The past two days have gone by quickly here at Blog World in Las Vegas. I’ll have a more reflective post up during my layover in Phoenix later in the day since there’s still quite a full schedule of sessions for today.
This morning’s keynote will feature Rohit Bhargava, Timothy Ferriss (from 4 Hour Work Week), Mike Shinoda (from Linkin Park).
Update: The speaker took the stage and one of the first topic is about how the name Linkin Park came to be. Not so much a music discussion as it was actually the only domain the band could register, which lead them to re-write the spelling of their band name. This launches us into a topic of business, branding, and once again the PR debate – how they are building each of their different types of business and brands by being genuine.
Side note, Time is a successful author who never even asked bloggers to review his book.
Rohit: “How important to your success is it to not be an asshole?
Mike: “The brand is not the thing you put up for everyone else to see that you think will sell your product.” “You put up something authentic and interesting – this is what I have to offer you – and if a fan comes up and their experience is consistent with what you offered them, then you have a successful brand.”
Tim: Two reasons why not to be an asshole, “You’re going to meet the same people on the way down than you are on the way up,” and “Being nice to ‘unimportant people’ ends up being extremely important.” Tim says that being nice goes a long way.
Rohit: “It’s this whole idea of karma marketing,” and asks Mike about a famous Andy Warhol quote: “In the future everyone will have their fifteen minutes of fame.”
Mike: A big part of your brand is also being humble. He says LP is not afraid of people getting their stuff out and sharing it, in fact they encourage it (100 million impressions of a Linkin Park widget!) “You are very important to us,” is what they’re saying when they embrace fan-generated content.
Tim: “Who reads your blog is often more important that how many people read it.” People waste time tracking others down who are using and sharing their product or content to try and slap them on the wrist – embrace it because it helps your ideas develop, improve, and it spreads your reach.
Tim created a PBwiki for his readers to help him edit his NY Times Best Selling book.
Mike, “It’s totally possible to put something out there and have something better than what you did come back – and that’s totally beyond the comprehension of a lot of celebrities.” Putting egos aside and allowing that feedback, discussion and suggestions can really help.
Tim, “You want to talk to your readers the way you would talk to your friends after about two drinks.” Being yourself, and being a real person will get you loyal readership and it will grow.
Mike, regarding your material, “the way [people] think of it, is the way people think of you,” it’s hard to determine between “credibility and units sold”. When you’ve created something and you’re at that step where you believe in it, you take it to someone else (in Mike’s business) and they tell you if it’s good or not. Unfortunately what someone else thinks may not fall in line with you vision. Lucky for LP, they stuck to their guns and were able to release the product they wanted.
Tim, “It doesn’t matter how many people don’t get it – it matters how many people get it.” He mentions a quote from Mark Cuban, “Write what you’re passionate about, not what you think the readers want to read.” Tim professed earlier that he’s “an analytics whore” so he knows about numbers and stats. “Don’t depend on polling readers for what they want to read.”
The question and answer period is running a little long and with some sort of orchestra music piping up outside in the exhibit hall it seems like they’re at the Oscars and their acceptance speeches are going too long. This was definitely a very interesting keynote – the speakers were casual, comfortable and real.
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