So this weekend, Jilly, Dan and I attended IZEAFest, a blogger conference downtown at the Grand Bohemian hotel. I think overall, it had a good variety of panels, and while I learned some things that were new, what I really took away from the conference was more of a reinforcement of things I already did know, as well as some renewed inspiration and a sense that I was still on the right track with all the blogging and social media stuff I do.
What I enjoyed most, though, was the chance to network with other bloggers. IZEAFest had a comfortable level of attendance, which means it was possible to walk up to anybody and start a conversation. I finally got the chance to talk to John Chow, whose blog I read daily for inspiration on monetizing and advertising on blogs. I also met Sean Bonner (at right in the pic with me), whose Metroblogging network I’ve been writing for the last year or so, along with his girlfriend Tara, who I would love to know better as she works in the music biz and, as you know, I spent over 15 years in the music biz before going full-time as a writer and designer.
I finally met Rae, who writes the uber-awesome Ramblings of a TV Whore website (which y’all should be reading if you aren’t already), and discovered we had so much in common from both being Browncoats and sharing quite a few Twitter feeds, to almost being neighbors. Also enjoyed chatting with Ashley in person, as he puts out a local Orlando blog that I love to read. I actually met so many more people that my head’s spinning trying to remember them all, but most have been added to my Twitter and RSS feedreader.
I did skip out on the Saturday night party, which I heard was a blast and would have love to attend if I wasn’t still feeling completely under the weather from the combo of lack of sleep and tail end of the flu I caught on Wednesday. I’ve learned open bar on top of the flu and exhaustion is not a good thing for me. LOL I hope the IZEA folks can forgive me, as I really enjoyed meeting them all, too. And yay to them for kicking ass with both the IZEAFest and their products, including one that they briefly talked about that I think will introduce a whole fun new layer of interactivity to blogs once it’s released to the public. More on that as it becomes open to join for all.
Anyways, if you want to check out IZEAFest for yourself, they’re actually streaming all of the panels online. You can also read my “official” review of it over at Metroblogging Orlando, where I have links to the Twitter and Flickr streams from the event. Oh yeah, my Flickr photos are up, too, but the light sucked and I sat too far back for my flash to be truly effective, so I just gave up taking any after a while.
If you went, drop me a note in comments either here or at the MB story so I can come check ’em out. Next big event coming up is BlogOrlando at the end of the month. Still time to sign up if you want to go and this blogger conference is completely free to attend.
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