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!

A Quiet Weekend at Home while Terry’s Away

I’m sitting here in my PJs eating little wedges of a giant Rome apple that we brought back from North Carolina and drinking a glass of Riesling called “RELAX”.  The house is quiet except for the hum of the laptop and Shredder’s purring every once in a while.

Terry is probably just landing in Las Vegas for his annual Football weekend with Greg and Mark.  Unfortunately, Kent couldn’t make it for this 18th (or is it 19th) annual getaway.  The guys will get into town tonight, get settled, filled and rested for their 2-day marathon.  Saturday they’ll get up relatively early to have breakfast, then snag a good set of seats at their chosen casino sports book.  They prefer the ones that have personal monitors at each seat so they can select their favorite games to watch thru-out the day.  That is a personal monitor in addition to the 2 or 3 DOZEN HUGE TVs filling every inch of the walls of the room.

Once they get settled into their seats for the day, they’ll try to keep track of ALL the college football games going on all over the country.  They may bet a little on a few of them.  When the crowd cheers, they’ll search the screens to figure out which game just had a great play and watch the replay.  Once in a while they’ll take a break (one at a time so as not to lose their prime locations) and maybe go play a little video poker or slots or grab a quick bite to eat.  They’ll probably trash talk about their picks and compare notes to see who might get lucky and have a good day, but mostly they just enjoy the camaraderie and the annual overdose of  uninterrupted football.

After the majority of games have ended they’ll leave their posts and head out for one of the amazing buffets along the strip.  Then on Sunday morning they’ll start the routine all over again with the NFL football games.  Oh and they’ll probably sprinkle in a few NBA or NHL games as well.

I don’t even think that they talk much about their lives, even though they usually only see each other this one time each year.  Once Terry came home and I asked him for an update on the wives and kids and he said they never talked about it.  He tries to get at least a little bit of info for me now because I gave him such a hard time about it that time.  Maybe we should try to plan a get together with the husbands AND wives so we can find out what’s happening in everyone’s world.

Well, I told him to win a lot of money so we could go to Ireland next year.  Do you think there’s any chance of that?  I always fall back on the fact that Terry’s brother, Ted won $20,000 on the 2nd Keno card that they ever played!  Can you imagine?  Wow!

As for me…Shredder and I have the house to ourselves.  Even though I love spending time with my hubby, I also enjoy these quiet weekends when I can do absolutely anything that I want.  I could stay in my pajamas all weekend if I wanted to (but I won’t).  I can get projects done, go hang out with my girlfriends, go shopping, read, stay up late, blog, sleep late, watch chick flicks all weekend or whatever in the world I want.  Not that I couldn’t really do any of these things when Terry’s at home, it’s just different somehow.  When he’s home (especially on the weekends) I want to spend time with him and that’s my priority, so personal projects get set aside more often.  I’m glad these weekends don’t happen too often, but I enjoy it once or twice a year.

So maybe I’ll get caught up on some of my blogging this weekend.  And I’m already planning an outing tomorrow with a friend.  I do need to get going on some Christmas shopping too. I’m sure I’ll manage to fill up my time before I know it.

What do you do with your alone time?

Have a great weekend, whatever you’re doing.

Viva Las Vegas!

So this is the weekend for Terry’s annual Las Vegas trip with the guys. He’s been doing this trip in the Fall with the same 3 guys, that used to go to our old church, for at least 15 years, maybe more. They always go during football season. When we lived in Santa Clarita, they all drove together (a 4-5 hour drive one-way) and played radio music trivia games all the way. Now since we live in AZ, Terry just flies up and meets them there. The other 3 guys, Mark, Greg and Kent are all teachers so they also spend a lot of time razzing Terry about all the time off they get, that he doesn’t. But the real goal of the weekend is football, football and even more football.

They get there sometime on Friday, check into as cheap a hotel as they can get without being too sleazy and make their plans. Basically they do the same thing every year. Scope out the best sports book(the middle picture is the inside of a sport book if you haven’t seen one) and get there really early on Saturday morning so they can get great seats. Then they sit ALL DAY and watch college football (and any other sport that happens to be televised) on dozens of TV screens including several that are usually over 10 feet tall. They love to just sit there and be able to see ALL the games ALL the time.

It’s like heaven for them!

Some of the sports books even have “personal” TVs right at their chair so they can watch the most important game up close and personal. They may place small bets on a few games, but that’s not really the main point. It’s pretty much just to get their fill of football (for that weekend, at least). Then Saturday night when the games are over, they’ll find a good Vegas buffet and have dinner, probably hang out in the evening at one of the casinos, then hit the sack to start again the next day. Now on Sunday it’s pretty much the same, except of course, that it’s PRO football. So once all the games wind down at the end of the day, the teachers pile into their car for the long drive home and Terry hops on a plane headed for Phoenix.

A few interesting items to point out. We have been friends with these guys and their families for nearly 20 years, but now we really only get to connect a few times a year and only see each other MAYBE once a year. Terry gets to spend the whole weekend with these guys, but when he comes home and I ask how are the kids and the wives and how are things with the guys, he usually says he forgot to ask! They don’t seem to talk about anything but football or sports the whole weekend. Crazy huh? Oh well, I guess I’ll have to get the important news myself from the wives… I’m glad Terry gets to have a fun weekend away. It does him good…and I get a weekend in the middle of the season with no football. 🙂