Thursday, October 9, 2014
Florida Blog Con is a full day convention held once a year to inspire and inform online Blog writers. Bess Auer organizes the event which has grown exponentially large over the past five years. The first year 100 people sat in a school auditorium and this year Full Sail Live (3300 University Blvd, Winter Park, FL) was completely full for the opening Keynote speaker which was Ted Murphy CEO of IZEA.
Sunshine Woodyard Baker gave a talk about what PR agencies expect from bloggers who are invited to cover an event. All of her points directly relate to what I do every day as I try and gain access to bigger and better events to sketch. There is a major advantage to be the first to blog about an event. It is shared on all social media extending the articles reach. Since I have such a huge back log of as of yet unpublished sketches, it is harder to get a post to go live quickly. Only when I've been paid to document an event, will I get it up the next day.
Nicole Siscaretti's discussion about the merits of using instagram caused be to download the program the next week. Within a day there were 400 followers. I love that instagram is a completely visual interface and I use it now to take photos of sketches in progress. Like Facebook, people can "like" an image or comment. It is another ball that I need to juggle in my social media outreach. I heard Professor Josh shoot several photos behind me as I sketched. A few days later he posted a digital sketch of me in action. Another thing on my "to do list" is a weekly newsletter. Katy Widrick pointed out that e-mails are a great way to reach young connected individuals. I tried to set up a Mail Chimp newsletter account once and failed. Her talk made me realize that I have to go back and battle the chimp. She showed an image of 3 intersecting circles with a sweet spot in the center. Those circles were blogging, social media and a newsletter. I can't find my sweet spot until I complete that triad.
Eddie Selover gave an inspiring closing keynote. Eddie organizes Pecha Kucha here in Orlando where about eight speakers give Power Point presentations with a hitch. Each slide is only shown for 20 seconds and there are 20 images. The speaker can not stop, go back or pause. The train keeps moving quickly forward. Eddy pointed out that with such a condensed format, a speaker must edit and re-edit so that every word is aimed at conveying the central theme or concept. What is left is often poetry and pure emotion. There is magic in coming together to listen to stories. The fact that Pecha Kucha events in Orlando always sell out is a testament to that magic. Derick Orth then gave a Pecha Kucha presentation about his travel adventures as a vagabond. There is a website called couch surfing which offers travelers a chance to hang out with local hosts around the world. Rather than complain about his dead end job, Derick decided to travel and teach English in Japan for income. His life turned from consumption to connection. The world became his classroom and he had control over his recess schedule. Life became more important than fears. Eddie went on to point out that bloggers need to go out and live a life worth writing about. Every day can be an adventure.