Now that the dust has fully settled on OpenWorld 2008, it’s probably time to start planning next year’s iteration.
Justin and I spoke recently with the people who manage the Blogger Program to debrief about the event, how the program was received and ways to improve it for next year.
If you read that sentence carefully, you might notice one potentially interesting fact. I do not have any official responsibility for the OpenWorld Blogger Program. They do ask me for counsel on some occasions, but for the most part, I’m an observer, just like you.
One suggestion I have made is that they start a blog or wiki to collect feedback and test out ideas before formalizing next year’s program, assuming it will be renewed. While they consider that suggestion, I’d like to collect some thoughts before they get too stale in your collective memories.
From what I personally noticed, the big orange Blogger lanyard (pictured, thanks Eddie!) and the orange Blogger ribbons were in high demand among the Oracle ACEs, many of whom have blogs. The only explanation of why I could get was that the credential got the bearer access to a table at the keynotes that had network access.
Other than that, the desire for a blogger credential seemed to be ribbon collection only, which is fine, but not very helpful when you’re evaluating success and failure points.
So, in the comments, tell us what you liked, didn’t like, would like improved about the program next year. One need area we’ve already discussed is differentiating between people attending as bloggers, i.e. getting into the show on the program’s dime, and people who blog, but are attending in another capacity, e.g. ACEs, customers, partners, etc.
To be clear, my goal is to collect these ideas and pass them along to the right people, but I cannot personally affect your changes. So, if you want T&E paid to come blog OpenWorld, feel free to say so, but know that I have no power to make that so.
I fall into the latter category of people who blog, but are attending in another capacity (in my case, as a customer). I personally feel no pressing need to obtain a blogger credential, since my primary responsibility while at Oracle OpenWorld is to gather and share information for my employer. For me, OTN's blogger sticker was sufficient for my needs. (Could we have Twitter and FriendFeed stickers next year?)
I can see why it would be appropriate for certain ACEs such as Eddie to have a blogger credential, since (presumably) one of the reasons that Eddie is an ACE is because of his contributions to the community via his blog.
“assuming it will be renewed”
As someone who did attend as a blogger this year, i sincerely hope that this is continued! One big advantage of the blogger credential was skipping past a HUGE line to get into Larry's keynote.
As an ACE and Blogger couldn't manage to have that orange badge somehow and it was to hard for me to watch my friends having their seats during the keynote while I was having an OLTP Compression type of activity in the middle of the crowd.
Next time I will try harder to have one, in deed an important opportunity not only to access to the keynotes but also to easily identify other friend bloggers around whom most probably you only know by name.
I think credential itself should be for those attending on the program. There should be a way to show that other attendees, like you, have blogs as well, e.g. ribbon or sticker.
I'd like to see lanyards that have blank boxes for Twitter, FriendFeed, etc. account. BarCamp PDX did that for Twitter, which makes it easy to identify people you know virtually and easy to find new people to follow
I only include that caveat b/c like I said, I'm not the guy to say whether it's on for next year or not.
So, any other comments about the program, either good or bad? Ways to improve it? Where do you blog?
Good points. So, one plus we've identified so far is access to the blogger table for keynotes. Your point about identifying fellow bloggers is a good one too.
I did mention that several ACEs wanted the blogger credential specifically to get seating at that table during keynotes. So, he knows it's highly desirable for his ACE program next year.