Heads Up — Demo Coming

Personl Computer I am fortunate to attend many conferences each year. My all time favorite conference is Demo. Demo is recognized as the major event that "demos" the products and services poised to have the greatest impact on the technology landscape in the year to come. Every year, technology executives, venture investors, journalist and analysts converge at Demo to preview and discuss many new ideas. The best part of the conference is the opportunity to network with many old and new friends. Last year I participated on a panel at Demo to discuss WiFi. This year I will be moderating a panel on a subject very and near and dear to my heart — blogging.
A brief preview of the panel is that four colleagues and I will attempt to reveal the big picture about blogging and where it is headed. There will be no product pitches. (See below for info on that). I will try to set the stage by describing some of the parallels between the current status of blogging compared to web of 1994. (Hard to believe that ten years ago most people in the world had not heard of the web!). After my brief intro, the flow will go something like the following.
There are many skeptics about blogging — including some of the pundits in the Demo audience. Some say that most blogs are only read by a handful of people. Does blogging really matter? Who cares about it? To get some insight I’ll turn to Mena Trott who is co-founder of Six Apart.
I know Mena will convince everyone that there is a role for blogging in the personal lives of many people — even skeptical Demo attendees. What about companies? Is there a role for blogging in the corporate world. We will start by exploring the possibilities for small companies. That perspective will come from Buzz Bruggerman, CEO of ActiveWords.
What about large companies? Is there a place for blogging in the enterprise? If so, it is internal or external? For thoughts on that I will turn to Robert Scoble from Microsoft.
The most frequent question I get about blogging relates to information overload. Most of us already spend a lot of time with mobile phones, email, and Instant Messaging, so where do we find time for blogging? Mena made the point that blogging has become very simple to post to a blog but where do we find time to read blogs? For a perspective on that I will turn to Greg Reinacker, CEO of NewsGator Technologies.
It should be a good discussion and I look forward to seeing the panelists and attendees at Demo in about ten days. If you want to take a look at what the participants and moderator have been writing about lately, here are links to their blogs…

The companies of the four panelists have some really great products that are worth taking a look at if you don’t already use them. I personally use something from each company. Movable Type is my primary tool for blogging. The product is excellent and so is the support. ActiveWords improves my productivity in blogging significantly. See the stories ActiveWords and ActiveWords (corrected link). I have not been a fan of Outlook but I must say that Outlook 2003 has some big improvements, especially in the ease and productivity of reading mail. Newsgator is a joy. It plugs into Outlook and makes reading blogs as easy as reading mail.

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