I'm Insulted But Should We Give Up Live Blogging?

Nov 14, 2008 - 8:45 am 25 by

It is now 8am, I am at my desk, in my office in New York. I landed this morning at about 5:20am in Newark, NJ, after flying all night (the red eye) back from PubCon Vegas 2008. It was an exhausting three days. Between live blogging, keeping up with the forum news, writing at Search Engine Land, speaking on panels, meeting with people and search companies, running my daily business and being married - it is just exhausting.

So, about 30 minutes ago, I notice a Sphinn thread, which links to a blog post (which I won't link to) that totally trashes our live blogging efforts. This guy calls live blogging, "useless" and "inaccurate." He goes on to say what we do is "selfish disregard for reporting integrity." To call live blogging "selfish," oh, that makes me mad. To call the 38+ conferences we've flown to, paid hotel costs, sometimes paid conference passes for, "selfish." To call the dumbing, incredibly tiring and exhausting work it is to sit there, session after session, to write down the words that come out of speakers mouths, no matter if you disagree with them or if you find them boring - or, even worse, love what they are saying, but are too consumed in typing down what they are saying to have the time to actually appreciate the words of wisdom - to call that "selfish" (long sentence, sorry, been up for over 24 hours).

I have often wanted to stop live blogging these conferences. Why? Simply because it is extremely taxing on the individuals who do the live blogging. It seems simple, but it really is not. But I have decided to continue live blogging because most people appreciate it and many tell me they "depend" on it.

So to read a "blogger" who has had a blog since September 30th, 2008 - yea, you got that, completely trash this effort. Well, I am totally disgusted and insulted. Not just for myself, but for all the volunteers who spend their own money and time to make this happen.

I have been on both sides of the coin. I speak and I live blog. It is true that live bloggers might get something wrong or hear it wrong or miss important parts. That is the nature of the game. But does that mean there is no value to it?

Danny Sullivan has often wanted people to stop live blogging and pull out the key elements of the sessions. I agree with that, 100%. But we invented live blogging in this industry, people, I think, expect it of us. If not, then I am more than happy to stop - because honestly, it would be a relief to not have that burden of responsibility. To not have to get up at 4am on a conference day to make sure to get all my work done prior to the sessions, so I can be at a session at 9am to live blog it for people who cannot make it to the session. So I would love to not have that burden.

Hence, I leave it up to you. Please take the poll below and tell me if you want us to stop live blogging:

I am sorry for taking this a bit personally. But when you put so much into something and have even one individual rip it out of you, it hurts. Trust me, this is not the first person to say comments like this, nor are these the only complaints about live blogging we get. Overall, I think people really appreciate it, but again, let's leave it up to the poll. I will then make a decision later.

Yes, we have live blogged about 38 conferences, actually more, just not all were categorized. Here they are:

  1. Search Engine Strategies 2003 Chicago
  2. Search Engine Strategies 2004 Chicago
  3. Search Engine Strategies 2004 London
  4. Search Engine Strategies 2004 New York
  5. Search Engine Strategies 2004 San Jose
  6. Search Engine Strategies 2004 Sweden
  7. Search Engine Strategies 2005 Chicago
  8. Search Engine Strategies 2005 New York
  9. Search Engine Strategies 2005 San Jose
  10. Search Engine Strategies 2005 Toronto
  11. Search Engine Strategies 2006 Chicago
  12. Search Engine Strategies 2006 China
  13. Search Engine Strategies 2006 Latino
  14. Search Engine Strategies 2006 New York
  15. Search Engine Strategies 2006 San Jose
  16. Search Engine Strategies 2006 Toronto
  17. Search Engine Strategies 2007 Chicago
  18. Search Engine Strategies 2007 Latino
  19. Search Engine Strategies 2007 London
  20. Search Engine Strategies 2007 Munich
  21. Search Engine Strategies 2007 New York
  22. Search Engine Strategies 2007 San Jose
  23. Search Engine Strategies 2007 Toronto
  24. Search Engine Strategies 2008 New York
  25. Search Engine Strategies 2008 San Jose
  26. Search Marketing Expo 2007 New York
  27. Search Marketing Expo 2007 Seattle
  28. Search Marketing Expo 2008 East
  29. Search Marketing Expo 2008 Seattle
  30. Search Marketing Expo 2008 West
  31. SphinnCon Israel 2008
  32. WebmasterWorld 2004 Las Vegas
  33. WebmasterWorld 2005 Las Vegas
  34. WebmasterWorld 2005 New Orleans
  35. WebmasterWorld 2006 Las Vegas
  36. WebmasterWorld PubCon 2007 Las Vegas
  37. WebmasterWorld PubCon 2008 Las Vegas

Forum discussion at Sphinn.


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