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August 9, 2006

Superbloggers Unite in Session

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I’m not going to lie. I’ve been waiting for this session ever since I found out I was being shipped off to San Jose for SES. A chance to be in the presence of superbloggers Matt Cutts (hi, Matt!), Niall Kennedy, Jeremy Zawodny and Gary Price and listen to them debate blogging issues? Are you kidding? How lucky can a girl get?

[I must be careful to maintain composure, Rand Fishkin and his yellow pumas are sitting four seats to my left. He’s eating a pretzel. I’m having a star struck nerd moment, sorry.]

Danny starts the session with a disclaimer: Nothing these boys say can be held against their companies. They speak for themselves. No one else. So, don’t freak out if they get a little craaazy. Does anyone not know that by now?

Danny goes down the line and introduces each of the panelists. I think everyone is familiar enough with Niall, Matt, Jeremy and Gary that no introductions (or last names) are necessarily. Fun to note though: Danny introduces Matt Cutts as the Mick Jagger of SEO speakers. Heh, I love it.

The first question is for Matt: How was your vacation?

Matt tells the audience that his vacation, though wonderful, reinforced the idea that he’s still a security blanket for the blogosphere. When something happens, to Google or otherwise, it makes people feel better to know he’s there keeping an eye on things, even though there are a lot more people than just Matt responsible for that task.

Aww, that’s kind of cute. And it’s right on. Matt is the face of Google, just like Scoble was the face of Microsoft, Jeremy’s associated with Yahoo! and Gary Price is known for being’s librarian. That’s the power and the purpose of blogging; it puts a face and personality to your company. People wait on bated breath for Matt to pipe in on what’s going on with Google. Heck, they create countdowns marking the end of his vacations. The Cuttlets are crazy.

One audience member not-so-nicely asks the panel if they aren’t just public relations people. The consensus on the panel seems to be no (though Jeremy slightly wavers). When the member accuses Matt of being the official Google Guy, Matt answers back it doesn’t matter who the official representative is. What matters is that you’re contributing to the blogosphere and are acting as an authentic voice.

Right on, Matt. If you’re a blogger who just mirrors back your company’s press releases, or if you’re just there to copy the echo chamber of the blogosphere, what good are you to anyone? What’s your value? I say you have none.

A big issue in blogging is maintaining consistency in postings. I can tell you from experience, daily blogging is no easy task. Some days it seems like there’s just nothing to write about, but not writing can disappoint your audience. How do you tackle this?
Jeremy says post scheduling allows you to write up five or most posts in one day and then spread out the information to be dispersed over the week. It’s something to keep in mind if you’re not writing a time-sensitive post.

Another good question: How much time does it take for you to blog? Jeremy says he never knows how to answer that question. Sometimes it can take no time at all and other times it takes a full day. I feel your pain, Jeremy, I feel your pain.

Everyone got some laughs in as Matt explained what caused him to take his recent leap into video blogging. Apparently all it takes is a moderately-priced camera from Best Buy, the wife going out of town, and gathering of all the lights in his house. Hee, the imagery.

The session was great, and, despite going over its allotted time, ended way too early. For me, listening to these guys talk blogs is exciting. They’re all bringing something unique to the table, and doing it with integrity. Which after all, is the point. (Thanks, Kim!)

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