1st Evar WCCO Bloginar

Executive summary: It was a good start.

There were snacks, mingling, a Q&A with Jason DeRusha and Eric Black, the WCCO Local Ad Network commercial, and then prizes.

Good Stuff:

  • I actually met people that live here and blog here that I had never met or even heard of before. New people! So nice job to WCCO for reaching waaaay out (and to the intern who was probably responsible for combing lists of blogs and finding contact info). When I say I loved this part I mean I LURVED this part.
  • We had time to mingle. Just hang around and talk to people.
  • They gave us the keys to the Twitter account and trusted us to use them for good, not for evil. Participants’ thoughts can be found at @WCCObloginar.
  • Decent turn out. There were probably about 30 people there, not including all the ‘CCO staffers. They sent out about 400 emails, got about 50 RSVPs, expected about 10 people to actually show up, had about 30 attendees, and there were folks there that hadn’t gotten an email but had seen it here or on MNspeak. Not bad.

Needs Improvement:

  • The Q&A topic focused on bloggers/citizen journalists/professional journalists doing social media/online vs print/etc. This was news to some, old hat for some, and just plain boring for some.
  • Related to the previous point, since they are apparently drawing a diverse audience, I’d like to see an effort to appeal to other niches of bloggers. I’d hate to lose the interest of people that showed up last night who aren’t hanging out in the citizen journalist (and loose relations) corner of the web.
  • Man alive, Jason is chatty. On the flip, he very eloquently articulates his experience with and opinion on these matters.

Punctuated by this event and last weekend’s Public Radio Camp, it’s abundantly clear that MPR and WCCO are head and shoulders above the other MSM joints in town on finding ways to interact with their online-savvy audience. I really appreciate WCCO’s willingness to give this a go. The format and topics and lots of things about it are going to continue to evolve.

Random thought I had: I might consume tv news if they video podcasted individual segments like sports, top news, investigative, etc. I could do four minutes a day.

I was very proud to have four Metbloggers in the house. Greg, Jason, David and I were all there and I finally got to actually meet David.

And a huge thank you to all who came up to me to say hi. I was especially pleased to have talked to Amy Rea of Knit Think and Flyover Land, Angelique of Saucy Dame Delux, Lisa of Corporate Babysitter, and Terry Yzaguirre of MPLS Mirror.

Other posts on the event: [Alie] [Jeremy] [mnspeak] [Eric Black] [mnblue] [Internet Marketing Blog] [mspmag]

If you’ve got a write up and I missed it, drop it in the comments, please!

9 Comments so far

  1. greg on July 18th, 2008 @ 10:57 am

    Totally agree on all points. Great inaugural event.

    They did a great job pushing the WCCO ad network pitch until the end (even though the primary reason for the event [I assume] was to sign up more bloggers) and even then, did their best not to make it too "Take a tour of the condo and get a free coupon book."

    I’d like to see events in the future cover political bloggers, music bloggers, food bloggers and maybe even workshops like "Ethics of blogging about your advertisers" and "How to get free swag as a blogger."

    Also, did you notice tons of Mnspeakers won prizes and NONE of the Metrobloggers won anything? I smell a bacon-flavored rat.


  2. derushaj on July 18th, 2008 @ 11:00 am

    Great analysis Erica. And I promise to talk less in the future! You asked if I’d given the speech before and the truth is that I hadn’t. No one ever invites me to these kinds of things. So it was a bit of a brain dump on my part. Anyway, I’m excited about the possibilities of this, and it was cool to see so many different types of bloggers from the usual group.


  3. Erica M (ericam) on July 18th, 2008 @ 11:07 am

    As I told you, Jason, I completely agreed with everything you said and I thought you may have been preaching to the choir a little bit. It later occurred to me that it may have been good for other folks in the room who may not be as familiar with you just to hear that you do read blogs and leave comments.

    I think you need to go on a speaking tour. I’m surprised to hear that you haven’t talked in a more organized way to your peers on this topic.


  4. Erica M (ericam) on July 18th, 2008 @ 11:10 am

    Also, I’m surprised that more people don’t belong to the ad network. (My personal excuse is that now that I’m 30 I’m becoming technologically retarded and can’t quite get my act together.)


  5. David (jacc) on July 18th, 2008 @ 2:05 pm

    Nicely written. It was a good time and it’s always interesting to meet bloggers and grill the MSM.

    I’m not suprised more people aren’t part of the ad network. Wasn’t it like $1.75 for every 1000 impressions? So even someone like Jason who’s blog may get 2000 impressions a day would make $3.50.

    CINF turned to me and said something like "I’d make two bucks every couple of months?"

    It’s had to be told how valuable and unique a demographic like blog audience is on one hand and then on the other hand the value is rated at less than the cost of a glass of beer per month for many (most?) local bloggers.

    I respect what WCCO is trying to do, but it seems like the reality at this point is it’s hardly worth it for most.

    It’ll be interesting to see what the future brings.

    @DerushaJ – "And I promise to talk less in the future!"
    Umm, right.


  6. Art (artallen) on July 18th, 2008 @ 2:23 pm

    I am shedding many single tears that I didn’t make it to this. I saw it, and I guess I haven’t been a "twin cities blogger" long enough to think of myself that way. I’ve blogged since 2002, but mostly just on my livejournal for my friends to read… next time, damnit.


  7. Ang (angied) on July 18th, 2008 @ 3:02 pm

    Since 5/1 the $$ from the ad network is between $50-$80 for OIM, I believe. I’d sign in for a more accurate portrait, but I forgot the username/pass combo so I’ll worry about that later. I won’t be retiring early on that, but that’s a tank of gas. (sad)


  8. Erica M (ericam) on July 18th, 2008 @ 4:06 pm

    I’m assuming, based on the blogs listed, that what OIM is earning is on the high end.


  9. amycrea on July 20th, 2008 @ 12:21 pm

    Thanks, Erica, and it was nice to meet you too! I left a comment on the feedback form about covering other types of blogs besides political. There’s a big world of blogs out there that have strong followings that have nothing to do with politics–not that politics aren’t interesting (especially this year!), but as a force of media, they should be covered too.



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