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5 ways blog events have changed over ten years

a comparison of South By Southwest (SXSW) 2001 & Problogger Melbourne 2011

1) blogs & events have come to australia

in the year 2001, there wasn’t a hell of a lot of blog events in australia. the closest thing we went to was national young writers festival, which featured various people using the web for nefarious purposes.

so, we hightailed it overseas during the olympics in sydney, living in london, and going to sxsw in austin. needless to say, things were a little different back then. there were less bloggers and new media folk, and we knew of each other. it’s kinda scary looking back at the photo below of a blogmeet in london and knowing where some of these people are now. not to mention the missing one.

bonanza 1, originally uploaded by Meg Pickard.

sxsw these days is a massive several day conference – check out the sessions for next year. when we went, it was a much smaller, cosier experience, consisting of going to breakfast at the house of the locals, and mooching off people whose company had paid for their hotel room. we weren’t the only one – justin hall was the king of doing stuff on the cheap,  our one regret being not finding out more from him and how he did it. thanks to loobylu, we managed to at least score a free ticket on her behalf, given that she was up for an award.

if you wanted to meet anyone, not a problem. zeldman? hug first, introduce yourself later. so many people who are now really well known – back then, we were all just hanging out together.

these days – a blog event in our city! due to not blogging and basically living in a black hole, we find out about it at the last minute on twitter, and scamble to get a ticket from someone who can’t make it.

2. teh interwebs celebrity

back in 2001, there wasn’t someone who was a new york times bestseller author who just happened to be in town for some billboard plastered conference on how to be a millionaire who could make a guest appearance. this time around, tim ferriss rocked up. like amanda mentioned in her five lightbulb moments from problogger, swooning women. or after checking out his thoughts on dating, not so much.

3. monetization

was that even a word in 2001?  suffice to say, if there were a drinking game based around the word at problogger, you’d be needing your stomach pumped in emergency before the day was done.

4. sisters are doin’ it for themselves

whoa. the biggest takeaway from 2011 is heck – the womens! where did all these females come from?  the Australian Women Bloggers directory shows that the answer is, a combo of fashion/design and mommy/mummy bloggers. this is one trend that is great to see – that women are taking up internet use and communications, and more importantly sticking to their guns and doing things their way. a prime example is the honest and we-had-tears-streaming-down-our-face-laughing woogsworld. we’ll put it on record that she is destined for Big Things (and we don’t mean larger thighs).

we loved it that there was a panel with the women from woogsworld, foxinflats, stone soup & hair romance, with paul cunningham feeling very out of place, particularly when the birthing stories started. about time. NOW YOU KNOW HOW WE’VE BEEN THE LAST FEW YEARS AT THESE TECH THINGERS, BOYS.

5. the handy tips and tools

there were a few things that we picked up at problogger that we found rather handy. linking muliple email accounts together using sparrowmail. reeder for .rss feeds. nicole avery of planningwithkids super organised methods including batch blogging on the weekends for more time during the week. using numbered lists for posts (ie 5 ways, 10 things, 100 best etc), and the importance of setting goals (that one never gets old).

the truth is, the basics haven’t changed so much. doing what you love, and being smart about it is nothing new. thank goodness for that.