Blogher ’10 was truly awesome. For all of you non-bloggers, Blogher ’10 brought together 2400 bloggers to discuss, learn from and celebrate our influence as bloggers. Leading up to last Friday I was excited like a child with a brand new backpack, lunch box and first-day-of-school outfit. My initial goals were to meet as many of my virtual friends in real life, but after only seeing one or two folks I knew online, I redirected my efforts to learning as much as possible. I hopped from session to session, because I wanted to attend them all. The above picture was from my favorite session, Creative Writing (lead by Lisa Arens and others).
The room was packed, and we wanted to learn how to write better blog posts. I learned that hubby should be proofreading all my posts (he’s asleep right now, so probably not this one) for two reasons. One, I need to be open to his criticism and feedback, and two, that way I won’t publish something that he’s uncomfortable with living on the internet for ever and ever. I also learned that writing is a skill, and that I have so much more room for improvement. There are people called ‘professional writers,’ and they know all about these rules. Rules such as grammar, spelling, punctuation, tone, rhythm, focus, syntax, and structure. Well, I knew about the first three, can’t always say I apply them properly. Anyway, I was invigorated to learn more about these writing guidelines so that my posts can be more interesting to read. I learned that active voice is so important to use (I think I wrote that sentence in a 100% passive voice). Amateur writers use way too many words to say the simplest thing, and we should vigorously strive to omit unnecessary words. I was challenged to see if deleting my first and last paragraph strengthened my blog post. I have so much to learn (Creative Writing for Dummies is en route to my house as we speak).
I met No Todo Yago in the men’s bathroom. Yes, I just said the MENS. We chuckled at the ingenuity of transforming (aka placing a curtain over the urinals) the men’s loo into a women’s water closet. Chuckle.
My lunch was a yummy lentil soup, followed by three berry tarts for dessert. I bounced around the afternoon sessions, but of course was drawn to the web design session. There I learned of the current migration of users from blogger to wordpress. I also learned that my skills may come in handy. Several folks were seeking designers and programmers to create custom themes and then write the php and css for wordpress. I spent three months last summer designing and programming this blog’s theme until I was satisfied. Perhaps I will sell this skill, or maybe I will just write an advice column on my business’ unfinished website. Oh, I forgot to mention, I ordered business cards for my blog from Vistaprint, and they totally rocked. I got to hand them out to Chookoolonks and Afrobella.
The last session I attended I learned about the magnificent benefits of photo composition. The most interesting take away was learning how to use lines to enhance a photograph. I practiced on the way home, and the subway staircase was my best outcome. Whaduya think?