Huzzah! I finally get to use the word ‘bonanza’ in a blog post title. It may be one of my favourite words – and today I get to utilise it in all the alliterative glory of BlogCamp Bristol Bonanza! (good job it wasn’t in Coventry or summat)
Now if you’re hoping for a really informative and useful blog post – hmm. Go somewhere else. I’ll give you my version of events, which may contain some *cough* fabulous blogging tips, if I can decipher my scribbled notes. It is probably best to reveal at this point that my note-taking usually consists of doodling aimlessly and then copying from someone else later on.
Anyway – here goes – my BlogCamp Bristol Bonanza! (timings are approximate and of entirely my own imagination)
9.15am – arrive at the M-Shed, which is shut. It is freezing cold and very windy. Spot huddle of women by the door. Correctly surmise that they are also bloggers. Somehow think it is Monday, and mention this. No one corrects me.
9.30am – we go in search of coffee. We have an adorable baby with us (courtesy of Mum2babyinsomniac) who is slowly going bright pink due to the caustic wind.
9.45am – I leap on a woman. This is because she is Melksham Mum, and I heart her. And she has biscuits somewhere upon her person.
9.55am – we go back to the M-Shed. It is open. We go upstairs. There is tea/coffee and chatting. THERE ARE NO NAME BADGES, so we do not know who anyone is. However, I see Mum of One and Yellow Days and leap upon them as well. I fear at this point I might have been shrill.
10.02am – there is a lady with a sparkly silver hat. I want to talk to her but don’t.
10.35am – we go and sit down. THERE ARE NO TABLES. Melksham Mum and I are disappointed. She was going to put her tin of biscuits on the table. They remain in her bag.
10.40am – BlogCamp begins. Sally Whittle from the awesome Tots100 (wot organised the event) says hello. She’s very nice and funny. She introduces Chris Mosler, who, as most of you know, writes the uber-successful Thinly Spread blog. We are all a little bit in awe of her.
11.05am – by now Chris has talked very cleverly and engagingly about ethical blogging. I have written down: ‘responsibility to be consistent and reliable when speaking in 1st person’ and ‘my blog, my line in the sand’. I think I was too busy listening to take notes.
11.06am – now Sally introduces Elisabeth Winkler, who writes the award-winning blog Real Food Lover. She is also very accomplished and slightly awe-inspiring. I am hoping by now, other people are feeling tiny and insignificant, like me. Elisabeth talks about writing, and how to deal with PR folk in relation to your blog. I write down: ‘experiment!’ and ‘know your subject’ and ‘debate is crucial’ and other stuff that I can’t actually read now. My handwriting is terrible.
11.30am – it is time for tea/coffee and cake. I am very happy about the cake. Some people are surprised I am not first to the cake. I end up with a cake in each hand, so as not to disappoint them. We talk about what we’ve heard so far – things like frequency of blogging (every day? three times a week? ONCE A FECKING MONTH?), freelance writing and how to get it, and approaching PRs about product reviews. It is MIGHTY FINE to be talking to like-minded people about this stuff, in person. The bloggers here are lovely.
11.55am – back to work! Now here is Phil Szomszor, who is a VERY important PR bloke, has a difficult to announce surname, and (according to the schedule) was the founder of extreme ironing, though he didn’t mention this at all. He is funny and interesting. I write down: ‘play the long game’ and ‘TWITTER LISTS’ and ‘Google Analytics stats’, as a list of things to do. My brains are now buzzing.
12.45pm – we seem to have talked/listened for ages. It is now lunch time. Our BlogCamp Bristol Bonanza gets even better when they tell us there’s a free lunch waiting for us. This makes me very happy. I am also glad to hear that I am not the only person to think there’s chicken in a sandwich and it’s actually cheese (thanks, Melksham Mum). Again, I am too scared to talk to the lady in the sparkly hat, and any of the guest speakers. But it is great talking with my friends.
1.30pm – lunch is over. We are ushered back in. FINALLY Melksham Mum gets out her biscuits. They are lush. Sally introduces Lee Smallwood, who is a very clever digital consultant man. I do not understand a lot of what he is talking about, even though I very quickly learn what SEO is. My notes are VERY sporadic here. I do write down, however: YouTube, Google+, del.icio.us, , tumblr, backlinks, keyword phrases, and put pictures in your post. Oh, and include your post title in the first paragraph (check), the last paragraph (will do) and every 100 words or so. Shit. BlogCamp Bristol Bonanza. Oops.
2.30pm – the session ends quite suddenly as people have to go catch trains and there’s a fear we might run late. I reckon I could have stayed another hour – I found Lee’s talk really fascinating and it made me want to learn more about the technical side of blogging. I feel a little bit thick sometimes because I don’t know what certain terms mean – I don’t really know what a plug-in is, for crying out loud. Isn’t it an air freshener?
2.50pm – I am trying not to coo too loudly at Circus Queen’s gorgeous little baby girl. This is very difficult. I extract myself from the situation before I become shrill again. We leave. It is still cold and windy. I don’t really want to go home, but I miss Moo, who has been with Hub all day. I wonder if they are both still sane.
3.30pm – home. Moo and Hub are fine. In fact, Moo loves Hub more than me now. My head is spinning from all the new information in it. I don’t know if I’ll do half the things suggested by the speakers, not right away anyway. I’ve broken one rule already – that is, keep your posts short. Oh dear – this one’s over 1,000 words already. I’ve prob lost half my readers. I could write anything write now and no one would know. GIRAFFE PYJAMAS. See what I mean?
9.34pm – I decide to go to bed. My brain is still aching. WHY DID I EVER DECIDE TO BLOG??
I’m going to stop there. I imagine I’ll recall other snippets over the next few posts or so, so please be warned. Now hang on a sec: BlogCamp Bristol Bonanza. And I don’t have a picture. This is a terrible blog. It’s amazing anyone finds it.
I’d just like to thank everyone involved in organising BlogCamp Bristol, it was a really good experience for a newbie blogger like me. Special thank you mentions to Sally, Chris, Elisabeth, Phil and Lee – you guys rock.