Friday, May 11, 2007

Blognomics 07 in Amsterdam

Yesterday Blognomics 07 was held in Amsterdam. It was for the third time that this event, powered by Guido van Nispen and Krijn Schuurman took place. Last year's event Blognomics 06 (discovered that I misspelled the name last year) the event felt like a big hot sauna; this year the sauna cooled down. There was again a packed program with many speakers in 5 hours; new in the format were the forum sessions. Many professional and semi-professional bloggers were present; the total audience consisted of 200 registered people.

There are many bloggers in the Netherlands. Estimates are usually made by putting the figures together of the Dutch language blogger collections like ilse/Sanoma’s and de Volkskrant’s weblogs. These contain mainly the emo-blogs (emotional blogs about the lover, pet or drudge of daily life). Then there is a core section of professional and semi-professional blogs, who are writing in the Dutch language, but not necessarily. All in all some, the guestimate is 800.000 Dutch language blogs and blogs originating from The Netherlands.

Are blogs influential in the Netherlands? In the USA there is a serious debate about journalists and bloggers and the influence of bloggers. Some US bloggers can even protect their source. In the Netherlands the debate between the journalists and the bloggers is starting, but they still do not have much influence. Perhaps the shockblog Geen Stijl is a public platform. And Dutch bloggers still do not earn money.

In one of the forums as well as a presentation de-mystification (told you: theology is a perfect training for online!) took place. Politicians (see photograph) have taken to blogging, but in a forum with three politicians it became clear that many political blogs are the product of ghost-writers and when the politicians personally write blogs, they can not tell everything. In a presentation, a representative of a media bureau told openly how blogs were manipulated for commercial gains; the bureau had set up a blog to stimulate the sale of Sony’s PSP.

A high point for me was the presentation about bliin, a feature which lets you share your location and geo-tagged photos from your handset in real-time. There was a live demonstration of someone taking a photograph and the photograph appearing on a map; in the meantime you could also see who of your friends were in the neighbourhood. The demonstration sadly looked more like a demonstruction technically, but the result (see photograph) turned up on the screen eventually. It is definitely a feature I would like to link to my blogs and definitely during my travels.

Deep thoughts I did not take along from the conference. The key-note speaker Paul Molenaar of ilse/Sanoma shortly touched on the question, whether blogs are the wisdom of crowds: collective knowledge or idiocy. Whatever way it is seen: blogs keep stimulating communities and conversation.

As you can imagine, a conference for bloggers usually is heavily blogged by bloggers and photographers. So also Blognomics. Most blogs are of course in the Dutch language and hardly readable for the foreign readers. But there are many photographs of the event available on Flickr; Henk-Jan Winkelman took also one of me (centre) with my good friend Herman van Oorschot (left) and Eric Voigt of the NHL college (right).

Blog Posting Number: 750


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