Blognomics 2007: First Impressions

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So we went to Amsterdam to participate in the third edition of Blognomics, entitled ‘Media 2.0 have arrived’. Well, was it worth it?

The program was pretty packed, and since we’ve got only half a day there was not a lot of time for discussion. The program started with a keynote from Paul Molenaar (COO Sanoma, CEO Ilse) who explained to us the current situation regarding blogging. Growth is declining although the activities of the bloggers are increasing, thus the influence they have as well. He explained the difference between people in their twenties (grown up with computer technology, not afraid for it) and people in their thirties (discovered PC by themselves, value ‘real life’ friendship first before going online). Key message was that companies should adapt not only the content of their messages, but also the medium itself, enabling them to reach their target audience.

The program continued with a presentation of Jetse Sprey (Partner Versteeg Wigman Sprey Lawyers) who gave us a (very) brief overview of all legal impliations of online publishing. It was a pleasant and entertaining presentation. The guy knew what he was talking about.

…which I can not say of the next presenter, Stef Kolman (CEO Bliin) who tried to explain me what his company, Bliin, was doing. After he finished his rather philosophical introduction about our existince in a ‘divine space which will transform in a narrow passage’ where we have to ‘float like angels, seeking for connection with earth’ I thought I ended up in a sales pitch of some kind of neoreligious gathering. He desperately tried to explained his business model but it was only after a clear question from the audience that it became a bit less fuzzy. A pity that his demonstration was not working well either…

Next up was a panel of blogging politicians. I won’t go into detail about the political parties they represent, only that I had the feeling they are kind of ‘stuck in the middle’: they want to blog as much as possible, but they can’t due to regulations. Some high ranking (successful) political bloggers don’t blog themselves, but have ghost writers instead. We even found out that the Hyves (= Dutch MySpace) account of our Prime Minister is not for real! Bad boy…

Just before the break Gabe Mcintyre of Xolo.tv presented his ideas. Finally a subject closer to our heart. The guy presented well (he’s right, New Media does sound better in English). Check out his website for more info.

After the break the program continued with a panel discussion entitled ‘Did the mainstream media incorporated new media’. A lot of discussions related to ‘Dag‘, the new crossmedia free newspaper in the Netherlands. There was (of course) also a reporter from Dag asking the opinion of the panel about the concept.

Skoep.nl was the next topic on the agenda. In an unconservative way the anarchist Michael Nederlof (Managing Director Skoeps) explained the exciting business model of Skoeps. Skoeps is a concept whereby news in made by ordinary people. Have a camera and see an event? Shoot it, send it and if Skoep sells your picture to mainstream media, they’ll split the money 50/50 (and even give it all in case you ask ;-)). Very interesting…. Check their site.

The program continued with a presentation of Olger Smit (OMD), a media communication agency. He explained the use of new media in their communication mix (new media still small compared to traditional media). Funny story about how they worked with Tweakers.net on the Playstation 3 introduction. Also, to eveybodies utmost surprise, he openly indicated that many big blogs which are being ‘sponsored’ by large companies adapt the content to the liking of their sponsor without indicating it. OK, blogging is clearly growing up now….

Almost there. Up next a presentation from Peter Olsthoorn (P7 en Netkwesties and chairman Dutch Bloggies) about what makes a good blog. Nice presenter, critical towards the audience and the subject. He also participated in the last panel: ‘From blogs to mainstream media, how do you get a position?’.

Overall a good conference. From a organizational point of view some remarks (please make sure you have coffee when people registrate themselves at the beginning, give everybody a program on paper and if networking is important, just make sure you have a participants list to hand out). Most of the subjects were OK, with some of them even getting close to excellent (then again, some close to or surpassing ‘bad’). It’s a small world, the Dutch blogging world (about 50 top bloggers) and that was obvious (sort of clan I would say). The other 150 people were just there to absorb the information.

We’ll try to cover more in detail the several subjects in later posts, so stay tuned

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