BlogMOB on Indianapolis' Monument Circle

For those of you who don't live in Indiana, my apologies for such an Indiana-centric post this afternoon. But here's what went down at today's BlogMOB, the publicity event for BlogIN 2008, the Indiana Blogger's event being held on Saturday, April 26, 2008. Find out more here.

12:00 p.m.

I’m sitting here on IndianapolisMonument Circle, facing south down Meridian Street, looking at my old employer. I’m sitting between Erin Monahan and Dave Stauffer, a husband and wife team from Carmel. Dave is a transportation safety inspector, and is learning how to blog so he can promote his new business. Erin is a budding freelance writer, and fellow chocolate lover. (That's Dave on my right, Erin on my left. Photo by Paul D'Andrea.) I'm sitting here with 29 other blog writers and enthusiasts because we believe in the power of the blog, the power of the individual collective, and the power of people who love our state.

"Blogging is a great way to set yourself up and establish your credibility in an industry," I tell Dave. "If you write about issues in your industry, you're seen as someone who knows what you're talking about. People will read your blog and assume, 'hey, if this guy is smart enough to write about these issues week after week, he's smart enough to do our consulting.'"

Erin asked what do you say to businesspeople who don't believe blogging is a viable method of communication. There are millions and millions of bloggers who would disagree with those people. Blogging today is what the Interweb was 10 - 12 years ago -- mostly vanity sites with a few companies who embraced the Web in its infancy (I was happy to be one of those people.) Nowadays, you can't have a company without a website. I think blogging is going to mean the same thing to business in a few more years.

12:20 p.m.

It's a Smaller Indiana reunion here today (at least as much of reunion as a 4-month-old organization can have).

Doug Karr just walked up and is talking with Joe Dager, who drove here all the way from Fort Wayne just to come to this. Matthew Flett -- Fletty, as I call him (he's British, and he loves his nicknames) -- is here, as is Scott Abel, Lorraine Ball, and Bob Hettel.

Stephen James and I are talking about this very entry, these very words that I'm typing right now -- sort of a weird, Jack Kerouac/Hunter S. Thompson article about a conversation about an article. All we need is a yellow submarine and we're a Beatles movie.

Stephen just pointed out that 30 writers, despite the fact that writing is such a solitary activity, have all gathered together in a public place to do it.

12:30 p.m.

Lorraine Ball and her daughter Michele are here. I stop Michele to chat with her for a few minutes, and the subject has turned to the South Bend Chocolate Company, which is about 100 feet from us. She has just admitted to going to Starbucks occasionally, although very rarely. (She doesn't drink enough coffee to have a favorite place though. We'll work on finding her one.)

12:45 p.m.

Nicki Laycoax is sitting on my right -- Dave and Erin have left for lunch -- and things are winding down. She and John Uhri are talking about Twitter and how to use it. I'm on it, and I use it occasionally, but I don't pay a lot of attention to it. I've tried to listen to their conversation -- hearing terms like Twit, Tweet, Tweetup, etc. It sounds like they're talking about the little yellow bird on Looney Tunes -- but I still don't have any clue how to use Twitter effectively, other than to tell people I've posted a new column. And even then, I'm not that consistent.


A friend from old work just walked by and we chatted a bit. The nice thing about being downtown is I'm seeing a lot of people I have known from a previous life. Lorraine is also telling Nicki and me about her new hip. She doesn't know what company its from, but chances are it's an Indiana hip, built and polished by one of the big four.


We're out. We had 30 people, Lorraine mugged at least 50 passers-by to hand out BlogIN 2008 cards, and we had at least 3 different photographers and 4 videographers. I was even interviewed by the legend himself, Zack Legend. (I don't think that's his real name though. Zack? I mean, come on! Who's named "Zack" anymore? The Legend thing I'm totally buying though.)

If you're interested in learning more about Smaller Indiana or the BlogIN 2008 conference, click one of the links in this sentence.