Q & A with #MNBlogCon Closing Keynote Panel Speaker Greg Swan

Q & A with #MNBlogCon Closing Keynote Panel Speaker Greg Swan

By Monika Melsha

It was a true pleasure preparing to learn a little bit more about our panelist Greg Swan. @gregswan is SVP brand innovation and digital strategy at @webershandwick / @wsmpls as well as a music blogger at @perfectporridge. Take this quick journey with us now and plan to stay at Minnesota Blogger Conference™ from 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. for our Final Keynote – “The Future of Blogging.”

1. What has been the most rewarding aspect of your professional career thus far?

I’ve loved working with people from such diverse backgrounds, interests and passions. It’s also been a fantastic learning experience writing blogs for over a decade and getting the opportunity to work with bloggers on the marketing side. Most of all, I love working with brands and people who are excited for what’s next. We forget that blogs and social media are very young, and yet their impact to the business world and our everyday lifestyle has been significant. What has changed will change again, and I love that it’s my job to discern upcoming trends and put them into context.

2. Do you feel you’ve needed to make any adjustments to be more effective in various career roles over the years?


My life’s theme is “iteration.” Adaptation and being open to change are critical to staying on top of trends, working with different personalities and learning from others. It’s critical to remember there is always someone smarter, faster and better at things than you. The opportunity comes from seeking out those talents and knitting them together.

3. For which blog does the writing you do give you the most personal satisfaction?

I started a LiveJournal in 1999, interned at an alternative newspaper, graduated from Journalism school, founded an arts newspaper, started my music blog in 2004, wrote for (the now defunct) Minneapolis Metroblog, our company’s blog and manage a personal blog and Tumblr, too. Writing and storytelling are part of me, and I love how technology makes it possible to amplify this passion. As I’ve had kids and life has gotten more busy, I’m writing less but sharing more. I can’t pick a favorite. They are all necessary and if you took them all away, I think I would need to move to rural Idaho and change everything about my life. I would also grow a beard, I think.

4. When did your love of music take root? Do you play any instruments? Are there any instruments that you’ve always wanted to learn?

My mom was a music teacher growing up, and that side of my family is very musical. My sister and I inherited a large instrument collection 20 years ago, and I play many of them (terribly). Of note, I bought a didgeridoo off of Craigslist a few years ago and am still perfecting my style. If only the dogs would stop barking.

5. Thinking back on all the things that you have been recognized for, which are you most proud of?

Being named to PR Week’s 40 Under 40 was a great honor but only because it was actually a reflection of a team of colleagues who do awesome work and make doing the work an absolutely joy to tackle together. I’m less concerned about awards and accolades than doing amazing work with a team of passionate peers who share a common value system.

6. If you had to pick one thing to share about yourself that most people don’t know about you, what would you chose?


Horatio Jones was my 5th Great Grandfather. He was captured by the Seneca tribe in late 1700s, adopted by a Native American family, and later served as an interpreter and cultural liaison for the US government for treaties and archiving the tribe’s history. It seems storytelling, crossing cultural divides and a love of the outdoors runs deep in my family.

7. Do you have a bucket list of things to accomplish in your career before you retire? What are three things on that list?

I want to buy something with my cell phone from a vending machine in Tokyo. I want to check-in at the Oval Office on Foursquare. I want to do something so entirely unique and outrageous that it changes a paradigm.

8. Who is the musical performer that you would most enjoy meeting & sharing a discussion over a meal with?

I would love to eat sushi with Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and ask him deeply personal questions about art in 2014, the court of public opinion, the broken music industry, nation-building politicians, and being a father.

about-monikaMonika is currently a RPS Marketing Services Program Manager for US Bank executing multi-channel Portfolio Marketing campaigns and has 20+ years marketing experience in Health Club Management, Loyalty Marketing Operations, Credit Card Marketing, Account Management and Vendor Management. Her personal blogs are melshaunplugged.tumblr.com & http://nightlightjourneys.blogspot.com/. She is pleased to be a contributor on this year’s Minnesota Blogger Conference™ planning team.

#mnblogcon Schedule Announcement

Announcing the 2013 #mnblogcon Schedule!

For the last three years, some of the best and most prolific Minnesota bloggers have spoken at the MN Blogger Conference.

Lee Odden, Kate Hopper, Julio Ojeda-Zapata, Patrick Rhone, Lauren Melcher, Erik Hare, Mykl Roventine, David Erickson, James Lilkes, and Nancy Lyons, just to name a few.

We’re proud to announce today the topic and speaking line-up for the 2013 MN Blogger Conference, which will be held on Sat., Oct. 12 at Concordia University:

“How I got started blogging”  – Ed Kohler (@edkohler), Kate Selner (@katenthekitchen), Kate Arends, and Aaron; moderator: Paul DeBettignies (@mnheadhunter) (OPENING KEYNOTE)

“Bringing out your passion in your blog” – Sara Lien, Zhenya Hutson (@beingzhenya), Jennifer Prod (@jenniferprod); moderator: Amanda Ingle (@amandaingle)

“I’ll Tumblr for you”  – Nora Pulmort (@noraborealis)

“How to grow your blog via community, e-newsletter and search” – John Bonnes (@twinsgeek), James Svoboda (@realicity), Emma Wilhelm (@emmasota); moderator: Alex Haider (@alexhaider)

“Legal issues and blogging”  – Anna Berend (@motherlylaw)

“Using Google Analytics to become a better blogger”  – Jeff Sauer (@jeffsauer)

“A Non-Designers Guide to WordPress” – Mykl Roventine (@myklroventine)

“How to mobilize your Blogging”  – Curt Prins (@curtprins)

“How to Blog for a Living”  – Sven Schneider (@gentsgazette)

“The Future of Blogging”  – Greg Swan (@gregswan), Blois Olson (@bloisolson), David Brauer @dbrauer); moderator: Julio Ojeda-Zapata (@ojezap) (CLOSING KEYNOTE)

Registration for the 2013 MN Blogger Conference will begin this Thursday, Sept. 12, at 9 a.m. Follow @mnblogcon for all the latest information.

Tickets typically go fast, so be sure to be following along at 9 a.m. on Thursday. If you miss your chance then, no worries. We’ll be offering up two more rounds of tickets on Monday, Sept. 16 and Wed., Sept. 18, too.

Hope to see you on Oct. 12 at the 2013 MN Blogger Conference!

Want to present at #mnblogcon on Oct. 12?

Want to present to more than 150 fellow bloggers from across the great state of Minnesota on Oct. 12 at Concordia University in St. Paul? Here’s your chance!

Were looking for three speakers who can speak to topics that are relevant to the beginner and advanced blogger.

We’re giving you two weeks to put together your best proposal. Here’s what we need from you:

  • Send an email with your idea for a session, including suggested title and short description to arik@arikhanson.com.

  • Include 3 bullets that highlight what you hope bloggers will learn as a result of your session.

  • Include relevant speaker experience you may have (not a requirement, but ideally, would like to see bloggers with some speaking experience).

  • Finally, include a short bio and head shot/photo with your note.

We’ll take submissions through Friday, Aug. 30. After we’ve received all the submissions, the #mnblogcon planning team will cull through them to select the three lucky winners (who will then be notified by email).

Good luck! Looking forward to seeing some great ideas from our wonderful Minnesota bloggers!

2013 Minnesota Blogger Conference to be held Oct. 12 at Concordia University

2013 Minnesota Blogger Conference to be held Oct. 12 at Concordia University

Exciting news—the 2013 Minnesota Blogger Conference will be held Saturday, Oct. 12 at Concordia University!

The conference, now in its fourth year, is a one-day meeting for Minnesota bloggers from all walks of life—and all types of sectors. Lifestyle bloggers. Food bloggers. Political bloggers. Sports bloggers. Tech bloggers. They’ll all show up on Oct. 12 to talk all things blogging.

This will be our first year hosting the event at Concordia University (@concordiastpaul on the Twitters). We had previously held the event at Allina Health Headquarters, and CoCo (a co-working venue) in St. Paul.

Designed as an event where bloggers can network and learn more about the art of blogging, the Minnesota Blogger Conference (#mnblogcon and @mnblogcon on Twitter) typically draws between 150-200 bloggers each year. Once again, as in prior years, we are hoping to keep the event FREE of charge!

Previous speakers at the event include a who’s who of Minnesota bloggers, including:

More information, including a schedule and details about the event, will be shared soon. We’ll also be soliciting three speakers for this year’s event—so be looking for that opportunity early next week.

For now we’re hoping you’ll circle Oct. 12 on your calendars!

2012 Conference Link Round Up

Many thanks to all who attended the 3rd annual MN Blogger Conference in Minneapolis Saturday, Sept. 22, 2012. We’ll use this post to share links to all the slides from speakers and round up posts from attendees. We’ll update as often as possible.

Speaker posts/slides:

Attendee posts:

If you have a relevant post you want us to list here, please send us a note to mnblogconf at g mail dot com.