August 22, 2010

Boot camp? Yes, ma’am!

salute Yesterday I attended a blogging conference called Bloggy Boot Camp, put on by the SITS Girls. It was a lot of fun and very well run (thanks to super organized, very pretty Tiffany). I learned a lot, met many great women, and I spent an entire day out of the house. The speakers were knowledgeable and engaging, covering topics from privacy concerns (Angry Julie Monday) to how to monetize your blog (Ciaran Blumenfeld and Ted Rubin from OpenSky). Linsey Krolik, leader of the wonderful From Left To Write book club, spoke about bringing our blogs to the next level of professionalism as well as some legal issues we need to keep in mind. I have a notebook full of tips and tricks that I picked up from the speakers as well as the other bloggers I met. Our lunchtime discussion about making Twitter more manageable was especially useful.

I came away with ideas about how to take my blog to the next level. I want to continue to forge bonds within the autism/special needs blogging community. I have a goal to provide more practical information to other parents of kids going through early intervention, and I’m thinking about ways to better incorporate my experiences with regional centers, IFSPs, IEPs, and special education.

I was inspired most, however, by the two content-related speakers. Jessica Bern gave a very funny introduction to vlogging (video blogging). I sat next to her during one of the other sessions, and I instantly wished she was my best friend. Kristy Campbell, who is wonderful (and local!), spoke about the fundamentals of writing: finding your message, your voice and your tone. Jessica spoke first and Kristy spoke last, and for me this was like putting perfect bookends on the day. These women reminded me what I love most about my blog: that I get to write it.

I am generally not one to say that there is any bright side to autism. But if I had to find some proverbial lemonade, it would be that I have become a writer. Writing is my therapy, and my creative and emotional outlet.  It is something I always wanted to do but never before found the time or inspiration. Now I make time to write. And I find inspiration all around me, especially in the form of a little curly-haired boy.


  1. Excellent post, you!

    I tried to find you at one point, but with the switching around I was lucky to make it from table to table with all o' my crap! (Great plan, but I did not pack accordingly.)

    -Lori @ In Pursuit of Martha Points

  2. Wow, it sounds like it was a great conference! I find blogging to be VERY therapeutic! I enjoy it immensely. I also enjoy "meeting" fellow bloggers such as yourself! I hope to attend a conference at some point to meet my "friends" in person! LOL!

  3. great meeting you yesterday and I'll be doing my wrap up post about the event. I agree it was great to meet other bloggers and loved the vlogging too.

  4. I started following your tweets yesterday to check in on Boot Camp. I am making it a priority to go next year! On a side note, I am an ABA therapist and Early Intervention Specialist in Ohio. I know you are on a journey!

  5. I agree that it was a great conference. I'm still trying to figure out a simple goal for my blog, I always seem to try to come up with some huge, complicated goal and it doesn't have to be that. The range of topics yesterday was great. I agree that the writing is therapeutic and building community is also a great part of being a blogger.

  6. Great, you've stolen my thunder! No, just kidding. My blogging voice has a different tone but I was VERY moved by both Jessica and Kristy. And you put that very well "like putting perfect bookends on the day."
    And thank you for the mission you've taken on here. Your child and the blogosphere is lucky to have you.

  7. I enjoyed meeting you at lunch! I agree with you about the bookends.

  8. It was great to meet you too. You are a very cool lady and I think those that are dealing with autism are very lucky to have you. If you ever have any questions, don't hesitate to ask.

  9. What a lovely post! I liked it so much I even linked it up over on my Everyday Mommy blog. I also created Bloggy Boot Camp Post Link-Up opportunity so please stop by when you get a chance!

    You are so right about the bookend speakers... I loved them too!

  10. Thanks for all the comments everyone! I think all of this post-conference love has been almost as fun as the day itself. Sounds like some bay area meet-ups are being worked out. Would love to see many of you again!

  11. It was a fun day, informative and helpful in many ways. You did a nice job recapping it for us!
    Hope you enjoy your week.
    Heidi - Heart and Home
    (I'm the one who forgot to bring bus. cards!!)

  12. This post got me choked up a bit- that last paragraph.

    Jessica was just hilarious, and I am so glad you had that important interaction with her during her presentation- inspiration and passion are everywhere!

    Thank you so much for coming!

  13. Thanks SITS Girls! The conference helped renew my energy for blogging and for writing.

  14. I really enjoyed your wrap up post. I have been bloggy for almost a year and thought Kristy's presentation was great - not just for newer bloggers but little reminders for everyone. I don't think we had a chance to meet - I cannot believe how many people I missed!


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