Thursday, November 10, 2011

I Coulda Spent My Extra Hour at BlogWorld

Her theme song is Stinky food, Stinky food! 
Feed the cat, excellent!

BlogWorld, BlogWorld!  [I heard it in my head like "Wayne's World, Wayne's World! Partytime, Excellent!]

Saturday, after the big mancandy adventures in Santa Barbara, I woke up not too late, all a-twitter about BlogWorld.   Fed the cat (like she would ever let that go) did yoga, took a shower, admiring my bicycling bruises (such lovely shapes and colors) and checked the clock.  Plenty of time - and I hadn't even set my watch back yet.

Woo-hoo, an extra hour!  I love falling back.  Did the happy dance, was ready to re-set my watch, when I realized...

Daylight Savings Time ended on Sunday, not Saturday.  I did not have the extra hour after all.

After the usual LA freeway adventures, I proceeded to get semi-lost.  There's a huge new complex downtown, that encompasses the Convention Center, Staples Center, Nokia Theatre, the Grammy museum...  It's clean, it's shiny, it's impressive, it's... confusing.  Last time I'd been there, a fair number of parking lots and buildings were under construction, so it looked very different.  Many block circles later, I found the correct parking lot, made my way in, oohing and aahing like Dorothy in the Emerald City.
Lotta windows, at the LA Convention Center. 
Which I am heartily thankful it's not my job to clean.

Progress!  BlogWorld, BlogWorld!  I must be in the right place.

As it turns out, BlogWorld was interesting... but fairly small.  Convenient for me, since it had been going on since Thursday, and I was arriving midday on the last day.  Reps were almost too exhausted to beckon me towards their booths.
Doesn't this guy at the keyboard look like Michael, the nephew from the Sopranos?

As is typical at most conventions, a lot of the stuff for sale is geared towards the other vendors. 
One of whom did in fact, have green and purple hair.

Many people were recording podcasts in the different booths.
Being the techno-savvy kind of person I am, I immediately recognized that instead of flowers,
each table had a centerpiece of one of these electrical thing-ama-hoosies.

Place for people to sit down and catch up. 
Either with their electronic devices, or with new friends.
Sat down at a table and visited with Arlee Bird, long-time blogger at Tossing It Out, and creator of the popular A-Z April Blogging Challenge.  Being new to blogging, in 2011 I jumped in with both feet and almost drowned.

The idea is to write a blogpost for every day of the month for April, on subjects from A to Z, taking Sundays off.  Also visiting and commenting on as many other blogs as possible (there were over 1,000 participants) as well.

Now, experienced bloggers, who'd participated before, or who knew about the challenge ahead of time, had some of their posts written ahead of time.  Me, I was a total virgin, finding out about it as I visited one of my favorite blogs on April 1.  I still did it - and finished it - but it almost finished me.

I'll be doing it again, but in 2012 I will have at least some of my posts written ahead of time.

Anyway, we batted around ideas about A-Z, about ways to monetize blogs, about Yahoo and Zemanta (which I'm trying out) and other BlogWorld booths we found intriguing (I took Lee's advice and signed up as a Yahoo contributor).  Talked to the guy at HubPages and may do some articles for them in the future.  (Or, possibly not.  They are very mysterious about how ranking & follow links are calculated, so it's possible that an author could write a whole lot of material for them with little to no payback.)

I stopped in to the Blogger booth and chatted with Sabine Borsay of Google - lovely young German woman living in Dublin now.  They are aggressively pitching their new dynamic views options; however, those options totally will not play nice with outside plug-ins.

Lee's got a much bigger and better write-up here on Tossing It Out. And here on the A to Z blog.

I have no clue what arcade basketball has to do with anything blog or media-related,
but these guys were having fun with it.

WordPress definitely pwned a bigger and better location than Blogger.  (Or Yahoo or eBay, for that matter.) 
Don't know if they were making a statement... or overcompensating.
I'm glad I went to BlogWorld, learned about some new toys that may be helpful to me, and am super-glad I met Lee Bird, in person - what a nice guy!  But, my take-away is that this kind of convention is most helpful to those serious about their blogs.

For me, my "real" writing is #1, and the blog is #2.  I blog to connect with readers, and other writers.  But I'm a novelist at heart.  I am still neck-deep in edits, which take priority.

There are some bloggers who blog because they love it - and I do enjoy it, very much, but I am not looking, as many are, to make a living as a blogger.  My goal is not to have a string of blogs making me money  (if that is your goal, a fabulous resource is How To Make Money with Your Writer's Blog 101 by E.T. Barton) but to have a string of great books making me money.

Which means... back to my edits.  Slice, dice, rewrite!

Did you go to BlogWorld?  What did you think?
How about BlogHer or other blog conferences?
What conferences, if any, have you found most helpful?
Enhanced by Zemanta