Blogtacular the Sequel!
The first thing I want to say about Blogtacular is that it was a brilliantly organised. When I was working, I attended numerous large conferences both as a delegate and speaker, plus I organised quite a few myself. So I speak from experience when I say this is one of the best I have ever attended (no, Blogtacular are not paying me to write this!)
People have asked me how it felt being rather more mature than the main demographic and if I felt out of it not having up to the minute tech skills. Well I was definitely one of the oldest (if not the oldest) person there. I spotted a couple of other contenders for that role in the crowd, but as expected everyone was amazingly friendly and this wasn’t an issue. Tech ability – well I am fairly confident about my technical skills I have, after all, designed websites on two different platforms (WordPress and Squarespace). Where I fall down though is keeping abreast of new trends especially in social media. One of the few negatives about retirement is lack of opportunity to mix with people of all ages and pick up on new trends. (Note to self: find ways to address this).
So what were the takeaways from the conference?
All the talks I attended were interesting but two shone forth. First Katye Ferris and second Xanthe Berkeley. I have history with Xanthe. About 5 years ago when I started my first blog I did an on-line blogging course aimed at photographers run by Xanthe and American photographer Kim Klassen. It was a great course and the group dynamic was such that at the end of the course a Facebook group was formed which remains active 5 years down the line and still provides a supportive community. I have even met one of the members a couple of times in real life!
First to Katye’s session. Titled ‘The Foundations of Marketing’ it was packed full of interesting information. A key message for me about building audience was that you need to be where your audience is, become active on the right channels and focus in the right places. I made me realised that I try and spread myself too thinly one day on Pinterest the next on Twitter and then back to Instagram. I really need to focus on one or two of these platforms and post consistently, something I’m really bad at. Maybe this is because I have a low boredom threshold and am always wanting to get on to the next new thing. Anyway it’s something I need to sort!
Xanthe’s workshop was a lightning speed demo of making a short movie using Adobe Clip which you can download for free form the App Store. Following an initial gallop through the programme we worked in small groups and were given a bunch of beautiful flowers to arrange filming each other doing it. This was both great fun and a steep learning curve.