Monday, 14 May 2012
Cybher - my musings
This weekend, thanks to my lovely sponsors DYLON, I attended Cybher - the UK's first all genre blogger conference for females.
Due to absolute technology failure on the day (both my phone and my ipad went loopy with the excitement of it all) I was unable to share many thoughts via the medium of Twitter. So instead, I'm writing them down here so I have a record of my time and a reference to come back to so I can keep focused on what's important to me.
Firstly, I think Sian did a monumental job - what a Herculean task. Her and her team have every right to feel proud.
Secondly, what I enjoyed most was the chance to meet up with blogging friends old and new. To finally meet in the flesh people I've spoken to for donkey's on Twitter. People who have shared their highs and lows through their blog.
It may seem odd that I shared a room with someone I'd never even met before, but Amanda felt like a dear friend, and now we've met in person I'm sure we'll remain close friends in real life.
I found the talks from Di Coke (competitions and the law) fascinating and really interesting. The presentation by A Thrifty Mrs on incorporating money-saving into your blog was also very entertaining and her personality shone through.
However, I was let a little deflated by some of the sessions. I guess it's the world we're in now but there seemed to be a fair amount of doom and gloom - you can't do this; you mustn't do this; be careful if you do that; don't do this or you'll get your ass sued...
I also found the idea that not everyone can blog a little arrogant. I strongly disagree - the tools are there, they are freely available to anyone and everyone who wants to write a blog. True, not everyone can write an award-winning blog, a blog that will be top of the charts or a blog that will give them commercial success, fame and fortune. But that makes assumptions about an individual's motivation to blog.
We all have different reasons for doing what we do. Yes it takes hard work, effort and skill to come up with entertaining, engaging and regular new material, but it doesn't mean anyone can't try. If we perpetuate the idea that bloggers are an elite bunch then how are we to encourage and motivate the next new wave of blog writers?
There was also a lot of talk about finding your 'niche'. I agree that to be top of your game and achieve sucess you do need to be focused and stand out from the crowd, but again this is making assumptions that that's what we all aspire to. The reality is there are millions of blogs out there in cyberspace - how many niches are there? Yes, I could write a blog about owning a smelly Labrador with an underactive thyroid - I may even win an award for the best blog about a smelly Labrador with an underactive thyroid - but how dull would that be?
I am more than one thing. I am mother; partner; friend; crafter; thrifter. I wear clothes; I eat; I drink; I go out; I buy stuff; I do stuff. That is me and that's what I write about. A blogger's real USP is their self.
I write my blog because I enjoy it. It's fun. I don't want to lose sight of that. I want to enjoy the fantastic benefits of being part of a motivating; supportive and diverse community. I want to continue to write with integrity; fairness and passion about what interests me. To support brands I respect and small businesses I admire. To make more friends and meet like-minded people. Above all, to not get hung up on the competitiveness and the politics.
Keep calm and carry on blogging!