Last night, I attended the Times Union’s “Media 2010: How Blogs Shape The New Conversation” at the St. Rose campus in Albany.  This was the first time the Times Union had held this type of event, and I think it went very well.  A few of their top bloggers were tapped to explain how blogging works, how to build a following, and the influence it has on the public.

A few points that I remember off the top of my head are the following;

  • 1/3 of readers only read the paper
  • 1/3 of readers only read online
  • 1/3 of readers read blogs and the paper
  • The TU blogs have an average of about 1,300 comments  day
  • There are currently 155 blogs on the TU site

There were  few more points, but I did not write them down.  One thing that really bothered me that they touched on was anonymity.  Someone spoke about allowing anonymous commenters to say whatever they want.   I think this is a horrible idea.  Anyone can talk trash hiding behind their keyboard and not have to suffer and consequences.  I think it is a cowardly way to act.  They should require every commenter to use a name.  Granted, people could still make up a fake name, but they can do an IP trace and figure out if it is the same person using a different name each time.  Think about it.

Another key point they touched on at the event was to make sure you drive traffic to your site using Twitter and Facebook.  Commenting on other blogs is also another way to get people to your blog.  Networking at events is a good way to get people to your blog as well.  Keep a business card with your name, email, Twitter handle and blog address on it and give it to people you meet.  It can be a valuable tool, not only for driving people to your blog, but also for making a possible future business or personal contact.

I would like to thank Michael Huber and the Times Union for hosting this event last night.  I feel that  it was very informative, as well an excellent networking event.  While I was there, I met a few new people and some people I knew from Twitter, but hadn’t met in person yet.  There are a few that were there that I didn’t get to meet and wish I had.  Here are a few people that I met and their name and the name of the blog they write;

Please be sure to check out their blogs and leave them some comments.  There are some really great blogs on the Times Union web site.  Before I wrap this up, I wanted to ask you a question.  If you were to start a blog, what would you write about?  If you do have a blog, what is it about?

*Edit –  I wanted to add that we got to spend some time with Kevin Marshall last night.  Not only is he extremely straightforward and blunt, he is also a writer, actor and self-proclaimed ‘sex symbol’ in the Albany area.  I have also heard that he is the Lt. Governor.  I can neither confirm nor deny that last statement.

**My Twitter handle is @tcrpmg***