Saturday, October 3, 2009

IZEA fest at Sea World

I got an e-mail from Bob Kodzis founder of Flight of Ideas about IZEAFest which is a a conference by bloggers about blogging. Bob went out of his way to get me a ticket to get in and I am eternally grateful. I found myself in a huge room full of people who love blogging as much and perhaps even more than I do. I felt a little out of place since I didn't have a laptop, just my paper, pen and watercolors. But when all was said and done I had to rush home in order to share the joy and excitement of the event thanks to the miracle of blogging!
During the presentations two screens had a constant stream of Tweets scrolling by in real time. This was at times distracting and yet very humerus since candid remarks have a tendency to sometimes get out of hand. Lets face it bloggers are a fun group to hang around with!
One concept thrown out that intrigued me was the need to write up and define a "Hedgehog Concept" this should be the one thing that you are the best at in the world. It is also important to know who you want to communicate with. A common theme throughout the day was to give before you expect anything in return.
At lunch time Sea World gave a presentation explaining how they market their theme parks. I didn't pay very close attention since I was sketching but near the end of the presentation I heard a trainer shouting out "Come on Clyde this is your chance to shine!" Down the side isle I saw a huge Sea Lion ambling his way up to the stage following his trainer. However when he got to the stage he decided he had had enough of the bright lights and crowded room and he turned and started heading back to the exit. The trainer tried to convince him to go on stage but the sea lion outweighed the trainer by at least 500 pounds so he got his way. He still got a standing ovation.
The final panel of the day was very insightful. Warren Whitlock pointed out that the main function of a blog is often to promote other people. This goes to the heart of what a blog is all about. Blogging is all about giving. It is only when you are truly giving that the tools become important. Chris Heuer tried to sum up blogging with this simple series of words... look, listen, learn, join, lead. Whereas Warren summed it up more concisely... listen, love. He said blogging is all about wanting to be a better person and caring. The next century is about listening. How can I help people and how do I connect them? As Sarah Evans said " Social Media is a conversation, maybe we should talk."
This inspiring conference suddenly made me feel like I am part of a much bigger online community and that blogging might be about much more that just sharing a sketch a day. On the drive home James Taylor was singing "Shower the people you love with love." I suddenly realized what blogging is all about.

Prints are available for each sketch for $250 and many originals can be purchased for $400. White museum grade shadow box frames are $100 more. You can e-mail Thor at


BenSpark said...

That was one fantastic watercolor. You really captured me and my wife Allison so well. I am loving that. Wow. Are you here again? Come say hello.

Ned said...

Thor, not only are your sketches fascinating, your discoveries are also fascinating. It's true that we learn through the process of writing, in your case, by sketching as well. I thoroughly enjoy following your journey and reading about how it influences you. One day soon, I will start a blog. But I want to have a clear vision of it's focus before I do. Thanks for doing this. I hope you keep it up! Ned

Raging Tech said...

Your art is really amazing. I saw you at the Icebar and stopped to say I was being nosy. It was all pretty fantastic what I saw. Bookmarked!

Thor said...

The conference left me with the yearning to redesign the blog, if you have tips or people whose sites you think I should visit for ideas, I am all ears. It was Great meeting you and Allison BTW.

There is no time like today. The vision and focus will come in time.

Raging Tech,
Great to meet you even if I was shivering at the time. Let me know what your blog is about. I would love a link. I need to expand my horizons a bit.

Trevor said...

Welcome to the party! You are TRULY talented! Thanks for capturing the conference in your own special way! If you need anything, don't hesitate to ask!

Thor said...

Thanks Trevor. I could use some twitter tips. I have been just tweeting for 3 days and not sure how to expand followers and following.

Ashley K. Edwards said...

So cool, and so glad you were able to make it to IZEAFest.

I published a post on our company blog, displaying the two photos you did of the event. Hope you don't mind - gave full credit, and also linked-out to your blog, Flickr profile, and Twitter page.