About 120 people converged on uptown Charlotte Saturday to participate in the Observer's first bloggers' convention.
The all-day event featured panels on topics such as Web site design, content development and marketing. Steve Gunn, an Observer editor and one of the event's organizers, said the goal was to get the online community together to network and to ultimately help make life better for Charlotte.
Blogging has become one of the most popular forms of new media. At the Democratic National Convention in August, the party issued about 120 credentials for bloggers, three times as many as it did for its convention in Boston in 2004.
More than 100 million blogs are said to exist.
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Some who attended the Observer's event were amateurs. Others were experienced professionals. Some represented their own Web sites. Others came from established organizations, looking to get their own blogs started.
Katie Ratchford came to help develop ideas for her employer, Carolinas Medical Center, which is thinking about starting a blog. “There are just a lot of different avenues and we want to see what is out there,” said Ratchford, a CMC spokeswoman.
Justin Ruckman, 24, operates CLTBlog.com. The site, which started in April, features 16 volunteer writers who cover topics as diverse as politics and pop music. He came Saturday to network and to exchange ideas.
“I wish something like this happened when I was just starting out,” he said.