Beer Bloggers Conference, day 3

With day 1 and day 2 write-ups out of the way, I’m finally into the home stretch of writing about the third and final day of the Beer Bloggers Conference. This was a half day, consisting essentially of two sessions: beer blogger presentations, where there were eight 10 to 15-minute presentations by attending bloggers, and the closing keynote by Jay Wilson of Brewvana.

The blogger presentations reminded me a bit of my Ignite Bend presentation earlier this year—minus the time and slides constraints. Most of the bloggers presenting had a slideshow of some sort put together, some didn’t, but I think they were all pretty interesting. Here’s the list, plus a quick note or two about each:

Gerard Walen of Road Trips for Beer talking about Beer Travel and making road trips for beer easier; planning a road trip by yourself is a lot of work, Gerard presents way to help the process.

Zachary Rosen, of the Santa Barbara Craft Beer Examiner, presented on “Pairing Outside the Box”—not just food pairings, but experience pairings, idea pairings, music pairings; a great quote from Zach was, “Beer pairs with life, not just food.”

Tatiana Peavey of A Strong Fuggly Brew and Carla Companion, the Beer Babe, presented on tapping into sponsorships to raise funds to make it to the conference. Tatiana was sponsored by North Coast Brewing, and Carla was able to use Rockethub to help raise funds to make it to the Conference. They shared a bit of how they went about this.

Anne Fitten Glenn of Brewgasm talked about about blogging with humor; in general, when incorporating humor into your writing, try not to be snarky unless you’re really, really good.

Next up was Sean Jansen of 2 Beer Guys with a presentation about dictation software—including a nice live example using a smartphone connected (via wireless network) to computer and taking actual dictation. I’m not sure how much I’d use such a tool, but it’s an interesting possibility and a good demo.

David Jensen of Beer 47 followed with a presentation on Curating Content: not simply aggregating links, but pulling together content from a variety of sources and compiling it to give added value (greater than the sum of its parts ideally). He gave a nice demo of Storify.com to illustrate his point.

Chris Rausch of BEERsimple presented on “Adding Photos to your Blog” with three great pieces of advice: bring your camera and embrace your nerdiness, take pictures all the time, and make the photo as big as you can (on the blog).

Finally, Jeff Bowles of Huck Fin’s Beer Buzz did a great, funny presentation on how blogging is harder than it looks—gadget overload!

Jay Wilson’s closing keynote was fantastic. He’s been writing Brewvana for the past four years (at least) and he made all sorts of national news this year with his Diary of a Part-time Monk project whereupon he fasted for 46 days during Lent subsisting only on Doppelbock beer. His keynote was partially about that, partially about dealing with the sudden media attention, and a large part about… well, how this blogging thing can take you places, and how you can use the blog to get so much more.

With apologies to Jay, I’m going to crib the notes from his presentation, though without much context. These are things you can do (with and because of your blog) to become much more active and involved in the beer industry—if that’s your goal.

  • Improve your writing
    • Change up your style
    • Research
    • Guest posts
    • Create a series
  • Develop your blog
    • Have a contest
    • Do tastings in the community
    • Relate to other material
    • Create events
    • Send out press releases about your antics
    • Write an app
  • Network
    • Hold beer tastings and other events
    • Beer dinners
    • Volunteers at beer festivals
    • Get involved in social media
    • Build relationships with local brewers
    • Found a club
    • Collaboration projects
  • Career development
    • Write a column
    • Write a book
    • Write an app
    • Massage resume for a beer job, whether writing or at a brewery

Fantastic list that can apply to more than just beer blogging, and yes while it might seem like a “duh no kidding” I don’t know that I’ve seen anyone really put all of this together before. I’m sure there are many more ideas that can be brainstormed here, but remember this is coming from someone who already has a lot of experience in these areas.

And finally, a parting note with some interesting numbers:

  • There are 1065 citizen beer bloggers worldwide
  • 720 of them are in the U.S. (68%)

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