Sunday, July 15, 2007

Conference details to be posted this week

Throughout this next week we will post videos, presentations and notes on the conference. Be sure to check back!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Kicked-off and going strong

Well, the conference has started in earnest and it has been great seeing some OLD friends as well as making new, much younger ones. It's nice to get out from behind the keyboard and actually meet some of the people who care about this media-form and its future.

See you tomorrow at CNU's David Student Center at 8 a.m for breakfast!

Media reports on the conference

Daily Press

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Registration still open

FYI: registration will remain open through the conference.

Connectivity at CNU

If you are bringing a laptop to the conference, CNU has provided guidelines on how to connect to their guest network.

Monday, July 09, 2007

How to get there

The Marriott at Newport News City Center

Christopher Newport University
Take J. Clyde Morris (US 17) west from I-64 about 3 miles. Take it all the way to the Mariner's Museum/CNU Campus. Veer right towards Ferguson Center. You will approach a round-about...continue right.

If you park behind the Ferguson Center for the Performing Arts and next to the library, the David Student Center is west -- towards the center of campus (we'll have signs up).

The event is in the ballroom on the second floor.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Conference homework assignment: Watch Part III of "News War"

In advance of next week's media panel discussing the impact of the internet on journalism, I highly encourage everyone to watch Part III of Frontline's "News War" from PBS and to read more about it here.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Democratic Party of Virginia well-represented at conference

The Blogs United conference is very pleased that we will be joined by Delegate Brian Moran, Chairman of the House Democratic Caucus, Delegates Bob Brink and Kris Amundson, and Danae Jones, communications director of the Democratic Party of Virginia. We are also hopeful that Sen. Creigh Deeds and Susan Mariner, field director in Hampton Roads for the Democratic National Committee and DPVA, will be able to attend. Update: Sen. Deeds is now a confirmed guest.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Marriott gives one last extension

For those of you who have not registered for the blog conference, and would like to stay at the Marriott, I have asked for an extension. Several folks registered after the deadline and the cost was $169 per night. I spoke with our liaison at the hotel and she has given us to July 2 at the $99 rate. If you registered at the higher rate, make sure to call registration and get the lower rate.

If you haven't registered yet, and would like to stay at the Marriott, now is the time. Don't wait. Follow this link to register your room. There won't be another chance at this price.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Final Day to register at $35

If you are still interested in attending the conference at the low rate of $35, today is the last day. We have extended the deadline before raising the rate to $50 an extra 10 days.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Last Day for Marriott Discount

If you want to stay at the Marriott for the group rate of $99, today is the last day to register.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

If you come to the conference for one reason...

I know many of you have been debating whether or not to make it down for the conference. Well, let me assuage your angst. You will certainly get something out of the conference when you see this 4-ton bohemoth statue of Capt. Christopher Newport standing watch in front of the university:

The statue is lowered onto the base. A peg at the bottom of the statue will be anchored by cement poured inside the base. (Mike Holtzclaw, Daily Press) Jun 20, 2007

Story can be found here.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Updated Schedule of Events

For July 14, here's what you can expect...

8:00 to 9:00 a.m. Breakfast (available until 10:00 a.m.)
9:00 to 9:30 a.m. Attorney General Bob McDonnell
9:30 to 10:15 a.m. Roundtable on anonymous blogging moderated by Jay Hughes
10:15 to 10:30 a.m. Break
10:30 to 11:30 a.m. Media Panel
11:30 to 11:45 a.m. Lunch served
11:45 to 12:30 p.m. Del. Brian Moran
12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Political Panel
1:30 to 1:45 p.m. Break
1:45 p.m. to 2:15 p.m. Jack Holt, OSD-Public Affairs
2:15 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Fair-use/RSS Feeds Panel
3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Roundtable on technology moderated by Jim Hoeft
4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. Break
6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Reception
7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Dinner with Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and friends

Friday, June 15, 2007

Get ready to be spoiled

Blogs United Treasurer, Jay Hughes, and I just finished several meetings and tours with the Marriott and Christopher Newport University in Newport News. Needless to say, I'm very impressed with how pampered we're going to be at this year's conference.

On Friday evening, registration starts at 4 p.m. and lasts through happy hour, ending at 8 p.m. After registration, live bands will be playing outside on the lake (cool fountain in the middle). There will also be hospitality suites beginning about 9 p.m. upstairs. All the rooms at the Marriott will be blocked together for your convenience. They have also extended their group rate for us one more week -- a steal in Hampton Roads for $99. Register your room today!

On Saturday, the festivities begin at CNU at 8 a.m. with registration which lasts until 9 a.m. During that hour, you can enjoy breakfast.

We will be spending the entire day in the Grand Ballroom, where there will be wireless internet access and web-based email is available (Outlook, etc. cannot be used).

Let me just say, the Grand Ballroom is SWEET! This room costs $1400 per day, and CNU is providing it to us for free. Wait 'til you see this place. I can't do it justice in words. All I can say is "awesome." Paul Trible, former Senator and current CNU president has really outdone himself here.

During the day, we're going to hear from Attorney General Bob McDonnell, Don Luzzatto of the Virginian-Pilot, Del. Brian Moran, Jack Holt of DoD, and several other guests. We're going to cover everything from anonymous blogging and commenting to how to program your sidebar; how to work with the mainstream media to how to produce a decent podcast.

We'll take a short break after the conference and then we're in for a treat when we have cocktails and hors d'ourves then dinner. Guest speaking is Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling and friends.

Following dinner and a decadent dessert, everyone is again invited back to the Marriott for more "hospitality."

This conference has the makings of something very special. To those that have registered, you are in for a treat. To those who haven't: WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR!

FYI: This conference is for anyone interested in the new media...not just bloggers.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Military and Bloggers

We are pleased to announce that Mr. Jack Holt, who works in the New Media Directorate for the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs, is going to join us to discuss the latest outreach efforts by the Defense Department to bloggers, how blogging is changing the mediascape, and the way government is engaging the public.

Jack has public affairs experience in Afghanistan, Hungary/Croatia/Bosnia, the National Guard Bureau, the Army Corps of Engineers and at DoD.

Don't forget to reserve your room at our special group rate. Also, don't forget to register for the conference using the "register" button on the sidebar.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Lt. Gov. Bolling to speak at Blogs United Dinner

We liked him so much last year, we've invited him again. LG Bill Bolling will be speaking to the Blogs United conference at our dinner at CNU on Saturday, July 14.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

McGuireWoods Consulting Sponsors Conference

Blogs United is pleased to announce that McGuireWoods Consulting has agreed to be a principle sponsor of the conference with their pledge of $1000.

Kevin Grierson, Esq. speaking on Fair Use

A leading attorney in Norfolk for the firm Wilcox & Savage, P.C., Kevin Grierson, has agreed to join David Mastio of BlogNetNews on a panel discussion on Fair Use Policy/Intellectual Property Rights.

Grierson joins Attorney General Bob McDonnell, Del. Brian Moran and Donald Luzzatto of the Virginian-Pilot as confirmed speakers.

Group rate at Marriott ends June 15

You must register your rooms at the Marriott by June 15, otherwise you will lose the group rate of $99. I think they normally charge $139-149 per night. You can register your room by clicking the Marriott graphic on the sidebar.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Agenda set for conference

Friday, July 13

3:00-7:00 p.m. -- Welcome and Registration.

7:00-9:00 p.m. -- Reception (sponsorship still available @ $400)

Saturday, July 14

8:30-9:00 a.m. -- Registration continues

9:00-9:30 a.m. -- Welcome and Breakfast (sponsored by Virginia Attorney General Bob McDonnell)

9:30-10:30 a.m. -- Session 1: Anonymous blogging, Roundtable Discussion

10:30-11:30 a.m. -- Session 2: Relations with the media/changing media with the Hampton Roads Daily Press, Norfolk Virginian-Pilot, and others

11:30-12:30 p.m. -- Working lunch (sponsored by Del. Brian Moran)

12:30-1:30 p.m. -- Session 3: The changing face of campaigns and government (sponsored by McGuire Woods)

1:30-2:30 p.m. -- Session 4: Fair-use policy, Roundtable Discussion

2:30-4:30 p.m. -- Session 5: Technology discussion. Such topics include:

  • How to make money from blogs.... advertising, sponsorships, syndication, etc.

  • Promoting your blog....cross-linking to Technorati, buying ads on Google, Digging, meta-tags, etc.

  • Taking your blog to Blog Talk Radio.

  • Formatting your blog. Using HTML and CSS.

6:00-9:00 p.m. -- Dinner, invited speakers include: Ed Gillespie, chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling, and several others, including members of both parties political caucuses for House and Senate. (Dinner sponsorships still available, email Jim.)

Don't forget to register for the conference using the button on the sidebar to the right and register for your room at the Marriott!

P.S. If you are interested in serving on a panel, be sure to email Jim.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Early Bird Closed. Registration now $35.

If you are attending the conference, click the big maroon registration button on the right and pay your fee of only $35.

From now until 11:59 p.m., June 14, the registration fee is $35
From June 15 until 11:59 p.m., June 30, the registration fee is $50
From July 1 through the conference, the registration fee is $75

Save money and sign-up today!

Be sure to e-mail Jim to confirm your payment has been received and you are registered.

And, don't forget to register for your room at the Marriott for just $99 per night!

Monday, May 14, 2007

New Dates; Schedule ideas

The new dates for the conference are July 13-15. This was done to accomodate several schedules. You should still be able to register for your rooms here.

Some possible Saturday topics include:

"Fair use" standards
Anonymous blogging and commenting
Main Stream Media
Political round-table
New technology and demos -- including podcasting/blog talk radio

What are your thoughts and interests?

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Questions from CNU and Menu

Dr. Kidd emailed me the other day with some questions that we need to answer:

1) Does the Friday evening reception involve a cash bar or just lightsnacks, or what? I think I asked you that earlier but couldn't remember the answer.

My suggested answer: Both

2) Saturday morning continental breakfast with coffee and juice. This is a cold breakfast, right?

My suggested answer: Just coffee, juice, donuts/pastries and fruit. See menu.

3) What kind of lunch? Will the lunch be working, which means something like sandwiches, or a buffet. I'm sure there is a cost difference.

My suggested answer: 45-minute break. But with a "working" menu. Again, see menu to see what you might like.

4) Any possibility of you all doing dinner at the campus and having a couple hours break to visit the museum? They asked me to ask you about the museum dinner because they think they could do it for less than the museum could do it because the museum doesn't have on-site dining facilities.

My suggested answer: Yes to on campus. See menu for what we should have.

5) Speakers. Do you have any idea when speakers will speak? Will they speak over lunch, over dinner, or just during the sessions?

My suggested answer: Sessions. Keynote at dinner.

6) Participants and visitors. Do you have any sense of how many people will be registered participants (i.e. eating and participating in the whole conference) and how many visitors there will be?

My suggested answer: For the whole conference about 50. For the dinner only (including attendees), about 100.

Vote here if you will attend:

Friday, March 30, 2007

Status report

Quick update on the latest with the Blogs United conference.

I have reserved 10 rooms at the Marriott in Newport News' City Center. Because of our conference, we have had about $40 knocked off the price and it's a paltry $99 a night.

I have to sign the contract with the Marriott, but I hope at least 10 people plan on staying at the hotel. Otherwise, your's truly is on the hook.

We have decided to not use the Mariner's Museum for our little swanky party on Saturday night.

1) It's expensive
2) They don't return my calls
3) CNU has a killer menu and bar. I'll post the menu here this weekend and we can look over what we want to eat.

Just to recap --

Friday is a check-in at the Marriott and a cocktail party at CNU. If someone wants to have hospitality suites at the Marriott, it's their dime/responsibility.

Saturday: Everying at CNU. Coffee and Donuts. The conference...including a lunch. And a swanky dinner. Hospitality suites, again, for those who want to.

Sunday: On your own. Recommend staying overnight on Saturday and going to Mariner's Museum (to see the Monitor)/and Jamestown on Sunday.

CNU has really gone out of their way in providing the facilities we need to make this conference work. Working with Dr. Quentin Kidd has been a breeze.

So, what's next? Here's a mini-plan of action:
  • Establish the menu so that we can finalize costs (Jim, with input from all)
  • Complete the contract with Marriott, so that you can begin to make your reservations (Jim)
  • Establish a bank account and get the money items all worked out (Vivian Paige -- our accountant)
  • Invite our keynote speaker (Jim, with input from all)
  • Establish a program (All)
  • Determine and acquire conference items (Unassigned, with input from all)
  • Determine levels of sponsorship and solicit sponsors (All)
  • Develop communications plan (The Squeaky Wheel, with input from Jim)
  • Determine, nominate and select Blog Awardees (Badrose, with input from all)

Friday, March 16, 2007


I posted these in the comments suggestion of the previous post but after I published them and realized how truly excellent they are, I decided they deserved a post of their own:

Suggestions for Blogger Awards:

1) Blogger that's lived in their mom's basement the longest.
2) Most helpful blogger.
3) Blogger with the best teeth.
4) Blogger with the cutest pajamas (can be tied in or separate from:
5) Blogger holding record for most consecutive days wearing their pajamas.
6) Best looking (of course I mean Web site) (Male & Female).
7) Blogger with most lawsuits threatened against them.
8) Blogger with most suits actually filed against them.
9) Blogger who actually owns a suit.

Am I forgetting something?

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Blogs United in... Hampton Roads?

Well, Alton - Lord help him! - has invited me to be an author here at Blogs United, so I suppose I ought to get the ball rolling somehow.

There's been some idle (well, to me - I've been too wrapped up in Christmas and Munchkin's school to pay much attention) talk about having the blog conference in the Hampton Roads area this year. For those of you who may not know, Hampton roads is a general area which include Norfolk, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Chesapeake, and Hampton (did I miss any?). There's lots to do and see, and of course there's also a LOT of history there.

Now, I'm forgetting whether there's been any specific location mentioned, but this year is the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, and of course Williamsburg is in that area, too.

So... What do you-all think about location, when do you think is a good time - August, like last year? - who do you think we ought to invite to speak, what topics are of interest? Oh, and what about FOOD? *snicker* Can't forget food...

Please comment with your suggestions - or bring me up to speed with anything that's been set up that I've missed seeing!

(UPDATE: Sigh - Hampton, Tidewater - I've heard it called both ;-) And I *see* the countdown, but I'm still fuzzy about the date... Yes, I know... I can be a dizzy brunette! LOL)