My first experience of brit mums live.

my first experience of brit mums live, why I enjoyed it and how it opened my eyes to the blogging community.

In case you hadn’t noticed (if you hadn’t, have you been living under a rock?) Brit mums live happened this weekend. And I went. So what did I learn?

First of all I learnt that I can walk into a venue full of 700 people I don’t know , who I’m supposed to socialise with and not hyperventilate/ freak out/ die. This was a surprise to me.

I learnt that Its impossible to find and speak to everyone you really want to find. Its just not going to happen. (Perhaps too many people?) Some people in tweets and blog posts spoke of being blanked, ignored, I would imagine that in most cases it was a matter of it just being too hard to find and recognise everyone, there were 700 people, chill!

Now,I’ve written a few posts that may seem like I’m a bit bitter towards bloggers, thats just not the case, I am a blogger, I read blogs and some of my favourite tweeters are bloggers, but while I thoroughly enjoyed brit mums (as a social event) I also took a few negatives away from the experience . And some of my negative thoughts about blogging were confirmed .
For me brit mums live was a social occasion, I don’t get out ever much and I had something to prove to myself, that I can go out and socialise , I was looking forward to meeting some of my favourite tweeters, most of whom I did get to meet. Im a pretty good judge of character and those who I imagined would be lovely people really where, those I had imagined to be a little snooty and stand offish also were. I noticed quite a few times people inching towards me, looking at my name badge and then inching away again, am I not high profile enough to say hello to? Is chatting to me not going to get you anywhere? Thats the feeling I got. I’m a people watcher and I saw alot of chasing after the “big tweeters” the “big bloggers” fawning over them, almost like “please let me into your circle”, many people moved in cliques, leaving the smaller tweeters and bloggers on the sidelines. There is absolutely a blogging heirarchy and its clear that in the blogging community theres alot of

its not what you write, or what you know, its who you know

and to get anywhere near the hierarchy there will be quite some brown nosing involved. I couldn’t give a rats arse about where I stand, I’m a small fish in a big pond and thats ok because I just don’t have the time, the dedication or the inclination to make my blog a big thing, but there are clearly those who are that way motivated and it wasn’t pretty to watch.

Another thing that I learnt from walking around the brand area and also from sessions I went to was that I firmly don’t want to move my blog into reviewing, sponsorship, (although books are something I will always review) because I can’t be bothered with the level of brand shmoozing involved, and also again, Time, I just don’t have that kind of time. Although one of the obvious benefits of reviewing is free stuff I believe a lot of people do them just for the stats, purely to raise their profile. The brand areas, to me, felt a little like desperation. Some bloggers would review a monkeys fart if it got them some stats. True fact! Also I felt there could have been some better more family based brands there, I wasn’t interested in looking at an Aga (sp) or going to catalanyia (sp), I’m not sure what would have been better (I’m not an event organiser, fortunately) but something else. I didn’t see a lot that would interest or appeal to your average (quite poor) family blogger with children ranging from primary school aged kids to older teenagers.

Disappointingly I didn’t feel I learnt much from the sessions I attended, this could be purely my personal feeling but I would have liked to learn more about storytelling (there was one session which I missed) writing from the heart, what makes a good blog post, not being afraid to be true to your blog and yourself, more about writing to raise awareness, Id like to use my blog more to raise awareness around autism, sen matters etc, and also things I still can’t do like putting something in my sidebar, and what is a plug in?

The sessions were more geared towards selling yourself, raising your profile, stats etc. Some of us genuinely don’t blog for recognition or a high profile. We blog as a hobby a pastime, we do it because we enjoy it, because its pretty cool to have a space on the world wide web that we can make our own, to use in our own way.
There was some talk about comment groups which interested me, but only to cement my feeling that comment groups aren’t for me. I did join one, but only lasted 3 weeks, I find the whole commenting for a comment thing very insincere, I’d rather get one sincere comment on a post than twenty comments saying ” great post” by everyone else in my group.

The awards are a bone of contention for me, I didn’t attend because it would have been hypocritical of me to do so, (I’ve written before about my feelings towards awards) I don’t know who won what or even who was in which category, I’m sure there were some worthy winners , but again I believe the whole nominating and voting process has a lot to do with who you know, you vote for me and I’ll vote for you, that kind of thing. And the whole begging for votes thing doesn’t sit well with me, if a blog is outstanding surely it doesn’t need to beg for votes . I feel the same about rankings, as I’ve mentioned a few times before, for me cutting free from rankings sites was the best thing I ever did for my blog, I don’t know and don’t care whether 5 or 500 people like my blog because now I’m not writing for an audience I’m writing whatever I want to write, whether thats little posts about a cup of tea making me happy ( my happiness is….posts) or bigger posts like this. And if anybody appreciates my blog for what it is then thats all I need .

I will say the event was organised well, the free tea was lovely, I consumed a lot of tea, and the cakes and cookies were amazing, I ate far too much cake!
The venue is lovely and the outdoor lunch area was very pretty. The staff were all very helpful and friendly.

My outstanding moment of the whole event was meeting @ojosworld. She was the first person I “found” when I arrived and we spoke, and hugged a few times. She was exactly how I imagined her to be, which was absolutely delightful.

I am going to go again, but with more realistic expectations and with my eyes opened wider to the community I’m a part of, which while on the whole is an amazing community, does have cliques and a hierarchy just like all other parts of life.

My final point unfortunately is another negative, for me the fact that there was a goody bag at the end was quite exciting, with the exception of the highlighter pen which didn’t work I was happy with all of it ( it was free stuff, whats not to like?) but I saw a lot of tweets complaining, about the wine, I got white, I don’t know if there was a variety but some people hadn’t wanted white. Also some people got scarves from Joules whilst others got bunny key rings. Many of those receiving key rings weren’t impressed,I loved mine because, its a big soft bunny, I like a big keyring (I’m always losing my keys) And mostly because it was free .

I feel that I must add, my views on blogs are different when blogs are actually your window to your business ! Im talking about your average ” mummy” or “parent” blogger.

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20 Comments

  1. Really good post – I agree with you almost completely πŸ™‚ I have loved meeting some wonderful people online through Blogging, if I hadn’t joined groups etc it wouldn’t have happened, They also offer wonderful support with technical stuff too. I write for me – but I have gained a LOT from those I’ve worked with. I’m not keen on selling your soul, I’ve blogged about that too and been slated for it :S I like the ranking sites purely as I need an incentive sometimes, and am hugely self competitive!

  2. I’ve never been to Britmums; it clashes with some family birthdays (well that’s my excuse). More truthfully I feel intimidated of trying to navigate 500+ women and I always imagine I’d be Billy No Mates. Also what you say in your post (ie its not what you write but who you know) also puts me off. Maybe if there was a way of gathering like minded bloggers (eg SEN) together I might be tempted to try it. Good post.

  3. The more honest you are the better. I have seen a lot of BML posts from this year that seemed more honest and less…star struck than last year and it’s quite refreshing. It’s not a scene which is right for me but I can totally understand why people enjoy it – it’d be a bit of an expensive social event for me to travel to haha!!

  4. I am so glad we got to meet. I strongly agree with a lot of this post, not all, but that’s the point of blogging isn’t it? If we were all in total agreement, reading would be crap! Haha! I hope, even though there were negatives, there were enough positives to get you there again xxx

  5. I really enjoyed reading this because I tend to think you give a fair opinion! I don’t know much about blogging and I have no idea what a comment circle is! I probably irritate people because I lurk a lot, following loads of blogs, but commenting little. Anyway what I realky like the sound of is meeting some of the lovely twitter folk and I am realky going to try and go next year, ive enjoyed reading about it. It is expensive though, did you find it value for money?

  6. I love your honesty on this post.
    It’s glaringly obvious there is a blogging hierarchy and I can see that from not attending britmums.
    I’m pleased you got to meet some of the wonderfully nice people.
    I think this would be my fear of attending to be honest. I’ve seen quite a few negative posts now so don’t think I will go next year like I thought I might do.

  7. Hi lovely, fab post. I really enjoyed meeting you, I know how scared you was so it was a pleasure to both meet and hug you! You don’t need to worry about plug ins unless you’re self hosted, which your not. So cross that off your list, putting things in your side bar is easy and I’m happy to explain over email or txt if you ever want to put something there. I think the reason people were miffed over the bunny keying, was because other got a scarf. One worth Β£6 and the other over Β£30! It was a massive difference, personally it love my bunny as it’s super cute. However I would never use it as it’s massive. Xx

  8. I think I agree with a lot of what you say. I have noticed that there is a blogging clique.. and there are a few bloggers who ignore my direct tweets. Why they think they are better than anybody else, God only knows!
    Glad you enjoyed the experience and I like your honesty. x

  9. Great, honest post. I’m still so new to blogging, but I know there are a few people who read what I have to say, but really it’s just mostly for me. I’d like to meet some people of course, but when I was reading all the Britmum tweets I did think it must be a bit difficult to meet up and focus on the sessions. I think you need to just make a few smaller meet ups for a lunch somewhere…that might be nice 😊

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