Blog forum Gdańsk is the most important meeting of bloggers and Internet creators in Poland that takes place in Gdańsk every year. This year the main topic of the conference was: “Do bloggers change the world for the better?” The answer is not explicit.
Festival for Polish bloggers
Gdańsk became the capital of Polish blogosphere for the seventh time. This is the most important event of this type in Poland, which every year sets trends for local Internet creators. During the conference participants have the opportunity to develop their editorial and marketing competences, as well as take advantage of the wide networking.
The organisers of Blog Forum Gdańsk traditionally invite both foreign guests and Polish scientists or authors of best-selling works. This year we saw on the BF Gdańsk stage, among others, Clive Thompson – a well-known journalist; Professor Jerzy Vetulani – a world-famous psychopharmacologist, neurobiologist and biochemist; Sławomir Idziak – a cinematographer and scenarist; Fr. Jacek Stryczek, and Krzysztof Gonciarz – a video producer and the host of some YouTube channels.
The conference participants, apart from their contribution to lectures and debates, also took part in a number of workshops, including, for example, the art of good reportage, techniques of evoking readers’ emotions, UX blog, video production, and mobile photography. There were panels of educational blog authors who were devoted to such subjects as: language, science, astronomy and biotechnology. The absolute hit was the panel of Polish bloggers 60+ who enchanted everyone with their authenticity and knowledge of modern tools.
At the end of the conference, Natalia Hatalska, a communications expert and trends researcher, presented her report entitled “The role of bloggers and Youtubers in the modern world.” She emphasised the fact that users of social media have noticed the trend to be authentic; people want to show who they really are. They want to listen to real stories and real people – people who are similar to them.
In this context, it is not at all surprising that the role of web influencers (bloggers, Youtubers, Snapchatters, Vimeors, Instagramers etc.) is growing – these are ordinary people who achieved success thanks to the Internet. For millenials or generation Z, influencers are more important and more influential today than celebrities. Taking this into account, as well as the fact that marketers invest in so called influencer marketing more and more often, one can say that Internet creators have an enormous responsibility today.
Bloggers are selling! Bloggers and Youtubers are ranked second place in terms of sources of shopping information by regular viewers of blogs and videoblogs. Importantly, bloggers and Youtubers have been placed in a higher position than even family and friends (see chart no 17).
The influence of the blogosphere
As for motivation for reading/watching content on blogs and vlogs, educational and informative motives dominate. The respondents put in first place, the following goals: “to learn something”, “to know what’s going on”, “to follow trends”. Every fifth reader of blogs and almost every third recipient of a vlog admits that they have some motivations related to shopping (“to buy goods with greater awareness”).
Regular recipients of blogs and videoblogs declare also that thanks to the content found on blogs and videoblogs they introduce changes in their lifestyle (every forth respondent decided to, for example, take up some sport), choose who they want to vote for (more than 20%), or where to spend their holidays (almost every third respondent) and change their opinions on specific, often controversial, subjects.
The popularity of the blogosphere was exploited by the Polish mobile operator, T-Mobile Polska, by taking up the role of a strategic partner of the event. The operator provided, foremost, a live transmission of the conference. “We recognise the mission of Blog Forum Gdańsk, that is, the development of future leaders of digital communications, and we are happy that we will be able to participate in it”, says Małgorzata Rybak-Dowżyk, the Director of Corporate Communications in T-Mobile Polska.
T-mobile is another, after Orange, a Polish mobile operator that uses the influence of the blogosphere in its marketing operations.