May 3, 2010

Bloggy Boot Camp – Education, Friendship & Fun

by

This past weekend I attended a women bloggers social media conference.  Bloggy Boot Camp, hosted by the lovely and charming Tiffany (@SITSGirls on Twitter), was a full day of learning on topics ranging from SEO to personal branding to monetizing your blog. Even vlogging!  Each and every guest speaker was hand-picked for their expertise as well as their penchant for supporting other bloggers in the community.

The picture at the top is me with Tiffany.  Isn’t she just adorable?  And this is at the very end of the conference.  I look like a total goof, but I was standing next to a woman I admire and enjoy talking with on Twitter. She’s like a celebrity to me (she was in the NY Times, y’know!).

The word community kept coming up.  We were encouraged to not only develop a community with other bloggers, but also to work at creating a community for our readers.  Give readers quality content, variety and reasons to engage with each other. And, blog with passion.  We, as bloggers, will be rewarded in ways we never imagined – friendships, support, and being part of something bigger.

I met so many wonderful and truly genuine women (and two pretty special dudes).  Many of these women I ‘see’ everyday online – on Twitter, in my RSS reader, or at their blog. Some are celebrities, at least in my mind. Others are real moms like me looking for a connection to the world outside our window. Every one of them made me feel included. And these women are Fun-ny! Like pee your pants funny. (Note to Tiffany, poise pads should be a sponsor!)

I brought my camera. A lot of good that did since I didn’t take it out until the end when I realized I had not taken one single photo.  I’m hoping Julie will share her multiplicity of photos. But, I have to say that rather than hiding behind my camera I got out there and met people.

People like Kadi Prescott, who is kind and sweet and smart and awesome and funny and encouraging and did I mention smart! She made me feel comfortable with who I am. She connected. She was present. And she is passionate about something that I, too, feel very strongly about – empowering young girls to be sucessful. Also, she can wrangle lizards although I believe that might have been an example of her girl empowerment process. I didn’t get my picture taken with her because I was so caught up with talking to her. So, just pretend!  (Note:  it was really just one lizard she wrangled but it was like 200 feet long, or maybe just 2 feet but it was impressive!)

I met Becca from Our Crazy Boys! Again, no picture, but she’s here in AZ so I know I’ll see her again soon.  Unless she talks too much smack about ASU.  She is as funny in person as she is online. And I found out that we both like Talledega Nights and appreciate the hilarity of both Walker and Texas Ranger.

It was great to meet so many Arizona bloggers, and feel connected to a local community.  To laugh about things particular to our state and, of course, make fun of each other for going to ‘the wrong’ university.

Besides great speakers, a lovely resort, and more information than my brain can handle in one day we did get some swag. I came home with Dole Mandarine Oranges in Gel (think jello-o with oranges suspended in it) and this super new tech gadget courtesy of iGo. Now, I shall never be without power!

Like I said, I don’t have too many pictures.  If I listed everyone I met, you’d get bored.  But I’ll talk about them as time goes on so you can see why I love this world of blogging so much. Here are pictures of people I met.

This is my new friend Sara, from Super Saving Sense with Sara.  I  follow her on Twitter because we have the same name spelled the same.  Don’t mind the fact that I look like a dork (again!), I was going for that look this time.

One of the Celebrity Bloggers I met was Melissa from Consumer Queen.  She is sweeter than tea from Georgia!  She’s not short, nor am I tall so I’m not sure why we look like Shaq and Kobe.

One of the two men in attendance was Ted Rubin from Open Sky.  He is a fascinating man to speak with, especially given my background in consumer branding.  His company was one of the sponsors, and I appreciate that they made this conference possible for so many.

And I got to see my friend Holly from The Blog Frog.  I met Holly at Blissdom back in February.  She was the first person who tweeted about me, encouraging others to follow me.  She will always have a special place in my heart.  She is a blogger’s BFF! She’s a blogger herself and she understand why we do this, and she works tirelessly to give bloggers a way to create and develop their communities.

I could easily become addicted to blogging conferences.  Education. Friendship. Fun.

Sara

{ 19 comments }

Laura May 3, 2010 at 12:43 pm

I am so totally jealous that you got to meet Ted Rubin!!! 🙂 Looks like it was a blast. And I think you look beautiful in the pics.

Sara May 3, 2010 at 10:05 pm

Laura,

I bet you’ll meet Ted at Type-A. And also DigitalKadi, she said she’s going. It was a great conference. And, you are so gracious about my pictures. One day I’ll get one with you! Sara

Amy (Mommy Mentor) May 3, 2010 at 2:01 pm

It was great to meet you! A wonderful time of learning and connecting was had by all. We should really coordinate an AZ meet up since we have so many of us here!

Sara May 3, 2010 at 10:03 pm

Amy,

It was great meeting you. I would never have known so many amazing and fabulous women were blogging just miles from me. Definitely, we’ll coordinate a meet up.

Sara

daddybookins May 3, 2010 at 2:41 pm

Ted Rubin is absolutely an amazing guy! I mean, really he gave the other green headed guy a *HUG*. :o)

No worries here, we are PRO ASU….it is the Mrs. Alma Mater….UofA who??

Sounds like you enjoyed yourself tremendously! Cheers!

Peas Out!
~daddy b.

Sara May 3, 2010 at 10:00 pm

Daddy B stopped by my blog! How awesome is that. An author, a pro-ASU man, and a dude who kicked it with 100 women and embraced his inner chick.

Thank you for stopping by!

Tiffany {SITS GIRLS} May 3, 2010 at 3:17 pm

Meeting you was such a pleasure- you have been so engaging on twitter- I knew we would hit it off immediately!

I loved your wrap up and how you shouted those out who really connected with you- that’s what it is all about!

I have a feeling we will see each other again… and I’m sure we will tweet tonight! 😉

xoxo
Tiffany

Sara May 3, 2010 at 10:02 pm

Tiffany,

Thank you for stopping by and making this my own special SITS day! Meeting you in person was a wonderful gift, and I appreciate all your love and support and being able to chat with you on twitter.

Sara

Sara Blake May 3, 2010 at 6:12 pm

I love the way you wrote about Bloggy Boot Camp. It was awesome meeting you, can’t wait to talk with you in the future.

Great photos too, even if I do look extremely burnt out lol.

Star Forbis May 3, 2010 at 9:22 pm

It was so great to meet you this weekend! Let’s definitely stay in touch now that we know each other IRL! 🙂

Honey May 3, 2010 at 10:01 pm

Oh Sara,

It sounds like you had so much fun. I wish that I could have been there with you. Thank you for all the shout outs you put in this post – now I can go connect with all these really amazing people too.

Blessings
Honey

Sara May 3, 2010 at 11:36 pm

Honey,

I can’t wait to share more really great people with you. And, sharing your homeschool brilliance with others too.

Sara

Amy @ Dealusional May 4, 2010 at 11:44 am

So glad we got to meet! And I can’t believe we know some of the same people – we’re down to about 2 degrees of separation! Hope we can meet up again soon!

Becca -Our Crazy Boys May 4, 2010 at 6:34 pm

Awh, thanks for the link! I loved meeting you!!

And funny? My husband would have to disagree with you on that one… 😉

Kim Piter May 5, 2010 at 8:43 am

Thank you for your wonderfully written post about bloggy boot camp! I was just about to start writing about it on my blog but you wrote about it much better than I would so I’ll just have people come and read about it right here! It was fabulous to sit at the same table for dinner on Friday night; what a great way to really get to know you. I look forward to following you here! A big thank you for helping realize the world of twitter! What a great way to stay connected. Tweet Tweet! Kim Piter

Julie {Angry Julie Monday} May 5, 2010 at 11:17 pm

Great recap!!! I’m sure I got enough photos. They are all in the Flickr stream. It was a pleasure meeting you!

Sara May 5, 2010 at 11:20 pm

Julie,

Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving me comment luv! I look forward to seeing all the photos. I did catch one with my table from Friday dinner.

Francesca May 7, 2010 at 9:38 am

I adored this post! Especially the picture of you and Tiffany. To me, it represented exactly what BBC is about…connecting with other women, enjoying yourself, and learning more about blogging.

Tiffany is such a great mentor to so many women. Thrilled that you had a chance to meet her.

Next time, I hope I have the pleasure of meeting you! Can’t believe I missed you.

-Francesca

Sara May 7, 2010 at 3:55 pm

Francesca,

Thank you for stopping by my blog and commenting as well. Going to BBC was such a boost to me as a mommy blogger! I’m sorry we didn’t meet, but I’m sure there will be other opportunities.

Sara

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