After a wonderful first time at Blogher 14 – it is time to go home and start again.
Unsure of whether Blogher14 was really for me – I got a special gift. My husband, Stephan and dear friend, Kim (the other half of aknotes.com) registered me for the conference without my knowledge. Eventually, Stephan confessed, allowing Kim and myself to plan the details of our trip.
On and off for years I have written blogs and worked in the “realm” of technology. Before moving to North Carolina, I managed technology programs, conferences and services for hundreds of NYC nonprofits and staff. Shortly after relocating to North Carolina, I went through a series of health issues – that I wrote about for nearly a year. (A 5 minute video from Listen to Your Mother RDU – can give you a little insight into that time).
In between then and now – I have worked for various places, most recently a startup. Each time honing my skills a little more and leaving a little more of an Internet footprint.
At the end of the startup’s life – I realized it was time to combine my interests, my experiences and my stories into one umbrella blog. However, before jumping in, Blogher14 seemed like a good starting point. And so Kim and I decided to wait until we attended the conference before truly hitting the restart button.
I admit it – I was a bit hesitant. In April, with 3 days notice – my husband and I put the kids in the car and drove 10 hours for me to attend a specialized blogger event. The topic was near and dear to my heart – one I have accrued a tremendous amount of knowledge in the past couple of years. I thought that by attending that conference – I would be welcomed, loved and encouraged to engage. I walked away disappointed and feeling like I was back in high school and clearly not at the cool kids’ table. Actually, I wasn’t at any table – I sat by myself – and for those that know me – know I may not be the cool kid – but I sure as hell don’t sit alone!
So coming to Blogher14 at first seemed silly – after all it was 10 times larger and with so many different areas of interest. But, I went and hoped it would bring about a little inspiration and knowledge of what to do or not to do (which is often just as important). And if nothing else, I got to spend a few days with a great friend.
Kim and myself enjoying our Iced Mint Mojito Coffee from Philz- it was worth the walk in the 104 degrees!
And my thoughts now as I sit at home processing the trip?
The atmosphere was what should be at every conference. Everyone I met was engaging and interesting. Stacks of cards were exchanged. Old pros gave hugs to newbies. Newbies took business cards from old pros. Organizers answered questions. New friends were made.
Old friends were found. (Longtime friend – JL of JL Goes Vegan)
The conversations were honest.
Even with such a wide scope of interests – it felt like we all had the same purpose – to move forward. It felt like we were each enough – and even more.
The speakers were interested in the audience. The 10×10 presenters were real and the workshops were varied.
I think the congratulations goes to both the organizers and the attendees!
And now, with this new seed planted –
and my inspiration wall in front of me –
and back home with my muses – I am off to write.
Happy blogging and thanks for making every table at Blogher14 the cool kids’ table.