Today was day 1 of IZEAFest. And Today was my day to Moderate the Big Money Blogger’s Panel. I was nervous as all hell. That lasted till about 45 minutes AFTER the panel was over.
The day started off with Allison and I arriving at the registration area, we were greeted by Karen and Priscilla from IZEA! Then we went and got our swag bag and signed up for the IZEAHunt!! Our Team is called the Pringles People. And We found out later that Heather, Lisa and Christine signed up to be on the same team. Since they are our teammates they were given 3 of the XShot 2.0‘s that I had to give away.
The first order of business was the keynote by Jeremy Schoemaker. I have to admit, for some reason I didn’t like the guy because his blog felt really pompous with the big check and stuff, but the thing is, I hadn’t actually read it. Last night I met Jeremy and today I heard him speak and man he is a really nice guy. The thing the separates him from the typical blogger is that he just goes after it and works so hard. He is smart and funny and engaging. I got so much out of his keynote and am so glad that I met him in person. Now knowing more about him I really am going to read his blog much more closely.
what makes me really kick myself though is that I could have gone up to him and met him last year at Blog World Expo and I could have benefited from reading his blog and learning more from him this whole past year. That is also the same deal with John Chow. I just didn’t get it about John Chow. Everyone was always quoting him, rewriting his content and he would write blog posts all the time about food and meals and making money and there was the whole John Chow is evil, he got kicked off of Google. Well, I didn’t want to know much about him. What a mistake. I met him last night and John Chow is a really personable nice guy. Again an opportunity missed last year at Blog World Expo where I could have and should have gone up to him and introduced myself. Well, I’m now a convert and will be going back through both archives to absorb and learn as much as I can.
After finished his awesome keynote the next person up was Susie Gardner, the author of Blogging for Dummies. It was okay, a little dry and unfortunately her slides were messed up. I don’t think they would have made the session more entertaining or informative but I can understand when a demo doesn’t go the way you expected it to.
Then we had lunch. Allison and I went to lunch with Christine, Heather, and Lisa.
I had to take my lunch to go and get back for the my panel. I was nervous as all hell too. Lunch was inhaled, not a good idea. I got things all set up. My index cards were ready (Allison wrote them), I had my camera and I was trying to breathe. Sean Jackson the MC of IZEAFest gave me an awesome intro and even mentioned the Nokia Productions thing, very cool.
My panel was the Big Money Bloggers Panel. I am not a Big Money Blogger but I won the honor of being a moderator and on the panel were John Chow, Jeremy Schoemaker, Stephanie Agresta and Neil Patel. This was a panel of amazing moneymakers. I had a list of good questions to ask them and the panel answered them succinctly and with enthusiasm. I was so nervous the whole time and that scarfed food wasn’t helping. I just didn’t want to screw up and make them look bad. I just didn’t want that to happen. But there were no worries there, the panel was engaging and they really held the attention of the audience. I was proud to be part of that panel and so grateful to John, Jeremy, Stephanie and Neil for their participation.
After that panel was a panel on Growing Traffic. There were two people on that panel that really stood out for me. One was Steve Spalding of How to Split an Atom and Brian Clark of Copyblogger. They had some great things to say.
The next panel was What Advertisers Want. The advertisers gave us some great information on what they wanted. Prior to the panel I met Katia Adams of 1-800 Flowers.com and Michael Brito of Britopian.com. They were really nice and had some good things to tell everyone.
The end part of the day was a reveal by Ted Murphy on some great new features for SocialSpark. Ted showed us a few seconds of some great new things. He also started with a fantastic new feature called SocialSpark Causes. Now Bloggers and pick causes that they can donate to and causes can sign up with socialspark too. So awesome! There are many other great features and some bloggers who are more up on technical things than I am are surely blogging about SocialSpark Affiliates, SocialSpark Networks and other features.
The very last thing Ted told us about was CloudShout!. I am so excited about Cloudshout, this will be a great way for my readers to interact with me on this blog, LIVE! All of us even got Alpha Keys! They were taped under the seat in true Oprah fashion.
Tonight we ran down to Wai Tiki to do some great networking. I also took some fun XShot photos.
I even another Tongue Picture with Ted Murphy using my XShot 2.0.
Ted, one of those is coming your way tomorrow! I even had someone come on up to me to tell me what a good job I did as a moderator. He was acting like I was a Big Money Blogger. Nope, I’m just some guy who blogs. I guess perception can be both good and bad. I know that my perception of John and Jeremy prior to this weekend was skewed incorrectly. I’m so glad that I met those guys! I can’t wait to meet many more people this weekend and next weekend at Blog World Expo.
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