I wanted to give myself a kick up the blogging butt earlier this year so I signed up for a couple of conferences and the second one, Britmums Live 2012 was this past weekend. In hindsight, and having read a lot of tweets about this, I reckon that many bloggers are perfectly happy to wax lyrical in cyberspace but actually meeting people In Real Life can scare the bejaysus out of most of us.
And as most of the trite self help book market will tell you, pushing ahead with those things that make your toenails curl generally turn out to be rather awesome. There were fabulous women there, and it was great to hang out with people I’d met briefly or via Twitter – Alice, Peggy, to catch up with Jeanne and Sarah and to meet lots of new people too (Anna the producer – get that blog up and running!) There are lots of other people I’m forgetting – need to get better at unashamedly staring at name tags.
I also thought that the quality of the speaker programme was really good, because let’s be honest, sometimes these things are a bit hit or miss. The advanced sessions were heavy on technical detail and really worked – I was glad to hear that the presentations are going to be available online so I could stop scribbling and really listen. I felt old listening to Ruby Wax (Girls on Top was 1985? Really?) and also awed. Sarah Brown’s perspective’s on the Poser’s Penalty was interesting i.e. bullshit doesn’t go very far now. People see through online personas fairly quickly – in the way that viewers are now cinematically literate and no longer need to “see a dog, hear a dog barking”, readers sniff out inauthenticity fairly quickly.
Probably my favourite session was Julia Boggio’s Advanced Photography demonstration which was simple but super useful. Also her blog name, I Carried a Watermelon also has the best story behind it! Janis Curry had lots of practical tips about tools for use with Facebook. Blogging for Happiness was a session I’d really looked forward to, great ladies presenting, and some fairly obvious pointers – particularly around overthinking things.
I came away with (a huge goodie bag) and a bit of a mission. About blogging more, blogging whatever, writing for the sake of it, which is largely why BMR exists. There are some tech matters to be attended to. It also made me even more excited about reading – found so many inspiring new people to follow. So the next battle is going to be remembering to write while diving into reading!
I also managed to come home without a single usable photo.