It was a good day. We met lots of interesting folks. Learned some things too. Go figure.
Gorgeous was amused by the number of folks who came in, opened up their laptops and immediately buried their heads in them. Welcome to the blogger world, honey.
There were camera’s everywhere. I got busted trying to feed my addiction at the Starbuck’s trough. I think that may be one of the least flattering pics of me taken in quite a while! That’s what I get for letting a camera wielder sneak up behind me.
I was a little disappointed about the schedule because the session I was facilitating was opposite the session on podcasting led by Phil Sellers of iTourSavannah. Since I (finally) acquired an iPod of my very own a week or two ago I find myself suddenly interested in things podcastish.
However it all worked out because our intrepid host Drew over at BlogSavannah realized very early on that there was a significant portion of the attenders who haven’t started blogging yet and really wanted a brief introduction to the basics of what blogging is, the terminology, and such.
So he set up an impromptu session and had Josh Hallett, who is a blog and social media consultant out of Orlando, give a basic intro to blogging for the uninitiated while the rest of us met with Phil and learned about podcasting.
Phil started by telling us how easy podcasting was and how little equipment you need to get up and running. But then spent a bunch of time sharing all the equipment he uses to create his podcasts. He made the whole thing sound rather expensive.
Fortunately the guys from Evoca were there and did a quick little demonstration of their product. They called into their account from their cell phone, talked for a moment and then accessed the message from their laptop a few seconds later. I’ll be taking a closer look at their product in the days to come. It sound like it has some potential.
Unfortunately there was one lady in particular who pretty much dominated the discussion. She came across a little hostile to blogging in general and business blogging in particular. She seemed intent on getting everyone in the room to accept her particular definition of what a blog was and tried to keep the discussion focused on the dangers of blogging.
I tried to keep the discussion moving along without losing my cool or being rude. It was a good experience for me.
Amber Rhea over at the Georgia Podcast Network (who was wearing a t-shirt that said, “I’m Podcasting This”) was there recording the session. So whenever they get it posted we’ll be able to tell how successful I was at managing that challenge.
Sherry Heyl wrote up an excellent summary of the talk live while it was happening.
Then it was time for Jennifer Abshire to lead a discussion about PR and Blogging. It was a revealing hour.
If I understood her correctly she said her approach to blogging was to find the prominent bloggers in the area and then basically feed them press releases hoping they write about them. I’m not thinking that approach will be all that effective for her as that’s not really how most bloggers that I know work.
It was hard to be certain what she was getting at though because the same person was dominating the discussion there too.
Jennifer did say that she encourages some of her clients to blog, but only as personal blogs relatively detached from their businesses.
I came away with the feeling that the PR industry still has a bit to learn about blogging and it’s usefulness to their cause. At least here in Savannah.
The session I enjoyed the most after lunch was lead by Scott Larson who is a reporter for our local paper on the City Beat and is actually blogging at The City Unfiltered.
The big question in the room was Are Bloggers Journalists? To me the answer seemed obvious: Some are but most aren’t.
There was a large contingent from SavannahNow (a really good local Savannah community site owned and run by the news paper) in the room for this one. And they seemed to be the only ones in the room who struggled with the issue at all.
What they really seemed to mean by the question was Can Bloggers Be Journalists? Um, yeah. Doesn’t seem to be such a hard thing for me to get my mind around.
I’ll cut them some slack, though. The “new media” is directly affecting them and their jobs in ways I probably don’t understand.
All in all it was a good day. Somehow Gorgeous managed to remain nearly unphotographed throughout the day. This is the closest I could find of her sitting next to me.
But we were both exhausted by the time it was over so we skipped dinner. I managed to fall asleep on the couch about 8:30 last night.