Blogging scholarship competition/Blog World Expo

I found via Alex Halavais’ blog that there’s a blogging scholarship out there. It’s being sponsored by what I guess is a commercial enterprise, College Scholarships.org, though I don’t really know how you make money by giving away scholarship money. In any event, the prize money/scholarship here of $10,000 will go to one college student’s blog based on a list of 20 finalist that they came up with in some way.

If nothing else, I’m interested in this list of bloggers as potential study subjects. I think. Lately, I have been thinking that I am less interested in blog writers who have a large and adoring audience or bloggers who blog to make money and more interested in the vast majority of bloggers who have a tiny tiny audience. And as bloggers who happen to be students, these folks might cross into the “academic” realm of bloggers which I’m also trying to avoid studying. Still, this is a good list of what at least one group described as “good blogs,” and that might fit into a teaching experience like ENGL 516 or ENGL 444.

Incidentally, there is also an ad on these sites for something called the Blog World & New Media Expo. It is rather cheap– especially compared to the conference I mentioned the other day– and it would automatically be fun because it’s going to be in Vegas. But it sure seems to be nothing more than a conference on how to make money with your blog. I guess “making money” has always been a motivation to write, but I think it’s fair to say that this is a pretty naive motivation. I went to a reading last night given by a former EMU colleague, Jeff Parker, who has a new novel out from a very small and literary press, and one of the questions from one of the young people in the crowd was along the lines of “how much money are you going to make from this?” Parker kind of looked around, and without directly answering, more or less said what was true, “probably none, but lightening does strike once in a while.”

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3 Responses to Blogging scholarship competition/Blog World Expo

  1. Dave Cynkin says:

    Hi Steven,

    Thank you for the mention and link to BlogWorld. It sounds as if you’re both critical of the event and interested in attending all at once. I do hope you attend, and while you will find presentations that further education about content monetization for those in need (we have a “Monetization” track in the conference, it’s just one of 10+ educational tracks available), you’ll also find that making money with a blog is just one of many facets that the event encompasses.

    The fact is that many of the speakers presenting will be focused on helping bloggers to use tools and methods to better communicate, no matter what their motivation. Writers come in all forms, and while some look at a communication advances in terms of revenue growth potential, others simply view the new tools as a better way to express ideas with the same passion as when the medium was the local paper or special interest bulletin board.

    Online conversations bring diverse motivations, and this event was founded by a non-techie guy who simply wanted to learn how to become a better online conversationalist–a better blogger. My partner Rick had been blogging for several years, and he sought a comprehensive event where he could learn about which software, widgets, reference sites and tools could help him evolve in his passion-driven hobby. No such event existed, and BlogWorld & New Media Expo was born.

    Could blogging become a business, and could monetized content be a major driver of some bloggers? Certainly. But that’s up to the individual. It all starts with passion. What you do with it is up to you. :)

    I think you’re right; it will be automatically fun. Hope to see you in Vegas, and would love to hear your assessment afterward.

    Best Regards,

    Dave Cynkin
    VP, Sleep Deprivationist and Thrill-Seeker
    BlogWorld and New Media Expo

  2. Rick Calvert says:

    Hi Steven,

    This is the post that caught my attention. and I wanted to address this comment in your post:

    “But it sure seems to be nothing more than a conference on how to make money with your blog.”

    It is much much more than that. Speaking as the CEO and Co-founder of BlogWorld & New Media Expo I can tell you the inspiration came from my interest in attending just such an event, but when I went searching for it, it didn’t exist.

    Yes teaching people how to make money from blogging is part of the focus, and in important one for people who spend the equivilant of full and part time work hours on their blogs.

    But it is also about improving the look and functionality of your blog, increasing your readership, learning how to be a better blogger, and meeting friends, you have made via your blog.

    Most of us have a similar experience, we start blogging because we are passionate about a particular subject, as our readership grows sooner or later the idea strikes you “wait a minute you mean I can actually make money doing this?”.

    This isn’t some get rich sales pitch as I have realized and most others have as well. We blog because we love it, if money comes so be it, but that is certainly a secondary concern.

    If you would like to know more about “the big idea” behind the event feel free to contact me anytime.

    Blog on!
    Rick Calvert
    CEO & Co-founder
    BlogWorld & New Media Expo
    rick@blogworldexpo.com

  3. Steven D. Krause says:

    Well, maybe next year. That weekend is my wife’s birthday and I don’t think she’d be cool with me being out of town for that, especially with no advanced planning/notice. Plus I’m going to NYC the next weekend for a conference.

    I think it’s interesting to get comments from both of these guys who are running this thing. I’m not sure if that makes me think more of them and of myself, or not….

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