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.