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Friday, June 01, 2007

Gettin' REALLY Social: Blogger Social '08


UPDATE (8.20.07): To see what became of this GRAND idea...just go here. Or, read the below and then go here.

This past weekend over lunch with fellow blogger Drew McLellan I told him "this face-to-face time is exactly what this community needs, but isn't getting." I love conferences as much as the next guy (or girl) but the problem is: while we meet a lot of people we aren't given enough time to get to know them.

Sure, a lot of you folks are meeting each other at conferences. But too many times you only get to really talk during breaks and for a few hours over dinner. Yet I'm willing to bet a pretty penny that it's those stolen moments where you finally get to hang out with someone you've wanted to meet for so long that are among the most memorable.

But what if those stolen moments were ALL that an event was centered around? What if we were all to meet once a year in a designated place...just to be in the same place...at the same time?

Would we attend seminars on how to better our blogs? Um, no. Would we chat how companies should adopt better blogging practices? No way. Would we blog back and forth all weekend? In fact we wouldn't blog at all. We would get together and, instead of talking social media, we'd actually get SOCIAL.

The thinking is to descend upon a designated city with a weekend full of events where the only thing on the agenda is that there really isn't an agenda--just a series of events designed around getting to know one another. Better still, there would be plenty of free time in-between the handful of (amazing!) events for everyone to make time to meet with the people they want face-to-face and one-on-one time with. So you get to design your own meetups, too!

And that's when Drew said, "Well, when do we do it?" Folks, this is what I love about Drew, he bypasses "if" and goes right into an action-oriented "when." Ah, a man after my own action points. So the idea behind 'Blogger Social' was born.

What we're brainstorming is 3 main events over a weekend: think a casual party on Friday night (from 7p - 1a), a big BBQ or ride on a boat around the city on Saturday afternoon (from 12p - 3p) and an absolutely fantastic GALA (!) event on Saturday evening that goes from dusk well into dawn. So bring jeans, shorts and a cute little black number (oh, and females should also bring a cute little black number ;-).

But please leave your computer at home (or in your hotel room). Because this weekend...for one especially social weekend...we don't type, we talk. More important, we laugh. A lot.

Some events would be "marketing bloggers only" and some you could bring your spouse/significant other/life partner/Mr. Right/Mr. Right Now/ so they too could enjoy the trip and verify that we bloggers are cool. Or, you could go stag (many will be going solo, no worries). And, again, since there are 3 events there would exist plenty of "free" time to form your own meetups.

I might suggest asking the media to be allowed into one event for a few hours just so they can witness how real these relationships really are. But this is NOT an event for companies to pitch us. Sure, you guys can talk business, we'd all love to see more of you marketers developing business together! But, outside of the marketing blogger community, there will be NO sponsors. Matter of fact, any companies (outside our community) who try to butt into our social weekend will be escorted out by security. And worse, they'll have to deal with me. The purpose of this weekend is truly and purely a weekend for us to get to know each other.

There would be a per-person fee to cover the costs of (1) event venues (2) food/drink at the events (3) materials needed to pull this off and (4) roaming photographers chronicling the weekend. While everyone will bring their own cameras, it's best to have strolling photographers and we'd all have access to the photos thereafter. Also, any and all fees for (1) airfare and (2) hotels are up to you guys (as well as any in-between meals).

Zero profits will be made on the event but I guarantee ROI galore.

We're suggesting the first one take place in the U.S. and the year after the event take place in Europe or Australia. Hey, we might as well see the world while we're getting social! I want to STRESS that while the first event will be held in the U.S. this is NOT just for U.S. marketing bloggers...it's for ALL marketing bloggers--and I'm not above crying to get my trans-continental pals over here (you bloggers really gonna make a girl cry?). Like, for real, I will go on film and cry if you guys can't make it. But I'd rather cry happy tears, and you can get those on video too!

We need 3 things from you blogging beauties:

1) Give Feedback: Take 5 minutes and answer this survey. We need your feedback on whether or not you're into it, where it should happen and when. The earliest we can logistically hold this is Winter '08 (sorry guys, but there's actually a whole lotta logistics and, for bloggers with families and bloggers abroad, we need to give plenty of lead time). We need all responses by July 1st. Take the survey now.

2) Help Promote: Please encourage all other marketing bloggers to talk this up so we can get them to take the survey. Please feel free to use the graphic above (just copy & save).

3) Please Participate: We'll be enlisting scores of volunteers that will be spread into teams focusing on specific tasks (you can sign-up to volunteer right on the survey form). Yes each of you will play a pivotal role in YOUR event. Some teams will plan the specific events, others will make sure the blog is up to date, several will ensure all the materials are set and still others will have nifty ideas to make "special things" like videos, special PDFs and whatnot. All told, we will ALL share in making this happen since this community is only what it is today because share is what we do.

Bs08_2 Why am I into this program? Because it's based on all the things I blog and believe in: it focuses on relationships, it's advancing to our community, it creates value for everyone involved, it makes this world smaller and everyone shares in both making this happen and deciding how/when/where it should happen (which means we're listening because that's what good marketers do ;-).

If there is enough interest for the event, we will review survey feedback and unveil event dates and details in early August--giving you at least 6 month's lead time to plan flights and hotels. Please take the survey now.

Being we blog all year long, it makes a lot of sense for us to get social at least one weekend of it. We hope it makes sense to you, too!

Shouts: Big thanks be going to: Cam Beck for compiling the survey (and managing all our feedback); Luc Debaisieux for our amazing (!) artwork...And HUGE thanks to Drew McLellan for being a mighty fine partner in (social) crime.

Update (08.20.07): The official Blogger Social Site has launched...find out all right here.


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Dear CK,

What would we do without you? This idea simply rocks! You know how much I "believe" in bringing ideas (dreams) into reality. Let's make this one come true! : )

PS : Kris... here we go. See? ; )

@Luc: Silly, boy...this idea was inspired by YOU (and Drew is my partner in crime!). It was because of your selfless act of coming over and supporting me that we were like--why can't all of the world (well, the marketing bloggers of the world) come together?

So '08 in U.S., '09 in Europe or Australia!

P.S.: Not to bias anybody, but on the survey I'm voting for Vegas in Feb...what, you thought I wanted to stay in NYC? Nope, I want to go to Vegas, baby!

CK – What can we say, this idea really is unfuc*ing believable. Go for it, all out and let's all make it happen together.

And don't forget, if you've got to cry, I'm recording it!

Already filled out the survey ... and although I voted for Orlando in February, I think Vegas would be fun too. Just don't ask this Texas girl to go to NYC in February. I could freeze to death, and then what would you do with me? LOL

@Connie: I'm with you, I want OUT of NYC in February (brrrr...)! We just need to offer a few East Coast spots (so FL works). And anyone can vote for anywhere--that's the beauty of letting the community decide. It's a promo that belongs to everyone. And I can't wait to see you at the ball in a pink boa!

@Mark: I better be crying happy tears ;-). And you know I'll cry like a silly, sappy girl if we get everyone together. I can't wait to see the stuff you'll head-up. We're gonna need everyone to share in making this happen, and happen right.

Very cool idea! I voted for Arizona, but Orlando would be great too. But if I'm going to Orlando, I'm going to Disney.

Hey, now that's an idea. I change my vote if it's at WWD Resort.

You already have the ears CK, and I know Drew McLellan would be in ;)

@Tony: I can't wait to finally meet you...be it in ears (Orlando) or in AZ. But I still vote for Vegas, baby!


I'd love for the event to be in the Bay Area, given it's all year great weather and proximity to a ton of high-tech bloggers who'd love to attend.

However, I'll support, promote and market the heck out of this event, irrespective of where it happens. You guys ROCK, and I'm super-excited to be a part of this marketing community.

We should also start a Facebook group for all of us marketers sometime soon.

Thanks for asking CK!

What an excellent idea! I would so fly to the other side of the ocean for this!

Calling me a psychic are you? ;) Sure I got to be there, I voted for the eastcost since I think it's easier for many of the European folks to travel (shorter and cheaper I guess).

This really made my day - let me know where I can help out.

@Claudia: What a wonderful comment. I too would fly across the ocean--and that made my weekend ;-).

@Kris: Yep, we've got several East Coast spots and you can offer up a spot, too. And you'll be helping for sure. It's going to be everyone's promotion. Your action point is to get: Philippe, Geert, Alain and Pieter to it. Luc is already locked-in. And the next one will happen in Europe or Australia!

Splendid idea.
comming out of our desktops to meet other minds will be an awesome experience.

I voted for a spring in NY but people matter much more than place.

vegas in february or april (csi is my favourite series)!!
i'm getting my passport ready.

Philippe: Yep, people matter. Whatever time we spend on planes and trains will be more than worth it.

Pieter: Can't wait to meet you--so glad you joined in the convo recently by launching your blog.

Gianandrea: Can't wait to give you a huge hug. Get that passport ready and I'll get mine ready for the one in '09. That's a promise ;-).

I love it! I'm "the group hug guy" and you are making this a reality for in person group huggery! Yeah!

Ok, I voted for Arizona, just because it is so close to me and I have major events in both Feb' and April, so I am hoping to be able to attend. Regardless of whether I can make it or not, I think the idea is fantasmic!

Can't wait to see what happens next!

Tim: I can't imagine the party without you. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

Love this idea. I am THERE! I voted for NYC in April but, like Mario above, I think having it in the Bay Area would be a great destination for attracting the CA bloggers and also the weather/sites.

Alternatively, what about having it before or after a conference like the Frost & Sullivan conference in Phoenix in January (which I plan on attending)...a "blogger play day" before the event starts?

I will bring my camera to document the event and promote it among photo bloggers...


I completed the survey yesterday and offered to volunteer. For me, attendance will be determined by costs, which will be determined by location chosen. I will volunteer to help, of course.

Joe: So glad you'll work to make it. We really want to dedicate a full weekend to it so that it's not rushed before a conference. We'll see where the community thinks it's best held, and when. Hope you're enjoying working in Mexico ;-).

Lew: You always help out and I think it will all work out. Thanks for volunteering and for promoting it on your side, too.


As you know....I love being your partner in (social) crime. Any time. Any place.

This is so going to rock!


Genius(!) idea. If I can scrape together some funds (i.e. beg for long enough outside of 7-11) I can't wait to meet y'all there.

Is Mexico a possibility? Since it's out of the country, no one can complain (except the locals who have to deal with us). Plus we can all wear sombreros and pretend to know Spanish. There can't be many things more entertaining than salsa dancing bloggers...

Wherever it is, awesomeness will ensue!

Genius(!) idea. If I can scrape together some funds (i.e. beg for long enough outside of 7-11) I can't wait to meet y'all there.

Is Mexico a possibility? Since it's out of the country, no one can complain (except the locals who have to deal with us). Plus we can all wear sombreros and pretend to know Spanish. There can't be many things more entertaining than salsa dancing bloggers...

Wherever it is, awesomeness will ensue. Love live BS'08!

Coming out from our desktops (or laptops) is a great line. When it comes to putting a party together, CK, you are the best! Pink boas for the divas at the ball totally rocks.

Okay...if the girls are wearing pink boas what in God's name do you have planned for the men?


Perhaps Tim can find some cool Blogger Social '08 socks!

Great idea, I'm all for it!

I think the world needs more criminal minds - and ideas - like these :)

Wow, what a great idea. I am not really a "marketing" blogger, but I am on board with the Cluetrain. I'd like to find out more!

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