The People That Made BlogWorld Expo 2009 So Freakin’ Awesome

I just rolled in early this morning from Las Vegas where I was spreading the HubPages love at the 2009 BlogWorld Expo, which is basically a huge event (2,500+ attendees) that attracts some of the biggest names in blogging, podcasting, social media and other web stuff. Me and most of the web-geeks who decide to make the journey to Vegas for BlogWorld are basically going for 3 reasons: to meet people, to create business opportunities and to learn some new things along the way. I posted a blog last week before I took off to Vegas and out of the list of people that I wanted to meet I would say that I pretty much got ’em all covered over the past couple of days — well, except for finding someone who knew where all of the hot slots were. I definitely didn’t end up meeting someone who knew that (and I lost $80 in about 5 minutes that can prove it).

So, who exactly were all of these awesomely amazing and super-cool people that I met during the BlogWorld madness and why am I so happy that I met each of them? Well, if you don’t mind, I’d like to give you all a little run-down of the who left a memorable impression on me, how we hit it off so well and why I will definitely be staying in contact with each and every one of them. This probably won’t be a 100% complete list as I met so many great peeps while in Vegas, but this will give you a pretty good idea of who I ran into and why I’m happy that I did. Oh, and some of these people might have nothing to do with HubPages (no real business opportunity/partnership in the near future), but they still stuck in my mind as someone who was doing some really cool stuff.

How I’ll do this is by listing their full name, a link to their Twitter account and then a brief description of how I met them, why they were so memorable (or talkable) and what they’re up to on the web. If for some reason I left you off, feel free to yell at me in the comments and I’ll add you in if you’re legit. 🙂

>> I met Lacy Kemp (@realtweeter) and John Karalis (@redsarmy) on my first of many Monorail trips from the Hilton to the Convention Center (the official tweet). Lacy runs the blog and other social media for all of Real Networks products and not to mention that she became one of my favorite BlogWorld ’09 dance partners. John is a sports blogger who manages a Boston Celtics blog, RedsArmy.com. He’s just as tall as I am and although we tried to connect for an old has-beens game of horse, it never ended up happening.

>> When I was first hitting the hotel, Eric Berto (@GeekGiant), was standing out in front and that’s when I first realized that I was not the tallest geek at BlogWorld. In fact, he not only had me beat by a few inches, but he was much better looking than me, too (and he wasn’t shy about sharing that little tidbit of information). Me and Eric ended up running into each other several times during the event and I’m still sad that I missed him winning the FatBurger eating contest.

 

>> I was first excited to meet Chris Hall (@Hallicious) after he promised that he was going to give me a big ol’ hug, but for some reason I was a little scared, too. Well, he ended up being a really cool dude who is currently rocking out the Midwest in Louisville, KY at Humana. Oh, and he has one of the coolest business cards, ever (it’s a pop-up!).

Pretty sweet card, eh?

>> James Lee (@wetoku) was my very hospitable booth neighbor in the expo hall and was nice enough to even let me steal some power from his power strip when my MacBook’s juice was about to run out. He is the founder of Wetoku, a video service that easily lets you give live interviews online and then the tools to be able to embed and share them anywhere else you want. We chatted a lot and one of the interesting things that he told me was that when you’re born in Korea, your age is started off at year 1, so his second birthday was actually his first birthday. Kinda crazy, huh? James is one of the several people who I think could potentially work with HubPages — video interview Hub, anyone?

 

>> Speaking of neighbors, my other next-door booth buddy was Kate Heffernan (@OutBrain) from Outbrain, who was always kickin’ it with curious expo floor travelers (she was busy). Because of this, we didn’t get to chat a whole lot, but she did let me use her packing tape when I was packing stuff up at the end of the event, so she’s got a gold star next to her name in my book.

 

>> Rick Darby (@rickdarby) was the first guy to come by my booth and really got me kicked off for the event by chatting with me about the cool things that he’s doing in the world of online educational and training tools. We talked for about 20 minutes about how CurrentTV trains their producers (which Rick calls ‘behavior modification’) and how the same types of training methods could be used to help train our Hubbers on how to best write and publish on HubPages. Rick is currently the director of learning technology at Rollins (a service that’s owned by Orkin).

 

>> One of my new BFFs is Deborah Ng (@debng) who is a freelance writing, social media consulting and blogging goddess who just also happens to run a killer freelance writing community and job board FreelanceWritingGigs.com. She gave me some solid feedback on HubPages and has some really great insight into the world of the online writing market as a whole. I’ll be getting in touch with her soon so that we can talk shop and I’m really excited about it (giddy like a schoolgirl, to be exact).

 

>> I met Shawanda Greene (@theycallmecheap) at my booth and she’s someone who’s really proud to be super cheap (and financially savvy). She runs the finance-based blog youhavemorethanyouthink.org, which she started after figuring out how to go from having just $54 to $7,500 in her bank account after saving for just a little over a year. She was great to talk to and for some reason I really loved screaming her name really loud (which, unfortunately for her, I did a few times). SHAWAAAAAANDA!! (hey girl, heyyyy)

 

>> I’m really glad that serial entrepreneur Steve Mock (@GiftVenture_CEO) decided to stop by my booth at BlogWorld, because he had one of the most innovative (and fun) ideas that I heard about all weekend. He has started a site called giftventure, which is an interactive way for any parent, uncle, friend, etc. to give a gift and an awesome experience to any younger child. He was sick of just giving kids ‘another toy’, so he decided to do something about it — now you can not only give the child a gift, but you can also give them a long-lasting experience to go along with it. Check out how it works in the video below or over here on YouTube.

 

>> One of the most energetic and down-to-Earth guys that I met at BlogWorld was Chris Patterson (@ChrisBPatterson), who is the CEO of interchanges — an Internet/social media strategies business based in Florida. We talked for a while about the crazy world of social media and how we could help each other out. One of the coolest things about Chris is that he somehow got to stay in an amazing loft while in Las Vegas during BlogWorld. You can see a video of the loft below or over here on YouTube.

 

>> I met the wonderful (and tall) Shauna Causey (@ShaunaCausey) while taking the elevator down to grab some lunch during the first day of BlogWorld Expo. I fired up a quick conversation with her and when I told her how I was starving and was getting ready to grab something to eat, she told me that she was getting ready to go on a tour of Zappos and that there might be a couple of spots open. Well, I told her that I guess I’m going to go hungry a little bit longer because I wasn’t going to miss out on the chance to check out Zappos. The rest is pretty much history after that — we all went on the tour, has a TON of fun and I ended up hangin’ with Shauna and he friends a lot over the rest of the weekend. Shauna was reppin’ Voluntweetup, which is helping non-profits utilize social media to pull off big things.

>> If you’re looking to connect with someone who not only talks about making a difference in this world with social media, but actually goes out and does it then look no farther than Sloane Berrent (@sloane). I first met Sloane when I randomly crashed the Zappos tour because she’s the one who organized it. From the very first time that I met Sloane she was super cool, smart, sweet and a little fiesty, which isn’t a real easy combo to find these days. I had a great time learning more about and hanging out with Sloane the rest of the weekend and if you want to find out more about what she’s up to you can check out The Causemopolitan or her personal web directory, SloaneBerrent.com. Also, check out the video of her below or over here on YouTube when you get a chance — it’s all about her crazy ‘Cause it’s my birthday’ tour where she raised thousands of dollars for Malaria-fighting mosquito nets. Oh, and p.s. Sloane loved my bromance for one of our mutual friends and she loved to tell others all about it. How embarrassing (yet, true).

Well, that’s a good first list of peeps that I loved meeting and hangin’ with at BlogWorld 2009 and I could go on for a lot longer, but this post has already gotten way out of hand so I’m going to stop. If you’re wondering how I remember all of this info about these people that I met (especially after talking to literally several hundred at my booth), I might just have to give you all some tips on how I do it in a later blog post. Thanks again to all of the amazing people that stopped and talked to me and I’m looking forward to keeping up with with all of you now that I’m back in San Francisco. Oh, and if you’re ever out my way, be sure hit me up — I’d love to buy you lunch (for real).

9 thoughts on “The People That Made BlogWorld Expo 2009 So Freakin’ Awesome

  1. Wow, you met some great people. I love those kind of events and hope to make it to one in a year or two. We will need a calendar showing us these sort of events! thank you for sharing some highlights of your trip. 🙂

  2. Thanks for the recap and introducing me to these lovely people. Sounds like you had a vendor booth and were not there as a blogger but you do blog too. What exactly is your role?

    Loved making connections through you

    Eileen

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