I popped in on Friday for a single day at Blogalicious with a couple of co-workers. Our day started EARLY to make the drive down to San Antonio for breakfast and opening remarks at 8. The official schedule actually started at 7 am with a sponsored workout. I’ve never seen a conference with SO MUCH going on in a day. Even SXSW with all their late night festivities only had programming from 9-6.
The morning keynote was an inspiring presentation by Cheryl Wood. As tired as I was feeling (the baby was up all night with a stuffy nose), she was a great jolt of energy. I mean, I’m no where near even figuring out how to make my blog into a business, but she got me thinking maybe I should get my butt into gear.
A running theme for the day was taking risks, getting over fear of failure, being focused and not waiting for anyone to do things for you. At a separate workshop, participants were asked to stand and identify their dreams — REALLY identify them with focus and clarity. It was actually a rather difficult exercise.
Another running theme for the day was FOOD! Breakfast, lunch, coffee break, afternoon snack, happy hour… There was food at every turn. And it was pretty delicious too. I’ve never been to a better catered event than this. It seems like such a silly thing to rave about the food, but it was a pretty smart move to keep everyone fed, hydrated, caffeinated and at times sugared to maintain energy levels and prevent wandering. I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to have to break from whatever thought process or flow you’re in because you’re so hungry.
Blogalicious was also very well sponsored. They had sponsor suites all along the floor. Tylenol definitely got props for the swankiest set up. More drinks, snacks and cupcakes (red velvet) were on hand. It really showed how much of an investment these companies were making into the multicultural market of bloggers.
Now, I don’t know exactly where I fit into the multicultural blogger spectrum. I’d say what I write about has less to do with my being Asian and more about how I relate the yoga lifestyle with my reality – parenting, working, finding a little less chaos. Yoga, by origin, is Asian (Indians are South Asian!), so that kind of counts, right? Maybe I should bring in more of my Asianinity. Bi-racial parenting perhaps? Connections with eastern philosophy?
Like I said, programming went much later than other conferences I’d attended. The 5 pm session was a perfect fit for my job. Sheila Dowd (on the left) of Monster Products interviewed Roni Jackson of Common Ground (middle) and Zandra Zuno of PR firm Golin (right) about how bloggers and agencies can work together. Lots of great tips for both bloggers and agencies.
The schedule was running late toward the end, and so the final session with Issa Rae of Awkward Black Girl and Luvvie Ajayi of Awesomely Luvvie was the hilarious exclamation point to a long and inspiring day. My favorite quote of the evening was from Luvvie on the topic of how blogging was carthatic for her.
I have so much shade to throw. My shade cup runneth over.
You have to read her blog to see how her humor makes that all make sense. Add it to your blog reader. Seriously. (And if you’re too uncool to know what “shade” means, this is straight from Luvvie’s glossary of terms. Shade – Being able to covertly insult someone or something is the art of throwing shade.)
And finally, when we walked out of the hotel with our bag of swag and my ice cooler of pumped milk (btw, the organizers were very accommodating to make sure I had a private place to take care of my business throughout the day), my fellow attendees and I decided that the phrase that summed up our day was…
The struggle is real. – Issa Rae
Blogalicious moves cities every year. I’ll be interested in where 2015 will take them!