This past weekend was the largest blogging conference in the world, BlogHer, where an estimated 3500 bloggers and brands descended into San Diego for an extended weekend of schmoozing, networking, pitching, parties, late nights and drinking (Hey, I have to be honest here). It's a chance for many of those in the blogging community, from A-lister on down, to connect, teach and share what they've learned over the past several years of trying to make a go of it as a writer, a spokesperson, actress, publisher, advertiser, and just about everything in between. That being said, I've been involved in the blogging community for the better part of a decade and have had the pleasure of attending BlogHer last year and speaking at other blogging conferences, including the Type A Parent conference this year in Asheville, North Carolina. From a brand perspective, each conference yields hands-down winners and losers (disclosure: a then-client's party was completely off the hook at BlogHer '10 and still gets talked about) each year. With that, here are five insights for companies that may have or may plan to attend these conferences so it's not a waste of your marketing budget.

Global hackers group, Anonymous, has issued a threat to take down Facebook on November 5, 2011 aka Guy Fawkes Day. While it's well documented that I'm not a fan of going "all in" on a third party web site, this could cause major headaches for brands launching or planning to launch holiday promotions via the social network. More after the jump.

Tired of GroupOn? You're not alone. I'm writing this from my parents couch in my home town: Detroit, Michigan. If there's one thing we know how to do in the D it's drive. And drive, I have. Doing so has given me a great overview of the local business real estate market is a gluttony of vacant properties and, to some, opportunities. This isn't only happening in the midwest, either. It's very clear that small businesses need help with the changing marketing landscape, however the tools available to them today fall short of delivering success.

One of the biggest questions brands struggle with is how to utilize social media channels. In particular, we quite often are asked (and see) as to what type of content to post on their social media channels. The issue is that most brands want to see immediate return on their investments in social media, so it's not a surprise to us that coupons and deals are the number one thing people want. More after the jump.

This past weekend I caught some amazing insights from a Facebook investor (and musician!) who hit the nail -- or multiple nails -- on the head regarding social media and where this is all going. To be clear, I've never been a fan of being a...

This certainly isn't a new topic for those of us who've been involved in online communities, but to some reading this it's a new concept. Ryan Adcroft takes a good start at the basics of joining tribes online, and I'm going to take it a step further by stating that if your firm or company isn't part of these tribes you aren't maximizing your campaigns. Let's start by defining what a tribe is.