Last week, geeks from all over the world dominated Amsterdam to learn about the future of their profession at The Next Web conference. Of course, it concerned blogging as well. Blogging is changing. Here’s why:
- Firstly, there’s Twitter. Short blurps are reserved for that microblogging service now (unless your name is Seth Godin).
- Thanks to 3G dongels and rather impressive wifi coverage all over the world, we can blog wherever we want.
- The boundaries between journalists and bloggers are becoming more blurred by the day.
So, how does that affects us? Here’s some advice from investor Chris Sacca, writer Jeff Jarvis, and WordPress founder Matt Mullenweg. They were all at The Next Web and showed us bloggers the way to go.
Chris Sacca about how you should use Twitter
WOW! What an inspiration is this guy. He uses web 2.0 to make the world a better place. Twitter investor Chris Sacca just came back from Ethiopia, where he was for Charity:Water (@charitywater) to dig clean water wells for the rural poor. At The Next Web, he came up with a brilliant metaphor that you should keep in mind whenever you’re tweeting and blogging.
There are 700 people in this room. If you were standing on stage, you would be quite nervous: shaking a bit, maybe with a dry throat. When having such a large audience, you will sure try to entertain or inspire them. We tend to forget that we have a large audience on Twitter too. So before you tweet ask yourself: am I providing value? Will it put a smile on someones face? Am I expanding someones horizon? Otherwise, don’t write it.
Jeff Jarvis about the new role of journalists
As some of you might know, I’m blogging for a Dutch newspaper. According to a lot of people, newspapers are a dying breed. Jeff Jarvis, author of What Would Google Do?, confirmed this in his keynote and then briefly said that news will become a network. After his presentation, I asked him how this would happen – so we – bloggers – can at least be prepared. Here’s his answer:
Newspapers will die, there will be chaos. Yet news will return as a new, more complex, ecosystem. Hobbyists will cover news – alongside with bloggers and journalists. Today, journalists are thinking: Oh my God, this is too much clutter. What they should do is offering tools to the new community of news makers. Journalists can become educators. They can train the community and will find news there. It will be their new role.
(Thanks to Matthijs van den Broek for taking notes)
Matt Mullenweg about how traveling can make you a better blogger
I’ve written about the golden combination of blogging and traveling before: every problogger out there should be a digital nomad. The technical possibilities are there, it’s just a matter of the right mindset and cash flow. The founder of WordPress, Matt Mullenweg, had his share of traveling as well. Last year, he traveled two hundred-something days. Since I’m writing an article about digital nomadism for nrc.next, I interviewed Matt about this upcoming trend.
My office is wherever my laptop is. As long as there’s a wifi connection, I’m able to connect to everything I need for my work. (..) As soon as I get somewhere I tweet or blog about it. I always get replies from locals, offering to show me around. That leads to great experiences. Like the other day, I found myself singing karoake songs with some Hongkong locals till six in the morning. Although I travel a lot, I hardly see any of the touristic highlights. I rather work in a local café.
Imagine how inspired you’ll get by all this traveling.
But wait, there’s more.
When you’ve got a room full of geeks, you can be pretty sure the event will be well covered. Here are some of the best pieces written about The Next Web:
- Interview With Automattic’s Matt Mullenweg: “Blogging Is Not Slowing Down” - on TechCrunch by Robin Wauters
- Again, by the great Robin Wauters: Interview With Andrew Keen At The Next Web 2009: “Web 2.0 Is F*Cked”
- Jim Stolze is the kind of guy we need in these times of information overload. He went offline for a month and learned how the web can make us a happier person. Here’s his advice.
- My former liveblogging buddy Anne Helmond wrote an excellent post about Andrew Keen’s keynote: “Web 2.0 is dead, long live Twitter”