Tag Archives: blogging

Pittsburgh BlogFest 19: PghBloggers.org turns 5!

finlay is five, originally uploaded by papalamour.

Five years ago, right around this time, a half-dozen or so bloggers in the Pittsburgh area were reading each others’ blogs, commenting, and generally marveling at the discovery that each of us was not alone — that there were not a few folks in the region who had started writing online.

We were a motley collection, writing about politics or sports or writing or random cultural flotsam. While there was no unity of theme, we shared a passion for sharing.

Several bloggers made extensive effort to compile blogrolls of Pittsburgh blogs. Everyone linked to everyone, but it was hard to tell which blogs were about what.

As I recall it, then two things happened. First, Mike Woycheck started on his own to create a site both to list and to aggregate the posts of all the Pittsburgh blogs (an ambitious undertaking indeed). Second, independently, some of the bloggers (Vanessa & Christina, Anne, and I) decided we should all get together and have lunch or a drink or something, in real life rather than just online.

Somehow the two efforts became combined, and we found ourselves with a website — www.PghBloggers.org — and a social event — the first Pittsburgh BlogFest.

Both efforts got off to strong starts. About 20 bloggers attended the first BlogFest. The shocking thing was not the size of the crowd but how well we enjoyed each others company. We immediately made plans to make a habit of convening.

Notably, Mike Woycheck was unable to attend the first fest, but he proceeded to make up for his absence by constructing and launching the website on which we depend to this day.

I don’t know the exact date of the launch. (Please comment if you do.) What I do know is that it’s time to celebrate.

Pittsburgh BlogFest 19: Happy birthday to us!

Come meet your fellow bloggers and social media types in a friendly, unstructured setting. BlogFest is an informal and friendly quarterly gathering of local bloggers, vloggers, podcasters, and anyone who enjoys life on the Internet. It’s more happy hour than meeting: No talks will be given, no credentials required.

WHAT: Pittsburgh Blogfest 19
WHEN: FRIDAY, November 20, 2009, 5:30 PM to 9:30 PM and beyond
WHERE: Finnegan’s Wake (near PNC Park, 20 General Robinson St., North Shore, 412-325-2601), in the Pub Room
WHO: All local bloggers, podcasters, and social media folk of all stripes (and their friends… feel free to bring some even if they don’t blog!)

Food and beverages will be available for purchase from Finnegan’s Wake, as always. Arrive when you like, leave when you must.

SMOKING NOTE: As always, the room in which we’ll be blogfesting will be smoke-free.

If you plan to attend, please send an e-mail to blogfest AT pghbloggers.org

Or to RSVP, leave a comment below. I hope to see you there.

Whaddaya think?

I’ve been planning for some time to revamp the layout of this website.

The BlogHer ads are going to go, for example. I don’t think they’re tuned to the readership of this site, and they come loaded with stringent requirements that make it hard to do many other things. The sidebar needs an overhaul, and maybe there should be two sidebars, and so on.

While the BlogHer ads aren’t interesting, I think there may be some other ads that would be of interest. But then again, maybe ads — even well-tuned ads — would just clutter up the site.

Ultimately, what I think about the site matters much less than what you, Dear Reader, think of it. So now is the time for me to ask your opinion.

Can you imagine any ads that would provide value for you?

Or maybe a list of recommended books/music/films/etc. with my notes and links to buy them? Or do you get that kind of information elsewhere?

Google does send a lot of people here, so maybe I should post some ads/links to send those people to the items they actually want (apparently: 80s style workout attire, information about Drambuie and Frangelico, and info on how to make really strong coffee, plus of course information on pretty hats; also today someone arrived here from the search "are all of the good men taken?" which is kind of heartbreaking).

And aside from ads, what else would you like to find on this site?

What is interesting?

Ten things you can do to improve interestingness and increase chances of getting into Explore

Flickr has so much content that it overwhelms.

Yet, for all the photos presented therein, it can be startlingly hard to find one to blog about. Copyright restrictions are the biggest limiter, but there are still plenty of images available. Just because a photo is tagged “interesting” or “interestingness” doesn’t guarantee that it will interest me.

Incidentally, if you put photos in Flickr and would like them to be tagged with “interestingness,” check out the page for the photo above. The description gives clear advice on getting noticed in the Flickr community.

(Photo credit: Ten things you can do to improve interestingness and increase chances of getting into Explore, originally uploaded by kevindooley.)

Blogging on the edge

Pittsburgh at Night

I’m honored to be guest-blogging at Keystone Edge for a week. My first post is online: "It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood."

You’ve not heard of Keystone Edge? Well, it’s time you did hear.

Keystone Edge tells the story of the new economy in Pennsylvania–a narrative of creative people and businesses, new development, cool places to live, and the best places to work and play.

They have a different guest blogger each week. So far, the focus has shifted between the larger cities in the commonwealth: Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg. My posts today and tomorrow have a Pittsburgh bent, but I want to work in the small town vibe too. Look for that next week.

In my post I wrote about the Neighborhood Walk that will happen on November 11.

I have been terribly lax in promoting this fun and interesting event, so let me put in a bonus plug: read about the November 11 Neighborhood Walk and start planning now to set aside a little time next Tuesday to walk around your neighborhood taking photos or shooting video or writing, and then to post that and show off the place where you live.

UPDATE: And (very important) please blog about the Neighborhood Walk in the days leading up to it — let’s see how many people we can involve in this.

(Photo credit: Pittsburgh at Night, originally uploaded by brunkfordbraun.)

A post a day keeps the doctor away

A few times today, I told people at PCPGH3 to try writing a blog post every day.

It’s an interesting discipline. When I’ve blogged daily, I’ve posted some rather boring stuff, but I’ve also created more interesting and unique content.

If you’re interested in trying the post-a-day practice, the perfect opportunity is just a few weeks away: NaBloPoMo.

National Blog Posting Month is the epicenter of daily blogging! People who want to set the habit of blogging by doing it every day for a month, including weekends, can come here for moral support, inspiration, and the camaraderie that only marathon blogging can provide.

You don’t need to do anything special to join in (other than post every day), but if you want to connect with others who are NaBloPoMoing, visit the NaBloPoMo and join.

Then let me know you’re in, and I’ll follow your adventure through your blog.

PodCamp Pittsburgh 3

It’s back! Pittsburgh’s social media conference returns for the third year running, with great sessions, awesome networking opportunities, and unexpected unexpectedness.

PodCamp Pittsburgh 3 will take place on October 18 and 19, 2008, with a meet-and-greet the evening of October 17.

WHEN: October 18 and 19, 9am to 4pm each day
WHERE: Art Institute of Pittsburgh, 420 Boulevard of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA 15219 (map/directions)
COST: free!

Register today!  

See the PodCamp Pittsburgh 3 schedule. Add a session you’d like to give, or request one you’d like to attend.

Would you like to sponsor PodCamp Pittsburgh 3? Find out how.

Spread the word about PCPGH3 with badges, video bumpers, and more.

In addition to the two days of conference, there will be a meet-n-greet reception the night before, 6 to 9pm at AlphaLab on Pittsburgh South Side. Details for the reception here.

Cover a band this weekend in Pittsburgh — free tix, great music

I’m late in posting this cool opportunity, but with luck you’ll still be able to take advantage of it. This info comes from our stylish and delightfully hip friend Sarah Madia:

There is a band called the Bloodsugars coming to play Brillobox this Saturday night in Bloomfield. The label is looking for bloggers (social media types) to cover the event. They have a guest list for the concert. The band is from NYC and they are really good. They are playing with Good Night States which always brings a crowd.
Shows typically start at 10 PM at Brillobox.
If you are interested, please contact Caitlin Pasko to be added to the guest list. I don’t know if photography or video is permitted. You will have to ask her. Also, you will have to set up with the label if you would like time to interview the band. I have included the band’s press release below. [Ed. Contact Caitlin at the address below for a copy of the press release.] Please use the press release and photos from their website in your media – you have permission from the label. Please forward this opportunity to your friends/contacts.
Grab photos here:
Check out their music:
Concert is Saturday night at Brillobox
Want to be on the guest list? If you are covering the event, here is the record labels contact info:

For Guest List Spots at Brillobox + Other Press inquiries Contact
Caitlin Pasko @ Engine Room Recordings
Email Caitlin at engineroomrecordings dot com, or call 212-941.5657

Here’s a description from the press release:

The Bloodsugars stand apart from other "indie dance rock" bands with their intelligent songwriting and arrangements. Anyone who has ever played an instrument can immediately pick up on the tremendous technical aptitude showcased by all four members.  The band is so tasteful in the implementation of their abilities that it’s easy to simply escape into the beauty and excitement of the songs, without being conscious of how meticulously sculpted they are.  Mixed by the highly accomplished Dan Hetzel (Jennifer Lopez, Blondie, Ginuwine), each song is equally as unique as it is instantly accessible.  The Bloodsugars consistently manage to squeeze enthusiasm out of the most jaded scenesters, surprised to hear dance music that engages their minds as well as their feet.

I like what I hear in the song in the above video — and it’s cool to see uber-chef Mario Batali and his Crocs making a cameo. This should be a great show, whether you feel like promoting it or just going to enjoy the music.

Intro to Social Media Workshop

An event this next weekend, organized by PodCamp Pittsburgh:

Heard of blogging, but not quite sure what it is or how to do it?

Ever wonder what goes in a podcast and how you would listen to it?

Heard about Facebook, MySpace, and other websites but not sure where to even start?

The organizers of Podcamp Pittsburgh will conduct a basic session to give you an overview of what is called "New Media" or "Social Media". You’ll learn about these new forms of communication that are revolutionizing the way that ideas and thoughts are being communicated on the Internet.

After the session, the presenters will be available to answer questions and demonstrate concepts using laptop computers.

Register for the event on the library’s website (www.northlandlibrary.org) or by calling the Adult Reference Desk, 412-366-8100 X113.

Date: Saturday, September 27th
Time: 9:00 AM to 12:00 Noon.
Where: Northland Public Library – 300 Cumberland Rd., Pittsburgh PA 15237

Presented by organizers of Podcamp Pittsburgh (podcamppittsburgh.com)

I’ve involved in the periphery of this event — enough to know that the material is really useful and comprehensive for beginners, yet approachable and easy to understand. And it’ll be a great introduction to PodCamp Pittsburgh 3, coming in October!