First, I am very glad that I attended this conference. There was a lot of good and pertinent information that is coming out that day, related to engaging and being engaged by news media and brand representatives. I didn’t take a huge amount of notes, but there is the #bbsummit11 hash tag that was used to live-tweet the event, and @DVCMom was typing away at her list of notes.
Second, I was amazingly outnumbered, being one of about 10 men total in the room. Most of the other men were brand representatives, so they don't exactly count as conference participants. It was an interesting and eye-opening experience being the minority. As a white man, that doesn't happen very often. Not only was I outnumbered as a man, but also as a blogger who doesn't focus on raising kids, parenting, and product-related posts. My blog is mostly about emergency preparedness for a family (and "regular folks") which is a niche within a niche. There was nothing that anyone did or said that made me feel unwelcome or unwanted, which I was grateful for.
The most interesting thing to me was the speaker who talked about engaging news media. Thank you, @NancyLoo, for some really useful suggestions. Since I am interested in getting my message out to the public, I think that the information that you offered will be directly useful come National Preparedness Month later this year.
Sarah Evans (@prsarahevans, website) spoke in some depth about the rules for disclosing compensation and how it impacts and involves bloggers. I am grateful for her thoughts on blanket disclosures, as well as "negative" disclosures, since that's how I had my blog set up: I had a disclosure statement that tells readers that I am not compensated for my postings or product mentions unless I state otherwise.
The rest of the afternoon, when the networking time is up, will be taken up with a discussion about "Taking the Stage". Miss Lori (@misslori) was rather adamant that we owe it to ourselves to be bold in how we present ourselves, rather than being wall-flowers (like I was at the conference). She had great things to say about presenting ourselves to others, and how to get the inner desire to show in our outward expressions.
I would especially like to thank Tara P (@3psmama, website), Melissa (@SippyCupMom, website), Kelly (@KellysLuckyYou, website) and Xenia (@thxmailcarrier, website) for being so friendly, encouraging, and welcoming to a total stranger who was lost and confused.