BlogHer Business ’08 Agenda

Day 1: Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Time Event
6:30am - 7:00am Networking Breakfast
7:00am - 7:15am Welcome from Elisa, Jory and Lisa - BlogHer Co-Founders
Who you are, why you're here, and what we hope to accomplish in the next two days.
7:15am - 8:00am The State of the Social Media World
Last year we presented a Brief History of social media's introduction and inroads into the organizational playbook. It was a primer for those who were tired of being talked to in buzz words and jargon. This year we will give the first of many annual updates to come on the State of the Social Media World.
8:00am - 10:00am Presenting Four Case Studies: Successful Social Media Creation
Four companies, four social media programs, four examples of best practices in action...including a frank discussion of their metrics of success.

Confirmed case studies currently include:

  • DC Goodwill: Toby Bloomberg interviews Em Hall, the woman behind DC Goodwill's Goodwill Fashionista blog about how the blog and other innovative online programs are helping DC Goodwill broaden their customer base and create unlikely buzz.
  • Hearst Mobile: Fast Company's Lynne D. Johnson interviews Hearst Digital media's director of mobile, Sophia Stuart, about their initiative to take content and community mobile...realizing the promise of mobile ubiquity. Hear how they brainstormed over what content made sense for their mobile platforms from nine magazine properties, and about how they evangelized this new content internally and with surprisingly intimate efforts externally.
  • Kodak: Google blog leader Karen Wickre interviews her counterpart at Kodak, Jenny Cisney about Kodak's award-winning efforts on creating a substantial and substantive corporate presence in the blog world. Jenny cites internal education and morale as one of the key benefits of their blog program, but I'm sure Karen and Jenny will compare a few notes on how it impacts their companies' stature externally too.
  • Wiggly Wigglers: Yes, you read that company name right. Wiggly Wigglers is a UK-based gardening and farming e-commerce site. Maria Niles interviews Heather Gorringe, Wiggly Wigglers' founder and resident social media convert. Heather ripped up her advertising budget and now relies on social media to promte her company and its products. Using Facebook, a blog and a podcast that now has 40,000 regular listeners Heather has managed to grow her business, no pun intended. Find out how these tools can work for you, even if you're not a deep-pocket big brand with a dedicated team!
  • 10:00am - 11:30am Networking Lunch
    11:30am - 2:00pm Presenting Five Case Studies: Successful Social Media Outreach
    Four companies, four pitches to make, four examples of best practices in action...including how they found and interacted with bloggers.

    Confirmed case studies currently include::

  • General Motors: Last November General Motors approached podcasters The Manic Mommies about sponsoring the first-ever Manic Mommies Escape Weekend. GM’s sponsorship focused primarily on providing transportation options to attendees. Jill Whalen interviews GM's Natalie Johnson about GM's strategy for this kind of sponsorship, and Manic Mommies' Erin Kane about why Manic Mommies accepted GM's sponsorship, and what their attendees thought of the benefits GM sponsored.
  • Graco: Elana Centor will lead you through the story of the Graco Get-Together program, again with reps from the company (Graco's Lindsay Lebresco), the agency (Converseon's Christin Eubanks) and one of the bloggers who was on their outreach list, Beth Blecherman.
  • Hewlett Packard: Susan Getgood presents a blogger outreach case study. The product was HP's Photo Books. Susan was the consultant on the initiative, and we'll also hear the point of view of the company (HP's Victoria Naffier) and one of the bloggers who was on their outreach list, Liz Gumbinner.
  • Method: Learn about the Detox Seattle program introduced by Method, a line of environmentally friendly home care products. Their goal was to do good, by "detoxing" Seattle, but also to build business, by generating word of mouth about Method and by signing up new Method Advocates. The results of their outreach program were stunning: A huge increase in Method Advocates, lots of online chatter...and nearly 1000 pounds of toxic chemicals collected and safely disposed of. Learn from Method rep Anna Boyarsky, their agency, Amy Cotteleer from A Squared Group and one of the participating bloggers, Kathryn Thompson, what made this program so successful.
  • Microsoft: Microsoft has a history of sending employee bloggers out into the online community to foster better developer and user relations. Nelly Yusupova interviews three prominent Microsoft bloggers, Ani Babaian, Sara Ford and Ariel Stallings, about how their Microsoft blogging builds a bridge between the world of corporate social media engagement and their own personal technology passions.

  • Successful Social Media Outreach Case Studies brought to you by 360 PR.
    2:00pm - 4:00pm Ask the Experts

    Special Ask the Experts session brought to you by Intuit.

    Click here to join the discussion and learn more about expert Regina Lian. Reserve your 10 minutes with Regina that can change your business life now.

    Joining Regina in the Intuit-sponsored Strategizing Business Success Ask the Experts room are:
  • Toby Bloomberg from Diva Marketing on Adapting business processes to keep social media brand promises
  • Kira Wampler from Intuit on Word of Mouth Marketing Techniques for Small Businesses
  • Lena West from Xynomedia with her exclusive Overcoming Internal Objections Flashcards

  • The Maximizing Your Social Media Presence Ask the Experts room will feature:
  • Anna Farmery and Heather Gorringe on The Ins and Outs of Podcasting for Your Business
  • Susan Getgood from Getgood Marketing on Monitoring and Tracking Your Company's Social Media Presence
  • Trisha Okubo from eBay on Should my company develop a Facebook App?
  • Shay Pausa from Chikii and SheKnows on Everything You Wanted to Know about Video
  • Jill Whalen from High Rankings on SEO Techniques and benefits
  • Nelly Yusupova from WebGrrls International on Blog Design and Usability

  • Platinum Sponsor Microsoft is providing a Windows Experience Lounge, where you'll have an opportunity to meet face-to-face with Microsoft bloggers, product managers, and marketing managers who will show you some of the cool (and productivity-enhancing) things your Windows PC can do for you and discuss their approach to social media as a means to drive influencer engagement.

    If you visit the Windows Experience Lounge you'll receive a complimentary Windows Vista Service Pack 1 kit, which in addition to Windows Vista Ultimate with Service Pack 1 includes Windows Live™ services and a 90-day trial of Windows Live OneCare™.

    During the special Ask the Experts session hosted in The Windows Experience Lounge, you'll have an opportunity to meet with:
    • Ariel Stallings, one of Microsoft's blogging ambassadors
    • Sara Ford, Program Manager for, Microsoft’s open source project hosting site
    • Ani Babaian is the Senior Product Manager for Webmaster & SEO tools with the Live Search team at Microsoft
    • Steve Lindsay is one of Microsoft's Digital Lifestyle bloggers who is an expert on Windows Vista, Windows Media Center and Windows Home Server
    Learn more about the Windows Experience Lounge, experts, and Microsoft giveaways here.
    4:30pm - 6:30pm Welcome Reception
    Networking Breakfast
    10:00am - 11:15am Networking Lunch
    Day 2: Thursday, April 3, 2008
    Time Event
    7:00am - 7:15am Day One Recap
    7:15am - 8:15am Morning Keynote: Talkin' 'Bout My Generation
    Is online technology starting to make women in traditional age band demographics look more alike than unalike? Are assumptions about interest interest and aptitude obsolete? One key thing women in all age demos have in common: They don't want to be patronized. Are marketers falling into that trap?

    BlogHer co-founder Lisa Stone moderates this discussion with a trio of experts on women online:

  • Maria T. Bailey, author, speaker and Founder/CEO of BSM Media
  • Ellen Siminoff, once named one of eight "Masters of Information" by Forbes Magazine, former founding executive of Yahoo! and now Chairman, of Efficient Frontier
  • Robin Wolaner, long-time media executive, Founder of Parenting Magazine and now Founder and CEO of TeeBeeDee

    The "Talkin' 'Bout My Generation" session is sponsored by Cisco.
  • 8:45am - 10:00am Moving From "Should" to "Can"
    Track: Social Media Creation Best Practices
    You've heard all the reason you're supposed to have a company blog and more. But let's talk about moving from "should" to "can." From technology choices to time management, community policies to common pitfalls, this session is designed to help you figure out what will give your company the greatest comfort level and potential for success when launching a blog, podcast or online community. Technologist and author Susannah Gardner moderates this discussion. Fast Company's Lynne D. Johnson will talk about the why and how behind Fast Company's recent evolution from magazine web site, with blogs, to a more interactive social community. We'll also get insight on how PBS Parents is making the journey from "should" to "can" by talking to the Director of PBS Parents, Jean Crawford, and one of her blogger/consultants, Jen Lemen...someone who is associated with the most authentic and creative aspects of the blogosphere, but is helping organizations tap into their opportunities to be a part of it.

    Social Media Creation Best Practices Track is brought to you by Ogilvy's
    Who You Are, Not What You Do
    Track: Social Media Outreach Best Practices
    Social media outreach can help you do way more than sell a product or propagate can tell your customers who you are. So, how does that help your company through good times and bad? Author and Weber-Shandwick Chief Reputation Officer, Leslie Gaines-Ross has some insight on just that. Is your company concerned with corporate social responsibility and particularly how sustainability and green initiatives fit into that? Mary Clare Hunt has some data on why it should be top of any corporate communicators mind...and priority list. Can you measure the value of creating positive reputation out in the social media world? Umbria CEO Janet Eden-Harris has some answers. Finally, what's it like to be the human face of a technology company? Tara Anderson from Lijit knows, and she and Lijit are probably like most companies out there who learned a lot as they went along. What organizational values are you incorporating into your outreach, and what good does it do you? Moderator Elana Centor will make sure you find out in this session.
    11:15am - 12:30pm Overcoming Internal Objections 101
    Track: Social Media Creation Best Practices
    As the head of all of Google's internal and external blogging efforts, Karen Wickre has seen and heard it all. Every objection, every concern, every barrier. Karen will moderate a discussion about how to answer the objections and concerns that arise when trying to sell a social media program internally. She'll be joined by experts who have successfully made the case for blogging at companies large and small, bureaucratic and free-wheeling, including Yvonne Divita, who has gotten Purina dipping a toe and then diving right into blogging and Lena West, an expert on helping companies figure out how to manage their time and resources to enable a social media program. Margaret Gurowitz will talk about managing her blog Kilmer House, a company blog at J&J, a company with a policy of no company blogs!

    Social Media Creation Best Practices Track is brought to you by Ogilvy's
    Improve This Pitch
    Track: Social Media Outreach Best Practices
    Real-live outreach programs from our attendees. A panel of experts offer constructive creatives, calls to action and blogger targeting. Advertising exec and momblogpreneur Liz Gumbinner moderates a panel including Susan Getgood, Mir Kamin and Maria Niles. All of these fine panelists have been on both sides of the marketing/blogger equation...and can feel your pain, even as they hope to help you not get blown up in the future!
    12:30pm - 1:00pm Break
    1:00pm - 2:15pm Beyond Blogging
    Track: Social Media Creation Best Practices
    Can companies leverage apps like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and on and on? Or are they destined to be considered "creepies"? Apps like these hold tremendous promise, but most of us feel like we're flailing about in uncharted waters. We'll talk with a few folks who have managed to catch lightning in a jar and find a way to authentically generate interest, community and even viral buzz...using these social networking and micro-blogging tools. Anna Farmery has focused all of her marketing efforts in social media and seen real results. 65% of her 2007 income can be tracked to contacts who found her via her podcast. Moreover her client base used to include zero customers outside the UK, while now 40% of her customers are global. Adding social networks and microblogging to the mix is only amping up her results even further. Anna will be moderating the discussion with these other power-users. Connie Reece is one of the women behind the recent Frozen Peas Fund phenomenon on Twitter. This is an amazing story of social media in positive action. Dawn Foster manages Developer Relations for Jive Software and is an active organizer of the thriving Portland tech community. Between those two jobs she finds using Facebook, Twiiter, Blip.TV and other social apps to be instrumental in helping her foster and maintain engaged communities. Shay Pausa is a video expert who can speak to best practices on everything from content to technology to distribution. Finally Trisha Okubo can answer that all-important question: Is it worth it for your company to create a Facebook application? She has created three in her role at eBay and has a lot of learnings to share. These are real people representing real companies making real things happen via these tools. It's not all playing around!

    Social Media Creation Best Practices Track is brought to you by Ogilvy's
    "We don't know what to do with you"
    Track: Social Media Outreach Best Practices
    The elephant in the room is how marketers are blowing it with women outside the young, white mom demographic. This issue bubbled to the top during BlogHer 07's State of the Momosphere panel. When a couple of MommyBloggers of color voiced their dismay at feeling alternately pandered to and ignored by companies who are currently crawling the blogosphere, a marketer in the room actually uttered the now-famous words that comprise the title of this session. We have Jory Des Jardins, the moderator of that Momosphere session back to moderate again. And we have one of the bloggers who stood up to be counted back at BlogHer '07 on hand to elaborate on her perception of marketing and advertising in the blogosphere, Stefania Pomponi Butler from CityMama and KimchiMamas. The differences Stefania sees between how she is approached on those two blogs that identifies her ethnicity right in the blog name and one that does part of the story. Kimberly Coleman joins the discussion with her own perspective on what tends to go right, and what opportunities tend to get missed. Finally, Laura Martinez is a journalist, editor and AdAge blogger who specializes in advertising and marketing, with a focus on reaching the Hispanic market. She joins them to talk about how marketers traditionally have carved up the diversity pie. With the blogosphere being more racially diverse than the Internet as a whole (according to Pew), we'll be asking the same question asked in Friday morning's keynote: do the old rules apply in the blogosphere?
    2:30pm - 3:30pm Closing Keynote: You Can't Manufacture Buzz...Or Can You?
    Admit it: You work with people who think social media is like magic, don't you? If you build it, they will come; you will leap to #1 in search rankings, and everyone who checks out your blog will want to write about it in theirs. The truth is that that elusive brass ring, "buzz," is usually not magic or an accident, but the result of thoughtful strategy and effective execution. Hear about a variety of ways that you, too, can become an "overnight sensation."

    BlogHer co-founder Elisa Camahort Page moderates this discussion with some women who have a pretty clear idea on exactly how much work goes into creating the effortless, viral spread of a message:

  • Melissa Anelli is the webmistress behind prominent Harry Potter fan site, The Leaky Cauldron. She has overseen the site's development as the premier source for Potter info, community and fanfic, and as a validated media outlet that gets the same access and treatment from the publisher, author and studio as more traditional outlets (if not better!) Lots of fans have started and maintained sites, but what has allowed this one to become the sensation it is? Content, community, charitable tie-ins...and an absolute passion doesn't hurt.
  • You may know Kathryn Finney as The Budget Fashionista. She has leveraged her "love of fashion and lack of cash" into a book and into features and mentions in over 300 major print publications (New York Times, InStyle, Redbook, Wall Street Journal), and over 50 television segments including multiple appearances on NBC's TODAY Show, Good Morning America, and CNN. Now, that's some buzz!
  • Kerry Miller leads a double-life. By day she is a BusinessWeek reporter, covering small businesses and start-ups...many of them web-based. But she is also the proprietress of A side project that she has grown to a million page views a month by concentrating on content, community...and by getting some well-timed bumps in traffic from influential sources. Kerry believes we all need that devil's advocate who will ask: If you build that, will anyone really want to come?
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