Y'all...(after a weekend in Nashville, I am allowed to drop a "ya'll" arent' I?) I had the most wonderful. weekend. EVAH!
First off, I finally got to meet Amy (Milkbreath and Margaritas/my first blog design) and Jamie (Blonde Mom Blog/first blog I ever read) I will tell you right here and now...I wanted to pack these girls up and bring them back to Chicago with me. They were just. that. AWESOME!
Second, I can't even begin to sum up the whole experience. I feel like I'm a lot more clued in than I was before. I learned about blogging, I had amazing opportunities to network, and I really connected with folks I now consider my friends. (so many I can't link them all here)
Now, down to the nitty gritty...what did I learn?
Well, I'll tell you...My favorite quote from the convention came from the woman herself (Allison) in the "Paths to success" session.
"Being authentic, and true, and being a nice person matters." Amen sister (and a virtual high five) I truly believe it takes no more energy to be nice than it does to be mean (probably less) and being nice gets you so. much. further.
I saw a few occasions where bloggers marched around like the queen be. I'm telling you, they were few and far between. For the most part, everyone was championing everyone else. It was about helping us all be better (better bloggers, better women, better writers, more marketable...you name it)
I met Ali, (for the first time btw) and I really assumed she had no idea who I was. Amy said, "Alli, this is Nap Warden" Do you know what she did?
She put her hands on her hips, struck her best super woman pose, and said "Where's your cape Nap Warden?" She totally in that moment, made me feel like we had been friends forever. I like that feeling. Everyone wants to be included, accepted, and part of the group.
Later in the day, a blogger came up to me and yelled "OMG...you're Nap Warden!" I had no idea who she was....but I rolled with it. I gave her a huge hug and said "OMG...it's SO great to meet you!" It was one of many great moments for me. I hope I made her feel as good about herself as she made me feel. Who doesn't want to be recognized? It's really nice, and I thank her for that:)
Up to now, I always hear about blogging as a community, but I finally really get it. We are not competing against each other. We really are on the same team. I want your blog to look great, whether it's from your own hacking, me giving you a blog makeover, or a different designer doing you up. I want great opportunities to come to your blog as much as I want that for my own. If any of you become The Pioneer Woman...I want you to pull us up with you...as will I;) That's what it's about, all of us growing our blogs and brands together. If you are stronger, we all are stronger. (I suppose you're thinking "Uh oh...Nap Warden drank the Kool Aid")
It was just that good of a vibe all weekend. I feel like a better person and blogger for having attended and I thank Alli, Barbara and Paula for the experience:)
*I'm going through all my cards and following everyone I met on Twitter...If I miss anyone please let me know:) I will also be doing a separate post for all of you on the Online Advertising session, it was really informative...