I went to blog camp.

Having missed out on the chance to get a ticket because my head was too broken while I was pregnant, I nearly went into rapture when Sally sent me an invite to take up a reserve place. I’ve got lots of time for the way Sally, of Tots100, The MADS and BlogCamp fame, runs her business and I’d heard really good things about these free sessions of workshops too. It’s amazing to be able to take advantage of something free, of course, but what I love about Sally’s business model is that while she is quite up front about the fact that she earns her living this way, I always feel the people who she provides for are at the centre of her motivation. She does good things for people and I feel like she does them for our benefit. It’s how I try to run my business and I’ve got lots of time for people who do similar. It’s one thing to make money out of people (that’s life, by and large) but giving value, making people feel cared about and provided for and important – that’s an art.

(Sally won’t let you hug or cheek kiss her, by the way, so that was my form of embarrassing her ;) I did once cheek kiss her… She does still speak to me.)

Ben and I made it into Birmingham by train from a previously un-Raymond tested train station and, having tweeted my two distinguishing features I was grabbed at the station exit by some other parent bloggers, who one who had fabulous (but apparently accidental!) peacock coloured hair, Littlesheep who I have known in business land for aaaaages and GeekMummy among others. This meant I didn’t get lost.

Isn’t Twitter brilliant ;)

The venue, The Studio, was fantastic and there was a massive and almost ‘large collection of mummy’ beating quantity of cake and hot drinks. the organisation and time keeping was spot on, the people in charge capable and helpful and the collection of speakers hugely interesting. I could happily have gone to all of them but I settled for listening to a talk on ‘finding your writing voice’ by Bangs and a Bun, a hilarious talk on ‘how to be a Snark’ by Stuart Heritage (I don’t know I will do much snarking but I think it is time I stopped being quite so bland!) a hugely interesting SEO talk by Lee Smallwood who I could have listened to all day (I’ve had him confused with a golfer for ages… Why?) and some interesting Google discussion and a PR company talk hosted by Stephen Waddington, a genial looking chap if ever I saw one.

As usual, my greatest motivation for learning more about Internet writing comes from keeping my business knowledge fresh. I don’t feel compelled to alter PoP very much, though it evolves naturally enough as life goes on. There was masses to learn though and I came away more inspired and enthused and downright educated than I ever have from any training day ever. Genuinely. And that thought inspired me to write this tweet (while sat on the loo!) and I had the no doubt only time ever honour of seeing ‘top tweet’ by my words *huge cheesy grin*

Interestingly, given the theme of much blogger discussion at the moment, I discovered that if you google ‘what is a top tweet’ you also discover what a promoted tweet is. Although the Twitter explanation is rather woolly about it and slightly sidesteps the declaration that it (must be?) a paid for slot. Hmmm… Disclosure?

Anyway.

I’m not a brilliant small talker, making networking sessions something of a challenge to me really but I had a lovely time with various people, including Cara, Amy and Mary and Ben was extremely well behaved too. (This picture was taken by me barking “AMY!!!” in parent style when she was drifting. She snapped to attention and that perfect smile like a true celebrity ;) )

We even learned feeding in the Moby sling.

Important things I learned:

I am now rehabilitated enough to get myself and a baby into Birmingham.

If I don’t travel alone, I don’t get lost ;)

Long posts are good and Google likes them.

Google now considers me an author and I should capitalise on that.

Google+ might not go away like Buzz did. (Damn it).

Be careful how you use your blog.

Speak your mind.

People to follow:

@leesmallwood

@bangsandabun

@stuheritage

@wadds

And last but not least @swhittle and @tots100 and @blogcampuk. Sally may be an overlord, but she’s an overlord with a good heart and I benefit from knowing her and her empire. Thanks Sally. (Mwah!) Can you and Lee do an all day SEO seminar next?

Many thanks to Skype and Cow& Gate Growing Up Milk for sponsoring the day. I’m incompetent at one and don’t use the other, but I appreciate that you made the day happen for us.

 

Comments

  1. says

    Hey.
    I just checked in as i have been offline for such a long time and i guess i wanted to see how you were doing.
    He is beautiful!!!!
    im off to read some more.
    Huge hugs x

  2. says

    Merry, I’m so clueless with all this proper grown up blog stuff, but get the feeling more and more that I should be trying harder. You have inspired me!
    And yay to feeding in the sling, that’s a difficult skill to learn!

    • says

      I think it is excellent if you are a small business, essential really. But from a person perspective, it keeps me sane and has given me an extra element to my life too. All good. Come to the next blog camp? Sign up to the tots100 and start chatting. Its remarkably easy :)