Bloggers are the best blaggers

I’m in Vegas for Interbike (the desert rides start Monday) but I couldn’t resist attending Blog World Expo, the US show for bloggers, podcasters and social media animals.

It was staged at the Las Vegas Convention Center and attracted the rock stars of the blogging world such as Chris Brogan, Robert Scoble and Gary Vaynerchuk. Attendance at the talks they headlined was massive.

The expo floor, naturally, was crawling with geeks. Geeks live vlogging via Qik; geeks live Twittering in the seminars; geeks carrying the same sort of gear I carry at shows: digital tape recorder, lap-top, camera gear. Turn a corner and you’d bump into yet another live podcast being audio-recorded or filmed. I was in my element.

Weirdly, I met loads of folks into bikes. OK, there were lots of fatties at the show but there also lots of fitties.

In a seminar entitled ‘Beyond Adsense: Exploration of Practical Monetization Streams’, Jason Billingsley of ecommerce software vendor Elastic Path Software used the following example for a niche that could make money: bicycle maintenance videos. For a second I thought I was at Interbike because, er, I make money from bicycle maintenance videos.

I also seemed to bump into the new media start-ups which are based in cool US cities for cycling, like Boulder. Hell knows how half of them will get past the VC funding stage to actually make any money but let’s benefit from the widget-creating frenzy while it lasts.

One of spin offs of the cash from business angels is the freebie splurge. Every second booth had t-shirts to hand out, so many in fact, you could be picky, choosing only the coolest of the tech tees.

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Obviously, the show had free wifi, but there was also free soda, free fresh-baked cookies, free chips and guacamole. But I know the freebie that would have gone down a storm at Interbike, especially with germ-fixated roadies: was doling out hand-sanitisation gel.