Shortly before I graduated from college, our school newspaper ran an article called “Roses and Thorns.” It was written by a guy in my class who I knew of, but didn’t really know. And it was about the best and worst parts of our fine university.
A few examples:
Roses: to Tutor’s Deli for being the best darn place to eat in Kirksville.
Thorns: to myself for not finding about Tutor’s Deli until this year.
Roses: to Sodexho for making tomato soup and grilled cheese at the same meal, just like Mom used to make.
Thorns: to Sodexho for crappy Premium Night.
Roses: to graduation in less than two weeks.
Thorns: to having to pay $15.00 to graduate in less than two weeks.
For some reason I cannot explain, this little article touched me. As you may have noticed, I do enjoy reminiscing, so maybe it’s that. And overall, I really loved my four years at college – the good, the bad, the hard, the fun – so maybe it was just a way to articulate those feelings. But for whatever reason, I have kept that article on my refrigerator ever since. In one apartment, two duplexes and finally our house. For almost eight years.
So in the spirit of that little article, I will now tell you about Blissdom.
Roses: to getting to go back to Nashville.
Thorns: to Hotel Preston for having cheesy décor, paper-thin walls, broken phones and faulty elevators.
Roses: to no flight delays and empty middle seats.
Roses: to me for walking up to a group of women I’d never met and asking if I could eat lunch with them. My hunger-based courage gave me the opportunity to meet some really great people.
Thorns: to me for freaking myself out and not connecting with many of the awesome women at the conference. My self-consciousness got in the way of making new friends, and that’s too bad.
Roses: to all the great sponsors who made the conference possible. (I love my Lands’ End bag and can’t wait to use my $50 Crocs gift certificate. And don’t get me started again on the Little Debbie Cakes!)
Roses: to Allison Worthington and One2One Network for making the conference possible.
Roses: to the panelists and “mavens” who so willingly shared their knowledge and experience with all of us.
Roses: to meeting Shannon of Rocks in My Dryer.
Thorns: to crying like a baby when I talked to her.
Roses: to Shannon telling me it was okay and acting like it really was.
Roses: to the sneak preview of Yanni Voices. Most of it wasn’t nearly as lame as it sounds. Although…I’m pretty sure Ender’s dancing wasn’t supposed to be funny…
Roses: to Disney for bringing two of the Voices, Nathan and Ender, to Blissdom.
Thorns: to the ladies who forgot they were married and swooned over Nathan and Ender. I’m not kidding, people. There were catcalls and video cameras and requests for stripping and a loooong line in the hallway for autographs and pictures. I’m not kidding.
Roses: to Nathan and Ender for being good sports.
Thorns: to me for not being prepared this year. I had no idea what I was getting into. I had no idea I should have blogging business cards. I had no idea.
Roses: to a chance to do it again next year at Blissdom ’10.
And just in case anyone out there is wondering what I actually learned at this conference, here’s the lineup of sessions I attended:
- Blogging 101 – Getting Started (Turns out, I was slightly over-qualified for this one and should have gone to the other session.)
- Social Media 101 – How to be a Social Media Success (I knew some of what they talked about, but this helped me really understand how social media fits into my life. And yeah, yeah, yeah, I heard you: I need to be on Twitter!)
- Cocktail Party (Not a session, but a fun little party. And by “fun little party,” I mean totally scary, crowded dark room full of giggling ladies in shiny shirts. But let me tell you – they made some very tasty Blisstinis!)
- Pajama Party (I heard this was fun, but I unfortunately skipped it. Thorns to me.)
- Writing with Passion – Finding Your Voice (Excellent panel that spoke to the writing part of this hobby/business – hobness? busby?)
- Branding: You, Your Blog, Your Business (This is where I heard one of the best pieces of advice I got all weekend – whatever you do with your blog, OWN IT. Thanks, Megan!)
All right, I think that’s about it. (Ha! “About it,” like I didn’t just talk for-ev-er.) I’ll leave you with one thing, no, two:
- As Ender of Yanni Voices shared his musical background with us, he told us where he’s from (you know, just exactly in what country he learned to swivel his hips like that): “I am from Venezuela. That’s in South America.” Um…thanks, Ender.
- During the Q&A session with Nathan and Ender (because who wants to learn about blogging when there are not-yet-famous opera singers to ogle?), one woman requested the men sing Happy Birthday to a couple bloggers celebrating their big days that weekend. They wanted it in Spanish, but while Nathan reportedly speaks the language, he didn’t know that particular tune. Not to worry, ladies. “How about Portuguese?” he suggested. And so what did they do? Yup. Portuguese Happy Birthday. Yanni that.