Like many other bloggers last weekend I headed to Federation Square in my home town to attend a blogging conference. Blogopolis, organised by Nuffnang and attended by roughly three hundred people.
Armed with only a few hours sleep (thanks to the gift of the gab and the inability to check the time after ashared bottle of wine with my roomie) I headed to the conference, to be honset though, I did wonder what I would get out of it. But, coffee in hand I registered and found my seat, thinking that if nothing else I could doze off and wait for morning tea. I was wrong. So very, very wrong.
Once the coffee kicked in I began writing notes. Many, many notes. I was lucky in that I use wordpress, so a lot of it made sense to me. If I’m being honest, it was a nice change. So much of what I read is about blogger, so I liked that I understood what the speakers had to say. I know some attendees were a little put out there was a lot of wordpress love, but the main message was that blogger is a fine option depending on your needs, but that for those wanting to be a pro blogger – ie use it as your main income – wordpress was the best option in these speakers opinions. No one said you had to swap – it was an opinion. There were a lot of tweets about wordpress being mentioned so much, but I think some of this detracted from the main message. There were bloggers from a wide range of categories, and not all of the message was going to be targeted to one particular type of blog, so take what you want and discard the rest of the information.
I’m not going to go into detail about each speaker and session, there are plenty of other posts to read on that. But what the day did do was give me more direction. Give me a sense of where I want to go blog wise, and some great ideas on just how to go about it. Ways to keep the blog mine, but make it more reader friendly I guess. It made me realise that if I did want to monetise my blog I have every right to, and that I can still have my own voice. That monetisation is not, or should not be a dirty word. That I have every right to ask for payment from companies that want me to write about them, and that I have to set my own worth. I touched on this earlier in the year, when I wrote The Devil Wears… and by the end of the day, I had a much clearer direction on how I can engage with brands if I so choose.
I have a small connection with some of the presenters on the day. Others are new to me. But each one had something I could take away and use. Each one gave me new ideas, or a reminder to keep doing what I do. There was a lot to take in, and my head is still buzzing with ideas and plans. As I often do after conferences I have renewed focus. Some of that comes from the information I have taken away form the speakers. Some though comes from knowing I am part of a community. While I don’t know all of the people in the room, while I never will, I know that there are many people who share my love of blogging. That it is, and should be, something that is taken seriously, whether you have ten or ten thousand hits per day. That as a collective group, we bloggers have a right to be taken seriously. That it is called social media for a reason. That we each have a voice, and should be proud to use it. And then, at the end of the day, as I walked out into my city, there was a double rainbow. A perfect end to an inspiring day.