Thursday, September 1, 2011

BlogPaws Lite - An Introvert's Recap, Part 1

Okay, first of all, there were many other bloggers at BlogPaws and several of them are posting some great in-depth, thoughtful and practical (put-it-to-use) stuff on their blogs. If you're looking for detailed breakout session recaps, or the full, Thursday through Saturday experience, I urge you to go check out some of these other great sites!

On the other hand, if you want to see/read about what Jon Farleigh, Dewi and I experienced in 23 hours (of which eight were spent sleeping), please, stay here! 

Still here?  Great!  Let's go!

First Stop

The dogs and I arrived at the hotel after a three-hour, traffic-laden drive (during which the dogs were crated in the cargo area of the car). You can just imagine what they were like when I released them from their cramped quarters. Nevertheless, we made it through check-in and not one stranger got bowled over by a Corgi. 

See the little "paw" on the carpet in front of Dewi? They were my assurance that I had not accidentally shown up at the wrong hotel. 

Second Stop

Because of traffic, I conveniently [insert heavy sarcasm] arrived a few minutes before lunch. A fully catered, sit-down, eight-to-a-table, two-course, you-could-not-blend-into-the-wall affair. (Imagine the first day of 7th grade, but you don't know anyone, and you somehow missed first through third periods and had to go directly to the cafeteria without stopping at your locker. Yeah. That was me.) I debated skipping lunch, but I was starving, and I paid for it. And I saw this on the tables:

Cheesecake: "Eat me! Eat me!"

So I used a lifeline, and phoned a friend:
Laurie Eno from The Daily Corgi!

Jon Farleigh and Dewi refused to turn away from us. 

To all my Corgi friends: Laurie is REAL and she only has TWO arms! And in addition to being a great writer, super-blogger and Corgi-lover, she is a super nice person! I'm so thrilled to have had the chance to meet and talk to her, in person, about dogs, cats, life and bloggy stuff. It was soooo cool that Jon Farleigh and Dewi got to hang out with her, too.

So, yes, Laurie saved me from my wallflower ways and not only did I get to sit down and eat, but I got to eat with Laurie, and several other really nice ladies (including my conference "shadow" Sarah) from Oldies but Goodies (OBG) Cocker Spaniel Rescue.

Third Stop

The hotel room to pee (me, not the dogs). Then, the dogs and I went outside so they could pee.

Fourth Stop

My first breakout session: The Wonderful Widgets of Oz, facilitated by the adorably capable Lauren Spencer of Fetching Communications.

Okay, so although the dogs were allowed (even encouraged) to come along for the breakout sessions, I quickly learned that managing two energetic (and happy) Corgis on leash, while also attempting to look in the direction of the speaker, listen and take legible notes, was impossible. So I just listened as best I could.

Meanwhile, the nice lady at the end of my row invited Dewi to sit in the chair beside her.

Jon Farleigh, don't even think about getting up here.

In case you're wondering, the session was about the benefits of and how to add popular (think Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube) social media widgets (badges) to a blog/web site.

Random fact learned: Did you know that YouTube is the second largest Web search engine, behind Google? Want to increase traffic to your site? Upload your pet's videos to YouTube and then add a YouTube widget to your site. (I have one in my sidebar.)

So maybe I did learn a thing or two at BlogPaws, but the best thing that happened in the "Widget" session had nothing to do with the presentation at all.

Unfortunately, though, I've run out of time! (boo)
Stay tuned for Part 2!


  1. Blog Pawsmust have been awesome!
    Benny & Lily

  2. Very funny. The analogy of a kid's first day of school and having to go right to the cafeteria was great.

    The funny thing is that even extroverts get that feeling. I know I did and it took me a while to get acclimated to all the activities.

    Having dogs along really helped break the ice, didn't it?

  3. I think anyone would be overwhelmed stepping into a big conference alone. I know I would for sure!

    Where did you get your YouTube widget? I just spent 1/2 an hour hunting around for it on YouTube and googling but didn't get an easy answer......

  4. @Pamela - Yes, the dogs were an instant ice-breaker. I quickly found that if I stood still long enough, someone would walk right up and start a conversation. :) (I'm just not a big talker, so I'm all over listening to those who are and don't care that I'm just nodding along. I did get my ear talked off a couple times, however. :)

    @Taryn - Go here for the YouTube widgets:

    YouTube doesn't exactly make it easy for user's to find. Maybe I should post the link in the post...

  5. Ugh, I can just imagine how you felt walking in! Lucky for you there was someone there that you knew - I would have been totally lost (again, ugh!) It looks like you had fun!

  6. Thanks for the url! It still took me a few minutes to figure out how to add it to blogger. I am not one for reading the instructions, I just jump in, and sometimes that becomes quite time consuming!

  7. Can't wait for part II. Sounds like you had a lot of fun! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Hi! Buddy's person here!
    Thanks for the YouTube information. I finally figured it out. You rock!

  9. I did not know that about Youtube, so thanks for the advice!

    I am loving all these terrific recap posts and I really appreciate your perspective. I also admire you for heading into that gigantic lunch crowd and being resourceful enough to call a friend. Can't say I would have been as brave!

  10. I love your recap... it was definitely an overwhelming experience, but I'm so glad you came and I got to meet you. :)

  11. Looks like fun! Hoping I can go some day :)

  12. That's so cool you got to meet Laurie! Thanks for the "random fact learned." I've heard so much about the BlogPaws cheesecake. Is it really that delish? Please dish. (I eat vegan so when I was at BlogPaws last year I didn't eat any of the meals. I seriously packed PB&J sandwiches for lunch ... talk about 7th grade! Actually, that's more like grade school. Sigh.)

    -Chandra at Daley's Dog Years

  13. We're so jealous that you got to go to BlogPaws! We signed up, but Mom had to work so we didn't end up being able to go. We hope next year she won't be so lame!

  14. It was so great to meet you and your pups. We were at the widget session too, when Yaxley gave me the "gotta go NOW" stare down. So we missed part of this info packed session. And the school analogy really hit the mark. If I didn't have the pup with me, I would have been a wallflower and missed meeting folk like you.

  15. I am waaay behind in my reading. Sounds like the drive was stressful, but at least you made lunch. :) I bet Jon Farleigh and Dewi had a blast! The speaker sounds like she had some interesting suggestions.

  16. @Julie and Kristine - #1 most important tip for introverts at BlogPaws: Have a reliable "phone-a-friend"!

    @Taryn and Becky - Glad I could help. :) I've seen both your widgets; nice!

    @Chandra - The cheesecake was yummy; I cannot lie. :) PB&J sandwiches, huh? My dogs would have menaced me under the table. :)
    I think there might have been a vegetarian/vegan option this year. The only meat I consumed was some chopped chicken breast on the lunch salad.

    @Pup Fan - You know the lengths I took to meet you. :)

    @Tucker - Oh no! Maybe next time. :(

    @Donna - Yaxley was definitely a conversation starter!


We love comments almost as much as Reese's Peanut Butter Cups! Thank you!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...