Blogher Bingo

Morning all. Despite a good party which I missed for very stupid reasons, the hall is pretty full this morning. As Ewan put it: “There’s free stuff!” And the pastries are very good.

The session is kicking off with a round-up of what people learned from yesterday.

It’s becoming very obvious that this conference is structured in a very intelligent way. Yesterday was the “bringing everyone up to speed” day. The session on Social Media was very much a primer for the uninitiated and a well-judged one, as the number of hands that went up with each “have you heard of…?” question declined rapidly. In all honestly, I suspect the real meat of the conference for me will be found today.

Possibly the speaker who caught my attention the most was Caroline Little, the chief executive officer and publisher of Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive. She said many things that were familiar to our experience of getting journalists blogging, like the discomfort many of them have linking out or linking (heaven forbid) to the competition. They’ve had a few problems with external bloggers – some readers don’t like seeing bloggers who aren’t writers for the print product. There was also an accusation of plagiarism against one of them.

“Some journalists want the websites to reflect the newspaper,” she said. “Some think it’s the coolest thing ever.” Ain’t that the truth?

She said much that would have put a smile on my boss‘s face, such as the idea that journalists should be acting as navigators of the web, helping readers with contextual information, and sending people off to others sites in the knowledge that they’ll return for more links later.

“The web is open,” said Little. “It’s like a party.”

It is. Pity I missed the real one, though.