You know how a parent isn’t supposed to show favoritism toward one child? I almost feel that way about the seven Live #Blogchats that have been so far this year. Every one had amazing discussions and was special in its own way.
But Live #Blogchat at Blog World Expo was my favorite one so far. By far.
This was the 1st Live #Blogchat where there were several regular and active #Blogchat participants in attendance. At all the other Live #Blogchats, at best there were a handful that had joined a few times, maybe a couple of regular participants. But for many, they had little to no idea what a ‘#blogchat’ was. This group not only knew what it was, but they knew the people that were going to be there. Many of them showed up 30 minutes early to the session just to meet each other and I lost track of how many times I heard someone scream OMG! and then immediately tacklehug someone! This was the first Live #Blogchat where I really felt like the community was present. When the first wave showed up, we all were so excited to see each other that we spent about 5 minutes posing for pictures 😉
This is what I really wanted to see happy at the Live events because #Blogchat belongs to its community. Yes, I started #Blogchat almost 3 years ago, but there are hundreds of people that have taken an active role in building #blogchat into what it is today. I cannot wait to see what the Live #Blogchats look like a year from now when everyone is familiar with the format, and the audience is mostly made up of regulars, like it was at Blog World.
Thanks to Judy for the above pic! Now I wanted to explain how this room was structured. When I got to the room about an hour before Live #Blogchat started, you had a room with 90ish chairs, all facing forward. The 1st two rows were at tables, facing the stage along with the rest of the chairs. I wanted the chairs all facing toward the middle, so we switched the 1st two rows of chairs at the tables that you see in this pic, so they were facing the back of the room. Then as a few people started arriving, James asked ‘So who’s going to be on stage?’ Without thinking, I said ‘You are!’ And all the live-bloggers for the session got to be up on stage. I *really* thought it was important to have active #blogchat members up on the stage because if the ‘spotlight’ was going to be on anyone in this session, it should be on them.
The discussion, as always, was excellent. We started off talking about creating a blogging strategy, but as always happens in #blogchat on Twitter, we soon started veering off into other areas like finding a focus for your blog, your content, injecting personal tones and personality to your blog to give it a unique voice; your own. James did a great job of collecting many of the key tweeted takeaways from the Live #Blogchat via Storify. I did want to send out a special thank you to Tamsen McMahon, Jason Falls, Marcy Massura and Mark Horvath for making a special effort to answer questions from fellow #blogchat participants. I honestly think I talked way too much during #blogchat, and I had several participants afterward mention how much they appreciated their help.
And thanks to James for this picture, I don’t like most of my pictures, but this was a good one. Clearly, being around #Blogchat peeps brings out the best in me 😉
I would hope that most of you had as much fun at the Live #Blogchat at Blog World as I did, but I know you didn’t 😉 Many of you have been asking about the next Live #Blogchat, it is tentatively scheduled for South By Southwest in March. Right now I am trying to get sponsors and the venue locked down, so if you know a company that might be a good fit for a Live #Blogchat sponsorship, please email me and I’ll be happy to give them a rundown on what’s included, prices, etc.
When #Blogchat started, I told everyone that I appreciated them for coming, and loved them for it. I meant every single word of that. As we were getting set up, I went to check my phone to see how much time I had left before we got started, and I realized I was smiling from ear to ear. I was so damn happy to see everyone and so glad they could share in this experience! As soon as I thanked everyone for coming at the end of our hour, everyone got up and instead of leaving, all stayed and chatted and I realized how incredible LOUD it suddenly got in the room because everyone was either talking really loud because they were excited to be meeting someone, or because they were laughing at something someone had just said.
I loved it. And I love all of you that came and made it possible!