Izeafest is a tech savvy blogger & social media evangelists convention that I had the pleasure of attending recently. Ted Murphy kicks off the event, well actually it was Ted’s look alike brother that came out screaming and insanely intense. He got everyone going and must have yelled “WWWOOOOOOOOO” at least 10 times with his tongue sticking out. He finally introduced Ted and the ‘fest’ was underway. Ted talked a bit about what izea was and how it came to be. He talked about his building of his personal brand and designing sites like the launch of sponzai for sponsored tweets. I am not really sure what to make of Ted, I can’t really tell if he is sincere or just in it to win it. marketing guys are a lot about image, Teds no different.
@copyblogger, is up next and opens with a video address from @problogger who was supposed to be there, but do to scheduling conflicts well Brian apparently took his place. Brian does a great job discussing how he made his way to the digg front page, and his subsequent auto-ban. apparently digg users are a strange brew. He talks about how digg is irrelevant to him and how the traffic pretty much sucked anyway. Does a nice long series of Q/A with audience. Interesting questions about blogging, and marketing your content.
Some guitarist comes out after lunch, playing some smoking leads from a lot of popular rock songs. Sea World VP cuts him short. Poor guy. Sea World precedes to talk about brand and their 10 properties for 30 minutes. I liked the guitar dude better.
Panel discussion with @brettbum moderating. A marketing session for blogger’s. Guess what? A-listers are snobby! yeah no kidding? Disclosure and transparency issues discussed in detail. Consensus seems to agree that if disclosure is made then paid posts are acceptable. Survey of audience re: how many bloggers have been paid to blog. Crowds hands indicate around 40% or so. How much marketing dollars spent have you been in charge of? Not much from this group.
- crowd sourcing questions
- transparency and authenticity are cited repeatedly.
SugarRae conducts several site evaluations Xomba, a cancer social community, and I offer up jobshouts.com to be ripped apart. I am grateful for the expert advice. It will surely come in handy later in jobshouts development path. Greywolf discusses building back links from quality sites, Rae also talks about correcting our 302 redirects to 301 redirects to a category page. Interesting one that I had not thought of thanks for that. She tells me to buy the domain name jobshout.com because people will mistype it.
I have to say I was a tad alienated with the session with @pop17, and that other blonde chick. the crowd was lets just say a little unimpressed. Some rather funny tweets were flying around the room despite the severe shortage of wireless access.
Friday Night there was an event at the @icebar, on International drive. Lot’s of bloggers and media personalities on hand for a Karaoke contest. One amazing performance of Journey’s “Don’t stop believing” by Trevor the geek that ran the izeafest show.
Saturday’ s opening Keynote by @technosailor was a bang. Personal brands don’t mean squat. “No one cares about you”, really. He made a point immediately then outlined what it takes to be an influencer, a community builder. Smart Guy and the only one I gave props to after they spoke. Way to mix it up Aaron!
Liz Strauss talks about who she is, where she has been, how she is sure of herself. How she started out shy and not comfortable in front of people, and about how she offers value to the community. Her outlook is impressive and the shyness bit really struck a chord with Robin.
Chris Brogan was one of the main reasons I wanted to attend this event, I know everyone knows that Chris is a master of building communities and presence. He speech was good, candid, informative, educational, funny! Just about any adverb you could use, Chris has it covered. I look forward to attending other events like this one. I learned a lot about which way the marketing trends are moving, personal branding, technology, trends and the human social interaction methods that are evolving the way we communicate.