Okay, I just had to put up this photo of the Fisher Price medical team.
After all, everyone who should be meeting in Las Vegas this October is represented here!
And no, I don’t mean little wooden round-headed people with plastic hair.
I’m talkin’ ’bout YOU!
(Hey – it looks like someone put tape over the nurse’s mouth. No comments from the peanut gallery; it’s a mask! I think.)
Ever since the announcement that the medical bloggers would be part of BlogWorld/New Media Expo 09, I’ve gotten two or three emails my mailbox has been flooded with questions.
Who should go? Why should they go? What are we talking about when we get there? Who is putting it together? Who is speaking? Who is listening?
You’ve got questions? I have answers. Let’s start from the top:
1. Who should attend the BlogWorld/New Media Expo 09 Medblogger Conference? Am I a medical blogger?
If you are a blogger and you blog about health care in any way, you are part of the medblogging community. That includes, but is not limited to, nurses, physicians, patients, paramedics/EMTs, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, hospital chaplains, physican assistants, hospital care administrators (incl. risk management and quality assurance), medical support staff, educators and technicans. Every one of these groups has a vibrant active, sub-community of bloggers, but we all fall under the “Medical Blogger” category.
2. What are we talking about when we get there?
The medblogging community voted for their favorite topics earlier this year via a poll on Emergiblog and Nurse Ratched’s Place. Six of the topics received over half the vote. We are allowed four session at BW/NWE and these are topics that will be presented (working titles):
1) The State of the Health Blogosphere: We’ve Come A Long Way, Baby
2) Staying On The Good Side of HIPAA: Safe & Ethical Blogging Practices
3) Blogging For Change: How To Influence Healthcare Through Blogging
4) The Value Of Blogs To Hospitals, News Organizations, and Industry
3. Who’s running the show?
The group working to put this show on the road includes yours truly and Dr. Val from Better Health. Val is spearheading the job of putting the panels together and I am doing what I do best, throwing in my opinion. Behind the scenes and providing sponsorship allowing the conference to actually happen is Johnson & Johnson (thanks Rob and Marc, always available 24/7), joined by the folks at MedPage Today who wanted to get in on the fun!
Of course, Rick Calvert, CEO of BlogWorld/New Media Expo get a major “thumbs-up” for offering us a space and a place in this year’s Expo!
4. So, what’s in it for me?
To this, I have a one word answer: NETWORKING! You have a chance to meet the movers-and-shakers of the medical blogosphere, learn from their successes and even more from their mistakes, to put faces with the names we see every day, to meet and discuss everything from posting to advertising to blog stats, to get a perspective on how your blog contributes to and affects the blogosphere in person, learn how to make a difference and how you are already making a difference, to par-tay if you are so inclined (I believe I owe drinks to a few folks).
And you never know where that one business card will lead…
Business cards? Absolutely. If you don’t have them, get them. You can get a bazillion for almost nothing through VistaPrint. All it has to have is your name and your blog URL (and your email if you want to include it). Those cards are your stock-in-trade at these conferences. Trust me, if you don’t have them you will be writing the information down at least 100 times a day.
At the very least you will come away stoked with so much enthusiasm you’ll have enough material to blog for six months straight. At the most, you will have opportunities open up for you that you never imagined. I’ll give you a personal perspective. Last year I attended BlogHer as a newbie, this year I’m speaking on a panel. Last year I attended BlogWorldExpo with the hint of an idea, this year we have a full blog track just for medbloggers.
If you want to make it happen, if you want that “next-level” for your blog, you need to be there. You are the face of your blog. We know what you stand for, now let us see who you are!
And it doesn’t stop with just our medblogging track.
The main BlogWorld/New Media Conference is teeming with information you can use no matter what your blog topic. How to stay focused, how to monetize your blog, how to increase your influence in the blogosphere – it’s all covered. Last year we heard the head of Technorati give a fantastic state-of-the-blogosphere speech.
Think the blogosphere is huge? We’ve barely started.
As for me? My goal is to meet my blog father, Hugh Hewitt.
I’m the blogdaughter he didn’t know he had.
Any other questions? Send them to me and I’ll answer them as they come in.
If you are still wondering if you should make the trek to Las Vegas…
It is so worth it!