Image by bullcreek via Flickr
Paul Chaney, head of the International Blogging and New Media Association (IBNMA), of which I’m a card carrying member (if they had cards… membership’s only $25 so they’d probably need to use Vista Print), blogged today, “It’s time for a sponsored conversations summit.“
My reaction in two words: Please, no!
Maybe it’s because I’m a little summited out, the day before I head to six consecutive events over a two-week span. Maybe it’s because I know the conference landscape well enough. But really, do we need to keep having these micro-summits?
My issue with this idea is that it’s directly related to blogging and social media marketing, and it’s all tied into the bigger issue. Whether your cup of tea is Blog World Expo or BlogHer, or the broader ad:tech or MediaPost’s OMMA, or other associations that address this such as the Word of Mouth Marketing Association, there are dozens of events on the books already where this can come up. I’d urge Paul and other members of the IBNMA to propose sessions or even tracks on sponsored conversations.
I do believe it’s an important discussion. My agency 360i recently discussed sponsored conversations on its own blog (full disclosure: I didn’t write the post on it as we have a bunch of people contributing, but I do post there as well). Paul and other members of the IBNMA should get in touch with people who help plan some of the events I mentioned (like me — and I have no problem talking to myself, sometimes aloud) to pursue discussions on this further. I think WOMMA would be really into this as they had a pioneering code of ethics for word of mouth marketing, and I know other event planners would jump at the chance to have a controversial, fiery session where you get people like Ted Murphy, Chris Brogan, Jeremiah Owyang, and Paul Chaney going head to head (I’ll volunteer as a moderator).
So let’s do it. But please, let’s not have SponCon, as much as I like how that would look as a Twitter hashtag.