New Horizons in Editorial Development for Our Next Business Blogging Conference
We’ve been spending a lot of time recently on developing the roster of sessions and speakers for our upcoming conference in Chicago. This happens to be one of my favorite parts of working with the Blog Business Summit because it gives me the opportunity to review experts, ideas and best practices from all over the emerging field of business blogging.
This year, we’re working to bring more corporate speakers than ever before to the podium. Big corporations have a great deal to gain by blogging, but they also have a long way to fall if their initiatives are not well-crafted. In order to give our corporate attendees the information they need, we are drawing speakers from the growing pool of corporations who are blogging and engaging with bloggers successfully.
And while successful business blogging remains the primary focus of our conference, the Blog Business Summit is about more than blogs. New media for online communication are emerging all the time, and we know that our attendees want to be on top of those trends as well. This year’s conference will take a look at emergence of online social networks as powerful media properties in their own right. Understanding how these networks function and how users respond to commercial engagement with their communities is just as important as understanding the rules of successful corporate blogging and blogger engagement.
Another new horizon in our editorial development process has been the launch of our session submission and review system. A lot of successful conferences in the technology space take on an “unconference” model. That is, the attendees shape the editorial and direct how the conference forms. We think this is an interesting idea, but we run a conference that is primarily targeted at the business community.
We started asking ourselves, “how do we adapt our business-oriented conference to a more democratic model without sacrificing hard-hitting business oriented editorial?” We decided to put our money where our mouths are. After all, we’re always talking about listening to community when it comes to product development.
So we worked with our team of geeks to develop a massive custom WordPress plugin that would allow us to make blog posts the fundamental unit of editorial. In short, one blog post = one conference session. The plugin allows us to provide additional meta-data to each post (time, location, editorial track, speakers, etc.).
The plugin also manages and reviews the ratings and proposal system. This allows anyone who is interested to submit a session for review, and to vote on proposed sessions. We think this hits the sweet spot between community participation and the top-down editorial model favored by most business conferences.
Stay tuned in the coming days for some very exciting session and speaker announcements. Sessions will appear right here on the blog (and in our RSS feed) as individual blog posts.