In addition to all of the presentations and workshops, one of the many wonderful aspects of the recent LeWeb conference in Paris is the opportunity to connect with others who are working on innovative projects and developing new applications which make our lives easier or more productive. As I was listed as one of the LeWeb Official Bloggers, I received a few requests to meet from those interested in obtaining coverage for their product or for one of their clients
I'm torn at the moment. Ethically speaking, I made the right decision. Practically speaking, I'm disappointed. You may be aware that journalists and bloggers are sometimes offered free stuff in exchange for media coverage of some sort. This free stuff may come in the form of anything from products to services to tickets.
Learning to maximize the benefits of using social media can easily seem an overwhelming task. Toss in keeping abreast of the constant changes, new tools and applications and the latest tips, and it suddenly feels like a full time job just hunting down the information you need from sources you can trust.
Sure, we've seen big brands using social media. We see them online on Facebook and Twitter, though we're not always quite sure what they're doing there. Are they there to sell products? Reply to customer complaints? Monitor our conversations? More importantly, if they are using the tools and platforms sucessfully, is there anything that those of us with small businesses can learn from them? Are the strategies applicable to small businesses without the same brand recognition?
Me? Really? You know that feeling when that really attractive person looks over at you and you're really pleased with yourself, but still wondering if they are *really* giving that "Hey, baby!" look to someone right behind you? Well, OK, maybe it's just me. That is exactly how I felt when I first received the email that began, "I'm happy to let you know that you are one of the lucky (and talented) bloggers who are receiving an accreditation to attend the conference LeWeb'09 in Paris, December 9-10th, as Official Bloggers."
This is one of my favorite lines to use when I speak about everything from managing one's own online presence to how to prepare for a job interview. If we are not going to put our best selves out there, why bother showing up at all? It takes hard work to stand out from the crowd. If we are lucky enough to be noticed, we have only a brief opportunity to make an impression. If all goes according to plan, the impression is a good one.
Blogs. Who doesn't have a blog these days? Many started a blog way back when, but may have since abandoned them for other pursuits.