BlogWorld Expo LA 2011 - A Look Back 1BlogWorld Expo has grown to unquestionably be the “place to be” conference if you're in anyway involved with publishing content online.

This past weekend was the first time the conference was held in Los Angeles and, judging by the turnout – I'm thinking they're coming back annually from now on.

My experience was both rooted in personal and professional necessity. On the personal level, I got to see and hang out with a couple of buddies that I hadn't seen in literally 20 years. So that reunion was well worth the trip.

From a professional perspective, with HicksNewMedia being a Digital Publishing and Technology Consulting Team by design, it was a no-brainer that I'd be at BlogWorld to be with “my people.”

I had a defined schedule of events that I wanted to ensure I accomplished and there was a list of peers that I consciously wanted to be sure and have a conversation with.

All that being said, I was well prepared to remain flexible with my schedule (something I learned from my CES 2011 travels). By adding some slack in my schedule and not being overly strict with my day, I was blessed with some powerful, unexpected personal interactions.

For my first session, first thing in the morning I headed straight to hear Mr. Darren Rowse talk about Blogging From the Heart. Darren has been an entrepreneurial model for me since Day 1 – obviously I read his blog and follow him on Twitter, but his was also the very first techniques of blogging book that I ever purchased.

The overall official schedule of events was well designed and spread out to be conducive of people wanting to spend time interacting and meeting. For instance, that Darren Rowse keynote was from 9-10 and the next one wasn't until 11:15, which is where we heard the State of the Blogosphere (#SOTB2011) from Technorati CEO Shani Higgins.

Shani did a great job going through the raw numbers. I won't speak to the entire report (which is quite long, but you can see it in all its glory here). I will point to a demographic breakdown that Shani mentioned in terms of Who Are The Bloggers?

  • 61% – Hobbyist
  • 18% – Professional (part-time and full-time)
  • 8% – Corporate
  • 13% – Entrepreneur

I, and the majority of the team at HicksNewMedia, fall into that growing 13% entrepreneur category

After the Technorati keynote, my weekend got a bit more hectic (see my schedule below)

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I'll be writing individual posts for the interviews I conducted, but back to those unexpected personal interactions I mention above.

During Darren's keynote I finally got the opportunity to meet Leo Widrich, the co-founder of Buffer. I've been using Buffer for a number of months now and it really is social media automation done the right way. Having the ability to immediately and/or schedule updates to your Twitter and Facebook profiles is only the beginning for this platform. Look for huge announcements in the coming weeks as Leo and Joel build tighter linkages across the Social InterWeb.

Warren Whitlock, a man that has been around the media industry for literally decades is someone I see at nearly every technology conference I attend; doesn't matter if I'm at CES, Cloud Expo, MacWorld or BlogWorld – Warren's in the building. He's always networking, telling others of his vast life experiences, and making business connections – I love it. This past weekend I happened to be talking with Warren about life…and in walks Lee Pound. Lee Pound has also spent decades in media and publishing. He prides himself on being a go-to resource to help professionals and business owners write and publish books that showcase them as the recognized expert in their field. During this chance meeting, Lee presented me with a signed copy of the latest and still not released book that he and Warren collaborated on, Profitable Social Media: Business Results Without Playing Games. The book will be available on November 11, 2011. I consider this to be a major score – thank you Lee and Warren !!

Greg Voakes – an extremely talented young man out of Victoria, British Columbia is one of our primary resources for the high quality infographics you've seen on both THE Tech Scoop and INFOtainment News. He overheard me chatting with the team at YouCast and again, that quick, impromptu introduction of putting the “real face to the Twitter ID” was invaluable. From that 10 minute face-to-face, I believe that HicksNewMedia and Greg's organization will open up additional collaboration opportunities to bring to you, our valued readership.

Marla Schulman – I love this lady. I literally drove all over downtown LA in an attempt to catch up with her at the various parties happening Friday night. No luck, we unfortunately didn't connect until the last day right before the final New Media LIVE keynote. But it was still awesome to see her.

Calvin Lee – The self-proclaimed Media Ho himself. Great to see the man, the myth and yes the legend roaming the expo hall.

Unfortunately I didn't get to talk with Mari Smith. Everytime I saw her she was flanked by people wanting to hear her words of wisdom. By the way, if you haven't ever seen Mari in person, FYI – she is stunning – that is my personal and professional opinion. She is a great teacher, a great communicator and just an awesome resource. I follow her blog religiously.

Chris Brogan was chilling in the Que Publishing party and I didn't get a chance to talk to him this time (last time we talked was at CES last year), however, we did exchange the playa to playa head nod. Good to see you man!!

Didn't get a chance to share a drink with Brian Solis – I still owe him one from hooking me up at SXSW last year. I'll get you next go 'round man. Much success on your new book, and let me just say how happy I am that Revolution is coming back!!

I think I'll be updating this post for days, adding bits of information that I find throughout the notes I took – so come back. Also remember I'm writing individual posts on the interviews I held with the awesome startups on display in the expo hall.

In the end, BlogWorld Expo LA 2011 was a major success. Rick Calvert and his team spare no expense to ensuring their events are of the highest quality.

I've found 2 great photo libraries from the event, CuriousJosh has a cool slideshow published on LAweekly.com and below is the results of a #BWELA search on Flickr.

See you all next year.

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James Hicks

James is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of HicksNewMedia, a Digital Publishing and Technology Consulting team providing effective and relevant solutions to individuals and businesses looking to more effective utilize the social interweb. Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.

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James Hicks

James is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of HicksNewMedia, a Digital Publishing and Technology Consulting team providing effective and relevant solutions to individuals and businesses looking to more effective utilize the social interweb. Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook.

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