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Thought-provoking sessions designed to inspire and entertain.
We asked Aspirational speakers to describe their sessions in their own words. The results are below. Enjoy!
How-to sessions designed to educate and empower.
What is social currency and how can it help you pay the rent? Learn how to monetize your passion for blogging from those who know best, as this session welcomes speakers from across the brand spectrum. Hear from Carolyn Tang Kmet of the online phenomenon Groupon, who will speak to their affiliate program, Megan Berry from the influence indexing site Klout and fashion blogger Amy Creyer of Chicago Street Style, who has been featured in tons of places including CNN, NBC Chicago, MTV and the Chicago Tribune. Amy has worked with a number of different brands, including: JBrand, Havaianas, Oliver Peoples and Cynthia Rowley. Moderated by summit sponsor Brand About Town, the team behind blogging advocacy programs for brands such as Nintendo and Gap, this spirited session will share actionable insights on how to attract brands to your blog and how you can leverage their interest into tangible benefits for you and your readers.
If you want your blog to seamlessly combine the written word with compelling imagery, this session is for you. Join Erin Parker, 20SB 2011 Bootleg Award Winner for best original photographer, as she breaks down how to take evocative photographs using everything from the smart phone in your pocket to your top of the line digital SLR. Jake Stangel will speak to the background behind his community of photographers, Too Much Chocolate. You’ll learn how to engage an internet crowd and create a community around photography.
Come learn what it takes to be the next viral video sensation phenomenon. John Pham ("phampants") and Patrick Pho will show you what equipment you'll need to produce great looking videos -- regardless of budget -- and discuss what it takes to create engaging content that people will want to watch and share. Also featuring Michael Stevens, part of the team that created the viral sensation "Obama Girl," and an actual employee at YouTube (!) the panel will also demystify how to syndicate your work on popular video sharing sites and how to monetize your videos by becoming an in-demand network affiliate. This content-rich session will be moderated by mixed media blogger Richard Boehmcke.
WordPress guru, Becky Davis, will highlight what WordPress is and the power it gives to bloggers. Learn the difference between WordPress.com and WordPress.org and how robust this content management system has become. Becky will also demonstrate the almost unlimited design and functionality potential of this dynamic platform. A not-to-be-missed deep dive into all that WordPress has to offer moderated by blogger and web developer Nico del Castillo.
Building an active community is a critical component of any blog. But knowing how to keep your most passionate followers engaged on and offline is the true mark of an influential blogger. Jenna Langer will explain how real-time social commenting platforms like Livefyre can help bloggers actively build and engage with their communities. Sami Ari will then share his fresh perspective on how to successfully take your community offline and what’s necessary to create engaging in-person experiences that go beyond the world of 140 characters. And Sara Altier will walk you through how a web-based planning tool like Eventbrite can help bloggers manage their registration and promotional needs to ensure maximum exposure and attendance at their events big and small. This session will be jammed packed with expert advice and moderated by Derek Shanahan, the co-founder of 20SB.net, a community of 18,000 and growing.
Want a dedicated following for your blog? Then quality writing and core topics are critical to your success. Bloggers Jenn Bollenbacher, Katie Laird and Molly Ford share how focusing on the fundamentals of blogging—structure, layout and consistency—will result in a compelling point of view that will shape your writing and attract loyal readership.
Learn how to invigorate your writing and build readership by working with others to create content for your site. Join Doniree Walker and Tim Jahn as they walk you through best practices and critical planning elements on how to seamlessly integrate interviews, guest posts and collaborative content into your blog without alienating your existing community.
Get the inside scoop on turning your passion for social media into a career from those who are living the dream. Successful social media entrepreneurs Ryan Paugh and Elysa Rice will discuss how and why the 20SB generation is a workforce to be reckoned with and how to best represent yourself and your social media expertise in your communications with potential employers. Southwest Communication Specialist, Laurel Moffat, will round out the session by sharing her career journey as well as providing insights on how Southwest recruits for positions within their social media team.
FRIDAY | AUGUST 19, 2011
SATURDAY | AUGUST 20, 2011
SUNDAY | AUGUST 21, 2011
**Summit schedule is tentative. Please check back for updates!
333 N. Dearborn | Chicago, IL 60654
A Nerd's Guide to Being Unapologetically Awesome // Jen Friel
What do a quarter life crisis, a broken heart, and all around frustration with work equal? The necessary ingredients for one epic adventure!!! *waves* Hi, I'm @JenFriel and I am currently on the greatest journey eveerrrrr!! In less than 2 years I managed to change my own life for good because of an idea that I had based on the trends I was seeing in the social space. The best part is, is that I'm not special, just awesome. You can totally do it too!!
Personal brands are everything, and storytelling within advertising is the future. Learn how you can combine the two and feel fulfilled on a personal and professional level. This is a very personal invitation for you all to come along and learn how it all got started and what your next doable actions are to lead a life of unapologetic awesomeness!!!
EXPLOSION! (working title) // Craig Benzine
Craig discusses how his YouTube channel, WheezyWaiter, became a success due to his willingness to fly by the seat of his pants, let ideas form as they were already being used, and not really know where things were going. Or maybe he'll just cry onstage. I guess we'll find out!
From Booty Calls to Book Deals: the Texts From Last Night Story // Ben Bator
The recipe for success on the Internet is a maddeningly abstract concoction that is mostly a combination of mistakes. While most bloggers face the task of creating content daily, Texts From Last Night (TFLN) and other User Generated Content sites must curate both content and a community in order to be successful.
Texts From Last Night (TFLN) was founded in February 2009 by two friends for reasons that may or may not include: the tendency to press send more easily as the night turns to morning, friends' social habits, disgraced government officials, exes, law school, closing down bars and leaving tabs open, general debauchery and/or a common disgust for all the negativity surrounding the 'sexting' phenomenon. Billions of page views, a book and a Webby Award later, we continue to have more fun than our law school brethren and read more texts than Homeland Security on a daily basis. TFLN receives 3-5 million page views and 5,000 - 7,000 (and sometimes 15,000) submissions daily.
The Glamour, The Glory, The Grind: Lessons Learned From 5 Years Of Problogging // Gala Darling
How did a girl who worked at the post office in New Zealand end up blogging in New York city, working alongside the likes of Mary-Kate & Ashley Olsen, & featuring in campaigns for Coach, Estee Lauder, Ralph Lauren, & Google? It's been a crazy adventure, but like all wild journeys, it hasn't all been easy...
So, what does it mean to make your living from a blog? Gala will speak about her most memorable moments & biggest struggles, as well as dispel some of the myths about blogging as a career. She'll tell you the mistakes she's made, so you don't have to repeat them! You'll learn how she made the jump from fashion blogger to a personal brand, & hear all about the glamour behind the scenes (pajama pants & all)!
Oh No! I've Said Too Much // Ben Boudreau
So we all blog to get millions of readers, book deals, reality shows and all that Heather Armstrong hotness, right? Okay. Maybe not all of us, but plenty of bloggers focus on building that audience, gaining influence, and getting your name and story out there. But no one ever tells you about some of what happens after that momentum starts to snowball beyond your expectations.
What do you do when strangers start trying to add your family on Facebook? How do you stay open and honest when you have no idea who could be listening? When your saint of a significant other relies on privacy for work, is blogging openly too risky?
While Ben Boudreau may not have “made it” by Hollywood standards, his brushes with online ‘fame’ have been true to the name of his blog, No Ordinary Rollercoaster. From unknown to overrated in six months, you’ll want to buckle up for this ride. Ben will drop his walls in this talk about boundaries, privacy, surviving life with a blogger, and the three things he wishes he could talk about but can’t.
You’ve Built a Community, Now What Will You Do With It? // Nate St. Pierre
Everyone talks about “building community” around their blog or project, but few people ever think about how much they can accomplish with it beyond blog comments and social media promotion. I’ll be discussing new ideas for leveraging your community into effective action, with examples from my own project – one simple blog that has transformed into three separate global groups who work together to change the world.