Imagine you are in a room, surrounded by rainbows and cherry lollipops and kelly green cashmere cardigans…. playing softly in the background is this hybrid mix of Adele, Florence and The Machine and bon iver.
Spread out throughout the room are dishes of guacamole, lasagna and pie.
When you sit down, the table to your left is scattered with your old Judy Blumes and your new Hunger Games trilogy.
But then suddenly – and you don’t even know if it’s yours or belongs to another - there is this long thick fart…the odor penetrates everything.
You really just want to curl up in a bowl of lasagna and listen to the music…but the smell, it permeates and distracts….This was my BlissdomCanada.
[For The Record: This was an incredibly well-executed conference - there were generous sponsors and fun parties, enthusiastic volunteers and organizers. It was very clear how much time, energy and resources went into planning BlissdomCanada. What I discovered is that maybe Blissdom is not my bag....which would absolutely suck. I thirst for the connections, lessons, inspiration and generosity of others. Blissdom, I need you to be more of what I need though. The fart was a metaphor. Everybody there smelt really really good.]
My friend Alex wrote a thoughtful piece on her Blissdom reflections earlier today and y’all should read it. It echoes so many of my sentiments as do all of the thoughtful comments left by others. But where Alex writes about the disconnect between bloggers & brands, I simply felt disconnected from the entire conference.
This is more a reflection of myself than of the conference, by the way. As mentioned, all the ingredients of a successful event were in place and I hope many left feeling re-charged and focused.
I also wish I had been one of them.
Truth be told, I am indifferent to the monetization/branding sessions at Blissdom (ironic because one of my favorite sessions at Blissdom was loosely tied to branding. Though it had more to do with swearing, if you ask me)
I am just grateful that I am not financially dependant on my blog. I am equally grateful the option exists for those that need to generate income from it, if the fit works.
That said, I do worry that people are making choices now that may effect how seriously they are to be taken later on…of course, if I was approached by certain brands (and I’m looking at you anthropologie, apple, anything Etsy *wink*) I could easily be persuaded.
Maybe it’s harder than I know, trying to marry a personal blog with a brand. I have no idea.
I was there for other reasons, primarily to focus on improving the quality of my blog during daytime sessions.
And to get drunk and giggle with friends at night.
I cannot tell you why. I have heard self-righteous smug happy people say that how we feel is a choice – I certainly don’t recall choosing to feeling like every punchline was being spoken in Swahili by an old Irish guy, originally from Ittoqqortoormiit (that’s Greenland, in case you are wondering). But that’s how I felt. Danggit – hate when that happens.
What I learnt instead was that
I need to focus more on what I write rather than where I write it.
I have been very focused on increasing my traffic because the website I had been contributing to required it. Of course, that is their revenue model and I get that. But it turns out that is not what drives me. I need to connect with people.
I want my writing to be compelling and relevant because I want to be relevant and compelling…I have no idea what to make of this realization (please no dime-store theories, I don’t actually want to know what this makes me), other than nothing rings more true for me than when people do that head nodding thingy, like I get it, I get it! – it is the best way for me to connect with other people…..
Words are the liaison between myself and others. I am distracted and fascinated by them, their imperfections and thick chunky unfinished edges.
I spend my time alternatively crushing on other peoples words and cringing at my own.
I am not a girl. Nor, apparently, am I a wolf.
I do not hug, dance, squeal, karaoke or faint at the sight of Jordan Knight – I am not even sure I am allowed at these events. (ps. Jordan knight genuinely looked like he was having a blast, and made me wish I was a fan). Also, I do not do well in groups, preferring the smaller, more intimate gatherings.
I chose sessions on my own, went to the bathroom on my own, chose what to eat on my own, went to bed on my own.
And then I am left…well, alone and wondering why I am often alone at these events.
I was not conditioned with the pack mentality. Again, this is not a reflection of Blissdom (how could it be) but it was more apparent in a room full of hundreds, than say….when I am alone…
My favorite moments were when I was one on one, even if these were just 5 minute bursts of intimacy – they were the things that sustained me throughout the weekend.
So essentially I am asking Blissdom to host an event with hundreds of bloggers but group sessions are not to exceed 3-5.
I want them to focus on the craft of writing rather than on a specific blogging topic, even thought it is a blogging conference.
I would also like a no touching policy in place.
Ideally, everybody will think just like me and prefer a bergundy over a chardonnay for dinner. Very little focus on how to *do* social media strategically.
Oh, and can you have those awesome massages and manis that you provided complimentary delivered directly to my room. I’ll be up there for the most part…alone…
What Will I Do Now
- I will focus more on the craft of writing and find ways to showcase it. I have realized that my ideal platform will be in print (that means you, magazines!!)
- On the second night of Blissdom, I resigned from Babble.com I will try to convince myself that I will have other opportunities as awesome as this one. I simply could not commit to writing 5 posts a week. Also, I suspect I need my repertoire to extend beyond personal finance.
- While at Blissdom, we were invited to watch a screening of missrepresentation, courtesy of Jen Maier. Without any doubts at all, this is the direction I would like my writing to be heading.
- Working with Gail Vaz-Oxlade is incredible. Meeting her in person? Even better! I am excited about the projects she is working on and so thrilled to be a part of initiatives that are so clearly making a difference to people.
- As community manager at WallStSurvivor I see the importance of forging genuine thoughtful relationships with people as the primary goal of social media
Cue the sappy music now:
36 Responses to Blissdom Blisters
Willing to publicly shame myself into dropping my *thyroid* weight. Clothing Liaison, Non-housewife, with terrible grammar and a penchant for mixed metaphors. I also I like to dress women 4 free. I am a messy rotten cook that makes a wicked cappuccinoMore About Me..