5 Interesting People I met at BlogWorld Expo

This is my first year at BlogWorld Expo and the first time in a long time that I’ve been to a big conference, so I really wasn’t sure what to expect when it came to what the attendees would be like and if I would actually connect with anyone in this sea of faces.  Would I be the old lady in the bunch with all these kids looking at me like I was their mother crashing the party?  Would I be the lowly sporadic part time blogger who would be laughed out of the room when these other blog superstars showed up?  Would everyone else be hip and cool and I’d be that nerdy woman that was just out of touch?  Those thoughts crossed my mind.

Now, I generally think of myself as a friendly person and can be outgoing when I need to be.  However, when thrown into the “sea” with no perceived expertise, authority or recognition factor, I find it very easy to shrink into the corner and just observe.   So…how has it been going so far?  Very well, I think!  Upon arriving I realized quickly that there’s quite a diversity of demographics here at the conference.  Older and younger, men and women, full time and part time bloggers, business attire and casual (thankfully its mostly casual).

I’m pretty proud of myself.  Yesterday I even went to the “Networking” Luncheon (mainly because the cost was included in my registration and I had to eat lunch anyway).  I didn’t have any intention of “networking” to gain any advantage for myself, but I did meet quite a wide range of very interesting people and I’m glad to have spent the time with them.  And today I jumped into a conversation with a couple of really nice guys while waiting in line for lunch at the hotel and we ended up sitting together to eat (because it’s never fun to sit alone when you can be learning about others and their world).  So here’s a list of just a few of those interesting folks and links to their respective blogs or websites.

Steve Cobb at Activ8Social –  Steve is a nice young man from the DC area.  Here’s what I found on their website. “Activ8Social specializes in digital branding, social media network development and strategy, sponsorship activation, web property management, and digital word-of-mouth promotion for clients in the sports and entertainment industries.” That sounded interesting, but when he mentioned that his company represented Tim Lincecum my ears really perked up.  Now I’m not a huge baseball fan, but even I know who Tim Lincecum is!  It was great talking with Steve about various celebrities and how well they’re doing in connecting to their communities.

Susan Spencer at BriefCaseEssentials.com – Susan is quite a bit older than I am and has a wealth of experience leading and owning businesses. In fact she was once the acting General Manager of the Philadelphia Eagles football team!  She owned several meat processing businesses throughout her career as well.  She has been a leader in male dominated business arenas and has written about her experiences to help other women in the same situation.

Scott Lum at Digital Marketing Muse.com – Scott is from the Seattle area and has two little kiddos.  He works for a major technology company and does a little blogging on the side.  It was great to chat with him about his take-aways from the conference since he’s coming from a much different business perspective than I am.

Tom Terenyi at Digital Natives Consulting AND WeAreKenya.org – Tom is the owner and principal consultant in his business, plus he has just recently started a non-profit org to help children in Kenya with food, clothing, shelter and education.

Kristi Trimmer at OrangeDragonflyBlog.com – As you can see from her site, Kristi is a talented lady!  In one of our workshops she mentioned that she was from Phoenix and even though her site isn’t strictly about desert gardening, she gets lots of questions about it.  She’s wondering if she should focus on that more and/or maybe create another site/blog specifically on that topic.  I encouraged her to do that because we need all the help we can get in our hot dry climate.

So this is just a smattering of the people that I’ve met the last 2 days and that doesn’t even include the key note and workshop speakers that have been excellent.  I hope it gives you a little bit of an idea of the various backgrounds that are represented at the conference.  I’d love to see some statistics on the demographics here.  It’s really quite interesting!

I’m so glad I came!

Top 10 Things I Learned at BlogWorld 2010 Today

I was planning to post some pics from Las Vegas, but I discovered that my internet connection in my hotel room didn’t work and when I restarted it to see if that would help, it decided that tonight it needed to install 18 updates.  After I spent what seemed like a half hour on the phone with the internet tech support guy for the hotel, he finally got it working.  Thank you!

So I opened up Photoshop Elements to upload the photos I took today and that program decided that it needed to update as well.  15 minutes later and it’s still updating.  Grrrr…O.k., I finally got some pictures loaded.  Here are a couple just for fun.  This is the view from my hotel room window this morning.  From left to right Mandalay Bay Hotel (that’s where the conference is), then the Luxor Pyramid, then the East Tower of the Luxor Hotel and Casino.

BUT, I didn’t want to go to bed without sharing just a few of the things I learned today.  Maybe this will give you bloggers some fresh ideas to swirl around in your head before your next post.

1. People do business with those they KNOW, LIKE and TRUST.  Be that person with your blog.

2. Be able to answer this question every time you create a post for your readers:  The readers want to know “What’s in it for me?”

3. Blog on topics that A) You know about and B) that people are interested in learning about.

4. Humor is gold!

5. Don’t confuse posting frequency with success.

6. If you don’t have something awesome to say, don’t create a post.

7. Make sure your blog is mobile-enabled.  Those accessing blogs from their phones and mobile devices is growing daily and you eliminate them if you don’t offer a mobile-enabled blog.

8. Offer multiple ways for people to follow your blog, like RSS, email, etc.  Don’t limit it to just your own preference on how you view blogs.

9. Define your target audience clearly to help you write with that specific person in mind.

10. Be authentic, genuine, compelling and don’t forget to share your emotional side in your storytelling.

These are great tips to keep in mind.  All were gleaned from the various keynotes and workshops that I attended.  Thanks BlogWorld!

This is one of the entrances to the Luxor Hotel and Casino.  If you’ve never seen it before, the hotel is actually a HUGE pyramid.  The black areas on either side of the sphinx are the sides of the pyramid.

Thought this would give you a feel for Vegas.  I haven’t been here for about 7 years or more and had forgotten how everything is bigger than life. It’s a crazy place!

New Business Cards!

I just finished creating a “business” card for myself.  I’ve been thinking about doing it for a while so that I have something to give to people that I meet that are interested in reading my blog.  Also, sometimes I go to restaurants, shops, etc. and have plans to post about it, so I’d like to have something to give to the owners or managers so they can look for the post in the future.

Anyway, you may also remember that I’m attending a blogging and social media conference called Blog World this week in Las Vegas (they claim to be the world’s largest).  This is primarily for my role in helping several non-profits at my office with their blogging, websites and social media.  I have a lot to learn about the technology, but this is an interesting area for me and somewhat of a creative expression, so I’m really enjoying it.

The business cards will also serve a purpose there to have something to give to fellow bloggers that has my URL and contact information on it.  Even though it’s also intended to be a networking event, I’m not really expecting to hand out too  many cards so the cool thing is that I can print just a few sheets at a time and change them as needed.

Do you have a blog or other creative expression?  Do you have a business card for it?  I’m curious about how much people still use business cards in this electronic world of ours.

Free Better Blog Content Workshop

If you’re looking for a plethora of tips on creating a better blog visit Lemon & Raspberry, which happens to be my daughter, Amy’s blog (full disclosure).  She’s been posting tips all week long and has done a ton of leg work to bring all this great information together in one place.  It will take me a long time to get through it all, but I’m looking forward to reading and applying it to my own blog.  Good thing is that the information will be there to refer back to or you can buy the content in a workbook format with bonus info here.

I hope you get a chance to check it out.


Bikers rejoice!

Google has just added intelligent biking directions for more than 12,000 U.S. bike trails as a new option inside Google Maps.

The company writes that the new biking features will “include as much bike trail data as possible, provide efficient routes, allow riders to customize their trip, make use of bike lanes, calculate rider-friendly routes that avoid big hills and customize the look of the map for cycling to encourage folks to hop on their bikes.”

The new option now sits next to the current Google Maps standbys — car, public transit and walking — for online routing options, so users can select the new option from the dropdown menu to uncover a Google-recommended bike routes (likely sans big hills!).

You can also turn on a “Bicycling” layer via the “More” tab when zoomed into a particular city in Google Maps. The trails’ green hues should indicate terrain and road type. Dark green equates to bike-only, light green means there’s a bike lane, and dashed green means it’s a decent biking path but one without a bike lane.

Before you get too excited, we should note that as of right now biking is not an option in mobile apps, so make sure to plan ahead before you hit the pavement.

I am not currently a biker, but I hope to get a new bike soon.  This great news reminded me of my brother, Pat who has cycled from Florida to Ohio and West Texas to Louisiana.  He was always looking for a good map that would tell him how he could get safely from one place to the next on his bike.

So on behalf of all bikers everywhere…Thank you Google maps!
(this tidbit discovered thru a newsletter received from www.Mashable.com )