I’m happy to announce that I have booked my first keynote presentation. It’ll be at Podcamp Topeka in Topeka, Kansas on November 6. The event will be held at the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library. It’s an “unconference” where everyone is welcome to lead a breakout session – in essence, a discussion on a particular topic. I’ll be leading at least one myself, following the keynote.

The event is being organized by a team led by David Lee King, an acquaintance of mine, that also includes Brandon Sheley, Alissa Sheley, Lisa Coble-Krings, Bill Ludwig and Joe Cheray. I have been so impressed by the organization of the event and David’s leadership. I believe it will be a great unconference and it is a tremendous value, as well. For the day, including lunch and perhaps even a small breakfast, the cost is only $6.11. You can register online.

My keynote is titled “How to Market Your Stuff to Online Forums and Communities” and it will open the day’s programming.

Having managed online communities for 10 years, I’ve seen every type of effort by people and companies looking to tap into the community that I have built. From the disgustingly unethical to the best practices, I have seen it all.

I’m not just a community manager, but a business person, as well. The audience of an online community has value that can be tapped into. But, it must be done in an ethical, appropriate manner. Otherwise, you risk backlash and potentially irreparable damage to your brand.

We’ll step through all phases of the issue. Why does one want to market to online communities? How do I find the community that is right for my message? Once that is established, what are ethical methods of reaching it, both free and paid?

If free, how do I participate as a marketer, in an ethical manner without pushing the guidelines? Should I include my site or link in my posts? Are all communities the same? If paid, who should I contact? What should I keep in mind?

Steeped in real world experience, this session will draw from examples and lay out the blueprint for ethical marketing to online forums and communities.

I’d like to thank the current sponsors for the event, both the library and Centric and I’d also like to extend an offer to anyone who might be able to sponsor. If you sponsor at the gold level or higher ($500 and up), I will do a one hour phone call with you and we can talk about online community, social media or whatever you would like. Find out more about sponsoring the event.

I am really excited and working hard to do my part to ensure that the event is a success. If you are within an hour or two of Topeka, I really believe it is very well worth it. If you have any friends or acquaintances in the area, I’d definitely appreciate you spreading the word. If there is anything I can do to help get you to the event, please let me know! I look forward to seeing you there.