Following in the steps of our earlier recap, here’s a look at the final day of Blogs With Balls 5, which wrapped up with several interesting panels and presentations Saturday in Toronto. Panel videos are available here, while full transcripts of my notes will be posted here by the end of the week. Let’s get to it.
Friday’s panels hit plenty of large targets that probably had at least some relevance for everyone in the room, from social and video content to what some of the industry’s biggest sites are doing, and even the single-sport panel on the NFL was focused on what’s unquestionably North America’s biggest sport. Saturday’s panels in general were more tightly-focused on specific sports and issues, and that carried both benefits and perils. On the positive side, it allowed for deep, in-depth discussions on everything from hockey to analytics to podcasting, but that raises the spectre of having content that isn’t relevant to the whole audience.
Of course, Blogs With Balls has always been an event where not everyone goes to every panel, and that’s perfectly fine; you just want to make sure you’re not alienating your audience with too many things that don’t appeal to them. The organizers seemed to pull off the balancing act here well, though; judging from both my own impressions and feedback from others I chatted with, the range of subjects tackled Saturday meant at least something appealed to most people.
This was perhaps the most specifically-focused day of Blogs with Balls panels I’d seen over BWB 2, 3, 4 and now 5, and that was a substantial risk, but it seemed to work out. Perhaps that says something about blogs at the moment; maybe there are less overarching issues that apply to all of us (for example, despite the flare-ups these last few weeks, it would still seem silly to spend an entire panel discussing the long-dormant bloggers/mainstream media war), but perhaps we’re established to a point where we can get down to in-depth discussions of what appeals to us, and perhaps we can even learn something from the areas that aren’t directly applicable to our own work. To find out, let’s get to the panels.