It was Bliss

270x180_Blissdom

Sarah and I attended the Blissdom Canada Conference in Toronto last week and we’€™re still recovering from all of the excitement.
The second annual Blissdom Canada Conference brought together social-media-lites across Canada’€”bloggers, Twitterati, PR mavens, digital publishers and some brand sponsors all came together to share their knowledge and insights. ‘€˜It’€™s all about sharing the love at Blissdom’€™, said the fabulous Catherine Connors of Her Bad Mother in her keynote speech.

Here are some of the highlights:

I won a Samsung Galaxy 550 phone courtesy of PC Financial. It’€™s seriously ‘€˜ill’€™ as my 14 year old would say.

We were driven around in one of the new Chevrolet Orlando cars’€”they’€™re pretty cool.

We mingled with celebs at a party hosted by CBC Live.

We learned a lot about why bloggers are blogging. Here are some:

  1. They have a story to tell and they enjoy telling it
  2. They want to be a writer and this is the first step
  3. They are interested in making money and turning their blog into a business
  4. They want to get noticed by other publishers and get paid for their writing
  5. They have a product to sell and they use their blog and twitter to market their product
  6. All or any of the above

We listened to discussions about different ways bloggers can work with brands.

We listened to the challenges faced by bloggers and brands in trying to work together and we listened to the discussions (like this one by Alex @Clippo on the evolution of bloggers and advertising.

We thought a lot about this disruption’€”the one where brands have crept into the natural, organic world of blogging; a world where there have traditionally been no ads, no contests or advertorials.

Despite all of the discussion about why some bloggers accept ads, work with brands, run promotions, etc, my view is simple (in case you were wondering). Marketers are not going to leave bloggers alone at this stage because they know how much influence they have in the social media bucket. The good news is that this puts us in the driver’€™s seat.

Writers don’€™t have to accept anything from marketers but they should be aware of how the industry works so that they can learn to navigate it when they are approached. Bloggers need to understand their own intrinsic value whether or not they decide to ‘€˜sell’€™ or not. They need to know what they are worth’€”to their readers and to marketers. That way, they can make informed decisions about what they want to do and where they want to go with their craft.

Conferences like Blissdom Canada help bloggers, brands and everyone in between understand the constantly evolving landscape we’€™re all working in. I think I can speak for Sarah when I say that we are both grateful to the organizers of Blissdom Canada for putting on a conference like this at a time when the speed of change is so rapid you can feel it happening with every tweet.

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