30 April 2006

Blognomics 2006

Guido van Nispen invited me again this year to attend his second annual Blognomics symposium. It was part of the TINE ICT Networking Event and MacExpo on everything to do with computing, held at the RAI convention center in Amsterdam on Thursday this past week.

When Guido opened Blognomics 2006, he mentioned that he did not see many laptops in the audience compared to other conferences on social media. I had to chuckle. At conferences in other countries, there is a WiFi connection so that it makes sense to bring your laptop. How can we blog if we’re not connected?

That seemed to be the underlying issue as I listened to the first three speakers broadcasting their reality at us of how they’re experiencing this new business model created by the Internet. The real theme for this year was The Power of New Media. If I were to depend on these three speakers to open my mind about The Power of New Media, I would certainly not have learned much.

In all fairness, I left at the end of the 3rd speaker’s endless slide presentation. I have a torn hamstring, which makes sitting unbearable for any length of time. Had it been more engaging and relevant to creating some value proposition on the learning level, I might have just taken a walk and returned. I just didn’t think my attention span could endure another few hours of the broadcast mode.

The Netherlands is such a transactional culture that even under the guise of The Power of New Media, the Dutch are still busy just trying to make a transaction by treating new media and advertising in the old broadcast way. I heard nothing about interacting with communities, but lots about reaching target groups. The old push and shove sales model is still in place here.

The first speaker was Erik Gerritsen, the Secretary for the City of Amsterdam. Just like most politicians in The Netherlands, he bowed his head and read his speech, bobbing up and down, hardly able to focus on the audience. His gave us the usual historical references to 250 years of citizen journalism here. I could here the younger audience heave a collective sigh.

Paul Molenaar, General Manager of Ilse Media, was next up. Ilse is one of the largest online players in The Netherlands and hosts 260,000 of the 600,000 weblogs in this country. Paul gave us a statistical review of growth this past year, and then reviewed his predictions from Blognomics 2005. He asked the room if anyone was earning a living from their blog. Of course, this is the transactional context question. Many of us have grown our business because of the authority our blogs have afforded us. But, he did not ask the question to that answer.

Then Ralf Hesen, Managing Director of Tribal/DDB, started his slide show on how an advertising and media guy is making money from his consumers in target groups. At this point, I departed to explore the ICT Networking Event and MacExpo.

I could not find anything in the convention center about networking, but I did find lots of stands focused on storage and archiving. That seemed to be the real theme of this event. So, I took advantage of that and bought the new LaCie All Terrain Rugged Hard Drive with a triple interface connection, including Firewire 800. I backed up everything in my PowerBook in minutes with this speedy little gem. It’s a great design, which fits in your hand, and is built for travel. Now, this is a nice accessory to my community of traveling creatives who have to work on the run and back up serious of video and photography MBs.

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