What Would Entice Me to Attend BEA Bloggers Conference 2013

Following the July 30th announcement on The BEAN that feedback was mostly positive from the 2012 BEA Bloggers Conference and that the BEA folks are considering the creation of a book blogger advisory committee to oversee conference content, I’ve gone back to a list of stuff that I bounced off Anna after my first year at the Book Blogger Con (before it was sold to Reed).  I had hoped that a book blogger-wide survey would have been issued by Reed to garner more feedback than from a select few bloggers, but alas, that has not occurred.

Regardless, I’ve put together my thoughts for whatever that is worth.

I really think that although authors can make great speakers at a conference and are appreciated for their wit, they should not be keynote speakers at a book blogger conference!  A keynote should be someone from the industry the conference strives to reach — a book blogger.

I think to capture the attention of mature book bloggers and new book bloggers in the same conference, the conference should be broken down by hour or two for a particular topic and within that time period, two or more panels should be conducted on different aspects of that topic.  Each session also should allow for questions as well.

Here’s a sample with some topic offerings that may appeal to new and mature bloggers:

First 1-2 hours:

First Option — Technology Panel:

  • HTML coding basics
  • social and media use (effectiveness of Twitter, Facebook, vlogs, etc. and how to gauge it using analytics (and which ones)
  • domain names and best blogging platforms for which purposes

Second Option — Book Blogging Basics:

  • ARC Management vs. Read What You Want When You Want? (What’s your system?), including the management of e-galleys vs. paper copies
  • Reading Challenge and book blogging community participation
  • Scheduling blog posts and how to write a post
  • Finding your blogging voice or how do you change the course of your blog?

Second 1-2 hours:

Option One — Ethics Panel:

  • Positive and negative reviews (how to write them? or not?)
  • Disclosing friendships with authors and publicists
  • Disclosing affiliate links for book stores, etc.
  • What is the book blogger’s duty to readers of the blog vs. authors/publishers, etc.
  • What are the ethical issues of telling another blogger to stop harassing your readers or authors on your pages?

Option Two — Standardization

  • What is a book blogger? (how do we define ourselves?)
  • What should be included in a review (i.e. author, title, and what else?)
  • Who do you blog for? Why?
  • Do book bloggers need a professional organization?
  • Do you need advanced reader copies to be a book blogger?

Lunch break — networking with other bloggers (icebreakers and tidbits about all attending blogs on the table)

Third 1-2 hours:

Option One — Niche vs. Genre:

  • Should blogs have specialties?
  • What is the difference between having a niche and covering a genre?
  • Are there analytics to support the need for specialization?
  • Should you pass along ARCs outside your genre to another blogger that covers that area and should you let the publisher/publicist/author know?

Option Two — Stats vs. Blog Visibility

  • How do you gauge blog visibility?
  • Does it only entail blog stats?
  • Where do you find those statistics?
  • What tools are other blogging sectors using to gauge their influence and penetration into the market and how can they be adapted to book blogging?

Final 1-2 hours — Schmoozing cocktail hour with publicists, publishers, and authors

These are just some ideas that I’ve had kicking around, and in many ways, it would entail reaching beyond the book blogging community for some tech experts and possibly some others to fill in some gaps that book bloggers may be unable to address in terms of technical analytics, etc.  But I think that the conference should be about helping others grow and helping mature bloggers think and rethink about the role they play in the publishing world.

What are your thoughts?  What topics would you like to see or discussions would you like to have?