Manhattan skyline at sunset from Lincoln Harbor NJ (photo by Sheila Scarborough)

After a whirlwind week in Manhattan at the East Coast version of New Media Expo/NMX presented by BlogWorld (NMX is the new name for BlogWorld & New Media Expo) here are a few takeaways that you may find useful:

** From our Tourism Currents and Culinary Media Network panel about press trips and fam (familiarization) tours — destinations are opening up to bringing bloggers, podcasters and other online publishers on press trips, but there are still lots of questions about how to connect with bloggers and what makes us different from print-only writers.

We told the audience to start with their own local tourism organizations, that they may need to educate those people about online content and not to worry if they never thought of themselves as a “travel blogger” – every niche blogger/podcaster can find a destination that’s a good fit….food, birding, microbrewing, parenting, crafting….whatever an online publisher’s expertise, there’s a destination that fits.

The gap that needs to be filled is educating DMOs (destination marketing organizations) about how to work with online publishers – including the local bloggers right under their noses – and educating the online publishers that DMOs and CVBs (Convention and Visitors Bureaus) exist and are a possible content partner.

** From Chris Penn’s solo presentation on social ROI and measurement — be able to define, “What are the most valuable actions that someone could take when they come to my site?” Then, define your desired outcomes and measure via analytics whether people are actually doing those things. If they aren’t, adjust.

I liked Chris’ advice to “create routines around your practices;” a daily recipe for content across all channels, and consider how they all tie together and support each other.

Here’s a direct link to his presentation on SlideShare: Your Digital Marketing ROI

** Speaker advice from me after one egregious session: Not knowing your audience annoys everyone.  Filling the first part of your presentation with slides about “why social media is important and awesome” is a waste when you’re speaking at Blog – doggone – WORLD.

Hey, we GOT it already.

Also, when you keep saying “leverage influencers” to an audience of influencers, we want to smack you. We’re humans, not just objects of your crowbar “leveraging” initiatives.

BlogWorld Logo

** Expo floor advice from me: Here’s a hipster move that makes you look like a schmuck….the giveaway t-shirts from France-based blogging platform Overblog that said, “I’m on @Overblog, Bitch!”


Apparently it’s based on the “I’m CEO, bitch!” that was on one of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg’s early business cards. Yep, I’m always recommending Zuckerberg as the essence of maturity and social savvy.

As a woman, I do wonder why some think it’s cute to say, “bitch.”  Why is it never “bastard?” Or “dickhead?” Or even nonsexist “asshole?”

Eye roll. Moving on….

** I truly enjoyed Jay Baer’s session on 12 things you must do if you are serious about blogging, especially his self-deprecating opening line that “It’s actually scary to speak about blogging at BlogWorld” because the room is full of people who really know the topic.

I’ve embedded his slide deck below, but here are my favorites:

Number One: Be Patient. He said, “It was exactly 3 years before I made my first nickel” directly from his blog (it was from a sponsorship.) Also, “You can’t eat pageviews” so don’t get so obsessed about traffic numbers. You want the RIGHT traffic.

Number Two: Be Specific. He said, “You have to be somebody’s favorite blog” and “Say to yourself, ‘This is the blog for ______.” Know what you are about, and “everything” isn’t the answer very often.

For people who worry about giving away their “secret sauce” on a blog: “Giving someone a list of ingredients doesn’t make him/her a chef.”

Number Ten: Keep Score. Know what you want from your blog, and measure the data/analytics to ensure you’re getting there. If not, change what you’re doing.

He said, “There is no shortage of data points, but only some of them matter….even if you don’t sell directly online, there are behaviors that matter to your business/organization. Measure them.” For a destination marketing example, measure the number of visits to your newsletter landing page and the number of conversions, in addition to how people find that page.

Direct link to Jay’s presentation if you can’t see the slides below:

Summary of the Wrap-up 🙂

Finally:  I’ve known NMX BlogWorld co-founder Rick Calvert a long time. He’s a stand-up guy who rolls up his sleeves and answers questions in Facebook Groups, blog posts, on Twitter and in person.

He’s also a visionary who is pushing social communications into the future.  Even better, his organization now owns the TBEX travel blogging events worldwide, so I get to be around him even more.

Get to know Rick, and get yourself to an NMX BlogWorld event as soon as you can.

The next NMX?  January 6 – 8, 2013 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

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