I just finished reading Elizabeth’s humorous account of Day 1 at BlogPaws 2011 over at The Chronicles of Cardigan and I’m feeling bad for not being as funny. So I’ll borrow a joke:
Two nuns from another country are just off the boat in New York when they see a hot dog stand. The first nun says to the second, “I didn’t know people over here eat dogs.”
They walk over to the cart and say, “Two, please.”
The vendor puts both hot dogs in foil and hands them to the nuns. Excitedly, they hurry to a bench, sit down and unwrap them.
The second nun looks at hers for a moment. Then, beginning to blush, she leans over to the first and whispers, “What part did you get?”
And now for my post. A successful day of learning, some wonderful cheesecake at lunch, and meeting great new friends made the second day at BlogPaws even better for me.
Camp BowWow Keynote
Breakfast was again accompanied by an excellent keynote talk by Heidi Ganahl, “Top Dog” at pet care business, Camp BowWow. Ganahl shared her personal story of loss and reclamation while describing the evolution of her business and work of their BowWow Buddies foundation which helps shelters make pets more adoptable.
Workshop: Authentic Influence: How to Use Social Media to Expand Your Influence and Grow Your Blog or Business
Lena West of Influence Expansion is the real deal. Some speakers provide useful information. Others give a stimulating presentation. Lena did both. And she was sick with a cold. And her assistant had booked her into the wrong hotel which is why she missed her presentation yesterday. For me, this was the best workshop of the conference.
What it covered: Influence is the ability to convince people to do what you want them to do when you want them to do it (an important topic for anyone with a cause-related blog). Lena talked about how to increase yours.
The most important thing I learned: If people don’t like you, f*ck ’em (my term, not hers). Don’t waste your time trying to please complainers who aren’t going to support you no matter how you try to win them over. Use your limited resources to attract and keep the interest of people who want to orbit your planet.
What’s probably more interesting/useful to you: 5 Things You Can Do in the Next 3 Days to Increase Your Influence
- Be helpful to someone online in real time. Her example was a twitter chat late one night.
- Make a connection to collaborate with someone you admire but scares you.
- Write for someone else.
- Offer to interview someone.
- Don’t take influence too seriously.
What it covered: Exactly what it promised–how to write guest posts for other blogs.
The most important thing I learned: I get really excited about writing articles for other blogs–and really scared. I have several ideas I just need to get working on.
What’s probably more interesting/useful to you: The internet has a voracious appetite for new (or repurposed) content. Websites that need to have fresh content every day are looking for good writers that know how to write the kind of articles they need.
Lunch Presentation: Start the Change and Okey’s Promise – Using Creativity to Inspire Passion for a Cause
At lunch we were treated to a slide show by visual artist BZTAT (AKA Vicki Boatright) and a dance performance by Miah Thornton that told the story of Okey, a rescued cat. The presentation was in support of BZTATs public art project to bring attention to the need to protect all vulnerable animals, both human and otherwise. You can learn more about the project, Okey’s Promise, and support it financially here.
Hurricane Irene – A Long Drive Home
By lunchtime, nearly half of the conference had emptied out. People who lived near the shore, areas expecting flash floods, and those from the south hurried home to do whatever they needed to prevent their home from looking like ratty underwear after two days of chewing by a Golden Retriever puppy. The hotel sent a letter to each room telling us what to do in case of a power outage (basically, sit in the dark).
Although we still had another workshop and a closing keynote speech that looked quite interesting, we decided we’re rather head north and inland to avoid the worst of the storm instead of sticking it out in the hotel.
What’s the Best Thing About BlogPaws?
The same thing that’s best about blogging–the community, the puppies, the learning, the puppies, the friendships, the puppies, and, of course, let’s not forget the puppies (and ferrets and kitties and guinea pigs).
And Don’t Forget the Swag
Come back tomorrow for my Something Swagging This Way giveaway.
Credits: Thank you to my husband Mike for rewriting the joke. The hot dog vendor photo is by Ben Murray at Flickr. And the fabulous photo of the human hot dog and his mustard dachshund is by Steve White at Flickr. And to you, faithful readers, for forgiving me for posting one photo to illustrate a bad joke and another because it was such a great visual joke.