bwe09 – Stay N Alive

Annoyances: My BlogWorld (Coke) Drinking Game

pepsi-bottle-25I’ve spent the last 3 days at BlogWorld Expo in Las Vegas, Nevada, and being the good Mormon I am I’ve pulled out my Coke or Pepsi and I played a little drinking game.  Maybe it’s because my Excedrin hasn’t kicked in yet, but I’m quite simply annoyed by several things so if you notice me on a sugar-high while at the conference that’s why.  Hopefully you picked your beverage of choice and were able to join me.  Here were the rules:

1. “Twitter” – every time I heard the word “Twitter”, I took a sip of my Coke.  Let’s face it – this is BlogWorld Expo, not TwitterWorld Expo.  I think every single presentation I’ve been to has mentioned Twitter in some way.  No blogging. No microblogging.  Actually, I’m not even sure I heard the word Facebook at the expo (except by myself in the panel I was on, in which I was quickly flamed for thinking it was a good conversations platform, oh, and Mari Smith’s presentation which was all about Facebook). Come on guys – Twitter is not the entire blogging world – it has its place, but it should complement your blog, not replace it.  We should be talking about the fact that people are leaving their blogs and losing the previous quality of blogging and switching to Twitter, not the fact that Twitter is a quality platform replacing blogs.  Or, what about the simple concept of “microblogging” – Twitter did not sponsor this conference (nor do they have representation in any form) at all.  Why not talk about, or some of the things Automattic or SixApart are doing int he microblogging space?  Why not PubsubHubbub or rssCloud? Drink.

2. “Scoble” – I love Robert to death – check the last few articles on this blog and you’ll probably see quite a few good mentions of him.  He’s also a good friend.  However I’m sick of him being the only blogger people ever mention here.  How about mentioning some of the things up-and-coming bloggers are doing, and how pitching a large group of them can often be a more effective technique in pitching bloggers than pitching TechCrunch or Mashable or Readwrite Web?  Robert Scoble’s awesome, but there are so many other things to talk about as well. Drink.

3. “Louis Gray” – Last year it was Robert Scoble.  This year it’s Louis Gray.  Louis is one of my best friends as you can probably tell from some of my tweets, and our families are good friends with each other.  If you’re not following him, you should (as I mentioned earlier here).  However, again, let’s stop the fanboyism at these conferences.  Yes, these guys have influence, but they’re all normal people like you and me. Maybe it’s deserved, but I’m just tired of hearing the same names in every panel or presentation I attend.  Drink.

4. “What party are you going to?” – Every day I’ve been here that’s been the topic of conversation.  Yeah, Vegas is fun, but BlogWorld has brought bloggers who had no fun in College to the city and they all-of-the-sudden go into “I’m back in College” mode again.  It’s like a 4-day frat-party the week BlogWorld is in town, and I’m tired of attending these parties where all they talk about is Twitter and everyone is drunk or gambling.  Is this really fun? Maybe I’m missing out on something.  (Oh, and why do we call these “Twitter” parties at “Blog” World???) Drink.

5. “iPhone” – Okay, I’m guilty of this as well, but it’s still driving me crazy.  Everyone at this place has an iPhone! I kind of feel bad for the Android or the Pre or the Blackberry phones out there.  I’m sure they feel a little left out.  And when we go places, it’s all about, “let’s check into FourSquare” or “What Twitter Client are you using on your iPhone?”  Maybe I’m just a little out of place as a software developer that thinks the Android is cool (when my contract is up I’ll be getting an Android phone).  Drink.

6. “FourSquare” – Yes, my last annoyance.  People are obsessed with it here!  Who’s Mayor of the Expo? Who’s Mayor of the Hilton?  Who’s Mayor of the elevator in the Paris.  I’ve tried to keep up but I just can’t!  Please stop – you’re making me hyper! Drink.

Strategically Growing Your Business Using Facebook & Twitter

mari smithI had the opportunity today to sit and listen to Mari Smith’s BlogWorld Expo talk today, “Facebook & Twitter Fortunes: How To Strategically Grow Your Business Using the Top Two Online Social Networks”. I have been on a panel with her before and even spoke for one of her online webinars, but had not yet had the chance to see her in person yet.  Such a meeting was a pleasure, as that actually ended up being the focus of her presentation – relationships.

The power of Facebook, Twitter, and other social networking sites is in how you use them to build real-life relationships with others.  Facebook itself does this superbly (Twitter is getting there, and can still be used for such if done right).  Mari spoke about that connection, stating that “more than content, people are looking for connection”.  She had a great quote stating that “if Content is King, Connection is Queen”.  The “Pied Piper of Facebook” (and arguable one of the nicest and most genuine people I’ve ever met) knows her stuff, and if you can use these social networks effectively to do this for a brand or business, you will see the most success.

Mari stated that the most powerful part of Facebook was Facebook Pages.  She shared that you can encourage people to fan your Facebook Page simply by sending “fan yourpageusername” to “fbook” (32665) on your mobile phone.  She uses this in her presentations to encourage people following her presentation to also fan her and mentioned it’s a great strategy to build a fan base.  I realized I really need to do this more often as well (my fan page is “stay” on Facebook).

While I do agree with her that Facebook Pages are a powerful aspect of Facebook I do disagree slightly that it is the most powerful aspect of the Social Networking site.  I think if more marketers, product managers, entrepreneurs, and businesses spent a little more time learning what they can do with a little knowledge of HTML, JavaScript, and access to HTML files somewhere they can begin to integrate Facebook right on their own site, bringing a user and their Facebook friends into a person’s own brand.  If you ask me this is the most powerful component of Facebook and more people need to learn it.  Facebook Connect is Facebook’s “Building Blocks” contributed to the Building Block Web I spoke of earlier.

I love Mari’s focus on connection and relationships in her presentation.  She also talked about opening up a little, sharing how she shared some of the details of her recent divorce and by opening up she was able to connect with people better.  She stated that the new social media marketing methodology is moving from “controlling our image” to “being ourselves”, something radically different from the way it used to be, and these tools are enabling us to do this!  She stated that the tools are making people go from “hard to reach” to “available everywhere”.  How true that is.

Unfortunately I was only able to stay for half of Mari’s session, but I quickly was reminded how much Mari knows her stuff.  If you want to meet someone on Twitter or Facebook who is genuine, will build a real relationship with you, and help you learn how to make money off of these tools at the same time in a rational manner that is not a “get rich quick scheme”, Mari is the person to follow.  You can follow her on Twitter at or on Facebook,

What Are You Saying? BlogTalk Radio Introduces MicroPodcast iPhone App Cinch

skitched-20091015-203806Some times text just doesn’t cut it.  Some times video is too much. Today the popular Podcasting site BlogTalk Radio resolved this issue with its new micropodcasting platform, Cinch, and the release of their new Cinch iPhone app.

Cinch aims to give you a micro solution when a full podcast is just too much.  The iPhone app gives you a status bar to describe what you’re saying, along with the ability to add an image to the audio recording.  Hit record, you can use the phone’s private microphone or turn it into a speakerphone and catch everything around you.  Enter your status update, attach an image, and it goes up to Cinch in just a click of a button.  You can also set it to automatically post to Facebook and Twitter, and even send images to a custom photo album on Facebook.

Here’s the cool thing about it: All this is just a wrapper around open technologies.  Every “Cinch” you post gets added to an rss feed at feed:// so you can do cool things like syndicate those into a blog or import them into FriendFeed (that goes into Twitter), etc.  If you need to send audio to Cinch, you don’t even need the iPhone app.  Just add 1-646-200-0000 to your phone directory, attach the name “Cinch”, and call that number any time you want to post a new Cinch.

Cinch’s API

Cinch even has an API!  If you’re a developer just go to and you can find all the documentation on how to get set up.  Remember the Building Blocks I was telling you about earlier?  Cinch enables you as a developer, entrepreneur, or business to use what Cinch and BlogTalk Radio are good at, audio and podcasting, and integrate it into your own website.

So FriendFeed, for instance, could automatically integrate Cinch imports into its list of supported aggregation sites.  Cinch’s API covers the whole breadth of what it currently offers – via the API developers can create new Cinches, share Cinches, modify user accounts, edit and post Cinch text (you can just post Text and not audio if you opt to), edit and create comments, etc.  The list is pretty long so I encourage each of you to get familiar with what you can do.

Also, here’s the cool thing about the API – they provide search at the start.  From the beginning, via the API, any app can search for new Cinches, creating unique ways to search for new audio on the network.  I think this will be powerful.  I’d love to see what people do with it! (Imagine a Wave bot enabling audio in Waves, for instance)

Of course, an iPhone app and service like this wouldn’t be complete without a site to complete it all.  At you can also register (as you can straight from the iPhone app or just calling the number above).  You can login and register using just your Facebook or Twitter accounts if you like, search the global Cinch directory, view what others are saying comment on Cinches, and follow others.  You can follow me at

With BlogWorld Expo this week and the Real-Time Web Summit, it will be interesting to see the buzz that comes out of this.  Could this be the South-by-Southwest for BlogTalk Radio and Cinch that happened to Twitter a couple years ago?  Starting tonight and tomorrow I’m going to go around doing quick 1 or 2 minute interviews with people I find around the conference.  I’ll post them on my Cinch feed, which also populates FriendFeed and Twitter.  Listen for them for some great commentary and opinions on the state of the Blogosphere.

Here’s my first one with Louis Gray, where I ask him about his favorite sessions of the day, and ask him, “Is blogging dead?”:


You can follow me on Cinch at – go check it out now!

Disclosure: Cinch and BlogTalk Radio are a client of mine and I am helping them with their API integration and internal API design. They are not paying me to do these interviews or to promote them.





Wanna Launch Something at BlogWorld? Pitch Louis Gray (Here’s Why)

lgThe inside joke at BlogWorld is that while the entire blogosphere is at BlogWorld Expo in Vegas partying and learning about blogging, the entire Blogosphere goes silent.  This year, that silence is even more deafening as ReadWriteWeb is running their Real-time Summit in San Francisco and any of the remaining bloggers are there, “tweeting” away the events of the week.  Robert Scoble even joked, “There is NOTHING more boring than a blog about blogging. Well, except one thing: a blog about a blogging conference. So, see ya on Twitter!” This is a nightmare for anyone trying to pitch a blogger this week and get any serious attention towards their product at such an ironic time.  I have one tip: Pitch Louis Gray.

Yesterday Louis Gray wrote an inspiring post titled, “Hey Bloggers, Step Away from the Twitter for a Second… and Blog“.  In the post he talked about this very phenomena and the fact that the blogosphere actually does go silent.  He’s right!

In the meantime, Louis has cranked out a total of 3 blog posts since just last night and as I sit next to him at @drew’s cancer panel he is cranking out even more blog posts about various web topics and the panels he is attending.  This is a man who wants, and likes to write!  If there’s anyone you should be pitching this week it should be him, because you will actually get a real write up, instead of a 140 character Tweet.

Expect to see more blog posts from me as well this week – this whole “Tweeting” BWE09 is unproductive and unfruitful.  I’ve got some really cool announcements I’m sitting on – stay tuned!  Are there any other bloggers you see spending more time blogging and less-time partying and “tweeting” this week?

Learn How to Game Twitter at My BlogWorld Panel

BlogWorld09_150px_SpeakerThat’s right – you heard it right.  Next week I’ll be on a panel at BlogWorld Expo in Las Vegas where we’ll show you all the ways you can game Twitter, increase your followers, and be the top Twitter user in your area.  Be prepared though because we’re also going to show you why that’s also not the best focus and how it actually could hurt your brand more than help it.

The panel I’m on is with some big names in the industry, especially in Twitterville itself.  My friend Micah Baldwin, inventor of #followfriday will be joining us, along with Lucretia Pruitt, a.k.a. @GeekMommy on Twitter, and one of the Wal-Mart 11 Moms.  I’ll of course be bringing my experience with SocialToo and the Twitter API, and we’ll also be joined by Reem Abeido of GroupM Search and Mr. Citizen Marketer, Aaron Strout himself.

We’re going up against some big names in the industry at the same time, so be sure to mark our session and make sure you’re clear which room and what time ours is at.  We’re in room 228 from 11:30am to 12:30pm on October 16th (that’s Friday).  The session is called “The Twitter Game – How to ‘Play’ Social Networking and Why it’s a Bad Idea”.  Go ahead, mark your calendar – I’ll wait…

Are you done?  Okay, I’ll wait some more…

Okay, now that you’ve marked your calendar and confirmed that you’re coming to our session and not the others (although I’ll forgive you if you don’t, maybe) let me give just one more motivation for coming.  To those in the audience I’ll randomly hand out one signed FBML Essentials book.  This book is valuable for both developers and marketers, as it will help anyone trying to understand the Facebook platform get into the hang of things with just a simple knowledge of HTML and maybe a little Javascript.

Also, if you haven’t registered for BlogWorld Expo yet, I’m told you can use PeopleBrowsr’s special code, “PB20” at this link and you’ll get 20% off registration.  Now, be sure to thank me by coming to our session!