I can’t believe it’s over already! It went by SO fast! I just got back last night from a fabulous weekend in Phoenix at The SITS Girls’ Bloggy Boot Camp event.
I’ve told you before about The SITS Girls and how they are SO fabulous. I think they are a totally unique site because their whole focus is on just bringing bloggers together, whether it’s on-line or in person. And the great thing is that because they do such a wonderful job of it, it works! I’ve seen some other people try to do this, but somehow they can’t get people on board with it. But the SITS community has over 5,000 members and it is growing every day. That is huge and frankly it’s magical.
It’s especially meaningful for me because I’ve had a lot of experiences with people throughout my life who made me feel like I wasn’t wanted as part of a group or I wasn’t allowed to be included in things, so I’m very sensitive to that kind of atmosphere. As a result I tend to go out of my way to try to make other people feel included and welcome so I really give The SITS girls a big shout out for making that their priority also.
I think the reason it works is that they are totally democratic about it. I’m basically small potatoes as a blogger – I might have 100 Followers total and my page views are certainly nothing to write home about, but when I’m at these events, I feel totally comfortable hanging around with some of the brightest stars of the blogging world and I could tell that they were genuinely happy to see me and made me feel very welcome. In my world, that is a rare and magical thing.
They even switch table assignments around during the day so you get a chance to meet as many different people as possible and to avoid having people clique up. I love that part! I haven’t been to any of the other big blog conferences, but I doubt if that’s the way they do things. They even keep these conferences deliberately small and intimate for the same reason, even though they would likely make a lot more money if they opened it up to a larger group. As it is, they charge so little, I think they barely break even.
The classes and the speakers were all just so awesome, that’s a whole other post. I’ve got pages and pages of notes and a ton of websites I need to visit to do all my research, but to me, the best, best part are the social activities.
At the Meet ‘n Greet dinner on Friday night I got to revisit a lot of my old friends from SITScation – Tiffany & Heather of course, the darling Laurie Turk, Lula (whose name actually isn’t Lula – go figure!), our very own MamaKat, and the fabulous Sugar Jones. Jyl Pattee took time off from her world travels to stop by and visit, and Jen managed to get a few days away from her triplets and Angie of SevenClownCircus left her twins and assorted other children.
My roommate Nicole managed to find her lost driver’s license and finally escape from the airport, although she ended up having to miss the whole dinner, and of course AngryJulie who was our very own CSI Investigator was going around with her camera documenting everything. Probably much nicer than documenting crime scenes and dead bodies ‘n stuff.
|Laurie Turk – isn’t she just cute as a bug?|
|Jyl and Tiffany vamping for the camera|
Saturday’s dinner was also awesome – about 20 of us headed off to the White Chocolate Grill (with a name like that, you can’t go too far wrong!). I got to know Kim Demming of Today’s Creative Blog on one side, and Marlynn Schotland of MaternityToMadness.com on the other. And there was just a whole table full of fun girls really enjoying each other’s company – no drama, no cliques, no snarking at each other – just sharing and laughing, and having a great time together.
I think the highlight of the event was the Huggies Cocktail party, when most of the girls got crazy and decided to jump in the pool! That seems to be a “thing” they do at blog conferences, but I prefer to skip that part. Jumping into a pool with my clothes on, is just not my favorite thing.
Now it’s back to the Salt Mines as they say, but now I’ve got a ton of new friends to get to know and a bunch of great new blogs to read, and a ton of new ideas to try out and it’s all because of two sweet girls who started a blog with the silly name of The Secret is in the Sauce…. Love you Tiffany & Heather!