BlogOn 2004

Is it a sign of the end times that we are now having conferences on examining our navel …I mean on blogs? Yes, it’s “BlogOn 2004“, the conference for blogs and the business of social media. It is being held at the Haas School of Business at U.C. Berkeley. As if I didn’t have enough conferences to keep track of, from MacWorld to Seybold, here is another one that, if it survives and thrives, I’ll have to add to my list of places to go and see what is going on. Six Apart, who runs TypePad, which I use for blogging, is one of the sponsors (which makes sense), as is KnightRidder, who owns the Mercury News, that reported this even. I don’t think Six Apart is the biggest blogging company, but they are one of the few that charge for even basic service, so perhaps they are the only ones making a profit.

Since this is the first conference, I can’t say what will come of it, but it is interesting looking at the partners, most of whom I have never heard of. The world of blogging is different. It is not the world of the web, and yet it is. On on of the speaker’s [Rafat Ali, editor and publisher of Paid Content] website’s Paid Content.org, they are listing Digital Media Jobs (that blog jobs to you). I wonder what the transition will be like, all the web people moving over to blog type work. But what is blog work? What is blog culture? I was reading down the list of speakers and came across Sean Bonner who has created several widespread “memes”. My first reaction wasn’t wow, he’s created a lot of memes, but “what the hell is a meme, and why should I care?”

So then I did a Google on memes, and found this site describing them. For bloggers a meme is an idea that is shared and passed around between blogs. There are sites that are on meme lists. They appear to be things to inspire you to write, which is always a good thing. But as I said, it is a whole different world. But, as the Mercury News pointed out, this is old home week for all the old dot-commers, with companies such as Red Herring and the Industry Standard.

And yet, the people at the conference are an interesting mix of just bloggers and people who are creating the means to blog. One speaker is a PhD student who is studying the social science of blogs and such.

And if you must attend and can’t because you are unemployed, self-employed or a student, there are discounts.


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