Why Blogs With Balls 3 Was the Best Conference I’ve Ever Attended (Flagged for Follow Up)

This past Saturday I attended and spoke at a fantastic sports media conference called Blogs With Balls 3. Massive kudos to Kyle Bunch and the crew at Hugging Harold Reynolds for what was the best conference I’ve ever attended (and for inviting an ‘outsider’ like me to speak). Do not sleep on the next time they put one of these together!

That’s right – the best conference I’ve ever attended. Here’s why, in no particular order of importance …

Monday (Blogs With Balls 3 recap) edition: Wha’ Happened? (RandBall)

During the panel on ethics and legality in sports blogging, the difference between bloggers and traditionally trained members of the mainstream media (or even the blogosphere) was never more evident. The casual approach to facts when putting together a blog post was stunning….In any event, we understand blogging is not the same as journalism. But the standard has to be higher.

Blogs with Balls 3: Welcome to the after-after-after party (Hail to the Orange)

As for the event itself, the series of panels on the important aspects of sports blogging, from ethics to technology to most importantly, gettin’ paid, I didn’t really know what to expect. obviously when you have representatives from companies like Proctor and Gamble or ESPN, there is only so much crazy and cursing that can take place…

The ethics panel and democratization of media panel were probably the two most raucous and stimulating that would take place, and without going into the drama too much, one lesson could be clearly taken away. As a blogger, it isn’t only your credibility that you should be worried about, but the credibility of the entire blogging community.

Blogs with Balls 3 (Or Drinking with Other Bloggers) (Eleven Warriors)

Over the weekend, the third installment of Blogs With Balls was held in Chicago and besides being a great excuse to get to know some of our frenemies over rounds of adult beverages, also served as a great way for bloggers to share best-practices and other tips for success with each other.

Blogs with Balls 3 the Aftermath (The Sports Bank)

Chicago was the center of the sports blog universe, at least for one weekend. Perhaps it’s more than coincidence that Blogs with Balls 3, the convention I’m speaking off, took place here at the same exact time that Chicago was hosting a jewel event, the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals, with high media coverage. The day after BWB3 concluded the Chicago Blackhawks moved to within one win of clinching the Stanley Cup. There were many internet sports luminaries in attendance including Scott Reifert Director of Communications for the Chicago White Sox.

‘Laziness As A Business Model’: My Panel At Blogs With Balls 3 [Video] (With Leather)

A quick, unbiased aside: The guys behind Blogs With Balls fill a genuine need in our industry. Their three organized gatherings of sports blogging talent, insight and personality have been, in my opinion, without peer. In addition to hearing from some of the most accomplished online sportswriters out there, I’ve had chances to meet a variety of people at these events.

Some of those people, like “Wisconsin Rob” and Ryan from Rumors and Rants, were people that I’d been emailing and tweeting with for some time. Others, like ESPN’s David Jacoby, were sports fans in high places with whom I’d otherwise have no business associating. For people with equally woeful social skills, this is both refreshing and necessary. This was the second trip I’d made to Blogs With Balls, and it was the second instance where I felt I was getting great value for my money and my time.

Video: Robert Littal At Blogs With Balls 3 in Chicago (Black Sports Online)

The business that we are in for the most part is independent. We are our own bosses. We run our own ships. We make our own rules.

There are times because of this tunnel vision we lose perspective and we don’t open our mind to other things. When you bring all these different people together it is just a wealth of knowledge.