Posts Tagged 'St. Louis'

St. Louis Bloggers Guild meeting Saturday, May 10th

     The Guild’s first open meeting will be held on Saturday, May 10th at 1 p.m. at Benton Park Cafe, who is generously hosting our meetings. They have fantastic coffees and I’ve eaten and loved everything on their menu.
     All members of the Guild are highly encouraged to attend this first meeting – please RSVP within either the comments or on the appropriate thread in the forums. The Guild will discuss its first big project slated for this fall, among other issues.
     The meeting is open to non-members for a $5 admission fee. If you’re considering joining, this would be a perfect opportunity to see what we’re all about. We’ll also be accepting and registering new members before and after the meeting.

     See the original post on St. Louis Bloggers Guild to confirm your attendance.

St. Louis Bloggers Rocked Atomic Cowboy

You can read more about the story on the St. Louis Bloggers’ Guild site, but I wanted to write a bit here as well.  I’ll be plugging more of the guild’s events and get togethers as well.

This party didn’t wait for your’s truly to show.  Bloggers had already snagged us the best corner in the place, right by the DJ.  Lights hadn’t even dimmed and folks were already getting into groups, with conversation flowing like water.

Raquita and I cornered Jason Wall at one end for a while, while Bill Streeter and Dana held court at the other end.  It was packed house as names you know and love in St. Louis blogging piled in.  Soon there were beers, and burgers and appetizers in the mix, and then it got loud.

As it got dark, the lighting of the place really kicked in.  Even the disco ball was lit up.  The noise and music picked up at the same and folks had to huddle close to be heard.  This made it seems even more like friends gathered together. Of course there were heated discussions, lazy chats, and plan hatching.  Rumors of future events were heard as well.

Me? I’ve picked up some new viewpoints on religion, photography, and video blogging. I’m sure other’s got some interesting tidbits as well.  And then there were cameras.

I’d brought mine and several others brought their’s. I know Rebeccas, Raquita, Jason, Dana, and more had cameras in hand.  Bill even snagged some shots with his iPhone.  We grabbed a couple of us manly man together as well.

Atomic Cowboy is a great venue for a get together, but the evening wasn’t without incident. One of our bloggers had their car broken in to.  A few things were stolen but thankfully no one was hurt.  The police showed up after the fact.  It really puts a damper on things.

To sum up, I had a great time, even being a wall flower sort myself.  I took a few photos, which you’ll see on my Flickr stream first but some will be here and a few over at St. Louis Bloggers Guild.

Twitter Shakes It Up During EarthQuake

Twitter was first media source again today, and here’s the lead in.

St. Louis residents were awakened around 4:30 a.m. by a 5.2 magnitude earthquake centered several miles from West Salem, Illinois. The forceful shaking which lasted nearly a minute. As the shaking stopped, many St. Louis area Twitterers (and beyond) went to their keyboards to discuss damage. This was nearly 30 minutes before any word from the local media.

     The full article, shared on the St. Louis Bloggers Guild, gives a first hand perspective of new media’s impact. Twitter was the source for folks to find out what the all the shake, rattle and roll was about.  Waking to find pictures falling, windows rattling, and dogs going crazy, the TV and radio had nothing to say.

     Has the world turned on it’s ear when the first place people are going for live and important news is online, perhaps to people they’ve never met?  The Bhutto assassination news came to me with live reports relayed from the scene over Twitter. Now that’s speed. With the contacts I have, I can get the unabridged version of what’s said at many televised speaking engagements.  It’s neat to hear a first had report of Hilary Clinton’s remarks as she’s snuck out the back at an appearance and a few stray reporters are there to see.

     It’s not just Twitter were the news comes.  Many of my contacts have not only written blogs, but video blogs, and can do live video recording on their phones.  Talk about exciting to not just have someone tell me the news over Twitter, but to show me.  What better than pictures captured at an event and instantly transmitted across the world.

     Not only has new media brought us new tools, but a whole new sense of community to news.  No longer is an overly primped strong chinned host the only face on the news.  Becky down the street can bring me live coverage of her first walk for Cancer. Sanjib in overseas in the East can share what life is really like there, free from the cleansing of national and international television rules.  Jim in NY can share pictures of the Pope, pictures you won’t see on the news.  Want crowd reaction, why listen to some guy on NPR report on it.  Get it from the folks in the crowd through Twitter, Utterz, and Qik.

     Downsides you say, what about not coming from a professional? Heck, I’ll trade polished and good looking for raw footage any day. I’ll trade super quality video and sound for fresh and interesting as well.  So no, maybe the guy sharing isn’t briefed in world political history, and can’t comment except about how he feels.  But that guy bringing us a fresh view, and a view not likely tied to keeping his reporting job.

     There’s one thing I forgot to mention though in my excitement to brag about new media.  You can’t just tune in and turn it on and get the news.  You can’t just know which of your contacts will bring it to your door, and not even where the news might be about.

     How to get around that? Contacts and quality = value. Lots of contacts isn’t enough if most of them live down the street, though you might be surprised.  Contacts who never engage in conversation and never share, they won’t be of much news value either.  But you can cultivate great contacts.  I’ll leave that for you the reader to think about how to do it.

     To wrap up, is Twitter and such the end all and be all of getting your news? No, but it’s quickly becoming the place in my day to day life that I find out first about breaking news.

     What about you? Has your online network of friends, contacts, and feeds brought new life into finding out about the world around you? Or are you certain that the only good news is brought through nice safe professional channels, like Fox and CNN? Where do you stand?  Is a bloggers voice good enough? Or do you only read the newspaper?  Tell me where you get your info.

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St. Louis Bloggers Guild – A Step Forward

Blog much? Well then you need to hear about this. St. Louis bloggers are joining together to form a first of it’s kind guild.  Writers have a guild, directors have guilds, so why not bloggers?

St. Louis Bloggers Guild is already drawing attention, with write ups in the local media, as well as a swarm of bloggers looking to join.  Why a guild? What’s it got to offer over something like a blog carnival or an online only blogging community?

The St. Louis bloggers Guild is not just about posting all on the same topic, or giving each other a pat on the back, though it can do that too.  It’s about informing, promoting, protecting, and yes, connecting.  Sound interesting yet?

The guild isn’t just about putting fingers to keys, and putting up the posts, it’s about forming a real community.  Not just faceless nicknames anymore, but folks you get to know in a real way.  There will be parties, conferences, blogging fests and more.  Yes even beer on occassion.  I mean heck, we are St. Louis, home of Budweieser!

St. Louis bloggers won’t be hemmed in either.  This isn’t about corralling folks and making them get in line.  It’s about a community hub, and it will take all types.  There’ll be blogs about St. Louis involved, and blogs about parenting, blogs about tech, and blogs about camping, even blogs about cupcakes.

So what’s stopping you from signing up today?  Hey, you can go visit the main page here, or go right to joining up here.

Want just a bit more incentive? How about joining several of us for a little mixer this Saturday night?  Yep, come meet some of us face to face and share a drink or an appetizer.  It’s a party at Atomic Cowboy in St. Louis.  The short story is be there at 6:30 PM. We’ll be the ones chatting it up and acting like bloggers.

Please come out and show your support or if you can’t make it, do drop by the guild website and visit.

See you around the net!

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Blog Aggregation – Getting it right?

The adventures in blogging continue.  Blogging and aggregation is a hot topic in St. Louis lately.  If you blog, you’ve dealt with the up and downsides of it.  If your blog has RSS, there’s a good chance someone is aggregating it.  Maybe that happens inside an RSS reader, but it can also happen at a blog aggregator site.

What’s the harm? Those sites can be both helpful and harmful. Some aggregators capture the entire content of the RSS feed and redisplay it on the site.  Kinder ones showcase the blog feed with human designed setups.

What can you do to get it right? Create your own aggregator of course!

Some of us bloggers are getting together, forming a project to talk about making a better aggregator.  I can’t give up the site yet. It’s still very bare bones.  Currently a team is being assembled.

It’s stirring up in St. Louis. Here’s a little background for that too.

What are you doing about your blog and aggregation?

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Aggregation? Aggravation!

So you start blogging. Next step, you’ve got your RSS feed being distributed. Heck, you probably didn’t even have to sign up for that. That RSS feed, you don’t realize it at first, but lots of folks are latching onto it to read your posts. They are subscribing themselves in a tool called a feed reader. If they want, they can still visit your site, but now they can save themselves the trip. And life goes on.

But one day, your readership tapers off as well as your RSS subscribers. The clicks go down, and you begin to wonder if your content sucks or what. Being certain it can’t be your writing or lack of goods as a blogger you start searching around.

It’s then you find it; there’s a site aggregating your content. A site that is taking your feed and posting it right back onto the front of their homepage. Not just an aggregator clearly showing that you’re a contributor but not related to their company, but an aggregator selling ads on the side.

So you step back and think. Is this adding value to your site or stealing it. Yeah, you’re just not 100% sure it’s legal, and yeah it’s aggravating but what to do? No point ruining your name or someone else’s but you have the right to your opinion about this practice. Naturally, you do what you know best; you blog.

This is really happening to friends of mine. My blog hasn’t been added to the site. I am an interested party though, and wanted to share what my fellow bloggers had to say.

I encourage you to visit the blogs. Read them through, and consider what’s said. Agree or disagree, that’s your right, but please take an interest. It could be your blog next.

News Bitch

Little Bald Doctors

WOBL in Training

Superfunpatrol

The State of Discontent

Mamalogues

Slacker Moms-R-Us

MidwestBlogs -St Louis

Prologos

Highway 61

A Bun’s Life

Courtney Watson

The Art of Self Destruction

I’ll post more as I gather them. Stay tuned.

If reading about all this isn’t your thing, then might I suggest kittens.


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St. Louis and Social Media

Social Media Club St. Louis held their first meeting. For me, it held some surprises.  Two of them stick out for me.  The main surprise was the attendance of several people working professionally with online media, including blogging. There were only a few of us in attendance that don’t make part of our living with our work online.  One gentleman even works for our local paper’s online segment.

My expectation that it would have been others with just an interest in social media or those that spend that have a small revenue stream from online activities. It’s exciting to see though the involvement in St. Louis of so many companies with a strong interest in things like blogs, and other social media and networking tools, such as Twitter. Mentioned in my earlier post though, very few of those in attendance were familiar with more than a couple of social media outlets personally.

This leads me to the second big surprise for this St. Louis crowd, what they considered their big social media and networking site. It wasn’t Facebook or MySpace that came out in front.  It wasn’t LinkedIn, though several people mentioned using it. StumbleUpon was the favorite online community.  Knowing St. Louis folks though, it shouldn’t be a surprise.

StumbleUpon is at first glance all about nominating links or stumbling them.  Essentially a StumbleUpon (SU) user can give a page a thumbs up that they like.  More visitors to that site that use SU can also vote it up.  This helps a page get noticed, because those that are added to the StumbleUpon database and get the most votes, will be ‘stumbled upon’ most often by StumbleUpon toolbar users.

So how does this factor in for St. Louis?  St. Louis is all about neighborhoods and tight net groups.  Behind SU’s toolbar and voting, it’s all about the small and interwoven community.  People can build personal blogs there, and even a sense of brand. The pages they recommend are seen by others in the groups they belong to on SU.  The social media types folks in St. Louis have really taken to that sense of close net community and sharing.  SU really provides a great way to share and focus that sharing upon your favorite sites about a place as well.  This helps create a whole group of users that really highlight blogs and websites of and about St. Louis.  A large part of that is a focus on the St. Louis local music scene.

Wrapping up the thoughts here, I really shouldn’t have been surprised about what I found at the Social Media Club gathering. It’s given me insight into what directions I should be moving in online and what tools people are finding the most community driven.

What about social media gurus and neophytes in your neighborhood? Do you know what online communities your neighbors use? Does it matter? Should you care?  Perhaps so if you really value your local area’s presence online.

St. Louis Blogging has a new home

Blog and live in or near St. Louis? Then there is a new group in town to check out, St. Louis Pro Bloggers. So what’s St. Louis Pro Bloggers all about?

“STL Pro Bloggers is part of the Midwest Blogs network. Through this city page you can find information about activities and events in St. Louis and connect with other St. Louis bloggers. Register and become a member today and have your blog indexed on the site!”

It’s already got a review of the most recent St. Louis Blogger Meetup, and the upcoming Lo-Fi Saint Louis Reset Party. Expect to find more events of interest to bloggers here as well. It doesn’t stop with just some unknown face behind the site either. St. Louis Pro Bloggers is inviting you to register and contribute as well. You can be invited to contribute new articles or republish some of your work there.

One of the benefits of such a site will be an increase in attention to blogging in St. Louis. It will also provide tips and event lead ins as well. And what better place to connect with fellow bloggers than a site dedicated to us.

I look forward to both providing event information and write ups on those events. How about you?

Come check out St. Louis Pro Bloggers today.

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Speaking of blogging. I’m headed to SOBCon08 in May.  They are having a contest and your clicks count. If you visit their site from anywhere on my blog, it counts as a vote for me. It’s that simple. Click through to SOBCon08 and you’ve already voted.

Thanks for those that have already voted. Check out the contest so far here.

Social Media Club St. Louis – 1st Meeting – Round Up

I walked in to Kaldi’s in Kirkwood and immediately found the group of clubbies. They were right inside the door and already chatting. Tables had been rounded up, chairs brought around and folks where already exchanging emails and blog links. My kind of people.

Soon a group of five turned to ten and then over a dozen were on hand. Relocating was not an option. As an aside, you could tell the regular coffee drinkers; they were quick to visit the counter and get seated back with their steaming cups.

Everyone there was involved in blogging in some way. I’ve linked there here, courtesy of Brandstorming. Note that only one blog link is provided for each person, though several of us have more than one blog.

Jim Durbin: Brandstorming.com
Franki Durbin: Life In A Venti Cup
Tanner Hobin: TannerHobin
Andrew Nagy: Andrewnagy.net
Kurt Greenbaum – stltoday.com/vstl
Kristen Munson – socialmediamom.com
Justin Schmidt – justinspeak.com
Lisa Young – jedimom.net
Melody Cissell – news-bitch.com
Reem Abeidoh – www.reemabeidoh.com
Don Krutewicz – donkrutewicz
Angeline Soon – twitter.com/s00nami
Ryan Suther
Howard McAuliffe- StlDevelops.com

A couple of these folks are becoming more than just acquaintances by now, but there rest were all new faces to me. Unfamiliar faces didn’t put a damper on the conversation though. It was nonstop talking from minute one and out to the cars. We did the typical go around the room bit, but that is not to discount it as of no value. Introducing ourselves really lead to more conversations and connections, and talks of investing in each other.

I mentioned in a post earlier today that I wasn’t sure what my take away for new contacts would be, but let me assure you, this group was all worthy of my attention. Each brought a different perspective and attitude to the table. (tables – 8 of them) It will be difficult to pass up adding all of these new faces and inputs to my daily feeds.

I don’t have my pictures up yet, but when I do, they’ll be at my Flickr account and tagged with smcstl.

Please check out the blogs above and give them some love. Also, let us know about your local social media club meetups.

Yours,

Todd

Social Media Club of St. Louis – 1st Official Meeting

The first official meeting of the St. Louis Social Media Club if February 23rd in Kirkwood.  Please visit the page and leave a comment if you can attend.



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