louis gray – 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 Laconi.ca, 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.

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?

Mention Bloggers’ Names, Get Traffic

friends_frontThat title sounds too much like a get-rich-quick scheme. But let’s face it, as bloggers, number of readers and traffic is important to us. Regardless of whether it’s to get money or just allow you a voice to share knowledge (the reason this blog was created), traffic plays a big part in that.

Here’s a simple trick to get you at least some traffic. I do admit it’s a little selfish, but it’s win-win so I don’t see the harm. I’m going to give away a little secret (and I hope Louis doesn’t mind me sharing). Louis Gray and myself both bookmark each link back to our blogs on Delicious. Louis taught this to me as a neat trick to keep track of the coverage a blog gets around the web. You’ll notice you can click “Coverage” on LouisGray.com right now and see all the mentions of his blog. Mine can be found here. I also do the same for SocialToo.

Here’s the benefit to you: Those links get populated on FriendFeed, more people see them, comment on them, their friends see them, comment, and the process goes on. I see mentions on these shares by Louis (and myself) all the time thanking him for sharing, but in reality, they made that share inevitable. It’s simple, mention our blogs and we share them with our friends whether we or you like it or not. 🙂

I thought this technique used to track our blogs’ coverage could benefit you as well. In addition, just mentioning a blogger’s name or linking to their blog at least gets their attention because they get notifications through trackbacks, even if they don’t re-share it or post to delicious. Bloggers, regardless of who they are, all have a little bit of ego in them. The most successful ones like to know who is talking about them, and track that regularly. Want a blogger’s attention? Link to them.

Regarding tracking coverage through Delicious, do you do this for your blog? Do you know any other bloggers that use this technique?

Louis Gray to Join the SocialToo.com Board of Advisors

I’m very proud and excited to announce that Louis Gray, my publisher and fellow-author at LouisGray.com, will now be part of my company, SocialToo.com’s, Board of Advisors and helping us to further build out our strategy in the near and long-term future. Louis comes from a strong PR and marketing background, and when not blogging, he works in corporate marketing and public relations for a private Silicon Valley technology infrastructure company, and is an advisor to ReadBurner, Inc. Louis is a UC Berkeley graduate, holding a degree in Political Science and Mass Communications. He’ll serve as a great help in building out strategy for SocialToo, which I believe is a tool for Marketers, to a mass audience.

Louis approached me with several great ideas which I hope we can implement soon, and which we’ll be working to integrate into the already rich set of tools which SocialToo provides. His transparency in what he does I think will serve well in keeping us a responsible participant in building tools that work to meet the needs of all users on social networks our users belong to. Louis himself has quite the following, and has introduced the likes of Robert Scoble and others to FriendFeed – I’m sure you’ll be seeing more from us on that service now with him on board, especially as we branch out to other services beyond Twitter.

Louis was first to recognize and report TweetDeck, the now extremely popular Twitter Client. He was first to cover Social Median, which recently sold for several million dollars under a year. He’s covered many other very successful services and clients, and he’s one that knows a successful company when he sees it. I’m very honored and excited to have him on board, and plan for much, much more thanks to his advice and involvement in SocialToo going forward. Welcome, Louis!

Louis Gray Tops Robert Scoble in Web Presence

pictures-909f19f1ff5645b2b95c94e0d9fc74d6-large.jpgpictures-251dca2ee33f11dc8d47003048343a40-large.jpgAs many are aware, it’s hard to avoid personalities like Louis Gray and Robert Scoble on the internet these days. Chances are that if you belong to a social network, and have friended them, they have interacted with your updates on the particular networks you belong to in one way or another. Louis and Robert seem to have a particular “omnipresence” to them, and both have an amazing knack for tracking the latest news and updates, and most importantly staying up with the actual people they follow. If you mention one of their names anywhere on the internet, there’s a pretty good chance they’ll know and respond in some fashion or another.

Louis Gray is relatively new to this however. Scoble has touted him as being “the next Scoble“, but in reality he has only become popular in just the last year or so. Scoble has been pretty popular for several years now, and a lot of his ability to be in so many networks at a time comes from experience. I’ve witnessed both of their abilities to multi-task and share and follow activities of others they follow first-hand, and it’s quite amazing to watch! Both are just as good at actually listening to most of the people they follow on each network they belong to.

A great example of this is in a panel at BlogWorld Expo last week, Stowe Boyd (aka StoBo) said something which Drew Olanoff re-tweeted. Scoble just so happened to be driving back home, but next thing we know, Robert was joining the conversation through FriendFeed and Twitter, all from the wheel of his car! We hope that Maryame was the one driving. Both of their abilities to know what is being said that is important at any given time is amazing.

In doing some research today though, it appears that Louis Gray may have surpassed Robert Scoble in the number of networks he belongs to. Doing some research on the recently announced usernamecheck.com, the username, “scobleizer” is on 26 of the listed networks. I am unaware of any other username that Robert Scoble uses around the internet, so we have to assume this is all for him. “louisgray”, the main username for Louis Gray, is on 18 networks. However, if we take the username, “louismg”, another username he uses (taken from his FriendFeed shares), we get 15 more networks he belongs to. Add to that the username, “asypta”, which Louis uses on stumbleupon and delicious, we get 5 more. That would, assuming these are all his usernames, make Louis Gray involved in a total of 38 networks. This is why Louis Gray has been so successful over the last year. I believe Louis Gray has just become “omnipresent”.

Any other names you can think of that rival Louis Gray or Robert Scoble in network involvement? I believe these two are tops in my book.

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To Blog, or Not to Blog — That is the Question (via LouisGray.com)

“I’m noticing a trend lately which started several months ago, and I couldn’t quite pinpoint what was causing it. It seemed as though many of my friends and others that I esteemed as good bloggers were getting tired, and were posting much less frequently, or not at all. Many of these people were part of the reason I became an entrepreneur and it was disappointing to see them stop posting. It seems as though those blogging are getting tired, or just see it as a waste of time.”

You can read more of my guest post over on LouisGray.com – thank you Louis for allowing me to post!