I love blog conferences. I probably always start my debrief posts with that line but it’s true. I just love them. New bloggers, faces to put to blogs, old friends, lots of new things to learn, great speakers, good food, a precious day or two away from the usual routine and fun. I always leave with a real buzz and new inspiration to blog. This year’s Digital Parents Conference was no exception. You can follow the fun on twitter, facebook or instagram by searching #dpcon13.
There are always a few nerves beforehand (what to wear, who is going, make sure I say hi to lots of people) but they always go away once I’ve found my buddy (golden rule of conferences, have a buddy!). I never do one without a buddy and then we make new friends along the way.
Lisa has been my helper at markets and now helps me with spreadsheets and some of the admin stuff on the blog. She got us a great table and we sat with Jenn Unger, Lorelei of Craftmumship (you should see photos of her gorgeous house and alpacas), Wine Muse (yes, she’s a wine blogger! I’m sure some of my readers would be loving that idea!), Always Lauren (I love that we’re the same height Lauren!) and Take Charge Becc. The great thing about these conferences is people walk in, join a table and you get to start talking. There is no real seat saving or table hogging. And it’s a fabulous way to meet new people.
I remember Darren of ProBlogger giving us some advice of quick things that you can ask people at a blog conference and it’s always stuck – just turn to someone and say hi I’m corrie of retro mummy, what’s your blog? What’s it about? and that leads into a great little discussion and it’s a great way to meet new people. And the great thing about blogging here in australia is that there are always new faces to meet and new blogs to read. A couple of new ones for me are Katie 180 (she is so cute! ), Tackle Nappy, luk beautifood, danya banya and more I’ll share tomorrow! Oh and Daisy, Roo and Two who is just gorgeous and I got to meet in real life. We could have talked for hours!!!
OK, so after breakfast and chit chat it was straight into the welcome and opening address by Jono of WakeUp Sydney. He shared a bit about his former corporate life and leaving it to find something more fulfilling. He became a male nanny to twin boys and remembers clearly the moment one of the boys said ‘I’m so glad you’re here’. He went on to stay 5 years with the same family before setting up WakeUp Sydney which is all about kindness! Jono was a fabulous speaker who spoke from the heart and had a great sense of humour. He had everyone listening and we got some little cards to give to people anonymously. I loved his idea of removing our egos from the giving. Jono also talked about how society is so preoccupied with working hard and buying things and how all of this hasn’t corresponded to an increase in our happiness. I’m so glad I got to hear from Jono and discover his great website.
Next up saw some of my favourite bloggers take to the stage for state of the aussie blogosphere. Styling You, Edenland and Darren Rowse aka ProBlogger and David Lee from Nuffnang was up there too. It was great to hear where we’re at, why some bloggers are stepping back from writing daily and just trying to find the balance of blogging and life. And a great little observation and new way of doing things by Darren was rather than abstract blog posts each week and lots of them to do more indepth, tutorial style posts on a theme in the same week. I know crafters love their tutorials and he’s just shared a great series of Pinterest posts on ProBlogger and who doesn’t love pinterest.
Darren also said that there has been a shift for bloggers and how they earn their income with more bloggers looking to develop their own products (ebooks, courses, apps and so on) to complement working with brands or as an alternative. And some bloggers are starting out and realising that they want to just create their own products and this is a shift away from where we were at at the first Digital Parents and ProBlogger conferences.
morning tea (aka find the coffee and toilets) then back for a session on blogging through adversity. Lori of RRSAHM, Tiffany of My Three Ring Circus (whose little girl Ivy has totally captured my heart for a few years now) and the very brave Rachel of My Mummy Muddles. This was a tear jerker if ever there was one and hats off to these brave ladies for sharing their stories. I was so proud to be in that room when question time commenced with praise for these ladies on their blogging and courage to get up there. It was a beautiful session and I think so important for a blog conference for mums (and dads!) not just to be about the business end of things. But about the heart of blogging.
Lunch time – nice healthy salad and some sandwiches, we watched an interview by Edenland with the PM. Oh yes, just the Prime Minister of Australia. It was nice to see her much more relaxed than usual. Thank you Eden.
OK after lunch it was time to listen to Nicole of Planning with Kids talk e-books. I once drafted an ebook then set it aside but now I might just open it up again. Nicole went through how to look for what to write to write an ebook about by using Google Analytics and your top 100 blog posts and key search words. Google Analytics is amazing and my only regret is that I didn’t get into it earlier. If you haven’t signed up and got it on your blog then do it now. Nicole had mentored Nellbe Gluten Free and helped her with her ebook on Glugten Free Kids which you can find here . Thank you Nellbe and Nicole for sharing with us. I wrote copious amounts of notes and will share some more later.
By this time I realised I might be smelling a little less than fresh as my fabulous Zara dress which I love is also made of polyester. Sweat and polyester aren’t the best combination. Quick freshen up, coffee and carrot cake and a chat. I met the lovely Seana Smith and her gorgeous scottish accent, realised we live in nearby suburbs! Then it was back to the next sessions – Fe Lumsdaine (the gorgeous photographer who did my cousin Matt’s wedding) and getting to know your DSLR. For someone who still mostly shoots in auto this was what I needed…………until retro daddy called from the carpark to let me know he was waiting for me.
And that was a highlight of the day, getting back in the car to see my little guy. Oh I missed him. He always comes everywhere with me and being apart from him for a day was tough. Retro daddy had it all under control and elodie called out for the first time ‘Daaad, where ah ooo’. He’s feeling pretty special that Elodie went from ‘gaggy’ to ‘daaad’ with one day at home with him. Yes, my mind is ticking over at opportunities I can leave home for the day and let the bonding continue…..
Oh and I have to share this. The old problem of running out of iphone or ipad power half way through a blog conference was solved with these cute recharge stations. No need to bring your charger just find the right one for your phone, plug it in and come back when it’s done! Genius. Thanks to one of the sponsors Belkin for this.
I’ll be back tomorrow with a full debrief of day 2. Another day that flew by with things to learn, more new faces to meet.