Monday, February 11, 2008

Enter the blogmaster: Digital Now Conference blog sees a parade of new faces

Hi, I'm Ben Martin, CAE. I write the Certified Association Executive blog, and it is my honor to be serving you as the Digital Now blogmaster in the days leading up to, and during, Digital Now. I'm eagerly looking forward to the time we'll spend together in Orlando.

My first job as blogmaster was to round up a slew of additional contributing bloggers, and they'll introduce themselves over the next few days. I know most of them personally, and I am excited to discover more of their perspectives on the association profession. The contributing bloggers represent a diverse set of associations with varying experiences, so you can expect to hear about their unique viewpoints. You'll hear from first-time DigitalNow attendees (like me) and every-time DigitalNow attendees.

A little bit about me: I live with my wife and daughter in Richmond where I'm the director of communications and new media at the Virginia Association of REALTORS. When I began blogging in August 2004 as I was studying for the CAE exam, I became one of the first bloggers to write exclusively about associations. I'm an active volunteer leader, writer and speaker for ASAE & The Center, and was recently named one of "five to watch" under the age of 35. Thomas Friedman might call me a versatilist, but I see myself as a dabbler or jack of all trades: doing a lot of things with great competence, but nothing with great virtuosity. In my spare time I alternate between running a 54-channel mixing board, jogging, taking photos, writing, editing home movies, playing guitar, reading, blogging, and other things. I don't watch television or go to the movies.

This will be my first time attending DigitalNow, and I am looking forward to it with great expectations. DigitalNow has a cult-like following for its reputation of being a premiere and exclusive conference with remarkable speakers and experiences. I can't wait to see for myself. Because I've long been interested in environmental scans, the general session speaker I'm most excited to hear is Jeremy Gutsche, the trend spotter.

However, I'm one of those people who finds peer to peer learning to be the most rewarding experience at conferences. Let's start that conversation now! If you're so inclined, please leave a comment!

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