Saturday, September 29, 2007


Ohhhh Chicago. What are we going to do with you?

The trip went about as I expected it. The conference was a bit of a let-down, not just to me but most of the conference attendees (we talked amongst ourselves). I did learn a few things, so if almost $2000 in conference fees, flights and a hotel room was worth my learning a few things, then it was money well spent.

here was a lot of discussion about blogging, since it was a conference about social media, since social media is the forefront of communication right now, which means that everything that my least favorite college professor taught me is coming true, which means that my classmates and I should be in high demand since we've known about all of this for 4 years, which means that I should be getting paid more... but I digress.

I am not sure how much of it what I learned applies to non-corporate, non-social-agenda, pure-entertainment, human-interest-with-a-side-of-cynicism blogs like this one, but that wasn't why I was there anyway. Business. All business. With a side of Filene's Basement and Nordstrom.

But for instance,
I learned that blogs are supposed to be measured by conversation index, which is the average number of comments per post. I was told that if you're not getting a high conversation index, you're not being controversial enough. This is bad news for me on many levels. First of all, if I judged the success of this blog by how many people comment and how often, then I would have quit writing months ago. Secondly, I don't consider myself very controversial (unless you count my obsession with Clay Aiken). There are plenty of other blogs where you can read about war, religion and politics. But this ain't one of them. So maybe this isn't a successful blog in the grand scheme, but it's successful to me because I enjoy the satisfaction of writing a witty post comprised of well-formed complex sentences. I crave it, in fact. Maybe that makes me a nerd. Maybe I don't care!

I also learned a few things in the way of tracking your blog. Not that this blog needs the sophisticated tracking software of say, the blog of the CEO of an international company, but I did fiddle with a few (free) tools and am starting to get a grasp on who is reading this. For instance, what do the cities of Birmingham, Nashville, Williamsburg, L.A., Memphis, Huntsville, Decatur (AL & GA), St. Louis, Dallas, New York, Washington, Dothan, Mobile, Athens, Montgomery, Louisville and Auburn have in common with a bunch of other cities I don't feel like listing?

Which leads me to my next point: I learned that we should all begin thinking of blogging as a conversation. As in, I say something, and then if you say something about what I said, then I am to say something back responding to what YOU said about what I said to begin with. So get ready to see a lot of conversations taking place. Hopefully, they won't be just between
Anonymous, Wes, Chris, Lilley and I, who would all be getting gold stars if this were a classroom. Eric, David, Katie, Jennifer, Jessica and my sister would get silver stars for occasional participation; and Stephen, Michael, Meghan, Star, Jamie B, Carrie, Corrie, Sam, Allison and Margo would get bronze stars just for effort. And the rest of you, in cities far and wide, can start speaking up any day now. Odds are I know you're reading it anyway!

I DIGRESS. Back to Chicago. Since we had free time at night, I did a little shopping and saw Wicked again. So far, L.A. has been my favorite show. The touring cast and Chicago cast are wonderful, but the best talent is in L.A. (that I've seen anyway). I wish I could also report that I ate at all the best restaurants, but I'd be lying. My company's per diem does not take cost of living (eating?) into account for our travel.

Overall, I was frustrated to be in a city where there is so much to do and see but no time or company to do and see it with (company = awesome tour guide like ERIC). So if anyone ever wants to hop a direct flight to Chicago, let me know. I should warn you ahead of time though, we're going to have dinner with the McCallisters.


  1. Although this has nothing to do with your post, I am still on Cloud 9, so ... WAR EAGLE!!!

  2. Make no mistake about it - Auburn is always a great thing to comment about, whether the post mentions it or not. So War Eagle to you too, sister.

  3. Conversations on blogs? Isn't that what chat and email are for? I guess unless you want the world to see (or at least the interested world) and participate.

    There's your controversy. Talk amongst yourselves.

    And yes, you are a nerd;-)

  4. Not a nerd.
    Here's some controversy for you - your team sucks and mine is the best.

  5. so did you buy the Zac Posen number?

  6. No mention of Giordano's? You should be proud because I actually know what Filene's Basement is. I've been there. Is this gold star you speak of worth $20K like the ones on Kid Nation? Is Tommy Tuberville the greatest big game coach in the history of college football? Sorry about the questions, but since this is supposed to be a conversation I figured I would contribute as best I could. Here's the million dollar question though. Will Jennifer ever update her blog?

  7. Mrs. Bonds - I refrained from buying the Zac number so that when you come to visit, you'll have a place to stay.

    Mr. Bonds - No it's not and I can't believe you watch Kid Nation; yes he is and I hope he sticks around; I have no idea. Guess you're stuck reading what I write until she does.

  8. No Star for me? This is my 3rd comment (conversational nature of my comments aside).

    Ben's watching football right now. Another thrilling Saturday night for me! I'm ashamed to say (among you hardcore Auburn fans) that I find it hard to enjoy watching football. Perhaps if I had attended a university with some team spirit, it would be a different story. Or perhaps I just need to start buying my underwear with team spirit in mind? In the interest of my marriage to my Ohio State obsessed husband, my bottom would be in red and gray - probably a rare color combination for unmentionables. I'm sure I could find some online.

    Now I'm just thinking out loud...but I guess it's not really out loud, unless you count the clacking of the keyboard. Does this count as good conversation?


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