BloggyBootCamp San Francisco, and a Lesson in Imagination

I have, in the course of this blog of mine, been complimented many times on my photography.

I have only been taking photographs purposefully for a short little while and there are lots of things I don’t yet understand. (And by “purposefully” I mean with attention to what I’m doing, not that I was previously in the habit of falling down on a camera and hitting the shutter release by accident. Much.) . But I manage to always get a handful of shots that I can brag about, and if it takes me 80 or 90 snaps to get there, well, you all don’t know that so it doesn’t matter, does it?

Yesterday, however, was an exercise in all the bad ways I can take a photograph at a blogging conference. So today, class, we’ll be using our imaginations.

Say it with me now: im-mag-in-NAY-shuns. Did ya’ say it? I knew you could,

First, I would like you to imagine that this picture is in focus.

Also imagine giant glass and taffeta tassels on the ceiling. Bloody awesome!

Now, just to the right of center in that photo is a pretty blond lady. At the table directly behind her is an empty chair. The chair is where I was sitting. The pretty blond lady is Nichole from In These Small Moments. While standing back to back we were texting each other saying, “Are you here yet?” “Yes, I’m here. Where are you.” “I’m in the middle of the room. Where are you?” Now I want you to imagine us spinning in circles looking for the person we were standing directly next to. Are you imagining that? Good.  Now imagine yourself not laughing at us. I know it’s difficult, do it anyway.

You may briefly take a moment to rest your imaginations, because I do have one stellar photo.

I was going to photoshop Rosie O'Donnell in with us, but there were image licensing issues.

That’s Nichole in the middle, and Emily from This Is the First Day of My Life on the left, and Eileen from Bringing Up Bronwyn. Fantastic women all of them. I mean, they let me hang out with them all evening with the gaudiest, loudest handbag in the history of luggage. So, clearly, awesome up to the eyeballs.

Now I’d like you to imagine a hysterically funny talk with Jessica Bern from Bern This. Jessica gave a tutorial in the do’s and don’ts of vlogging. I have some interest in vlogging, but until someone creates a “hide-the-multiple-chins” action for iMovie editing, it may continue to exist only in my imagination. And I don’t want it anywhere the hell near your imaginations.

Now, I need you to imagine Julie, from Angry Julie Monday. It was not Monday, she was not angry (although she was deliciously sarcastic), so in addition to the absence of usable photographs, you have imagery issues to contend with. It’s okay, you’ll be fine, I have faith. Her talk was designed to motivate us to make informed, purposeful (there’s that word again) decisions about privacy issues with our blogs. It’s out there, understand what you’re doing. Imagine the worst. Now make sure that doesn’t happen.

After that, Ciaran Blumenfield from Momfluential spoke about sponsors, advertising and monetizing. It still seems odd to me that people object to other people trying to earn a living off their blog. I don’t know anyone, and I mean anyone, who wouldn’t be happy if their blog led to revenue. Be it an ad network that pays for your hosting fees or a book deal. And now I want you all to imagine a world where Lori’s blog does better than The Huffington Post, The Pioneer Woman and Amazon all combined. You know what they say about the power of positive thinking. So get on that people, start envisioning.

Lunch. Delicious lunch and I met the fabulous Jenny from Strong Personality. She is lovely to the Nth degree and wants to host a Purse Party. She seemed awfully classy so I’m a little worried, but I bet she can trash it up with the best of us!

Here’s the view from the ballroom where lunch was served:

Note the reflections on the glass. I could not get ANY photos right that day.

After lunch there were talks by Jennifer James who founded the Mom Bloggers Club, and Linsey Krolik, an attorney who discussed some of the legal aspects of blogging. Copyright, trademark, creative commons, incorporating and the like. I actually missed a chunk of this last section as I was doing an impromptu vocal therapy session in the corridor.  So now, I want you to imagine me towering over Jessica Bern (who is hugely petite) because I did not have the sense to remove my crazy platform shoes in order to equalize the height differential somewhat so I could actually hear her. You know what makes voice therapy ever-so-much-better? Being able to hear the person with the voice issue. Imagine that.

Next came a a presentation by Ted Rubin at Open Sky. Open Sky is too big for me to discuss here, but it’s a way to use your blog as a shopping platform to sell products you like to your readers, and then get a portion of the profit of the sales. Me, I’m thinking chocolate. We were told over and over again to only consider products you’re passionate about and happy to stand behind. I’m most happy to stand behind chocolate. Or over chocolate,  under chocolate, next to chocolate…the prepositions are endless.

Finally came Kristy Campbell at Kristy Campbell Creative. Kristy talked about writing – the craft and the art. She offered suggestions for voice in your writing, and how to make your voice match your intent. Kristy has five kids. How her own voice in not perpetually hoarse from screaming remains a mystery.

The last thing I need you to imagine is many pictures of the ever-so-pretty Tiffany from SITSGirls. I tried, oh how I tried, to take a picture of pretty Tiffany. But the lighting was being difficult, Tiffany chose to move at exactly the wrong time, and the one shot I got with decent lighting and a still subject had phantom blue lines in it. Why? Because.

After a bite to eat, we headed to the cocktail reception at Slide, a swank San Francisco nightclub. And to read the details of that portion of the evening, including the toppled tabled and broken glass (no lie!) you have to head over to Project: Purse and Boots. Cause that’s where our story continues.

43 comments

    1. Those tassels were sort of surreal. “Oh look….giant tassels! Wait…made of glass? And…is that taffeta?”

      I had the best time. I DO wish that I had taken more than one decent picture, but then again, I wish I had also noticed the typo on my business cards.

      While I’m at it, I want a pony.

  1. I agree with you about the chocolate… I’d stand behind it anytime.
    The lighting was difficult, my pictures don’t do justice to that beautiful hotel. I can’t wait to see Julie’s!
    Nice meeting you and your crazy purse yesterday. :)

    1. Was lovely to meet you too!

      And that crazy purse does get around. But then again, that’s sort of the point. :)

      And yes, I’m hoping that Julie got some good shots. I will snag. I will totally credit, but I will snag.

  2. OK, Ms. Martha Points! I was there and did not get to meet you! My friend went with me and when we compared business cards, she seemed to meet all the people that I sort of knew and I never saw them! Bummer!

    Great recap…I am trying to find the energy to do mine…too many martini’s at Slide!

    1. I saw your name on the SITSGirls page yesterday and went, “WHAT??? Holly was there??”

      And had a totally bummed mini-flip out.

      It wasn’t pretty. I had to have a cocktail.

      Any chance you’ll be at BlogHer next year?

      The Purse and I will be there.

    1. From those photos? All you can possibly feeling is motion-sickness.

      But I’ve had a few other decent ones.

      Someday I would like to learn how to use a flash properly.

    1. I almost ran out. I brought around fifty, and I gave out 45, I think.

      OH..and yesterday, Himself noticed a typo.

      Nifty. I have 200 more business cards with a typo.

      I’m a blogging genius.

  3. If I don’t get back to San Francisco in the next month or so, I am going to stab myself in the face.

    Glad you had a good time, though.

    Seriously. Stabbing in the face.

    Good morning!

    1. Ok, would love for you to get to SF, not really on board with the face stabbing.

      What do I need to do to keep you from stabbing yourself in the face?

      1. Medication. Lots of medication.

        Or alcohol. Lots of alcohol.

        Or I could just grab my keys at get back to the City.

        Come meet me at the Japanese Tea Garden in the park. We’ll have tea and laugh and point at tourists.

  4. Great post! What a fabulous day it was, I felt so honored to be surrounded by such amazing women… So much talent and creativity. Thanks for capturing it for us in this special way.

  5. Hey there! Great post! I loved it so much I even linked to it over on my Everyday Mommy blog where I also set up a Bloggy Boot Camp Post Link-Up opportunity.

    I so appreciate that you took pictures… I really wish I had brought my camera… oh yeah, it is broken. Thanks again to you!

    I love your blog… would you consider the Google Friend connect widget so I can follow you more easily? We blogger bloggers may be seriously lame that way but it makes it a lot easier for us!

    1. You are a lovely lady! And I will head right on over to your blog and check your wrap-up!

      At this point, because the google friend connect has an embedded java app, I can’t use it. I’m sorry. :(

      RSS feed or email is the best I can do.

      I’m such a blogging luddite.

      And…heartbroken about your camera. Poo.

  6. Def: Lucky Duck (n): You.

    Glad you had a good time! Can’t wait to see what you learned and how you’re going to implement it here!

    PS. PW has nothing on you. Seriously.

    1. The Purse is going to develop her own weather system at this rate.

      Did you follow the link to the Purse blog or would like me to do a wee wrap-up?

      1. To you I say: thhhhhbbbbtttt!!

        I can’t speak to feather boas, but I can clearly speak to “lame,” and you are not.

        Unless you’re on crutches and I just don’t know about it, but I don’t think that’s the sort of lame you meant.

        But if you did, I totally fell about about the bum leg.

        I would love for you to do a purse party, and the ridiculous dress is of your choosing!

        I also sort of doubt the no friends thing.

        Cause, well, you’re you!

  7. This sounds great! I’m hoping that the Boston 2011 BBC will become a reality.

    I saw Jessica Bern speak at a panel at BlogHer and was doubled over in hysterics for most of the talk. I wish I could be as quick as her. Also, curse as poetically.

    Sigh. No pics of you. HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO CONNECT WITH NO PICTURES? SOME OF US ARE VISUAL LEARNERS.

    1. It looks like they have it on the list!

      And at BBC they had a no-profanity policy, so Jessica had to reign it in somewhat.

      And…there’s a picture of me on the “The Cast” page.

      Also, if you follow the link to the Project: Purse and Boots Post, you’ll see a picture of me with HerBadMother on today’s post, “The Debut of Pursey Galore!”

      Only, when you think of me, think of me with fewer chins. K?

  8. Ack! Another conference/meet up/awesome sleepover I missed! I am in SF, sorta. Wannabe SF which is otherwise known as the Peninsula. And next time, if you invite me I will bring pot brownies. I’m mostly totally kidding.

  9. Lots of new blogs and links to check out! And how is it that Nichole is even prettier than I imagined?! I’m super excited about boot camp in SD in March now!

  10. I’m catching up on some of your posts. I’ve been so busy. Sounds like you’ve been busy having fun (except for the brief voice therapy you provided; I hate voice therapy). I have a vivid imagination so hope your fun was as vivid as I imagined.

    1. It was pretty darned fun.

      The voice therapy was a funny thing, I’d told Jessica I’m an SLP before hand and as she’s had really bad voice issues for a while I said I’d give her a few tips, but we had no place to be, it was really hard to hear her, we only had a couple minutes… so it was all the most basic of the basic.

      And you hate treating voice? I hate treating stuttering. So I don’t. Because that just wouldn’t be kind to the people who need the therapy.

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