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Monday, March 21, 2011

AusBlogCon2011 - Best Party EVER

Now, the following fact might not excite most people like it did me - in fact, the thought of such a thing might even freak some of you out - but it has to be said that when I drove my car in to the car park on Saturday at the hotel for the conference, and the undercarriage was searched with a mirror for, like, bombs and stuff, I couldn't help but think, 'Oooh...cool.'

I know. I'm weird like that.

I was beside myself with excitement just being there. Even the thought of a potential bomb threat wasn't going to deter that.

To be honest, I mostly attended the conference to meet other bloggers. I don't know about any of my fellow bloggers out there, but I don't bump in to other bloggers often. Actually...I don't think I ever have. In fact, whilst having my tresses tended to on Friday, my hair stylist asked what I was up to on the weekend, and when I explained I was going to a blogging conference, you would have thought I'd just spoken to her in a foreign language. She had no idea what I was talking about.

So how great is it to be in a room with a bunch of people who really do get what you do and why? And don't roll their eyes and tsk tsk you when you're on Twitter? At a dinner table. Awesome.

The whole day was packed with some incredibly useful info, but it made me realise something: I don't think I'm blogging to create a sort of online business for myself or make money from blogging per se. I guess that's why I've never taken on advertising, and I don't spend any time wondering when is the best time to put up a blog post and gain the most readership. (Nor do I have the energy - or time - to do that sort of stuff.) I write a post and I post it, and I don't check my stats a lot. In fact, it's probably been at least a couple of weeks since I did. Who knows if all that will change in the future? But for the moment, I like writing, entertaining people, using my blog to help others if I can and connecting with people. The end.

Yes, I do giveaways, because when I like something I just want to share it and think it's great that one of my readers will get something for free! (What's wrong with that?) I review books because I've done that from day dot on my blog. Only a couple I've reviewed have been sent to me, the rest I bought myself. I just like reading, ok? I may talk about a product sent to me on occasion, but only because I really want to share something great with you. That's it. And whilst I've done blog hops in the past, I'm not obsessed in the slightest about upping my readership (my weekly 'grateful' post is a blog hop, but I do that to recall the good in each week). Sure, it'd be mind blowing if I logged on tomorrow and found I had 6,000 followers (ha!), but I don't lose sleep over that. At all. It's not my main aim here.

My main aim for this blog in the beginning, as I talked about in my live blog reading on the weekend, remains the same today. I didn't start my blog to set out a new career path for myself. I just wanted to write. I still want to do that. And yes - I want feedback for what I write, otherwise, I'd be writing all this stuff in a journal, wouldn't I? Exactly.

However, there are a number of positive things that have happened that I didn't expect from blogging.

Firstly, I've made friends. Not 'pretend/internet' friends, but 'real' ones that have gone from online to real. Especially these two:

From left: Megan from Writing Out Loud,
Naomi from Under the Yardarm and moi. 

Secondly, I discovered that just like my sons' school, and my local church, the blogging world is a community. Truly, honestly - a real community. Supportive, encouraging, understanding, engaging and inspiring.

Thirdly, many other bloggers have experienced what I have: an unexpected new direction in their lives after taking up blogging. Some have discovered a love of photography by taking pics for their blogs. Some have found an inner artist. Many, like me, have found that through the positive reactions to their writing, they have found a new confidence and self belief which has enabled them to take chances and challenge themselves - personally as well as professionally. Isn't that a great thing?

Lastly, just listening to, and being in the presence of, so many wonderful, clever, amazing bloggers (loved meeting everyone I met, and disappointed I didn't meet ALL of you), it made me realise something. I know I'm channeling Jack Nicholson a little here when I say this, and it might sound a bit cliched and mushy too, but to all the other bloggers I saw on the weekend: you make me want to be a better blogger.

Honestly. You do.

We'll all take away something different from the weekend. Many of us will take away a lot of the same. At the end of the day, it's our own personal journey that matters. I know I'm now more certain of mine.

Thanks to the visionary brilliance of Brenda, we had our first conference. And because of the hard work of many others - especially VeronicaKaren, Tina, and Nicole, Brenda's vision became a reality. Just goes to show that anything is possible if you believe in yourself.

Presuming I'm still doing this blogging caper by then (because, who knows?), here's to the next one in 2012.

I'll be there.


Brenda said...

LOVE LOVE it! Bring on #ausblogcon2012

AlyceB said...

What a lovely post :) I've just gotten started on this whole blogging thing, and it's nice to know that not everyone is out to get as many followers or advertisers as possible! That there ARE "serious bloggers" who just blog because it's fun and enjoyable.
I know that blogging has made me more confident too! And it brings a bit of meaning to my life as a SAHM when people IRL mention something I've written, or comment on how lovely it is to get to know this whole other side of they've never known!
Who knows... maybe I can make it next year if I'm still doing this, or in the country.

aumummy said...

It was great to meet the people I have blogged about. I was a little shy to chat. Looking forward to #ausblogcon2012, perhaps I won't be so shy then. BTW great nutbush dancing was had by many.

Felicity said...

I think that the conference venue had been told that there would be some serious blogging 'bombshells' attending on the weekend and somehow [as happens with security guys] their wires got crossed [as happens with security guys] and there you had it- bomb mirrors under cars!

So great to read that you and the other bombshells had a terrific weekend and even though I didn't attend I, like you, I congratulate the vision and energy of Brenda & her team.

xx Felicity

Thea said...

I blog for exactly the same reason you do. I guess that's why I love yours, and you, so much!!

PS I just want to squish myself into that photo. xx

Mrs Woog said...

I am going to save you the first dance at ausblogcon2012 xx

Susan @ Reading Upside Down said...

Loved meeting you on the weekend, Jodie. I wish we'd had more time to chat. Maybe next year?

I agree that it was wonderful to be in a room full of people who 'get' blogging - who don't look dazed or confused when you mention that you are a blogger.

I didn't take on board a lot of information or blogging tips from the conference, but I am feeling more inpsired, more focused and more enthusiastic about writing and blogging. The conference was an amazing opportunity to connect with many people (yourself included) that I have already chatted with online and I had a fantastic time.

Shelly - Tropical Mum said...

That's the thing about blogging, I have a passion for it, but I am just not able to talk to anyone about it. No one gets it.

I had a conversation with a couple IRL the other day and they had some exposure to blogging. I practically jumped on them, because it was the first IRL conversation where someone was interested in what I had to say about blogging. The rest roll their eyes (my husband) or give me the dazed and confused look that Susan mentioned.

I'd better not go to the 2012 conference, because I'll be going crazy trying to make up for 1 1/2 years of unspoken conversation by chatting with everyone, because they'll 'get' it...

Megan Blandford said...

Dancing with you and Naomi all night was THE BEST. So much fun! So great to see you again, Jodie - always love chatting with you my friend. xx

Miss Pink said...

I think you took the words out of my mouth.
That is EXACTLY what blogging is to me. I just want to write, to share thoughts, and discuss those thoughts. I have no problem having a bit of a debate, my beliefs challenged, and sometimes changed with a new perspective from someone else.
As much as i love comments and feedback i am ok with my blog being small. I think if it were to grow to a big size i'd freak out and get a sort of stage fright, but at the same time, i think it would be nice to know that people are liking what i'm writing. It's strange.
I also love reading blogs. I just adore it. Hearing other's thoughts, them sharing journey's or decisions with me. I think blogging can be a very inimate and personal community. There are some things you will talk about online but never in the "real world" and vice versa, and that can be healthy.
I am glad you had a terrific night. I got pretty jealous watching everyone's tweets!

Naomi said...

Who'd have thought that when we all started out blogging this is where we'd be!
I have been thinking more today about the speakers, the discussion, and my take on it all... but mostly I've had the nut bush and Livin' on a Prayer in my head! What a fabulous time it was.

Donna @ NappyDaze said...

Under the car bomb search??? We bloggers must be a deceptively dangerous looking lot...

What a thought provoking, intelligent wrap up of the Aussie Blogger Conference! I again thank you for your wisdom that you again extol in this post, just as you did your compelling Writers Vs Bloggers piece, which resonated so much with me. I've never dared think of myself as a writer before, even though its all I aspire to be... I'm now giving myself permission to do just that, and its all thanks to you!

foxinflats said...

I didn't get the chance to say hello on the day, but I've gotta say your hair did look great!!
Spotted it from the other side of the room. Oh so bouncy & swishy.
Andrea (FoxInFlats.com)

Wanderlust said...

Excellent post! It was so lovely meeting you and (lucky me) sitting by you. What a beautiful, spectacular day. Can't wait until next year (and you'd better keep blogging)!

Being Me said...

This is a beautiful post! You are so gorgeous, so glad I got to meet you :)

MultipleMum said...

It was great to meet you! Sorry we didn't stay for your live post reading - the beers were calling! Will definitely have to catch up again soon for a proper 'hello'. mm

SquiggleMum said...

Look at all those hot shoes ;-)

PlanningQueen said...

You read beautifully Jodie and what you had to say made so many of us think.

Be A Fun Mum said...

Jodie. I loved your post reading. It answered some of my ponderings so thank you! Love that shoe pic <3 <3 <3

anidledad said...

It was awesome fun wasn't it. What an amazing feeling of belonging (even being one of five blokes in the room) and community.

Next year I'm going to be poor, but I'll be scraping money together for the conference I think.

River said...

It was nice meeting you and I loved watching you all enjoy yourselves dancing.