Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Aussie Blogger Extravaganza (and the kindness of strangers)
In a crowded conference room of a swanky inner city Sydney hotel, a melting pot of all things Mummy Blogging is bubbling away.  Like all culinary creations, it has a sprinkling of many vital ingredients to make it sizzle; passion, planning, PR to name but a few.  Most prominent of all however are the people, the bloggers; a vast community of creative souls who have come together to impart words of wisdom to we who desire to learn so much more about this little artistic outlet of ours.

Fighting off an extreme flutter of nerves, I enter the room and am more than a little apprehensive at thought of having to strike up conversation with 170 people I have never met In Real Life. I’m absurdly afraid everyone already knows one other well, and that I’ll be suffering the “new girl at school” syndrome resulting in my silently hiding out in a corner because I’m far too intimidated to talk.  Yet within minutes I’m instantly at ease.  There’s a feeling a laughter and love oozing out.  We’re all in the same blogging boat; it’s not so much a case or sink or swim anymore but of seeking out like minded soul who you suddenly have an instant repour with.

I try to undertake a subtle celeblogity (yes, official new term…) spotting exercise, as a host of my long-time loved bloggers were milling about in my midst. Mrs Woog, Life in a Pink Fibro, Diminishing Lucy, Styling You, Lori from RRSAHM, Where's My Glow to name but a few.  Somehow I refrain from crash tackling them with glee and concur I’d best wait for an appropriate window to extract wise words of wisdom from these doyennes’ of the written word.  And it comes in the form of the crazy ice-breaker/networking tool that is “People Bingo” which is overseen by the infamous Sawhole (who is thankfully as funny on stage as she comes across in blog land); what a great way to get the inaugural Aussie Mummy Blogger Conference underway (after the ultra excited squeal from Mummy Time’s Brenda of course!) and let the networking and learning begin!

What follows is a cavalcade of inspiring panellists imparting their words of wisdom on so many important areas of the blogosphere.  My fellow bloggers offer up gems on how to keep our content coming, ways to better build your blog community, and enhance your profile via the Social Media revolution. Factor in the monetisation gurus, Kristin from SassySEO and Dave Lee from Nuffnang and it’s as if we’ve hitched a ride down a super highway of extreme blogging expertise.   

I wept along with everyone who listened to the brave and beautiful Lori share her blogging background and again at Wanderlust’s exquisite’s poem. I was awestruck as Mummy Mayhem and Edenland read aloud posts that resonated so much with me I am seriously considering printing them out to be read as daily mantra’s!  

And may I just mention I've a heartfelt thank you for the kindness of strangers who made this rather shy girl feel so instantly at ease.  It was actually a trend that followed me through the day – from the first minute of my journey when a fellow commuter had to spot me 30cents (who knew city rail ticket booths didn’t open at 6.30am on a Saturday?  Evidently not me, with the $50 note and a handful of incorrect change for the ticket machine), along with the random people who saw fit to aide all five foot of me struggling with an esky that was one third my size down the slippery steps of Central Station. Though must add, in case I sound at all ungrateful, thanks Rubbermaid for my lucky door prize, and acknowledge I could have picked smaller, considering I had my commute halfway across Sydney to make… 

Sadly for me, the festivities came to an early end when the day conference wrapped.  While I’m aware from the wonderful world of Twitter that I missed out on a cracking evening, to have at least attended the daytime inaugural meeting of the mummy blogger minds was beyond amazing!  Brenda, Veronica, Nicole, Karen & Tina – hold your heads high for bringing this vision into a freakin awesome reality!  

Yesterday was but the tip of the wave that we will all be able to ride into the sunny future of Mummy Blogging; watch out rest of the world - there’s an Aussie swell out there that is just about to break! 


Mothers Matter said...

Hey Nappydaze,

Don't think I met you at Ausblogcon, but completely relate to your sentiment. What a lovely bunch of people with some amazing stories to share!!

PlanningQueen said...

It was lovely to have met you. Thanks for such a lovely write up - wasn't it so much fun?

Veronica said...

I am so glad you had fun, wasn't the vibe in the room just so welcoming?

Danielle said...

Hiya Nappy dazr:-)
So glad to have finally met you and have a chat wish it was longer hey:-( maybe next year in melbourne!!! xxx

Lucy said...

You are gorgeous and so is this post. Your sparky enthusiasm at the conference and your grace and your great questions were beautifully timed, and it was lovely to meet you. xx

Ms Styling You said...

Donna, thanks so much for the mention - I loved getting to meet you in real life. x

Life In A Pink Fibro said...

I can't believe you won the esky and had to lug it home when you are so tiny! Was lovely to meet you. :-)

Corinne – Daze of My Life said...

So lovely to meet you!

I missed out on the evening festivities too. Next year, next year!


Oh Gorgeous Baby said...

I missed out this year but I can not wait for 2012 after reading your post! Sounds like a fantastic time with fantastic people.

ClaireyH said...

It was the best.

Hope to meet you next time.

Kakka said...

Hi Donna, it was so great to share a table at lunch with you. I can just picture you toting the esky home via the train - the picture in my mind is making me smile. xxx

Jodie at Mummy Mayhem said...

Donna, you asked some great questions at the conference.

Thank you for your kind words about my post. I had hoped, when writing it, it would inspire bloggers to think of themselves as writers if they wanted to!

I think the strong sense of community is very much coming thru since the conference.

Now on an additional note, I can't believe all these bloggers won stuff they had to carry home on trains etc, and there I was - car downstairs, ready and raring to take something home and...nothin'. ;)


Naomi said...

It was great wasn't it. I am still digesting all the information. Like you I was amazed at how easy and welcoming it was.

I love the celebogity term!


Kelly said...

We didn't get to meet Donna but I liked you right away. I enjoyed your questions and manner.

Susan @ Reading Upside Down said...

I don't think we got to meet at the conference - there were so many people - but I'm glad you enjoyed your day.

I've enjoyed visiting all the conference summary posts and finding out what the highlights were for other bloggers at the conference. There were so many great stories shared and I enjoyed meeting face to face with people that I've been chatting with online for so long.

Looking forward to meeting you at AusBlogCon2012. :-)

Carly Findlay said...

Hi Donna
thanks for stopping by my blog - I am not sure if I met you or not at AusBlogCon, but I hope to come to know you better at the 2012 one.

Torkona said...

you find a lot of bloggers are intensly shy, but i've read a lot of posts about the ABC and it seems everyone is shy until in a room of shy people, then they are putting their legs over chairs and doing the nutbush with lampshades on their heads..

..hang on, I might be getting confused with my own parties.

anyway, glad you had fun! one day I may overcome my shyness and rock up :-)

following you now too! look forward to your next posts.

- tork
Adelaide and South Australia blog

Veronica said...

I'm so glad you came and had such a wonderful time!

Megan Blandford said...

Great post - I agree wholeheartedly! It was such a great weekend, and I think after almost two weeks I'm still coming down from the buzz of all the fun!

SSellman said...

Great Story!
I love how important it is to connect with other people. The kindness of strangers is so important!

Would you be willing to share this story on my site?

We are collecting stories of kindness in all sorts of forms to support the documentary we made.
We traveled the country relying on strangers for a home each night: