There were only about forty of us in attendance, but this conference was so full of good people and connections that it was one of the best conferences I've been to. The breadth of knowledge in the room was astounding, which says something coming from me, because I am heading into my tenth year of blogging and have been attending multiple conferences about it since 2008.
Here's a big, bad list of all the things BlogWest sessions covered:
- visual exploration (Jayson Aquilanti)
- pitching (Sharon Vinderine)
- garnering shares (Glenn Walker)
- accounting (Raymie Libke)
- blog content strategy (Idris Fashan)
- journalism (Quentin Collier)
- honing your media personality (Erin Isfeld)
- photography (Aidan Morgan)
- brand definition (Julie Nowell and Christine Nielsen)
- finding your passion (Sinive Seely)
- being awesome (Dana DiTomaso)
- Pinterest (Angie Pitre)
- WordPress (Paul Letourneau)
- monetization (Kathryn Lavallee and Jody Arsenault)
- my closing keynote, "Self-Doubt and the Power of Personal Narrative: How Utah Phillips, a Web Comic, and Blogging Saved My Life", and
- Jennifer Reynolds' opening keynote, which I missed due to a later flight.
I wouldn't be me if I didn't spend half the weekend worrying over my keynote, forgetting and finding my way back to my purpose, and changing outfits three times until I realized I'd just brought the wrong underwear, but even my nerves couldn't make me miss the real heart of the conference. It was intimate and warm, filled with people who were both learned and generous. I'll be back.
Thanks goes out to Felicia Dewar, the force behind BlogWest. She dreamt big, took huge leaps of faith two years running, and pulled together an incredible conference against all odds. Here's to 2014! Right, Felicia? Right?
Oh, please say yes :)