2004 Piedmont Blog Conference a Huge Success

Congratulations to Ed Cone (www.edcone.com) and
the organizers of the 2004 Piedmont Blog Conference that took place today in Greensboro,
NC. The event was a huge success and provided some intelligent and thoughtful insights
into the worlds of political and journalistic blogging.


The conversations were definitely less technical than the BoF session at PDC I attended
in the fall. I didn’t hear a single argument over preferred syndication format. In
all, there were very few discussions about the software tools involved.

One of the software topics that was discussed was the use of comments, especially
in a political candidates blog. The primary concern was enforcing some sort of accountability
in the comments. Many felt that comments were too great of a risk while others felt
that the comments area is what enables a blog conversation. Interestingly enough there
were a couple of people in attendance that have no blogs of their own, and simply
participate in the community through comments on the sites of others.

The political attraction to blogs was largely as a method to quickly get a message
out, to a large number of people. During a break Jeff Thigpen, a currently running
for Registrar of Deeds (http://jlthigpen.blogspot.com)
gave ma a great example of how you may get a bunch of emails from a certain group
about a topic, but you have no way of sending an email back out to everybody that
may want to see it, where a blog gives you the ability to quickly respond and get
the word out.

The second session dealing with the media was very interesting, with a lot of discussion
about the difference between blogging and journalism, or if the two were, or could
be the same. In the end my favorite quote, and forgive me for not being able to credit
the individual that first said it, was that “blogging is a medium, journalism is a
craft”. There were some great stories shared about blog posts having an impact on
traditional media and their coverage of certain issues. The session was well represented
with a number of traditional journalists from local print and radio organizations.

One important topic that I think maybe deserved a little more coverage was the concept
that readership and credibility are earned. The concept of “journalistic credentials”
for bloggers came up a few times, but it was clear that just because you can write
it, doesn’t mean that the audience will listen.

The closing session touched briefly on the concept of community, and here in North
Carolina there is definitely a very active, very vocal, and very visible online community
that is is growing in strength and size, developing a very tight community.

PBC04: The Piedmont Blog Conference

As New York city braces for the upcoming Rebulican National Convention, Greensboro
NC prepares for a conference of it’s own. Tomorrow is PBC04, the Piedmont Blog Conference
in which bloggers will gather to discuss topics rangign from political campaigns,
journalism, and a special session “Blogs as culture and community”.

Now the last time that I was in the same room with more than a handful of bloggers,
talking abou blogging was the “Weblogging: The Future of Conversational Software” BoF
session at Microsoft’s Professional Developers Conference in LA back in Oct ’03. While
that event was.. shall we say interesting, and tended to focus more on some of the
technical aspects of syndication format, search ranking and classifications, this
event should be equally as intersting.

While holding it at 9:00AM instead of 9:00PM will likely have an impact, being in
the middle of the political instanity known as “election year” will bring
it’s own moments. While I admit I am much more interested in the technology aspect,
I’m lookign forward to whatever the day has in store. If you’re in the area, check
it out, otherwise watch for details following the event.

Info is available here.

Web Doodling – Ink On The Web

PC Super Star Julia Lerman
has done it again, leading the way with Ink on the
web. While I’m no artist, being able to do this is pretty darn cool and has some very
cool development possibilities. [Special thanks to the Tablet PC team for making this
ossible in the first place.] If you wish you had a Tablet PC so you could try this,
go buy one! If you’ve never seen a Tablet PC in action, go find somebody that has
one and ask to see it.

 Check this out:

[No crayons were injured in the creation of this image]

Well Worth an Alert!

A few days ago I posted my thoughts on the use of MSN Alerts on Scoble’s
reduced the effectiveness of being alerted, when everything posted generated an
alert. Today I feel I must share this comment left here from the
good folks over at Message Cast. It would
appear that they now have three kinds of alerts, allowing those of us that want
to keep the alerts to a low, but important few. What a great Scoble like example
of the power of blog posts and how the companies that listen to them can effectively
listen and react to the market. Time to go learn more about what Message Cast can
do for me. Great work guys!

Thanks for the comments.  Check out Scobleizer alerts now:


Three kinds:

*  All of ’em when they happen

*  A summary one each day (but only if he’s updated that day)

*  Just the ones Robert thinks are crucial

Part of Robert’s appeal is his wide range of commentary, which also presents a challenge
because everyone likes something different.

We hope setting up alerts this way covers the bases.

Weblog Tools Market – What about these?

Today I discovered an interesting blog post “An
Overview Of The Weblog Tools Market”
and I was a little surprized to see
no mention of two highly used tools that I am aware of. Neither .Text (Or
It’s new Community Server :: Blogs name) or Das Blog were
mentioned which to me seems a little strange since the majority of the sites that
I read run on one of these systems.

As far as their hosted communities statistics go, I wonder how weblogs.asp.net or
similar would fit in with market share based on google hits?

If you’re looking to host you own blog, check out one of the above!

When is an Alert an Alert?

Recently Robert Scoble announced that his
would send a MSN
with every post. Quite a while ago I signed up to Scoble’s alerts, wanting
to be in the loop if he had something important to say. When I first read I didn’t
think too much about it, until a few days into the change when I happened to spend
some time away from my computer a heavy posting day.

My default config is to have these Alerts sent to my cell phone if I am not logged
to MSN Messenger. Now for some folks at Microsoft, it might be worth a note simply
to know that they posted this month, but that’s not the case with Robert. It’s a farley
safe bet that everyday (or so) will result in a series of posts.

It was easy enough for me to set my Scoble Alerts not to be sent to my cell phone
if I’m not logged in, but does that defeat the purpose? I think it would be great
to know if Robert posted something he felt was important, significant, or just otherwise
cool. So now I do not get the alerts sent to my phone, but if there’s something worth
alerting me, it won’t any longer. Personally I preferred it the old way when an alert
was something important, not just a post. My feed reading software alerts me when
there are new posts, so i really don’t see the point of using alerts simply for a
new message, but that’s just my opinion.


Busy .Net Week in Raleigh, NC

Hey .Net fans, it’s going to be a busy week in Raleigh North Carolina!

On Wednesday Aug 11 is the Triangle .Net Users Group
featuring Dr Clay Birch stepping through the process of using a Windows
Forms Datagrid and taking a look at the new VS2005 GridView control.

On Thursday Aug 12 (Happy Anniversary Erika!!!) Glen
will be in town as part of his World Famous MSDN Tour. Topics include ASP.Net
Custom Controls, ASP.Net 2.0 overview, and a look at Infopath using vs.NET. More
 [If you want to get your hands on a copy of VS2005, this might be
the place to be!]

On Friday Aug 13th (Hey, that will be Friday the 13th!!!) we will likely continue
our .Net wifi luncheon tour. If you’re interested in joining us for lunch and some
good .Net /Technology conversation drop me a note!