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09/26/2012:  4 Things I Learned at MN Blog Con 2012

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Last weekend I had the privilege of attending the Minnesota Blogger’s Conference. I love attending events like these; they allow me to learn so much in such a short period of time–not to mention networking with the other fantastic bloggers!

It’s difficult to recap such a wealth of information, so I thought I’d narrow it down sans-categories. Here are the top four things I learned at Minnesota Blogger Conference 2012:


1. Influence Has Reached New Levels
In “Brands and Blogger Relations Programs,” Lauren Melcher (@lgmelcher) showed us a super interesting new way to look at influence, and how brands should view opportunities with bloggers.  It went a little something like this:

This was a great illustration of influence in the blogging world, and it encouraged some thought-provoking questions, like: “As a blogger, where do I want to be in the pyramid?” and: “As a brand, who would your blogger outreach program target?”

2. Tell the Truth

I loved the session “10 Steps Bloggers Should Take to Avoid Getting Sued” by Steven Aggergaard (@MediaLawMN); making a discussion of law both entertaining and interactive is no small feat! A major line item focused on making sure what you write is true. Not ‘kind of’ true, but completely and unarguably, black-and-white true.

This made me reflect on the “Real” element of Bluewater’s brand messaging.

The truth, both in blogging and in business, is being real. Being real earns more authentic, valuable credibility than any fabrication you could create. (Oh, and it also keeps you out of court.)

3. Don’t Underestimate Email

These days, everyone is all about mobile—as well they should be.  However, e-mail isn’t dead, just like traditional mail isn’t (See our whitepaper on that topic here).  Heck, we all receive e-mail on our phones. Though he says social has been a leading traffic source, Rick Kupchella (@RickKupchella) is using e-mail as a major channel for Bring Me the News, and succinctly explained why:

“Is email antiquated? Maybe. Does it work? YES.”  Well said.

4. Talent vs. Tools

I attended “Make Your Blog More Powerful with Images” with blogger, photographer, and real estate agent Teresa Boardman (@TBoard).  Maybe it was because it was toward the end of the day, but one thing she said resonated with me the most all day: “People see that I take great photos, and always ask me what kind of camera I use. When I write something good, they never ask what kind of keyboard I type on.”

Today, we have access to so much technology that can enhance our abilities, but I think sometimes it allows us to forget the amount of raw talent that’s critical to the final product.  The awesome new wireless microphone I recently bought for my work with FlashMob! certainly doesn’t mean I can quit showing up to practices!



There was so much to learn at this fantastic conference, and I’ll definitely be back next year.  If you attended, I’d love to hear about your favorite parts (Apart from Muddy Paws Cheesecake catering— I think that was pretty unanimous.) – what you learned, and how you’re going to apply it all!

About MaKenzie Wangsness
MaKenzie Wangsness

MaKenzie is Bluewater's Digital Marketing Manager. Spending several years in sales and marketing roles at a local franchise level, MaKenzie has a unique appreciation for bringing big brand power to the local level. In her spare time, MaKenzie can be found near good food (in Minneapolis restaurants or her own kitchen!) or spending time with her awesome husband and baby daughter Jovi.

  • Posted By MaKenzie Wangsness, September 26, 2012

    @Tony – Aggergaard brought up that exact case in this MN Blog Con Session, and we were able to have a great discussion about the risks you take with blogging the truth as well. 🙂 The big takeaway was to consider “intentions of malice” and what “a reasonable blogger would do,” since that’s how a jury looks at it.

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