A tribute to my blogger colleagues
May 19, 2007
I want to pay a tribute to bloggers – yes, gush alert – you have been warned. I was invited to chair the Irish Business Women’s conference in County Mayo this weekend and talked a few of my blogging colleagues into participating and as a result Irish bloggers played a pivotal part in the conference proceedings.
Conn recorded speakers for a series of podcasts which will be aired over the coming weeks (two recorded before the event are already online); Claire weaved in and out of the speakers and talks, camera in hand documenting everything, including the all important chocolate fountain on the Thursday night.. (The first set of shots are already up on Flickr); Keith liveblogged and has a superb summary of the speakers’ presentations on his blog. I stayed well away from technology apart from my time keeping equipment (a large brass bell).
One of the exciting thing for me about the event (and there were others!) is that it’s the first time I’ve seen these bloggers “do” what they “do” in real life. We were all there as professionals who happen to blog. I’ve never seen people work as hard as my three colleagues did on Thursday and Friday – Claire, camera in hand, even managed to ask a pivotal question in the Q and A which captured people’s attention and then went back to shooting photographs. I invited Conn to the podium to do his “elevator pitch” about podcasting and he hosted mini workshop sessions during the breaks to encourage people to listen to podcasts. Keith participated as a delegate and made the content available to all via his blog. None of my colleagues were being paid for their work (Claire and Conn were sponsors of the event); I think Keith may have paid to attend as a delegate.
When people ask me what’s the difference between blogging and just participating on a forum or being out on the “internet” I try to talk about the “givers get” mentality that I see so frequently amongst bloggers. Bloggers (and these bloggers in particular) are some of the most generous, egoless people I’ve ever met. Yes, blogging can be an ego trip but giving back what you know and making what you know available in a freely accessible medium is a really generous act. These bloggers are committed to spreading the word and in each of our own ways we tried to keep the communication flow moving within the conference boundary and without so that as many people as possible could have their say and take something away from the proceedings.
I also didn’t realise that pizza is pivotal.
More than one speaker alluded to developing their business idea over a pizza and a bottle of wine…after the event Claire and I collapsed into comfy chairs in the company of Coronotion Street and pizza. I thought that there was such a great array of speakers that it would be a shame to let them get away without facilitating some kind of discussion so I decided to postpone my presentation and use the time to bring the speakers back for some interaction leading to an extended Q and A – I wrote up my offering which captures some of the points I would have made called Anyone for Pizza? – now if that’s not the collective unconscious at work I just don’t know what is.
Disclaimer: Unlike my blogging colleagues, I was paid for my services on the day