave the idea. So, I’m already planning. Here’s where I am so far. Feel free to add ideas in the comments.
The January 2009 Blog-to Show
Dates of the show: January 31 and February 1, 2009
Submissions due no later than: January 15, 2009
HereÃ¢â¬â¢s what I think the application will include.
Write up the following information — each part separate by a line space.
Here’s a filled out example.
Blog URL link in the full http:// form:
Blog Tagline (no more than 10 words):
One or two sentences about what makes your blog worth visiting.
A brief paragraph of blogging advice or a short bloggy quote that shows a little personality.
Must enter in only one of these categories
go cart (newbie blogger — less than 6 months)
street car (theme-based design)
formula 1 (custom theme or high mod)
Every entry also must include a .jpeg thumbnail of your front page, no larger than 150px wide or a pix of the blogger.
Any entry without all of the pieces will be returned unsubmitted.
I’m telling you now so that you’ll have time to get ready . . . and I’ll have time to get some more exciting reasons to participate lined up for you.
And maybe next time, it will be something a little more creative . . .
What do you think? What did you see that I didn’t?
–ME “Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz!!