Cool People of #BWE09 – BlogWorld 2009 Pics

I’m having a GREAT time at BlogWorld. Here is some more photographic proof extracted from my Twitter stream :) 

Today is my first ever face to face talk with Mr Problogger Darren Rowse, thanks to WordCamp Las Vegas, which should be a great deal of fun! If you are at BlogWorld please do join us at 12:00 on the exhibit hall floor for an informal Q&A. (Not sure if it will be streamed at )

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Gordon Brown’s blog on climate change |

Climate change is the biggest threat to all our futures. It will affect every individual, every family, every community, every business and every country.

So it is fitting that today people from all over the world are coming together to blog on climate change for Blog Action Day.

I didn’t realize until an hour or two ago that it was Blog Action Day today because of all the traveling shenanigans, else I would have prepared more, but I think it is totally cool that the day is going so well so far and even Number 10 (which is an awesome WordPress case study) have gotten involved.

Who would have thought when Collis and co started it that world leaders would add their weight? Social media does work!

Being surrounded by sunshine and greenery in the middle of what ought to be desert makes me really conscious of the environment. For the sake of lay people such as myself we need much more public discussion about it, and what we can do as world communities.

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Mistaken Identity

I bet you thought this was going to be a post about Raven Seo … YOU are Wrong so so wrong, for many years I have been know has DaveN ~( it started around Oct 2001 at ) after I changed my original WMW username, so can you imagine my displeasure when I got asked is Raven Seo YOU ….

Dave should think think himself lucky it is Google sending you to the wrong place not friends and family ;)

Whenever anyone asks my friends or family what I do they always say “Chris? Oh, he is a webdesigner”. So folks go off and search for that … and find the “other” Chris Garrett (who is younger, better looking, and lives in Bristol).

Chris Garrett and



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Speak at My Conference…. for Free?

Last week I received an email from a conference organizer in the US offering me the opportunity to speak at their social media conference. I’d not heard of him or the conference before but the site looked pretty good and the lineup of confirmed speakers seemed good (mainly representatives of companies, but fairly high profile companies).

The only problem is that the conference is in the USA and I live in Melbourne Australia.

I replied back to the organizer saying that they look like they’ve put together an interesting conference but asking if they had budget for speakers (there was no mention of any in the previous email). I explained that I live in Australia and that I’d need to find a way to at least cover costs.

Calculating the Cost

The reply came today – we’d be happy to give you free entry to the conference but don’t have budget for speakers.


I have similar issues to Darren. Just like Darren I am not based on the same continent as the conferences. My audience is not as big as Darren’s but I have been known to help fill seats.

Some times I have even been expected to pay my entrance fee, didn’t even get a sandwich out of the deal.

The payoff for me is the networking opportunities. It seems paradoxical, but speaking at conferences means my introverted nature does not hold me back. When you speak people speak to you, I do not have to introduce myself nearly quite as much :)

Being so shy and introverted obviously does hamper my efforts. There have been a few times where I have had to escape to a quiet corner to recharge my social batteries, but on the whole I have learned some techniques so I do not suck completely at the networking thing :)

Out of the networking I have gained opportunities, too many to mention.

This is why I routinely come out from speaking engagements making quite a hefty financial loss, but can be optimistic about making that up some time in the future through increased opportunities.

My wife and accountant don’t necessarily understand ;)

I do need to be more careful about what I agree to. My logistics, travel costs and carbon footprint this year have been hectic to say the least!

Make sure you read Darren’s full article here

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FTC Fail

The Federal Trade Commission just released rules to regulate product endorsements not just in advertisements but also on blogs. (PDF here; the regs don’t start until page 55.)

The FTC has dropped the ball on this one.

They want to listen in to conversations on the Internets and fine folks for not disclosing hidden beneficial relationships.

Not newspapers, not TV. They can keep being bought and paid for by the people who want to influence them. Move along, nothing to see here.

And the FTC will not hunt down the big boys with their huge budgets and team of lawyers, and even if they do it will be like a nat biting a rhino’s butt.

But you know that mommy blogger who received a pack of diapers three years ago from Pampers? She might get fined $11k for mentioning that she used one yesterday to mop up an accident and how absorbant it was.

IE. The only people who will be worried about the FTC hunting them down are the innocent, unsophisticated, small, american bloggers.

Yay, go team!

Think I am exaggerating? You read the PDF here and tell me. IANAL, heck I can never understand any legalese, but it seems the field is wide open for anyone with a grudge to find something to beat you with in there if they try hard enough.

Here is why it will not work

  • There is a big world outside of the USA. Is the United State’s FTC going to try regulate the whole world? I should hope not. They might go after sites hosted, paid for, owned, written in USA, but that will just push the problem outside their borders. Not a big win.
  • They will miss 99.9% of the problem. I expect they will mainly rely on competitors snitching on each other. Look at Google with their PHD’s, data and budget. Google does a great job, but misses most. The job is made even harder by how vague the definitions are. There will be many painful test cases before ANYONE has a clue what this means.
  • $11k fine not deterrent to big companies and the main beneficiaries of this stuff.


    Most of us already use disclosures. Either a catch-all or specific.

    I like Matt Cutt’s disclosure, see by way of contrast mine here which I will be updating to add some more detail.

    I might put extra links into my sidebar and footer.

    Fact is, it doesn’t matter what disclosure or disclaimers you make. Your visitors will either trust you or they will not. The FTC is not going to be able to change any of that for the better no matter how hard they try.

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    Roadblocking and Online Ad Measurement

    Roadblocking is not a new term, it’s been around in the television space for sometime now and refers to an advertiser buying all of the ad placements within a given media space. In this instance, we’re referring to an advertiser who has purchased all the impressions / ad placements on the same page of a particular website during one specific time frame.

    Roadblocking is a new term to me, cool post – we learn something new every day :)

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    Twitter Soon to Launch Lists

    Lists, a new feature we’re testing with a small subset of users. The idea is to allow people to curate lists of Twitter accounts. For example, you could create a list of the funniest Twitter accounts of all time, athletes, local businesses, friends, or any compilation that makes sense.

    Lists are public by default (but can be made private) and the lists you’ve created are linked from your profile. Other Twitter users can then subscribe to your lists. This means lists have the potential to be an important new discovery mechanism for great tweets and accounts.

    I use TweetDeck which has had groups for a while, but this is an interesting addition. Also … I wonder how many people will get added to a list named “spammer” ;)

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