So, blogging conferences, eh?
Four days on the Gold Coast in a lavish hotel eating lush food and learning from freaking amazing people while getting to hang out with mah nerdy peeps. You know, people who don’t give two hoots that you can’t eat until you “instagram the shiz out of those wedges” or that you have your beak in your phone because you’re cyberstalking people you’ve just met at the dessert stand.
Thing is, socialising isn’t really my thing and small talk is far from being easy for me. I know, right? Most of you wouldn’t know this if you met me (apologies to those who did meet me if I came across as either aloof or batshiz crazy (or both!). I remembered how bad I am at socialising when Leigh and I rocked up to the pre-event meet we put on for Blog Chicks—and the next morning at the networking breakfast with FOUR HUNDRED PEOPLE. Holy hell. I felt all the awkwards. Thankfully I had plenty of known people to hang with when I was feeling most angsty while I did my mindfulness shiz on the sly. Usually I was mindfully eating cake. Trust me, it helped.
But when I wasn’t catching up with cool blogging peeps, sitting by the pool in my jeans (guess who didn’t think she’d have time to swim?) or making an idiot of myself at a lavish party attended by fire twirlers and snake handlers* and Austin Powers‚—I was having massive massive lightbulb moments.
Most of them were big, and I’d be like “Rah you need to take this motivational speech by this singer who smells really nice** and freaking DO SOMETHING WITH IT. Stop pfaffing and just fkn do it“.
Some of them were technical, like “Thank jeebus this Facebook expert*** says that “link the comments” is redundant because it’s THE most annoying thing ever”.
Some of them were mega important, like “These are the most amazing wedges I have EVER eaten. My life’s complete having eaten them. Let me wash that down with this margarita in a jam jar”.
I typed pages and pages of notes, ideas, to-do lists (I spent my entire flight home writing a categorised list of to-dos, even) and I found the spark that’s been lost for, oh I dunno, TWO YEARS and think enough has seeped into my brain for me to stick with it. I’m not letting my brain hold me back, yo. I’ve already pulled my finger out and done a whole bunch of things that I’ve been avoiding doing for weeks/months/years/all my life. It’s equal parts terrifying and comforting and ZOMG.
What I especially loved about the conference was that there was a professional tone to it all. In the early blogging conference days we were all so giddy with excitement at having a blogging conference to attend that we’d get distracted by ALL THE THINGS. Nowadays we’re a) a bit more used to getting out, and b) we’re being given greater quality and choices at blogging conferences. The ante has well and truly been upped with quality venues, speakers and topics. That didn’t stop us from having a kick-ass time at the bar every night (and most afternoons too, haha). We needed the cocktails to help process all the things we learned, am I right?
I deliberately didn’t over-tweet or over-instagram while I was at the conference and I’ve kept this post free of too many spammy things. I’ve become a bit of a jaded personal blogger over the years and there are no signs of me getting over it. It’s mostly about the sponsored posts, the lack of appropriate disclosure and tweeting/instagramming everything ever involving a brand. I have come to distrust so many blogs belonging to people I genuinely admire and it makes me sad. Not that I begrudge them owning their blogging style and taking on sponsored content and working with brands, it’s just that I don’t enjoy reading them all (and in some cases their tweets and instagrams and FB updates). This was another factor I enjoyed at the conference: there was a strong emphasis on the fact that there can (and needs?) to be more to your blog than just your blog. The majority of speakers (if not all) have a blog and something else besides the blog. Be it a product or service… whatever. Personally I don’t see longevity in sponsored posts/tweets/instas, I see them as more of a stepping stone. I guess this is a reflection on how I feel as a person slash personal blogger —that I need to have something tangible to feel like me slash my personal blog are of actual use to the world. My business blog definitely has something tangible, so I feel much more comfortable with Smarter.
Anyway, accidental rant on the current state of blogging. At least the blog didn’t start out as a post reflecting on how not even Quentin Bryce was able to save us when she swore in the Tony Abbott government earlier today. QUENTIIIIIIIIN!
Anyway, #pbevent was awesome and you should come next year!!
* Not a metaphor
** Clare Bowditch
*** Amy Porterfield
This is the totality of my instagramming at #pbevent: