Bil Browning

BlogIndiana conference: Day 1

Filed By Bil Browning | August 16, 2008 9:35 PM | comments

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Today started the BlogIndiana Conference and wouldn't you know I've come down with a summer cold? I have the sniffles and sneezes. It started Thursday night and I'd hoped to have beaten it by now, but it lingers. Oh, it lingers. My nose is red.

I woke up to a positive article about the conference in the Indianapolis Star. I was interviewed as one of the speakers and the reporter used some quotes. I've clipped them for after the jump; it's seven paragraphs at the end of the article.

I got a late start out of the house this morning since I didn't feel too hot, but I made it in time to hear the "How Social Media Affects Elections" panel discussion that featured Obama blogger Laurin Manning, Chris Hardie, and blog friends Ruth Holladay, Josh Gillespie, and Thomas Cook. It was an interesting panel, but a little heavy on the social networking and light on the politics for my taste.

I got to chat with Laurin for a bit afterwards which was cool. I'll be one of the LGBT for Obama bloggers when the site launches next week, so it was a good connection to have. It was also fun to hear that Bilerico Project was in her feed reader.

I skipped the next session to chat with organizer Shawn Plew and the guys from Compendium Software and MarketPath CMS, but made it in time to hear most of John Ramey's "Want to make (more) money from your blog?" session. The info was a bit basic, but it was amusing to hear him counsel the bloggers to go for CPC ads instead of CPM until you "get big enough." At Bilerico Project we make most of our money via CPM ads and direct sales now.

Afterward I headed over to the networking party with Doug Masson, Renee Wilmeth, Thomas Cook and Josh Gillespie. Renee and I were brainstorming some ideas how we can work together better and it seems to start with sushi. You'll see...

Tomorrow is my panel discussion and the session I'm leading: "Showing Off Your Blog." I have a PowerPoint; I'm ready for battle. If you couldn't make it today, you can buy a one day pass for $25 at the door tomorrow. My session starts at 11am. The panel discussion is at 1pm.

If you can't be at the conference, you can also follow my personal Twitterfeed - I'll be twittering throughout the conference. I may have a big box of Kleenex with me, but I'll be there.

Here's the clip from the Star:

For individual bloggers, Bil Browning will lead a discussion on how to publicize a blog. The first step to gaining Internet popularity, he said, is having good content. A successful blog has a narrow focus for a specific topic.

"(Beginning bloggers) think that everyone else will be as interested in their topics as they are," he said. "It's not quite true. You have to make it interesting."

Browning started his Web site, the Bilerico Project, in 2004, as a personal blog, recounting details of his everyday life. It didn't get many hits.

But once the site switched to covering gay and lesbian issues, it quickly gained attention both in Indiana and across the country. Four years later, the Indianapolis native is now a contributor to political blog The Huffington Post, and his writing has appeared in several national magazines.

"Three years ago, would I have ever thought I would be quoted in American Spectator? Or Sports Illustrated?" he said. "I can't even play ping-pong."

But he also suggested bloggers make connections with other successful Web sites to promote themselves.

"It's not just taking out an ad," he said. "It's getting engaged all around the Web and becoming part of the circle."


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Wilson46201 | August 17, 2008 9:18 AM

I attended the political blogging session which I found somewhat general and unfocussed. It was kinda elementary... perhaps I've been too deeply involved with the topic.

I sat next to Bil so I could lean over and make snide comments during the panel speeches. Poor Bil indeed was suffering from a summer cold like I was too. He is a heavy Kleenex user - I just sniffle a lot.

I did too, Wilson, but I think that had more to do with the panel wandering off topic instead of staying with politics.

And today? I feel even worse. But I led my session and participated in my panel discussion like a blog trooper!