A Naturopathic View of Blog Indiana 2012
Last week I had the immense privilege of attending and speaking at Blog Indiana 2012. Blog Indiana is a conference for – you guessed it – bloggers in Indiana. The problem with describing Blog Indiana is that its sessions and attendees extend far beyond the blogging community. It is impossible to condense the conference to fit into a nice, tidy box.
While at the conference, I met a diversity of people with varied interests. I met people who had never written a blog post and were there to learn more about blogging and social media. I met people who are CEOs of or who work for social media and internet marketing companies. I met many people who are considered experts in their field on a national level. I also met people who had little or no involvement in social media and blogging and who came to Blog Indiana to learn as much as they could and to network. Blog Indiana is obviously an amazing conference that appeals to and benefits a wide range of people with varied interests. I was incredibly blessed to see many old friends and to make many new connections. I learned so much that it will take several months to implement every factor I want to apply to my business.
Just for fun, I thought I’d share a “Naturopathic perspective” on what attendees gained and lost during Blog Indiana 2012. The analogy is weak, but it works, simply because Blog Indiana provides “nutrition” that helps businesses heal and which helps banish negativity. I want to give Randy Clark credit for his unique blog post: Blog Indiana’s Big Problem and for giving me permission to steal his idea of helping promote the speakers by linking back to them.
Detoxification of Toxic Information
Whether attendees learned from Allison Carter that engagement requires visual enhancement and that writers must let go of fears related to using graphics, or learned from Douglas Karr that creating solid SEO requires eliminating outdated SEO myths, I guarantee every attendee was able to detoxify beliefs and knowledge that were hindering their growth. I also have no doubt this cleanse of outdated information equipped Blog Indiana attendees to pursue new levels of success. Other sessions that helped with the detoxification process included Steve Hill’s presentation on getting great results with rebranding, and (hopefully) my session, which explored ways to easily generate content and recognize existing content sources. (You can view my presentation at The Care and Feeding of Content Monsters.)
Regeneration of Purpose and Vision
Every attendee received cutting-edge information and research related to social media tools, programs and philosophies. Based on what I heard from most of the attendees I spoke with (and I spoke with as many as I could), the amount of information gained was overwhelming. Many attendees said their first goal was to condense everything they learned into a set of bullet points, and to then create a plan for implementing specific points each week. Summarizing everything gained and creating a feasible implementation plan is itself a daunting task.
For most attendees, the information gained not only provided the encouragement they needed to move forward, but also provided tools and techniques they can use to advance their business or their personal development. The range of information shared was immense and included everything from essential Facebook tools (Chad Richards), how to start your own “Friend Up” for reciprocal networking (Randy Clark), how to tell your story and leverage grammar to gain respect (Jane Goodwin), or how to use social media to promote not-for-profit events and needs (Nathan Hand and Sara Croft). That’s a very tiny sampling of the sessions, so you can imagine the wealth of valuable information that was shared!
Establishing Supporting Relationships
As I said previously, some of the attendees at Blog Indiana were there solely to network. Regardless of our end goal, I know every attendee enjoyed the opportunity to meet new people, make new friends and find new resources for their business and personal needs. It is amazing to go to a conference where absolutely every person is friendly, engaging and genuinely wants to help. While there, I heard networking stories of people who found jobs, people who wound up dating someone they met at Blog Indiana, and more than one person spoke of finding a company they soon realized was a perfect fit for their business needs. The networking opportunities and potential to make new friends was huge. For the speakers, I know the stress level was very low, as speaking at Blog Indiana is similar to speaking in front of a room filled with family.
Having Fun and Decompressing
Please don’t think Blog Indiana was all work and no play. Every session I attended was enhanced by numerous laughs, and it was not uncommon to hear loud laughter coming from other sessions. Blog Indiana is fun in the midst of the benefits! I very much appreciate that the organizers, Noah Coffey and Sean Plew, not only exhausted themselves ensuring every facet of Blog Indiana flowed perfectly, but also took time to organize social events before and during the conference. The ability to socialize without a schedule helped each of us get to know each other better and helped cement the relationships that had been formed.
To put it quite simply: Blog Indiana is my favorite conference every year. I highly recommend attending! For those who attended this year, what needs to be added to this post? For those who weren’t there. which session do you think you would have enjoyed the most? I look forward to reading your answers!