Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Leaving My Comfort Zone

I've been blogging for nearly five years now. Which, you know, in blog years is about forty years, meaning I'm right at the perfect age for a mid-life blog crisis. Only with this type of crisis, you don't go out and buy a sports car. Nope, instead you choose to go to a different social media conference.

I've attended BlogHer since 2006, and for the past two years I've also attended Blissdom. Both are blogging conferences for women, and in the past there has been a strong leaning towards mom bloggers. I've learned a lot from these conferences, and will continue to attend them, but coming home from BlogHer last month, I felt like I was missing something.

There's no doubt that social media conferences with a female-focus are important and have a lot of merit, but I can't stay in my estrogen-cocoon forever. I need to branch out, see what else is out there in the blog world, and even - gasp! - interact with more of the male social media population and see what I can learn from them as well. I have a "mom blog" and this review blog, but I'm also developing a fitness blog and who knows where I'll go from there?

I'll admit that I'm nervous of stepping outside of my usual circle. I always worry about being taken seriously, and it's hard to get the nerve up to approach big name bloggers when you're just a small fry. But hey, if it can advance my blogging, or help me develop a new direction for myself, I'll gladly walk up to anyone and say hello.

So next month I'm conquering my fear of flying yet again to attend BlogWorld Expo with the hopes of finding new inspiration and new influence from an entirely new population of social media participants. As an RN, I'm especially interested in the social health track on Thursday, as I've been considering doing more health blogging but worry about issues regarding privacy and liability.

BlogWorld looks like a fantastic event, but at the moment I only have a pass for Thursday. I'm hoping that IZEA will select me to receive a free pass for the remainder of the event so I can get the most out of the panels and parties and bring what I learn back to my own blogging circle, many of which have never attended any conferences, or have only been to female-centered conferences.

Besides, I want to disprove that whole idea that "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas," because we all know that in the world of social media, what happens in Vegas will be photographed, videotaped, and written about for the whole world to see.

 I'm not above wearing McDonald's bags for hats, either!

IZEA, please pick me to receive a free full conference pass to BlogWorld! I've got the flight, I've got the hotel - all I need is the full conference pass! I won't let you down!

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