I had a great day, yesterday, introducing educators in Gaston County to Web 2.0 and blogging. Today I’ll be doing sessions on podcasting and a “Telling the New Story” presentation.
During the sessions yesterday, I introduced the audiences to Hitchhikr, as a loose example of a mash-up site. One of the teachers asked an interesting (and obvious) question. “Won’t people choose not to attend the conference, if they can visit the event through other people’s blogs and pictures?”
Of course, I do not know the answer to this question. But I suspect not. In fact, I suspect that the opposite may be true. EduBlogging found some traction during last year’s NECC conference in Philadelphia. I know that I wasn’t the only blogger to receive thank you comments and e-mails from educators who were not able to attend the conference, but who followed it through my bloggings and podcasts.
But intermixed with the digital exhaust of the NECC blogs were an almost equal number of blog entries for a little known conference down in Memphis, Tennessee, the Laptop Institute. Because of the nature of the conference, and the sophistication of its attendees, an astonishing number of them blogged the event. Of course their blogs sparked more conversation, and it became something of a buzz.
Certainly we can’t be sure if blogging was the reason, but this year their enrollment has nearly doubled. In fact, they have had to close registration and even the waiting list, because they want to be sure to provide a quality experience for all attendees.
It is logical to me, that the blogging served as an advertisement. But it was an honest and authentic advertisement that came from customers. All kinds of interesting implications here.