Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Twitter your way to a whole new audience...

Well its official, I am now twittering. If you haven't checked it out, Twitter is sort of a mini-blog. Short, to the point and a great way to spread the word or provide updates about your event or organization.

Like the myriad of other social networking sites (facebook, myspace, etc), its also a great way to stay connected with fans, customers and staff. I'll provide some more insight after I've spent a few days with it, but from the looks of the people that I'm following on twitter, it will either prove to be useful or yet another time zapper. Let you know in a few days.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Blogging simplified

I just found this post on Jodi Rudick's "Little Red's Big Ideas" site. Where was this a couple of days ago, when I started my session at the ISEN Convention on how blogging can help build your festival, event or organization. If you haven't seen it check it out.

Thanks Jodi! Great post!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

ISEN afternon blogging tabletop session

This afternoon I led a discussion on the use of blogging for festivals and events. We covered a variety of topics from a basic overview of blogging as a communications tool to actually building a blog site on Blogger.

Here are a couple of key points to summarize the session.

  1. Define the purpose and style of your event or organizations blog. What is it you want to say and how will you say it. For me, a personal voice works well. I basically write like I speak. You might want something a bit more formal if that works best for your intended audience, so it helps to know who you're writing for.
  2. Select your platform. Is it a free blog like I use at Blogger or is a dedicated blog hosted on your own web site. Both have their advantages. If you're just getting started free is a great way to go. When you have some more experience, you can migrate your site to your own web hosting service which will give you a little bit more flexibility.
  3. Define your look and what you want you want to say. Sites like Blogger provide a variety of standard templates which can be further customized with simple changes to colors and fonts. There are also a number of sites that provide pre-built templates some are free, while others charge per template or offer a subscription to the their site for access to their collection.
  4. Add content to your site. How will you keep them engaged and coming back to your site? First, write about what you know. Keep it relevant to your target audience. If you're an arts festival, a good place to start might be profiles about your guest artists or about a style of painting that would be of interest to your readers. If you are a Parks and Recreation Department, you might write articles that talk about camping, crafts, game and related activities.
  5. Quality is far more important that quantity. A question that's often asked is do I need to blog every day, and the answer is no. You should create new content on a regular basis to keep your readers coming back often, so if you don't have time to write a lot of content yourself, consider occasionally inviting a guest blogger to write about your topic or check out some of the sites that offer free content an a variety of topics.
  6. Learn and grow as you go. There are blogs about everything you can think of, including blogs about blogging. Check out the links at the end of this article for some of the resources to get you started.
  7. Finally, let me say thank you to the folks that sat in on my session this afternoon for your input.
For those who missed my session, here is a list of links to other sites to get some insight into building your own blog. I look forward to reading your blogs, and oh yeah... Welcome to the blogosphere.

General Reference sites

Wikipedia Blogging page

Wikipedia List of Blogging Terms

WeblogMatrix weblog comparison

EFF: Legal Guide for Bloggers

Blogging software or services



Word Press


Free Blogger Templates

Great blogs about blogging...

Andy Wibbels - Author of Blog Wild

Chris Garrett's - The Business of Blogging and New Media

Yaro Starak's - Entrepreneur's Journey


Damn I Wish - Articles about Word of Mouth marketing and blogging

Other blogs to check out for ideas...

My personal Odd's and Ed's site

My resume as a blog

A news page for one of my clients using Blogger

Guy Kawasaki's Change the World blog

Mark Cuban's BlogMaverick


Monk at Work

Presentation Zen

Ted Conference Blog - really rich content. Don't miss it.

Scott Adam's Dilbert Blog

Chicago White Sox official blog

Ken Levine's - The World As Seen By a TV Comedy Writer

Jack Morton Worldwide Corporate Blog

Delucchi+ Corporate Blog (Real Estate)

Stumbling on Happiness Blog (Book)

Good morning from the Illinois Special Events Network Convention

Okay, so it's just past noon, but this is a good time to provide an update on the day so far. I attended two terrific sessions and a very insightful opening keynote.

Opening up this morning was Jodi Rudick, President of ADvisors Marketing Group. What a great way to start the day. Jodi's keynote was titled "Talking 'Bout My Generation" and it provided some wonderful insight into the differences and similarities of generations from Millenials (1982-2002), Generation "X" (1961-1982), Baby Boomers (1943-1964), the Silent Generation (1925-1942) all the way to the G.I. Generation (1901-1924).

To give you an idea of how impressed I was, I opted for her session following the keynote. It was well worth the time as it picked up where we left off and helped provide even more insight into the western world as defined by generation.

A hard act to follow for sure, but I new my next session would definitely be worth the time since the speaker was Ira Rosen, president of Entertainment on Location. I've know Ira for the better part of the past 10 years and I knew that he wouldn't fail to provide me some new insight into the process of strategic planning. The time was very well spent as it served as a great reminder of the value of strategic process, which has been a challenge as I've spent so much time in tactical mode lately. Thanks for the gentle nudge Ira.

Okay, off to lunch and the ISEN Skyscraper Awards. More this afternoon.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

A List of Reasons Why You Need to Start a Blog

by Bill Healey

Blogging is taking the world of journalism and marketing by storm and easily the most influential activity on the internet. A blog is allowing individuals and businesses to post the state of the world, upcoming business promotions and anything personal someone may feel is important.

Think of your blogs as an opinion piece on anything in particular that you may feel is important. Some people have blogs on specific topics or specific areas like a city or vacation spot. Some blogs are set up as a source for highly specialized topics in the news which are often ignored by the mainstream media. Blogs are also tools of internet marketers and business owners promoting a product or service.
It isn’t just computer savvy people either that are starting their own blogs. It’s people like you and me. If you're thinking of starting a blog for whatever reason you want, but aren't quite convinced, think about some of these following reasons why it is a great idea to start one.

• Simple as can be – If there ever was a better time to start a blog, then this is it. There are a plethora of free blog templates available which are extremely user friendly. The only work you need to do is register then follow a few simple instructions. Even if you have with little or no technical skills, you can still start a blog.

• Make some money with your blog - Pay-per-click advertising programs like Adsense, and affiliate programs available with and Commission Junction can produce a nice chunk of change in your pocket. The only requirement is you need to have a website or blog.

• Say something – Blogs are great way to state your point of view and possibly change someone point of view if you’re the kind of person who likes to talk about issues. It’s only a matter of time before you build up steady traffic, and more in-depth discussions among like-minded bloggers and blog readers will take place.

• Keep in touch – A great and cheap way to stay in touch is to start a family blog. Publish family related newsletters and have everyone can keep in touch via the comments.

• Make a difference – You have the ability to touch and reach people through your blog. While your traffic might be low at first, given a little bit of time and the right theme, your blog has the potential to reach thousands, even millions of people just like yourself. Blogs are quickly becoming a powerful medium.

• Express your creativity to the world – You’ll have an outlet for others to see your work if you are an up and coming poet, artist, comedian, or author. You’ll reach more people easier through a blog than normal channels and methods.

• You're the best – What are you good at? If you think you are the best at something such as model trains, darts, or marketing, don’t be afraid to show everyone. Start a blog for other experts like yourself or offer tips and advice to your readers.

• Promote your business - Blogging leads to new clients and business opportunities as well as keeps existing customers updated on company news. Promote your latest breakthrough; update existing products changes; and alert customers to future promotions. It will also allow you to receive important feedback on products and services through its comment section.

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