Web 2.0, Second Life? “Oh please, I can hardly handle my first one,” is what most social Web types hear when trying to coax a newbie into that interactive online world., blogs, wikis … you can see people’s eyes start to glaze over when social media evangelists get on the stump and start spouting off about how the participatory Web is transforming human interaction. If you’re not doing it, it can sound just like so much new millennium babble. Who has time to deal with all that stuff?
But if you really want to get someone on bandwagon 2.0, the trick is to show, not tell. And that’s what some of the meetings industry associations are starting to do, especially when it comes to blogging. For example, Meeting Professionals International ran some blogs for this year’s World Education Congress, held recently in Montreal. While MPI’s official staff blog looks and feels like a series of press releases, its attendee blog blows some fresh air into its conference coverage. Likewise, MPI was smart to tap into some member bloggers to get their perspectives on the meeting, though you do have to log in as a member to read those missives.
ASAE and The Center is more of an old hand at event blogging, having done one for several years now, and it shows. Smartly, they include both staffers who are comfortable with the format and trusted attendee members—and bloggers in their own right—to take over ASAE and The Center’s blog, Acronym, for the duration of the event last week in Chicago. They also included a Flickr photostream, where attendees could upload photos they took at the event.
One of the more interesting developments wasn’t undertaken by the organization, but by some of its avid blogger members, who set up the ASAE2007 mobile interactive backchannel. Those who subscribed to the backchannel could text message each other with comments about which sessions are looking to go SRO, and which booths had the best tchotchkes on the show floor. They also encouraged those who weren’t part of the official blog, but who planned on posting about it to tag their posts so others could find them more easily. The official Acronym blog posted roundups of some of the unofficial posts about the meeting, both positive and negative.
While it wasn’t part of the official program (in fact, because it was held during the expo hours, likely was not particularly welcomed by ASAE and The Center), its blogging members also held what they called Association Bloggercon 2007, where bloggers and those thinking about becoming bloggers could gather and share information.