What If They Gave A Party and No One Came?

Yes, the Newspaper Association of America setup a group weblog for attendees of its Connections online publishing conference and none of them used it. So what? Did anyone really expect it to be used?

Last November, a group weblog that the Online News Association provided to attendees of its annual meeting was heavily used. However, that was a group weblog for a meeting of journalists — people who like to write. whose jobs are to write, who like to report what occured. It should have been no surprise that the ONA group weblog was heavily used.

By contrast, Connections is a conference of general managers and marketing executives — people who aren’t writers, whose jobs aren’t to write, and who are usually tight-lipped about saying what’s really going on. Why did the NAA expect those people would be motivated to report for a group weblog?

Perhaps seeing how heavily a group weblog was used at the recent ONA conference, the NAA decided to provid one at the Connections conference — the way that it also served soft drinks, carrots and dip, and Internet kiosks, as just another accessory? Maybe it also just wanted to be trendy and say that it too provided a blog?

Whatever the reason, the NAA forgot the old adage about how a conference organization should know its audience. Writers write. Managers manage. And the managers who attended the Connections conference managed to do quite well without a group weblog. No mystery why.