By Kai Prager – Senior International Media Relations Specialist
Two stops from Copenhagen Main Station I stepped off the local train. I looked around and had the feeling I was in a different city: No historic buildings, no boats … just a few apartment buildings and a modern structure in the background. I took to the street with my little map and tried to decide which direction to go. I saw two women leaving the station as well and asked them for directions. They pointed toward the modern structure. They were also on their way to the conference, and five minutes later we entered The Hive together, like three eager bees.
The Hive styles itself as “The European Blog Conference.” Visitors came to Denmark from all over Europe, from Iceland to Italy and from Hungary to the Netherlands, to attend. Some of the participants even crossed the Atlantic to take part in the conference, taking the scope as far as the U.S.
Attending the keynote I noticed a main theme that appeared in one form or another throughout the event: Authenticity.
Katie Treggiden, who runs the blog Confessions of a Geek Designer, gave an engaging speech about finding –and writing in — one’s own voice and theme. She said this is essential to attracting a core audience who visit the blog regularly. Broadly styled writings, on the other hand, don’t aggravate anyone.
The next speaker, who showcases authenticity with every post, is the charming Anne Faber. She discussed how Anne’s Kitchen turned from a blog to both a book and a TV show. The secret to her success is her love of food and cooking which she convincingly applied to her blog and later adopted for publishing efforts and a career as a television presenter.
The Hive hosted a wide range of keynotes and workshops showcasing helpful tools for bloggers, from social media and SEO to storytelling and photography. There were helpful tips for those who want to turn their blog into a business, such as including ads, tying in a shop or offering other services. But it was also stated that all efforts to gain revenue should fit the overall concept of the blog; otherwise, the authenticity of the blog would be damaged.
After two days at the conference, and talking to bloggers from all over Europe and beyond, I left with the realization that blogging transcends borders and connects people all over the world. Blogging provides the possibility to look closely into a special subject that can attract readers everywhere. It permits the use of a wide array of media like text, film, audio and images. But most important, a blog should be authentic and true to its theme and style.