After behind held in Las Vegas since 2008, the BlogWorld & New Media Expo has moved to Los Angeles where the three-day event kicks off today at the LA Convention Center.
The blogging conference and expo runs Nov. 3-5 and will feature more than 160 sessions and 275 speakers from some of the most respected blogs and social media-savvy companies on the web.
Hundreds of bloggers and social media experts are expected to attend the event, both in person and remotely for the “virtual”/streaming video portion of the conference.
And with all of those influencers in the blogosphere on hand, BlogWorld-related content reaches an estimated 250 million people a month through countless blogs, podcasts and social media networks.
We won’t get into all of the conference’s nitty-gritty details here, such as the conference hours or expo floor plan, there’s a PDF for all of that. But we wanted to share what we feel are the highlights to look for at this year’s event, whether you’re attending the event in person, following online or just looking for some quality blogging, online marketing and social media resources from the event.
Thoughts from the Thought Leaders
All the big names in the social media space and blogosphere will be on hand, and many of them will be posting their presentations on their personal websites and SlideShare.
This is great for those who attend the conference, because they can sit back and soak in the presentations without having to worry about jotting down every note.
It’s even better for those who can’t make it to BlogWorld, because much of that content is made available in slides, blogs, podcasts and videos after the show.
And if you can’t make it, there’s always a virtual ticket, which, at $347, is a lot more affordable (and convenient) for everyday bloggers who can’t afford to get away from their day jobs and travel to L.A. for the $1,297 pricetag of the full-day pass.
BlogWorld Speakers to Watch For
As noted above, BlogWorld will feature the who’s who of the blog and social mediasphere.
Chris Brogan, Darren Rowse and Guy Kawasaki will be on hand, as well as Shani Higgins (Technorati), Michael Stelzner (Social Media Examiner), Liz Strauss (lizstrauss.com ), Joe Pulizzi (blog.junta42.com), Brian Solis (briansolis.com) and Lisa Stone (BlogHer), to name a few.
Then there’s a group of bloggers I would call the “grinders.” A group of blog and new media evangelists who have made a name for themselves on their own terms – without the help of big-time corporate resources or having gotten into blogging or social media before anyone else. Bloggers like Srinivas Rao and Sid Savara of BlogCast FM, Pat Flynn of The Smart Passive Income Blog and Justine Ezarik of ijustine.com.
Cutting Edge and Controversial Content
There are also a few controversial names and topics on the docket, including Thesis WordPress theme founder Chris Pearson, who BlogWorld calls “a relentless learner with an energetic speaking style and an obvious passion for knowledge.”
While Pearson’s theme framework is used by more than 40,000 users, he also ticked off a good portion of the open source community last year with a GPL license violation showdown that had WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg considering legal action and caused major sites like Laughing Squid, Paul Stamatiou, Brogan and Scobleizer to switch to Genesis.
While Pearson may still be getting a handle on the “golden rule” of open source, he’ll be presenting Saturday on The Golden Ratio Theory of Typography and Web Design. Should make for an interesting talk with so many WordPress fans on hand for the event.
Another session that will raise eyebrows is Friday’s panel announcing “It’s the End of the Music Business As We Know It (And We Feel Fine).” Presenters for the session include Jason Flom (Lava Records), Syd Schwartz (LinchPin Digital), Cory Ondrejka (Facebook), Jack Isquith, (Slacker Radio), Jeff Kempler, (Sub Rosa).
Who to Watch for Thursday
On Thursday, the talk by Kawasaki and Brogan on “Google+ For Business” will be standing room only not only because of the speakers but because many businesses and bloggers have been slow to embrace Google+ as a social medium.
Speaking of social media, one of the most respected experts in the social realm, Michael Stelzner of Social Media Examiner, will be presenting Thursday on “Proven Social Media Strategies to Rapidly Grow Your Business.”
Who to Watch for Friday
The most blogged about presentation will likely be Friday’s presentation by Technorati Media CEO Shani Higgins, who is scheduled to announced the findings of Technorati’s popular annual “State of the Blogosphere and New Media” study. If you can’t wait for this year’s report, here’s the 2010 edition, which reported that:
Over half of respondents (polled by Technorati) plan on blogging more frequently in the future, and 43% plan on expanding the topics that they blog about. Bloggers who get revenue from blogging are generally blogging more this year than they were last year. And 48% of all bloggers believe that more people will be getting their news and entertainment from blogs in the next five years than from the traditional media. We’ve also asked consumers about their trust and attitudes toward blogs and other media: 40% agree with bloggers’ views, and their trust in mainstream media is dropping.
That study portrayed a blogosphere that finds itself in a transition period, no longer a fad but a platform that influences the mainstream but is searching for next steps.
On of those steps is monetizing their efforts, which will certainly make the monetization track a popular one given the economy and constant struggle in turning blogs into profitable websites.
It’s definitely possible, just ask Pat Flynn, of The Smart Passive Income Blog, who makes a comfortable living off his blog, products and niche websites. Flynn will be sharing some of his tips Friday on “How to Be Everywhere: Building a Profitable Brand by Thinking Outside the Blog.” It’ll be easy to spot Pat at the event thanks to his red and white name tag backpack.
Who to Watch for Saturday
For more information on the event, be sure to check back here for blog posts and links to all the great resources and presentations that come out of the show.
You can also follow all the latest on Twitter by tracking the official conference hashtag on twitter,
Enjoy the show!
– Brian Milne
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