New York City: Why Are We Here?!
Opening Disclaimer: I realize that the previous Editors of TravelBlogs.com have not written their own articles nor contributed their own comments to panel discussions. With the following “commentary” I will have now done both in a (somewhat) short period of time. But, in my humble opinion, both contributions have reasons behind them. So, news anyone?
Recently I, along with my husband and 298 or so others, attended the Travel Blog Exchange 2010 Conference (TBEX10) in New York City. I was advised to approach this gathering with an “open eyes, open ears and an open mind” philosophy. I hope I succeeded in heeding said words of wisdom. Though I have attended/presented at conferences ranging from 20 to 20,000 participants over the years, none have pertained to travel and/or the industry itself.
I was advised to approach this gathering with an “open eyes, open ears and an open mind” philosophy. I hope I succeeded in heeding said words of wisdom.
So, for me, this one was unique, very informative, suffered a small case of the hiccups (from which there was recovery) and was ultimately a rather sizeable success in my mind.
Putting the pre and post party networking sessions aside for the moment, the conference did cover a plethora of topics. Each of the panel discussions (meaning their participants) had the ardent task of straddling the still present, though thankfully narrowing divide between ‘travel writer’ and ‘travel blogger’. In the beginning, the line in the sand between the two was a mostly clear-cut one. Technology, social media and gatherings, such as TBEX09/TBEX10 among others, have created a blur. That may sound like a bad thing – it is not. It is a coming together of two separate mindsets, both which will benefit from each other in the long term.
Now the question is how to meld the two together seamlessly. Maybe the real question is should they be melded together at all? As to be expected, the consensus over the two days was a resounding, “Yes!” Traditional print travel writers are embracing the blogosphere as a (relatively) new outlet for disseminating their information while many of the bloggers view the printed word in the same way. That ‘narrowing divide’ has just gotten narrower. Some may describe print media as a dinosaur on the verge of extinction. That may be true. But, there is still a handful of us who love the feel and smell of a newspaper, magazine or whatever. Who hasn’t secretly paged through the *SkyMall™ magazine on a plane… (Not seeing too many hands raised.)
*Thank you, Jason Barger for “Step Away from the Baggage Claim”.
The true nitty-gritty of the whole affair comes down to what each attendee took away from the event besides swag. I could say it was this discussion or that one – but I would be lying.
The true nitty-gritty of the whole affair comes down to what each attendee took away from the event besides swag. I could say it was this discussion or that one – but I would be lying. I would only be stating what I personally found informative in relationship to my own circumstances. I am an editor first and secondly, a blogger. Because of this, I took away good stuff that was relevant to each individually, though not necessarily collectively. The “Travel Writing Ethics” panel definitely played to my role as an editor while the “Upping Your Game” session gave me an expanded path to follow when it comes to writing my blog entries. The bottom line: What you saw (heard) is what you got – pure and simple. No one should have walked away empty-handed. If they did, they have only themselves to blame (or the World Cup).
Now, about those pre and post parties…. Never under estimate the benefits of the great networking opportunities, which can be found between a few cocktails, appetizers and some very lively, very loud verbal banter. (Ear plugs recommended though not required.) Better yet – you just might meet a new friend you had not known before. Strange world.
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