What I Learned at BlogPaws 2012

We attend conferences for the learning. But sometimes what you learn is not what you expect.

Cat People are Cooler than Dog People

Golden Retriever in bike trailer

I'm practicing my chariot riding. But if we're going to BlogPaws, you're gonna have to bring some bling.

I’m not saying cat people are a little cooler than dog people. I’m saying cat people are like sipping cocktails on an outdoor patio at the French Riviera and dog people are like drinking warm broth in bed with your hot water bottle.

Cat people come to BlogPaws to let their fur down. They come in cat’s eye glasses, animal print clothing, and accompanied by cats looking like Cleopatra on her royal barge.

Dog people come to BlogPaws wearing flat shoes, clothing with pockets stretched out by poop bags and treats, and a look of grim determination to learn something. Well, we’re not quite that bad. But many of my doggy bloggy friends agreed. We need to step up our game and learn from our kitty contemporaries to have a bit more fun.

Any suggestions for adding some drama to the doggy delegation to BlogPaws 2013?

The Best Learning Comes From Others Doing the Same Thing

Two of my favorite sessions focused on other bloggers making improvements to their sites. Friday afternoon, I attended the PetSmart Blog Business Case Study featuring Snoopy’s Dog Blog and Puppy in Training. Bloggers competed for a chance to get coaching from PetSmart social media staffers on taking their blogs to the next level. Check out the short video that helped Colby of Puppy In Training win.

Colby and Annette shared lots of great tips about social media and blogging. But they said one of the best things about their experience was having a blog buddy to share ideas and ask questions. Hopefully you’ll see their presentation on Slideshare soon.

Saturday afternoon I also enjoyed Lena West’s blog makeover of a blog chosen at random, Cheshire Loves Karma. I took four pages of notes and will definitely check back to see if blogger Robin Bisha takes Lena’s advice when she returns from her Utah vacation.

Was glad to see that even with my “undesigned” blog, I’ve managed to be clean and consistent if also terribly, terribly boring. Time to get some inspiration and redesign my blog like I’ve been threatening to do for more than two years.

BlogPaws Flash Mob

Getting "flashed" by flat pets.

Flash Mobs are D*mn Scary

Imagine listening to Betsy Saul of Petfinder speak about the biggest challenges in animal welfare and how to get past them when a gaggle of gals in matching t-shirts run up onto the stage with their flat pets.

Dancing to “I’m Too Sexy for My Pet Shirt” the flash mob treated us to quite a spectacle. Crazy animal people.

I’ve Gotta Get Pinterested in New Things

I’ve been holding off on Pinterest although I know lots of people who love it. Is it time to dip my toe in?

Robin Olson of Covered in Cat Hair gave a great talk about using simple analytics to figure out if anyone is paying attention to all this work we’re doing. A program in beta, called Pinerly, will soon allow folks to track how their “pinning” does with their fans.

Guess who just added something to her “to do” list?

BlogPaws Without Paws is a Four Letter Word

Yes, I know people who said that managing their dogs made it hard to concentrate on workshops. And I understand the feeling of mortification when your dog decides to greet every cat who walks by with a big woof. But I missed having Honey at BlogPaws.

She’s a great traveling companion and a natural ice breaker. Honey is definitely going in my suitcase for next time.

The More the Merrier

BlogPaws 2013 is returning to the Washington D.C. suburbs in May of 2013. Due to computer glitches, they’ve extended the half price discount to Saturday. So register now to save your spot at $99.

 

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Comments

  1. I don’t know, I thought us dog people were pretty cool. We had a blast, and learned a ton.

    • Yes, but we definitely were dressed as if we needed to take a dog for a walk. :) Maybe we need to adopt sparkly sneakers or add a little bling to our treat bags.

  2. You’re so right about the cool factor. I think what’s missing is dog-themed apparel. We need pawprint t-shirts and floppy ear headbands. There was an under-representation of flat pets among the dog people, too! I’m looking forward to seeing you and Honey in 2013. Cooper has already put in his bid to come with, but we’ll see… :)

    • I’m thinking I might need to adopt a floofie tail to really do it right. But I’d consider floppy ear headbands in a pinch. :)

      I’m sure Honey would love to see Cooper again.

    • Mike Webster says:

      From the Husband:
      Leopard spots vs. dalmatian spots; pointy ears vs. floppy ears. I’m not going to the wall for this, but it may be that cat people are cooler than dog people because cats are cooler than dogs. (Written as a committed dog lover.) :)

  3. Hell yes I have some ideas to ‘step up our game!’ We need some “Just Be The Dog” tee-shirts.

    I’m debating the whole bring the dogs (and the Hubby) or don’t bring the dogs. It will all depend on how well our new training program goes. I hesitate to bring them because Sampson is an enthusiastic greeter to dogs, people and cats; and then sometimes he likes to chase the cats.

    Hubby says he’ll go and manage the dogs but I bluntly told him, “We are a bunch of positive trainers and no-one is going to want to see you yanking on one of the dogs.”

    If I were to come alone and bring only one dog it would more than likely be Sampson, but I will need to work on his greetings and cat skills. (Not to be mistaken for the mountains.)

    I think if we plan it, we can give those cat people a run for their money. 😉

    • Many people bring their dogs to every session and then complain that it’s hard to manage them while learning. I didn’t bring Honey to any classes but she came every where else with me and it worked out great. If Sampson could be comfortable without you in your hotel room, you’d have the best of both worlds.

      Nothing like having a training goal to shoot for, huh? :)

  4. Mike Webster says:

    From the Husband:
    If I lose some weight, can I go into your suitcase for 2013 too?

  5. The cat people were the cat’s meow right?! We dog people need to up our marketing game and find out what we can learn from them.

    Personally, next year I’d like to see EVERYONE wearing a thirty with their dog’s face on them. I know a lot of dogs! Humans?! I’m fuzzy on their humans.

    Someone gave out a Pinerly invite at the Analytics session and I’m excited to try it out. As if I needed another excuse to pin, but I’m excited to integrate Pinterest even more with Kol’s Notes!

    • Yes, we definitely need to do a better job of keeping our pet pictures on us–flat pets or something else. You’re right that it’s much easier to spot the dogs than the humans. Especially since many of us update the dog pictures frequently but the human pictures just get more and more out of date.

      I’ll have to check out your pinterest page. Maybe it will inspire me to jump in.

  6. Well, now I know why I could never be a cat person.

    I thought Honey did go with you!

  7. Cover your coolness bases. Be a dog AND a cat person. Visit your local shelter and pick up the one you don’t yet have. Then go let your inner party animal out to play! Feel free to mingle in both crowds. Now that’s livin’!

    • So you want me to swing both ways? :)

      It’s actually a strong consideration for me. I’m planning to make some big changes that prevent me from adopting another pet just now. But I suspect a cat would make a very good sailing companion and a good friend for Honey.

  8. Hmmmm….I didn’t notice that cat people were cooler but maybe it is because I was too busy wrangling my dogs while hobbling around on my flat shoes and trying to stuff as many treats and poop bags into my pockets as I could. Ha, ha!

    I was one of the people who thought having my dogs there was somewhat distracting but you make a good point about them being good icebreakers.

    • Treking cross country in a wienermobile (with a chihuahua side car) is certainly cool. But there’s just something about that kitty bling.

      As I mentioned to Jodi, I found it easy to bring Honey because I didn’t invite her to any of the sessions. She did everything else with us, though. Of course, Honey’s not a barker so it was an easy choice.

  9. I had a blast at BlogPaws 2012! Not only did I get to meet my cat and dog friends – I got to hang with some bunny people for the first time ever. The flash mob is just a 3 minute blur in my memory, but I am happy that I didn’t get caught on camera. No more dancing for me (at least until next year)!

    • Yay! What a nice treat to meet bunny fans.

      But I think you’ll need to blow up your flat Bunny so you’re more visible in the mobs, flash or otherwise. :)

  10. I knew there was a reason I let the cat hang around with me and all the dogs. Besides the natural superiority of cats they make me one of the cool kids.

  11. I wish I would have brought flat shoes because my feet were tired from all of the walking in my high shoes! 😉 How about having some sort of contest between the dog blogs and cat blogs to determine the real coolness. Like see who can raise the most money for a charity, or gather the most twitter and Facebook followers…

    • Sorry your feet hurt. But you looked mahvelous! :)

      I think the contest is a great idea. I’m getting ready to host a BlogPaws swag giveaway this weekend but I love your idea–maybe for next month. Interested in being a co-host? And we’ll have to wrangle a couple of cat people as well.

  12. It sounds like you had an even better time this year. I am so glad!

    I joined Pinterest a while ago due to peer pressure and thought it was a lot of fun at first. But it’s been a long time – weeks at least, which is like years in blogland – since I pinned even one thing. It’s so hard to know what is worth spending energy on. 😛

    I look forward to hearing more about your experiences as the time goes on!

    • I’ll see what I can get up about the BlogPaws sessions that would be helpful.

      And I’m curious about Pinterest so I think I’ll check it out. But one of my major points in my Making Time to Blog presentation was that you can’t do everything so only do the things you know advance your goals. Sounds like you’ve already learned that lesson. :)

  13. Well, first of all, your blog in anything but boring. It does seem that cat people are a bit more flashy than dog people, but maybe that’s because the cats are always at home and dogs are out and about representing dogs – they don’t need all of the flash :)

    I love Pinterest . .but at some point, you have to decide how much time you want to spend on the computer . . .I think we have much more fun interacting with the people and pets that we love :)

    Can’t wait to hear more about your plans! Glad you had a good time, I’m sure Honey & Mike missed you!

    • The cat people at BlogPaws are definitely flashy and it’s in a very fun and exuberant way. It makes me feel good just to be in the room with them.

      But they break the stereotype. A number of them do bring their cats with them. So they’re flashy and sociable. :)

      • They must have some very cool kitties . .I can’t think of one of my cats that I would be able to bring – I’m sorry I missed it!! I’m not sure where I would fit in, after all, I have 3 cats and 1 dog :)

  14. As the captain of the barge that Cleopatra (aka Coco) rode in for most of the conference, I felt like she was like one of those friends one lives vicariously by…you know, the ones sipping champagne on the Rivera!

    Love your post and the dog/cat people comparisons (and you made all of us here at the cat hospital where I work laugh, too) and I so look forward to those of you brave enough to kick it up a notch at Blogpaws 2013!

    I can’t imagine attending without my cat(s), as they are such ‘ice breakers’ and are so much what I blog about, that most would just be bored if it was just me, hahameow!

    Oh, I think Erika, her husband and Sebastian of Sew Doggy Style, rocked it in their matching T shirts, I ‘Heart’ Doggy Style!

    • Coco just rocked the room in her flashy barge. I’m happy to live vicariously through her champagne sipping vibe. :)

      I hope we doggy folks can keep our mojo up to do something spunky for next year. I better start reading more cat blogs for inspiration. :)

  15. Cat people are cooler than dog people? Wha-?! Wait a minute! First, if they’d ever have BlogPaws in the Midwest so The Princess could attend with me, we’d be much, MUCH cooler! Obviously, the cat people had some sort of prearranged plan to all have matching cat ears and glasses. We dog bloggers need to be more unified is all. That’s what I think! We could all carry dalmation or brindle purses next year, or wear rhinestone collars or bracelets. I am certain that the coolness factor can be much higher next year.

    I think I took as many notes at the blog makeover session as I did at the rest of them I went to total! And I’m proud to say that I’ve even gotten a few of them implemented. I’m still digesting a lot of what I learned, and it was definitely a learning experience for me!

    • You should definitely be the doggy bloggy fashion advisor. Maybe someone needs to start a pinterest page on cute costume ideas with a dog theme. :)

      I also liked the makeover session very much. I hope they offer it again next year.

      • Mike Webster says:

        From the Husband:
        Somehow, the only costume idea with a dog theme that I can think of would emulate the TV show “Wilfred.” And that’s not a happy thought.

    • We need to look at our Greyhound canines for some guidance! I know Bunny and Twiggy would ooze coolness! :)

  16. Glad to hear there’s a new way to track Pinterest. I like Pinterest, but I need to get more serious about using it.

    • I admire a beautifully done Pinterest page but I’m much more “texty” than visual. I’ll have to see what you’re pinning so I can figure out if it’s a good use of my time.

  17. Sounds like it was great. Now if you figure out the pinterest thing, let me know. I joined, but for the life of me, I cannot figure out the fascination or the point of it. :)

    • Hey, I’m hearing you. I’m regularly on Twitter but I really don’t “get it” yet. Some things just click and others don’t.

      Personally, I can’t imagine how you’d find the time to do too many of these things with three dogs in the house and a busy training routine. :)

  18. If you want to laff about some crazy cat ladies, click here:
    http://www.bestweekever.tv/2007-10-17/michelles-cat-show-review-lol-heaven/
    (by the way, the cat that was confused for chicken…that’s my Sphynx, Disco NoFurNo, hahameow!).

    So, really, you dog people, don’t go getting too crazy on us!

  19. I could have 10 cats and I still wouldn’t be cool. :(

    I don’t know why Mike wants to climb into your suitcase instead of sitting beside you in whatever mode of transportation brings you to BlogPaws 2013. Strange man, eh? 😉

    • Mike Webster says:

      From the Husband:
      Isn’t it obvious? So I can clean up if Honey makes potty in there.
      Strange indeed. . . Hmph. [ :) ]

  20. If I went to a BlogPaws, I’m not sure if I would bring Elka or not. My guess would be not. I would miss her, terribly, but I just don’t know how she would be. On one hand, she might take the whole thing with utter grace and really blow me away and not need to be constantly managed. On the other hand, she might be a total freak face at every last thing and embarrass me (and herself) and I really wouldn’t learn anything at all.

    I do thnk that dog people have a certain je ne sais quois. I’ve also, on occasion, (briefly) walked Elka in a sundress with nary a treat pouch in sight. Different situations require different measures!

  21. As a cat lady who attended Blog Paws (though sans cat or animal print), I got a kick out of this post! Wow, I didn’t know we made such an impact! LOL!
    Nice to “meet” you!

  22. Oh, did i mention i love your writing?! That intro paragraph is too good!

  23. I was at BlogPaws too and definitely got the impression that the Cat People were rocking it!

    I’m a dog blogger but own a cat, and can certainly see where the feline folk get their inspiration. Good on them!

    All paws to the cause!

  24. Hey, I wore a dress & heels on the first night of BlogPaws last year… and then by Saturday I was in a t-shirt and jeans, so I guess you’re right about the dog people. :)

  25. Mommy could not agree more about Flash Mobs! MOL!! (And as kittehs we do think we’re pretty cool, we must admit!)

    We are sooo very sorry we couldn’t get our Mommy out to SLC for BlogPaws 2012, but we plan to make her represent us Properly in 2013!

  26. Ok, DogFans…Here’s some kicks that would kick it up a notch at the next BlogPaws!
    http://www.etsy.com/listing/105166380/hand-drawn-classic-vans-slip-on-shoes