12 Most Worthy Takeaways From BlogWorld Expo 2011 L.A.
BlogWorld Expo 2011 Los Angeles just ended after nearly three days of non-stop networking, keynotes, panels, parties, intimate dinners, and mingling on the Expo floor.
It was an overwhelming experience for this first-timer, especially since I was also moderating a panel and, of course, wanted to “do good.” I’m not an unconfident guy, but upon hearing so many incredible men and women, I was intimidated.
There were over 300 speakers, so listing any one or two specifically would set me up to p.o. too many other great Social Media and blogging wizards. Consequently, I’m going to do a generic list of things I learned, observed, and took away from this marvelous event.
1. Mom bloggers are a bigger force than I knew
There was NOT a single mother who blogged — the term they prefer — that wasn’t highly professional, smart, and clearly as on top of business as any Brooks Brother suited Wall Street peep. They understand making money, they understand synergy, and the Brands know it, seek them, and we dads need to learn from our forebears!
2. Coffee Coffee Coffee
Going 72 hours without much sleep may be easy for college kids, but for this middle-aged dad the adrenaline wore out and coffee was an essential tool to survive. Evidently, “tool” has other meanings: yet another thing learned at BlogWorld.
3. Making money is possible — NOT easy
One of the keynotes revealed a number of statistics about blogging and bloggers. While many later questioned its accuracy (idk), it was fairly discouraging since they indicated that the average income of a blogger seeking to earn money (vs. a hobbyist) was 24k while the highest income was (very) low six figures.
4. Sleep is over-rated
I found a few shoulders that provided needed comfort. Learning, interacting, meeting great people, taking photos, doing interviews, helped when coffee wasn’t on hand.
5. You CAN do a WHOLE stand-up comedic routine just for SM peeps!
At the final keynote there was a traditional stand-up routine that only this crowd would appreciate. This prudish dad was right there, but when an extremely funny and oh-so-bright podcast star was swearing better than Richard Pryor (dating myself), I was actually wondering the need for so much foul language.
6. Amazing minds, speakers, and people… intimidating, inspiring
As I mentioned in my introduction, I’m not all that bashful or lacking confidence, but there were occasions when I was made painfully aware of how much more there is to know! Truly, I did not hear a single speaker that wasn’t smart, literate, and a very cool cucumber. The breadth of information was staggering and occasionally intimidating. I came home to my two teen boys to be immediately reminded of exactly how stupid I really am, just when I was recovering from that same self-deprecating thinking.
7. LA really does have a downtown!
I’ve lived in Los Angeles my whole life. The downtown area has truly undergone a marvelous upswing in look, energy, and action. Every venue was fun, loud, and easily accessible. While L.A. is still NO New York or Hong Kong, at least we have the Kardashians!
8. @MackCollier is even cooler, nicer, and better-lookin’ in person!
I lied. I will mention one name. Mack Collier created #blogchat, one if not the premier Tweet Chat. Of all the people I was eager to meet he was at or near the top of my list. Would he embrace me, figuratively or literally, with the same gusto I felt and was going to unabashedly display. The moment came. We saw each other. I didn’t hold back. A loud “Maaacccckkkkk” emitted from my body. I ran towards him, in slow motion. “Love Is a Many Splendored Thing” came on the P.A. Turned out to be the wrong guy…
9. Don’t hesitate to sit and chat with fellow friendly looking people
Jen Miner contributed this takeaway and went further by saying, “Real relationships — not just professional ones — are born that way.”
10. IRL trumps virtual life exponentially
Dovetailing on #9, there was not a single person I met with in-person that disappointed. Each one of those Virtual Friends — as I dub those friends via SM that I’ve never spoken with or met — became genuine IRL friends upon meeting. That includes, without a doubt, Mack Collier.
11. Great cards make GREAT impressions
I have a pile of cards next to my computer. I have those little ones that are so cute, but I usually lose. I have sticker cards, baseball-card style cards, and my favorite: a bow tie shaped card. Cards are old tech. Cards work. But, to quote my friend Ted Rubin, one of the quieter, more bashful dudes I know (NOT!), he declared, “PUT your darn phone number on your cards!”
12. REAL friends give you REAL and honest feedback
Two of my friends, met and cemented IRL at the 140Conf New York, gave me the kind of unsolicited advice we ALL need sometimes. Each made sure I was open to hearing what they had to say. Each was invaluable. We sometimes need to hear these things. Our casual friends won’t usually do this. At BlogWorld, there was an esprit de corps that made such valuable lessons accessible. I listened. I got what I needed. Wouldn’t happen via a tweet!
I often find coming up with my 11th and 12th items for 12Most to be difficult. It was quite the opposite this time as BlogWorld is almost truly an endless source of inspiration and takeaways.
Featured image courtesy of Bruce Sallan.