When blogging first reached public attention, journalists often described bloggers as writing in their pajamas. In one of those ironic twists, it was “Pajamas Media” that sponsored Blog World and New Media Expo 2007, the first trade show devoted to blogging. Further, Pajamas Media made the point that today’s bloggers are more apt to wear business attire: “blogging has become an enterprise now.”
The proof was everywhere at the convention, that wrapped up its three-day Las Vegas get-together Friday. The likes of Yahoo, AOL and Microsoft’s Zune rubbed elbows with blogging networks, blogging vendors, blogging vendors and, oh, yes, those bloggers — about 1500 of them. So, it was only fittingly, Pajamas Media titled their wrap-up of the event “The Exhibitors Were the Message.”
It was like a rock concert for geeks, a revival meeting for marketers. Matt Mullenweg, the 23-tear-old millionaire founder of privately-held Automattic and the free blog hosting company WordPress.com was there to evangelize why people should keep using his service or the open-source WordPress software — which he also controls. Unfortunately (or fortunately, for Mullenweg), there was no time for questions about reports Automattic turned down a $200 million buyout offer or details of an agreement to put a widget linked to Answers.com in front of more than 2 million WordPress.com users. (Hey, Matt, how about an interview?)
BlogWorld CEO Rick Calvert wouldn’t return our request for how many journalists were accredited to the event, but reporting from the event ranged from a lackluster piece by former employer CNet to a fawning video interview by WebProNews. This left bloggers to pick up the slack. There were several good examples of bloggers reporting on various events, including Allen Stern at CenterNetworks and Tris Hussey, connected to One By One Media and B5 Media.
B5 Media, the large blogging network based in Canada, was also a co-sponsor of the convention. Jeremy Wright, the CEO of B5 was there, too. Unfortunately, there were no questions about the recent partnership and licensing deal with California-based blogging network Know More Media. Know More Media agreed to make B5 Media its exclusive advertising provider in exchange for private equity-funded B5 buying a portion of the company. How much money changed hands? Again, no one is answering those questions. (How about an interview, Jeremy?
Billionaire blogger Mark Cuban closed the event, remarking how he began by creating a site to correct a mistake made in an interview.
Fittingly, we couldn’t have a blogging convention without a dust-up, this one courtesy TechCrunch’s own Michael Arrington, who is being lambasted for “forgetting” to appear at the well-named “The Cult of Blogging” session. Arrington said he never really confirmed he’d appear, despite comments to the contrary. Arrington said the fuss has made him swear off most future conferences (ah, we won’t hold our breath on that.)
Post originally written by Ed Sutherland