On Saturday, 19th March 2011, 170 women and men came together in Sydney to talk, tweet, listen and learn about all things blogging. The inaugural Aussie Bloggers Conference was a meet-up, a conference and a party all in one.
The room was abuzz with energy as uncertainty, nerves and absolute excitement gained momentum and organiser Brenda Gaddi seemed to take it all in before releasing it in a huge cheer. After such a long time planning, the day had arrived.
It was as huge as that. Blogging, by nature, can be a solitary and silent activity, so every attendee was keen to meet like-minded others and talk about this online wave taking Australia into its grasp. These people proved, though, that bloggers feeling isolated can be far from the reality, saying that the best thing about blogging is the friends they’ve made, the business opportunities they have found and the support network built around them.
These were mothers with a new-found community, ‘Mummy bloggers’ shaking off the labels and showing their diversity and rich talents; these were people experiencing tough times made all the more bearable with an outlet and an amazing push of emotional, physical and financial support; these were pro-bloggers with stories of great success. And these were businesses and brands, ready and willing to listen and become part of it all.
Personal bloggers and business bloggers met each other – some for the first time since creating friendships online and others seeing each other again after previous meet-ups – and, being the first conference of its kind in Australia, were a little unsure of what to expect. Most held a vague hope to learn new tips and increase their skills.
That, they did. The panel sessions covering content, social media, SEO and blog communities were interesting and showcased varying opinions, advice and outlooks. What many found surprising, though, was the inspiration they left with an abundance of, as the informative sessions were very quickly outshone by the stories of the people.
Bloggers, often accused of such things as narcissism, shameless self-promotion, and money obsession, showed their true colours as they shared the best of their writing and the stories behind the blogs. Uplifting, tragic, funny and inspiring, these people had an attentive crowd alternating between tears and laughter, all the while that energy buzzing both physically and online under the Twitter hash-tag #AusBlogCon2011.
This was a celebration of blogs as a form of expression, a tool for making a difference to lives, and a platform from which to explore more and more opportunities.
So, if you’ve ever considered blogging, or even if you haven’t – it’s worth a thought. Perhaps it could add that something missing from your life? Or help you forge friendships and support? Maybe – actually, most definitely, according to much research – it could improve your business.
And if you’re already a blogger – keep an eye out for #AusBlogCon2012, already being billed as the online event you just can’t miss.