|Click above to find out about their NEXT event!|
Lesson 1: Your blog and your online community are not about YOU, they are about YOUR AUDIENCE.
This was reiterated in a number of sessions I went to during the day concerning all different topics from the community established on and around your site all the way to the e-mail list you create to maintain connections and spread the message of your blog.
"You are not your audience." ~Phil Hollows
Lesson 2: Beware of free.
While learning about all of the cool possibilities there are inherent in using WordPress, the discussion of the wide availability of free themes came up. In this session I learned that many of (not all) the free themes that pop up in a Google search contain Malware and Spam right within them! How annoying! Considering that WordPress has a repository of safe, "clean" free themes available, this is easily avoidable even if you don't have the money to spend.
"I will never download a free theme from Google."
~the oath Mitch Canter had his audience recite while raising our right hands
Lesson 3: While new technology broadens our connections, older technology deepens them.
This idea makes more and more sense the more I hear it and think about it. A blog comment is more personal than a tweet, an e-mail is even more so, and snail mail or good old conversations TRUMP THEM ALL. This was a lesson learned about connectivity with readers, but also when networking among fellow bloggers. New tech is easier, but old tech is more meaningful - plain and simple, and pivotal to developing all relationships these days.
"This wasn't just about me learning new stuff, this was about me TALKING to other people."
~my thoughts on the express bus ride home
Luckily, I had a three day pass (even though I only had access to the exhibitor floor on the last day). I had one last day to not only learn from this blog conference, but also to learn about blog conferencs and what one truly had to gain from attending one!