Stream of consciosness at this 9:30 panel...How to be a power blogger.
Steve Rubel is moderator: Jeff Jarvis, Peter Rojas and Elizabeth Spier (I would love to link out to one of Elizabeths sites from Dead Horse Media, but it seems that they are down right now...I think she has much more important things to do than be on this panel)
Rubel asks Rojas "what is a blog?" He says who cares...sort of like the argument he had in High school about "what is punk rock".
This room is way too small...I snagged a table, but now there are 50 people outside the room trying to get in and they just can't fit.
Elizabeth's Spiers turn: DealBreaker got launch sponsors who are taking a risk because they didnt know who the audience was until a survey 6 weeks in. Dealbreaker.com audience is: 79% work in financial services, 12% makes over $2M. Better than expected. Gratuitous plug.
Jarvis: Davos Kerfuffel about big bloggers linking to smaller bloggers and traditional media giving bloggers credit for breaking stories. Jarvis says no one can tell you who to link to. Blogger choice, but you could do better at linking. Blogging is not an orthodoxy...links to what he sees and finds.
Interacting with PR community. How many contacts a day do you get?
Peter says a few hundred to his group as a whole...he gets dozens directly to him alone. 2% are relevant and considers the rest of it spam. Most don't even read the site. PR people will call him after he posted about their product, not knowing that he already covered them.
Elizabeth - Fashion blog gets a lot of attention from PR.
Can a blogger start within a big company as an in-house blog and then become a huge brand on your own? Jarvis says yes, siting Scoble as an example. Jarvis' question is, can you be transparent with an in-house blog and he doesn't think you always can be.
Rojas: does being within AOL affect him and he says no...in fact he just trashed their personal video player and does bash Time Warner cable. They have never attempted to effect his postings, but did say that Microsoft looked down on him a few times when he wrote for Slate (once owned by Microsoft) way back when.
Church and State: a lot of bloggers are both...many take advertising from agencies (not just google) and how is this handled/balanced. Elizabeth says that this is important for her news sites (so its OK on the other blogs???). They will use keywords to prevent airline ads from showing up on a crash story. Jeff says these conflicts happen in more places than just advertising. It all boils down to personal integrity and transparency. Disclosure of these relationships is a must.
Audio and Video: Rubel thinks that blogs lean heavy to video/audio or not at all. No one does both text and multimedia well. Jarvis thinks its time to start and he is attempting it.
Will we see bloggers on TV? Not through networks but direct from Blogger to TV. Rojas says yes and sites rocketboom as todays living example and this will continue to grow. Video is much more difficult to create and manage and transcripts are required in order to maximize search for it.
What is your best tip for building audience?:
Elizabeth: Great content and a lot of it...publish 12 a day.
Jarvis: Link out or you are not a part of the conversation. He taught About.com how to do it and they are happy with the results.
Peter: pick a niche to focus on. Pick the smallest you can find and own that niche. You will become an expert over time, even if you aren't now. He wasn't a gadget expert when he started.
Question from audience about search. Rubel talks about getting a lot of irrelevant traffic. Jarvis said he wrote about a "big ass ad" once and still gets a ton of traffic from people searching for "Big Ass". Very funny.
Rojas posts about products before they are launched and when the company finally announces it, engadget is always higher in google than they are.
Another funny story, Rojas once posted "I'd give a kidney for X" and because of search, the comments in this post turned into a black market for selling organs. Someone in the gov't contacted them to make them aware and they pulled down the comments.
Overall, very good panel.