2011 Central Florida Blogger Conference

The convention I attended while in Orlando was the Central Florida Blogger Conference. I went to this convention looking at it with two different perspectives. First, I was there to connect with local Floridian bloggers on behalf of clients and secondly I was there to see what the rest of the world is saying about social media outside of the Mashable sphere.

Someone caught a shot of me deep in thought

The conference was designed to cover to audiences, the n00b blogger who was still debating Blogger vs WordPress to the professional and marketing audience. I didn’t attend any of the introductory sessions seeing as I have been blogging since 2001 and that I do this sort of work for a living.

The speaker selection was done keeping in the central Florida theme as I’m pretty sure each came from the area. Not only did this cut down on costs, it provided the visitors to the conference a more realistic scope of possibility and networking. That being said, I found almost all the topics to be much more elementary and top level than what would be beneficial to me.

Sketch artist captures the conference keynote

More often than not, I was providing asides, alternatives or more efficient/economical solutions to bloggers’ problems. At each table and each session, people gathered around me to ask my opinion, to repeat what I suggested to the speaker during the question and answer period and even to drop me their business card.

I was called a “Social Media Guru” in a bit on National Public Radio last year, a title I lament. Calling yourself an expert, guru, ninja or sansei in a field of marketing that is constantly changing is ridiculous. Never will I call myself any of those things, and if for some reason I do, please refer me to this post.

Pleasantly, only one person was referred to as a “ninja” during the entire conference. That is still one too many but far fewer than I expected.

All that being said, it is clear that there are still people, organizations and companies out there that lack the education on what social media is, what it isn’t and how it will or will not work for them. Luckily for them there are people like me who are more than happy to teach them the right way to do things.

That is the audience this conference was aimed at, those getting into blogging and social media. The amount of information gleaned by n00bs at this conference was pretty immense and invaluable. I just hope they listened carefully and took notes!

Nevertheless, the conference didn’t provide me with too much new education but I did leave with a few memory joggers, friendly reminders and suggestions. I’ll share them with you right here.

  • Don’t just talk about what you want to do, do it
  • Content is king but only when you’re able to match quality with quantity
  • Every blog needs a media page with a digital press kit
  • Fiverr.com is an awesome resource for cheap help
  • SWAG (stuff we all get) is 50% of the time SWAL (stuff we all lament)

The best part of the convention was easily the people I met, especially those that I met in my last session which was aimed at marketing, public relations and advertising professionals. We were given the opportunity to have totally open and honest dialog with not only other professionals but the bloggers we want to work with. Both parties understanding the needs and abilities of the each other is essential in a successful partnership.

Also, hear the food was terrific.

Big Wheel Truck catered the event

I look forward to my next blogger/social media conference now that I have this one under my belt. While I have presented at similar types of venues, I have never been an audience member, as surprising as that is for me.

Would I recommend the Central Florida Blogger Conference to a blogger or someone new to the world of social media? Absolutely. Would I recommend it to someone who has already accomplished quite a bit in this industry? Probably not, unless there are a few more workshops for people like me. Luckily, next year there should be more for people like me and those who went to the conference last year.

From the conversations we had at my last session, which was directed at marketing and PR people, the convention will continue to grow and become more advanced in the future. It will grow with its audience which is great..

Perhaps the follow-up mixer would make everything copacetic. Alcohol and networking go hand in hand you know!

I Want to Work for Pure

Ryan showed me a Vimeo video this morning from a company called Pure Marketing & Media. I’ll embed it below this so you can get idea of why I want to work for them.

Pure/Arable Demo Reel Fall 2009 from Pure Marketing & Media on Vimeo.

This is coming out of Columbia Missouri.  Seriously.  It looks like something from an agency out of LA or New York. The HD video is delicious.  I just cannot get over the cinematography and how it fused with the music.

This agency managed to make Shakespeare’s Pizza and Les Bourgeois Vineyards look better than anything I’d imagine coming out of Columbia, or really anywhere else.

What’s kinda crazy is I just came across them, accidentally, in the Columbia Business Times and didn’t even make the connection until just now.

My rambling here is largely due to the awe with which I am currently struck.  This is what I have wanted to do all my life.  Beautiful, creative marketing.  What refreshing marketing and from a city overflowing with horrendous television advertisements, cheesy print ads and simple-minded outreach.

Pure Marketing & Media… If you’re reading this and say need a social marketing guy, an art photographer (food, architecture, portrait, landscape, event…) perhaps a future videographer… hell, I’ll settle as the guy who gets to take out the trash…  Call me.

I have worked in marketing since I was in junior high, no joke.  I currently work for a firm based out of Texas specializing in food, wine and hospitality.  I specialize in converging and streamlining new-media with traditional marketing campaigns.

If I got to work for a company putting out the type of product Pure Marketing & Media is putting out… Maybe I wouldn’t feel the need to get the hell out of Columbia to move back to San Francisco.

Did I mention I’m a college student who is graduating in May? Fresh meat! 😛

Oh and the music and beautiful music video? I presume it was a local Columbia band, I am sure @clettenberg or @coreyschmidt could enlighten me.  I’d buy their album based on this demo reel.

Ok, enough gushing.  Catch you guys later.  Pure… your work is amazing.  Hope you have a Google Alert setup :-O

UPDATE: Days after writing this blog post, I was given a job at Pure which I maintained until November 2010 when I moved back to San Francisco. Social media and Google Alerts really do work. As it is right now, June 2011, this is the number 2 ranked post on Google regarding Pure.

I Don’t Care to Know You That Well

We’ve all gone on a date with someone, been friends with someone or just bumped into someone at the airport or Starbucks who seems to feel the need to tell us their darkest thoughts or most embarrassing truths.  I know I’ve been on dates with these people and their self defeating communication style.

Finally, someone has put this into a music video, auto-tune and all.  It’s pretty amazing really, I know I’m excited to show it to you.  Plus, it’s kinda hilarious.

Personal Things from Dan Sheppard on Vimeo.

I’m an intern at Archrival, a sweet youth brand marketing agency. My fellow intern, Anthony Galvan, and I decided that our coworkers don’t quite know us well enough yet. So, for part three of our intern minute series, we put together a video that might help fix that. » http://www.archrival.com

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]