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Blogtalk Downunder Draws Near

Posted By Darren Rowse 12th of May 2005 Pro Blogging News 0 Comments

Blogtalk Downunder is getting close now – and some of the papers being presented are truly mouth watering stuff.

Papers released so far include:

Overseas Speakers coming include:

The only downer of Blogtalk Downunder is some criticism that they seem to attracted about the cost of the event. It is costing $175 ($AU) which some believe is too high. James has responded here with how they worked out the pricing and some of the reasons its not cheaper. I personally think that $175 is a very reasonable price for a conference of this standard of venue, speakers, food etc.

Having said this – most Ausse bloggers are not blogging on a professional level and don’t have the backing of a business, university or other organization to bankroll their trip to Sydney. Perhaps this is where some of the criticism comes from. It is something of a catch 22.

I also have a little niggling feeling that perhaps Blogtalk is pitching itself at a higher (more intellectual or academic) level than where the Average Aussie Blogger is at. In reading the papers released so far I’m very impressed by the intelligent, well thought out presentations – but am left wondering how accessible they are for most bloggers in Australia. Whilst pitching at this level will lead to some wonderful sessions – it could also be narrowing the potential attendance.

I don’t have any real answers – just tossing thoughts around in the hope that something is productive.

I’ve personally decided that I can’t make it to Sydney for Blogtalk – I’d love to go but partly due to the finances and partly because we’ve got so much going on at the moment it doesn’t look feasible. I’ll be following on via the blogs of those attending however and no doubt will be posting plenty of ‘wish I was there’ posts that week.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
  • I agree with your sentiments, Blog Talk seems pitched at an “intellectual elite” if you like that has not even tried to be inclusive of the greater Australian blogosphere, and in this regard it’s disappointing. The true characters and champions of the Australian blogosphere don’t even get a look in. The price is also a bit steep, I know, from past experience, that if you lower your expectations on venue you can deliver better value for money, I mean seriously, The Cruising Yacht Club of Australia, not exactly basic venue is it. When I was still a Sydney-sider I assisted in organising a conference back in the 90’s which attracted people from all over Australia, and a number of international visitors as well, and we hosted in very well at a reasonable cost at the University of Sydney. Anyhow, I’m sure the participants will enjoy their Moet as they listen to “a selection of most highly respected and knowledgeable individuals in the world”….pa-lease, good bloggers but hardly inclusive nor representative either. Lets hope someone shows an interest in running a BloggerCon so we can all get together and have an open, inclusive time.

  • I appreciate what you’re saying guys, some of the papers are pretty heavy stuff (and I say this with experience as I have trouble rereading my own for my presentation :o)

    There is actually a pretty simple reason behind this, however, although you’re quite right that it could be avoided through an alternative approach (& I like the one Darren has suggested over at the blog!)

    Anyway, being obtuse again ;o), we’re academics (read low salary) and the conference wouldn’t be happening without the underwriting of UTS (who at the moment stand to lose money… gulp) and consequently we have to

    a. get peoples institutions to fund them to come an present
    b. get peoples institutions to fund them to go
    c. put on a conference that meets the ‘rigorous’ standards that UTS expect

    In order for people to get funding to go as presenters they need to have their paper blind referred by at least two people to make it eligible for DEST points (these determine a lot of the funding the institutions get)… also in order for people to be supported to just attend they need to be seen to be going to a conference with full DEST credentials.

    So, meet UTS standards & to get people along we have to pitch it at this level.

    Plus most of our networks are in academia.

    (and the CYC is surprisingly affordable, but please don’t tell anyone that either :o)

    The one point I do disagree with is your comment about the invited speakers… firstly, c’mon… why did you snip “when it comes to blogs.” off the end of your quote and secondly, I didn’t claim they were inclusive or representative… just that they are some of the most well respected / knowledgeable people in this area.

    And also, lets be fair, are you seriously asking for a conference that fits everyone’s needs? In two days?