2008 Sessions:
Opening Keynote

How LEGO caught the Cluetrain

Leader - Jake McKee, Dallas, TX - Community Guy
Ten years ago, four authors started a new conversation about marketing. The result was the book The Cluetrain Manifesto and with it, Chris Locke, Rick Levine, Doc Searls, and David Weinberger nailed 95 Theses on the door of the Internet and challenged us all to wake up to a transformation underway in how companies and people engage in markets. One of the companies who embraced the ideas put forth in Cluetrain was The LEGO Company. Jake McKee, the LEGO Company's first community manager spent five years on the frontlines of the company/customer interactions. In this session, Jake will recap his efforts to help LEGO embrace the principles of the Cluetrain, and will share tips for how you can apply those principles in your own business.
PR/Marketing Track

Making a Comeback

Leaders - Jeff Rubenstein, Palo Alto, CA - PlayStation.Blog & Mike Manuel, Palo Alto, CA - Mike Manuel
Building on the recent PRWeek cover story, Jeff Rubenstein (former Orlando-boy) and Mike Manuel will talk over the turnaround that Sony Computer Entertainment America has made with the PlayStation.Blog.

Entertainment & Social Media

Leader - Chris Thilk, Dallas, TX - Spout
Like marketers in all industries, movie studio execs are trying to reach their audience through the use of social media tools and strategies.

Chris Thilk, author of the Movie Marketing Madness blog and Director of Marketing at movie review and recommendation site, has been watching as studios have evolved and incorporated those tactics over the last few years. Some stuff has worked and some hasn't and some studios do it better than others.

In what's hoped will be a highly interactive session, Chris will try to find out how the attendees find out about movies they want to see and tie that to the areas studios seem to be focusing on. As you can guess, the two aren't necessarily the same.

Making the Transition

Leader - Joe Thornley, Ottawa, ON - Pro PR
You’re enthused about social media. You see its potential to change the way you and your company relate to your customers, your industry and those who share your interests. And you want to seize these opportunities. So, what do you do?

Joseph Thornley asked himself this question in 2005 as he decided to launch Thornley Fallis and 76design into the world of social media. He will talk about the approach he and his company adopted. What worked? What didn’t? What mistakes did they make? What lessons did they learn? Now, Joseph’s companies are reviewing and revising the way they integrate social media into their existence. Call it Social Media 2.0. How are they changing their approach in the future?

In this session, you’ll gain insight into the do’s and don’t’s of bringing social media to your company. Profit from Thornley Fallis’ and 76design’s experience to gain insight into the pitfalls that you can avoid and the best practices you can adopt.

Internal Training

Leader - Phil Gomes, Chicago, IL - Phil's Blogservations
As the senior vice president of digital integration at Edelman, Phil Gomes carries global responsibility for ensuring that digital expertise is democratized throughout an organization of 3,200 people. Having put hundreds of Edelman consultants through his seminars (and a goodly number of clients), he's (re)learned a thing or two about PR, online communities, and life in general.

The Southwest Airlines Blog

Leader - Paula Berg, Dallas, TX - Nuts About Southwest
For more than two years, Southwest Airlines has navigated the uncharted territory of Social Media – first, with its award-winning corporate blog, Nuts About Southwest, and later with tools such as Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Facebook.  Along the way, Southwest has experienced both highs and lows, but they keep saddling up for more.  From virtual riots to an industry crisis, Southwest has learned how to leverage today's social media tools to successfully support Company efforts.  Through real-life case studies and examples from the last two years, the Southwest Team will show you how to effectively make, manage, and maintain successful online communities and share every lesson they've learned along the way.


Leader - David Alston, New Brunswick, CA - Radian6
A discussion on what opportunities and issues can be uncovered by constantly monitoring all forms of social media. How do you go about monitoring – how do you get started, how do you get focused, how do you managed who handles what in your organization? And sure, you should be monitoring your brand mentions but what else? Should you be looking for trends, for where the crowds are forming, for influencers? And now that you’ve found posts, pics, vids, tweets etc..that impact you or your company now what? Finally, investing in “listening” means proving an ROI to the powers that be, so what should you be measuring to help the cause? Social media is changing how PR, marketing, and customer support are being delivered – has your organization adapted yet?

WOM and Social Media

Leader - Spike Jones, Greenville, SC - Brains On Fire
Sure, online is powerful, fast and pretty much the price of admission these days. But offline interactions account for 92% of word of mouth conversations. There’s no reason these two can’t and should play in the sandbox together. So how do you get your online social media efforts support your offline efforts and vise-versa? It’s a fine line to walk, but together these two can create a powerful force.

Spike Jones, Firestarter™ at identity development company Brains on Fire, has helped ignite best in class movements that are still going strong (sustainable).

In this session you’ll learn who should own the WOM/Social Media mix in your company, what’s the right mix of WOM/Social Media is for you and how to find it and find inspiration in real life case studies.



Leader - Nik Willets, Augusta, GA - Morris Digital
Intro to Photojournalism and Editorial Photography for Blogging and Citizen Journalism

A discussion about what photojournalism and editorial photography are and aren't. This will cover the different subsets of photojournalism: Environmental Portraits, spot news, feature, and photo essay. A very brief history of photojournalism will also be covered.

We will also cover legal 'rules of thumb' to follow while shooting news photographs.

We can also cover basic shooting techniques to help you improve your photographs and tell stories with the camera.

Hyperlocal: It Ain't Chicken Dinner

Leader - Chuck Welch, Lakeland, FL - Lakeland Local & Tommy Duncan, Tampa, FL - Sticks of Fire
In their session, Tommy Duncan discusses the joys, trials, and tribulations of going Hyperlocal while Chuck Welch offers snide comments, helpful anecdotes, and general grousing. The pair promise to answer questions on community building, working with main stream media, data mapping, software, copyright issues, ethics, interviewing, and how not to get tarred and feathered. It's give and take. Bring your questions. By the end of the session everyone will be energized and ready to start thinking Hyperlocal or get double their money back!

Twitter in Journalism

Leader - Etan Horowitz, Orlando, FL - Orlando Sentinel - Etan on Tech
Twitter is emerging as the social-networking tool du-jour in many newsrooms, but if you think just creating a Twitter account is going to lead to a flood of story ideas and sources, think again. Like other things, the more you put into Twitter, the more you will get out of it.

Horowitz, who uses Twitter to promote his work, keep tabs on the local tech community, find sources and story ideas and broadcast details about his life, will lead a discussion on the dos and don'ts of using Twitter as a journalism tool. He also recently used Twitter as a crowdsourcing tool for coverage of the iPhone 3G launch in Orlando.

Blogs And Podcasts And Social Media - Oh My!

Leader - Benet Wilson, Washington, DC - Aviation Week
An old school print journalist shows you how to survive - and thrive - in the wild, wonderful world of new media.  Benet Wilson, a senior editor at Aviation Week in Washington, D.C., talks about her transition into new media and offers tips and tricks for print journalists trying to make a similar transition.

New, New Media

Leader - Sarah Perez, Tampa, FL - ReadWriteWeb

Traditional Media and the Web

Leader - Ryan Price & Eric Marden, Bonnier Corp, Danny Sanchez, Orlando Sentinel, Ian Monroe, Orlando Weekly - all from Orlando, FL
"Old" Media has been under fire in recent years, as the internet continues to transform how we find, consume and interact with the media around us. This panel will bring together four developers and web gurus working on the web sites of leading local and national periodicals to lead a discussion about the latest "developments" from traditional media.


Leader - David Parmet, Pound Ridge, NY - Marketing Begins at Home
How is the Internet and Social Media changing education? From self-directed curriculum to opportunities for collaborative learning across global borders, the Internet has brought new options for learning to the classroom and beyond. Still there are concerns that the Internet is exposing school-aged children to a wider world they may not be ready for, and that it is denying children the opportunity for real hands-on learning, replacing real experiences with simulations. In addition, concerns about childhood obesity related to inactivity have been raised.

This session will not attempt to answer these questions, rather it will be a discussion about them. We will discuss what is going on in different districts and what individual school children are doing. We will compare our own experiences as parents, as educators and as learners.

Keeping up the Passion

Leader - Alex Hillman, Philadelphia, PA - Independents Hall
You've relied upon the passion of community and a mix of social media tools to get your product/service/initiative launched, but now what? After the initial rush and hype is over with how do you maintain the passion and interest in your community?

Taking Smart Risks with Your Online Personality

Leader - Jake McKee, Dallas, TX - Community Guy
Blogging and community interaction opens endless doors for exposure and growth of your identity and your personal brand. But opening yourself up to the world is a risky endeavor, but without risk there is no reward. Jake McKee will lead a discussion about identifying and taking smart risks when blurring the lines between our work and your life.


Leader - Jim Johnson, Tampa, FL - State of Sunshine & Bob O'Malley, Orlando, FL
Did you know there is an election coming up? :-) Our favorite two political blog junkies are back to discuss how national and local candidates are using social media for good (and bad).

Movements, Activism and Social Media

Leader - Geno Church, Greenville, SC - Brains On Fire
What defines a movement? How is it different from a campaign? And what about creating something that not only empowers my customers, but is long-term and sustainable? All great questions. And in this session, you’ll discover the answers.

Geno Church is the Word of Mouth Inspiration Officer at Brains on Fire. He is the man behind the gold EFFIE winning Rage Against the Haze movement (SC’s teen led anti tobacco use) and the widely respected, referenced and written about Fiskateer brand ambassador movement.

Join Geno as he leads a discussion on topics that include: mapping out the blueprint for creating sustainable movements; the Fan Cycle model and using social media as an integrated part of long term success.

Professionalism 2.0

Leader - Amber Rhea, Atlanta, GA - Being Amber Rhea
What does "professionalism" mean in the context of blogging? Is it a matter of the topics you write about, the language you use, the amount of research you put into a typical post - or all or none of the above? Social media tools offer us the opportunity to express our full humanity instead of compartmentalizing aspects of who we are. To what degree do we need to adjust our pre-conceived notions about what's professional and what isn't?

The Orlando Scene

Leader - Alex Rudloff, Ryan Price and many more....
Last year we had a session called 'The Orlando Scene'. The concept was to bring together folks for different backgrounds to talk about things like co-working, start-ups, etc. It's a year later, so what's changed? We'll once again gather some of the local area leaders to talk over what's going on in Orlando.
Technical/How To Track - Basic

Shiny New Objects

Leader - Frank Gruber, Dulles, VA - Somewhat Frank
In his role at AOL Frank Gruber sees hundreds of web products and services....but which ones does he really use? Which ones do you use? Sure we all know the basics, i.e. Gmail, Flickr, etc. Too many web products also have vague and confusing names. Frank will lead a discussion about the shiny new objects that are worth some attention.

Going Beyond Google

Leader - Leah Jones, Chicago, IL - Edelman
At Edelman, one of Leah's specialties is helping people improve their search skills. In this session you'll learn how to go beyond Google, get a refresher on Boolean search  and talk about ways to use conversation research to get a fresh perspective on your product or clients.


Leader - Josh Hallett, Orlando, FL - Hyku
Are you a Flickr novice or a pro? Josh will review how to get started, how to tweak your account and how to promote your photos via the wonderful world of Flickr.

Basic WordPress

Leader - Jeremy Harrington, Des Moines, IA - Crawl Space Media
Get the lowdown on the blogging engine all of the cool kids use. You'll see why Wordpress is probably the best choice for your blog. Jeremy Harrington will help you understand the best way to get started and discuss the world of plugins, widgets and themes to see if off-the-shelf or custom is right for you.

Making the Moola

Leader - Ted Murphy, Orlando, FL - IZEA
Display ads, affiliate programs, links, widgets, sponsored content and more. Learn how to simply cover your hosting bills or turn your blogging passion into serious dollars. We will explore the strengths and weakness of a variety of monetization options and how to choose a solution that is right for you.

Beginning Audio Podcasting

Leader - Jason Seifer, Orlando, FL - Rails Envy
Have you ever wanted to put together an Audio podcast?  In this talk we'll go over everything you need to get started, including what you need to buy and how to setup your equipment.  We'll cover how to setup your recording environment to get good quality audio, and how to then take the audio and polish it using an audio editor.  Lastly we'll show how to publish your podcast onto the Internet.


Leader - John Rife, Orlando, FL - Finding America
Equipped with a utility belt full of vid-tastic stuff, John Rife will guide you in this session beyond the YouTube world to the epicenter of emerging internet video. "I video, therefore I am" has been the mantra of the early adopters to the video blogging revolution, but "have camera, will post video" just won't cut it anymore. John will bring you up to speed on the latest developments in streaming video, life-casting, interactive videocasting, live geo-coded video and much much more. But act now, this offer will not last, the first 10,000 people to attend BlogOrlando and pay the low low price of $0 will have the unheard of opportunity to share their own opinions and insights in this open-forum un-conference format. So join the internet video *cult*ure today!*
Technical/How To Track - Advanced

Advanced WordPress Coding

Leader - Mark Jaquith, Brandon, FL -
Scaling: An overview of the best ways to scale WordPress to withstand any Digg onslaught. We’ll talk about WP-Super-Cache, Batcache and PHP opcode caches. We’ll identify common performance bottlenecks. For more detailed and generally applicable information, you’ll want to stick around for Alex Rudloff’s session on scaling!

Upgrades: Still using FTP to upgrade your WordPress blog? FTP is for your grandmother. We’ll talk about using Subversion to make upgrades happen in a flash.

Advanced URLs: Want a feed of all posts by guest authors on your blog that are in the “Florida” category and also mention “Disney” ? Pfft, that’s nothing. Learn how to use WordPress URL tricks to offer extremely customized feeds to your readers.

Multiple loops: Let’s use the tricks you learned above to create a secondary loop in your theme, without disrupting the main posts loop.

Scaling & Performance

Leader - Alex Rudloff, Orlando, FL - eMurse

Advanced Audio Podcasting

Leader - Gregg Pollack, Orlando, FL - Gregg Soup
So now that you know the basics, how do you create a Podcast that stands above the rest?  We'll answer the following questions:
  • How can I get the best audio quality?
  • What filtering techniques can I use to improve my audio?
  • How can I monetize my podcast?
  • What can I do to publicize my podcast and get regular listeners?
  • How do you produce "Live" podcasts?
  • How can I make a podcast that rises above all the rest?

Web Standards

Leader - Jeremy Harrington, Des Moines, IA - Crawl Space Media
Standards are vital to every engineering discipline - they guide and support decision-making and provide guidelines and best practices. This holds true for web standards as well, it gets us all speaking the same language. Web and interface designer Jeremy Harrington will walk you through a high-level discussion about the what, why and how of web standards and how it's made life easier building products for clients like LEGO, FX Networks, ShareThis and Jabber.

Advanced WordPress Theming

Leader - Eric Marden, Orlando, FL - xentek
Building a custom theme for WordPress can be hard. Sure you get full control over ever square inch of your markup, but there are lots of variables and little tricks you have to remember to implement in order for your theme to support all of the WordPress features. Enter K2, a fantastic theme framework that you can use to CSS your way to a beautiful custom theme while providing a clean upgrade path so you can keep your WordPress installation secure and up to date. This presentation will show you how you can create the blog design of your dreams, using a single style sheet, and will be off interest to technical and non-technical users alike.

Writing Social Fiction

Leader - R. Alexander Spoerer, Orlando, FL - Renegade Sanctuary
With most social media sites you only get 140 characters to convey your message. How can you write stories with such little space? I’ll show you how to write fiction to fit the 140 character world using examples like Calling Home, to work within the limits and break through those same limitations.

From Podcast to Published Author

Leader - J.C. Hutchins, South Florida - JC Hutchins
J.C. Hutchins, author of the popular "7th Son" podcast novel series, discusses how he used podcasting, social media and community-building to expose his free serialized audiobooks to more than 40,000 listeners, energize his fans, and score two book deals at St. Martin's Press. Both novels will be released next year.

Closing Session

Leader - Erik Hersman, Orlando, FL - White African