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Entries in BlissDom (5)

Wednesday
Feb112009

Today I'm over at JessicaKnows (BLOG IDOL)

For real. This is BIG. JessicaKnows asked me to guest post and I was bouncing in my seat! You see I not only went to Blissdom, I landed a few great interviews with Nathan Pacheco, Ender Thomas, and Chris Mann.
Jessica asked me to write about my tips for interviewing a celebrity and you can see that I learned quite a lot...mostly from making mistakes.

Video of the interviews below. Take it easy, I'm a beginner.
But watch out Joan Rivers - I'm coming to a red carpet near you!

Ender and Nathan from Yanni Voices

Chris Mann

Chris Mann interview from twincident on Vimeo.

You can see photos of me with my interviewees over at JessicaKnows.
Stop in and tell her how I did!
Janine

Monday
Feb092009

Tips for Your First Blog Conference

Some day this blog will return to the 'twin mom' roots but having just returned from my very first blog conference, Blissdom09, I have the need to share my tips with others who might be afraid to take part.

Before I left I was afraid I'd feel lonely (having no real blog friends), out of my element (Feedburner does what?), and defeated (because of my traffic...I appreciate you dear readers more than you'll ever know).

But upon returning I can tell you I have lots of blog friends, I am a member of an incredible movement that recognizes the power of women/mothers/bloggers, and I am motivated and energized to put what I've learned to work!

So if you are afraid of taking the leap - don't be!
If you are even slightly interested and can afford a blog conference - GO!
Here are some tips to help you feel more comfortable:

1. Get a roommate
Email some of your favorite bloggers, readers, or twitter friends to see who else is going and who is looking to share a room. This does two things: cuts down on the cost of the room and sets you up with an automatic friend! Before heading down to the conference I called my roommate and flat out told her I'd be sticking to her like glue. Luckily, this was her first conference and she felt the same way.

2. Get a list of mobile phones
Before you leave chat with some of the attendees (see #1) and get a few cell numbers so that you can text and arrange to meet when you are down there like I did with Renee. You'll feel better knowing you've got a few 'friends' already and trust me, they quickly become your friends/sisters/supporters.

3. Bring a notebook
I had the right idea in my earlier post and I'm glad I followed through. The notebook came in handy during sessions, to jot down the names and blogs of the people I was meeting and wanted to connect with later, and even for keeping track of the conference schedule. On the way home I had everything in one place as I started notes for this post and for future posts. (Also check out JessicaKnows' Moleskin notebook.)

4. Bring business cards
For me, business cards helped me stand out. Not just because I used an envelope, but because it was what I used to break the ice and talk to people. I usually asked them for their card, then asked if I could give them mine. A number of people had seen my post and immediately we had something to talk about. And if I had never heard of their blog, I asked. Plus, now I have a database of people I can turn to for advice, partnership, and support. I hope they feel the same way when they look at my card.

5. Participate
Don't be afraid to ask questions at a session. People remember you when you ask a good question and will often approach you and mention it.
If there is a cocktail hour, go.
If there is a karaoke party, ask one of your blog idols to get up there with you and sing Dancing Queen.

Renee, Janine, White Trash Mommy and Linda

Sugar Jones invited me to sit down at breakfast with Mandi, Lisa, and Rachel and we later explored downtown Nashville. Introducing myself and approaching people was how I found one of my new BFFs MommaDJane.

6. Meet the Sponsors
Check them out before you go so you know what to say to the people representing the companies. Without the sponsors there would be no conference, or it would be really expensive to attend. Reach out to them if you have a chance, say thank you, and if you feel compelled, post about them!

I know I became an even bigger fan of Yanni Voices (thanks to Disney Pearl) and Chris Mann (thanks to Sony Music). I'm going to start using Lijit, start buying Little Debbie 100 calorie snacks - probably at Walmart, and start wearing cool Crocs boots as soon as I use my gift certificate!

Would love to have your suggestions too!
Janine
More posts on Blissdom09 here:
What to bring to a blog conference
Help me get dressed for Blissdom09
Diving head first into the shallow end of the blogging conference

Tuesday
Feb032009

What to bring to a blog conference

OMG, OMG, OMG, OMG I'm starting to freak out now!

I'm going to Blissdom 09 in just a few days and this is my first ever blog conference, the first time I'll meet ANY of my bloggy friends and blog idols in person, and the first time I've been away on a work (?) sort of thing in a loooooong time.

So yes, I'm a complete dork and already started my outfit list (and thank you everyone for your cocktail outfit votes!) and now have compiled a list of other things I think I should bring.

I'm hoping some of you more experienced bloggers and conference goers will weigh-in here.

Here's what I have so far:
1. Wine - wait, maybe that shouldn't be number one...makes me look like I have a problem. But I do, I'm nervous! OK, we'll take that off #1 and I'll buy it down there, but it's not leaving the list completely!

OK, start over
1. Laptop - because my faithful rea
ders (all 2 of you) don't go on vacation just because I'm hanging with my blog peeps and getting all fabulous n stuff.
(Question - do people actually bring their 'puters to
the sessions too?)

2. Business Cards - of course I don't have any but that isn't going to stop me. I've come up with a very creative if not handy little calling 'card' that I will reveal here:


This business card is actually a small envelope in which my fellow bloggers can store all the other cards they will be collecting. (Notice the Twofer stamp?) If you think it's hokey I don't really want to hear it because it took me a lot of time to make them and, well, at least it's memorable.

3. Mobile Phone - like this one:
not to stay in touch with my family you silly people, to do some LIVE Tweeting!

4. Snacks- I'm just one of those people that completely loses focus when I get hungry, so I'm planning to pack a few granola bars. (I will share so if you feel your blood sugar running low, c'mon over.)

5. Notebook- Because I will be meeting so many cool people and getting invited to participate in all kids of fabulous things, I better bring a notebook to jot everything down.
And here is where I really Geek'd out...I took a minute this morning to organize my notebook with an area for the schedule, people I meet, my questions/goals, and session notes. Plus, I put some paper clips and sticky tabs so I can highlight certain things if needed.


Again, I can take criticism, but at least I've put some thought into it.

6. Wine - is it appropriate to mention that now here?

7. A good book- because sadly enough the thought of waiting and waiting in an airport and on an airplane brings me a certain kind of joy. The kind of joy you just don't get unless you're used to two 5-year olds constantly asking you questions, whining about being hungry, arguing, and basically needing you.

8. People Magazine and Us Weekly - always a treat when I travel and always a great source for small talk. Plus, I'm going to use them for 'research' for a new writing role I may take on.

9. Lists - I am spending some much-needed money on this conference and to make sure I get the most out of it I better prepare all my burning questions for my blog idols. I also want to make a list of ideas I've had, and new projects I'm working on so that I remember where I'm looking to partner with someone.

10. _______________________You fill it in! Please leave me your #10 in a comment. Did I overlook something really obvious? What have you wished you had with you at a conference? If there's enough interest, I'm happy to compile the list and post it after the conference.

Thanks for your input and Blissdom 09 Here I come!
Janine

Thursday
Jan292009

Help me get dressed for Blissdom 09!

Blissdom 09 is going to be my first ever blogging conference. I'm excited to meet so many amazing women, learn some digi skills from my roommate Linda, and get inspired for v2 of this little time suck I call my blog.

I'm also a little overwhelmed....

because there is a cocktail party...

and I haven't been to a cocktail party in a very long time.

What do I wear???

That is why I have begged, cajoled and harassed you into visiting my blog.
I need you to help me choose from 3 outfits.

Here are 3 outfits shown in crappy photos I took with my phone and a little description. I could put each outfit on and model it for you while my husband plays photog with our Nikon D40 digital SLR camera, but that would make too much sense and make this blog look way more professional than it really is.
Also, I'm lazy.

So do the best you can with what I have here.

Outfit A: conservative yet classy

Pencil skirt with pink blazer paired
with my favorite (only) Prada purse, and peep-toe pumps

Outfit B: fun and funky
Black velor coat with embroidery, satin shoulder blouse,
skinny jeans (not shown) and black mules

Outfit C: the dress

Dark navy dress with red satin slingbacks and a
kelly green quilted satin clutch (not shown) for more color


Your job?
Leave a comment telling me what is most appropriate for a blogging conference cocktail hour: A, B or C

I will forever be grateful!
Faithfully yours,
Janine

Sunday
Dec212008

Diving head-first into the shallow end of the blogging conference

im_goingtext-only Badges

So I did it.
I paid my $100 to sign up for my very first blogging conference, BlissDom 09.

Not only that, I think I'm going to drive...11 hours...(one way)...and share a hotel room...with a stranger (although fellow twittermom and mom blogger)....for 3 nights, and 4 days.

How's that for jumping right in?

Since I started this blog last May I have learned a lot, but not nearly enough.
I have made blogging friends and built a great support system, but I need to reinforce those relationships.

One of the best ways to do that is head to a conference. When I heard BlissDom 09 was in Tennessee I thought that might be doable.

Then when Linda over at Short Pump Preppy said she was near Richmond and would be willing to carpool well I figured if she's crazy, than I'm only 2 more hours crazier than her!

Linda was very persuasive when she booked a room, reminded me registration is only $100 until Dec. 31, and then sent me a cocktail menu for the week.

OK! I'm in!

And actually, I am very grateful to Linda for getting the ball rolling and now I'm not looking back.

I can't wait to meet Linda, and all the other bloggers I've been chatting with.
I can't wait to build more traffic to this blog so I can hopefully earn back the money I'm spending going to BlissDom 09.
I can't wait to drive 22 hours without incident! (think positive)

Already packing my bags,
Janine