Friday, September 11, 2009

Kidlitosphere Conference Meme

Jen at Jen Robinson's Book Page answered MotherReader's Kidlitosphere Conference Meme and tagged me.

So here it goes!

Why did you decide to attend the KidLitosphere Conference?

It's funny; Robin Brande started it as a potluck supper. It seemed such an insane idea -- travel half way across the country? To meet people I'd never met? Isn't this exactly what we tell teenagers not to do? Up until I got to the hotel and met other people, I was thinking "what if this is some kind of scam?"

I'd had a chance to meet up with a handful of bloggers in "real life" at ALA or BEA, but the truth is because both of those conferences are so busy, it was always impossible to really schedule a drinks night, let alone anything else. And that is always so rushed.

As I saw these people I knew -- but didn't knew -- sign up for the Kidlit Conference, I knew one thing.

I didn't want to be left out.

So I took a deep breath and made the plane reservations.

Now, for the second one, I was close. I had sent in my conference fee and made hotel reservations; but just before the plane reservations were finalized, I found out my cousin's twins were being christened that weekend. Yeah.

So there is NO WAY I am missing Kidlit DC!!

Who was most like their blog? Who was least like their blog?

You know what is funny about bloggers? For the most part, we're word people. There is a reason some people blog, and others don't; and while some blogs go on and others don't. Not only that; when you're blogging day in and day out, your personality comes through. It has to, or no one would read your blog! Your voice is important.

I am a shy person.

No, really!!!

I am a shy person who is especially not at ease with people I do not know.

So I was really afraid of going to this conference, and, well, shutting down. Not being able to talk. I walked into the hotel lobby and was "what the hell have I done. I don't know anybody...."

But I was wrong -- because everyone was like their blog! I did know people; I knew everyone. It was so easy to talk and laugh -- like we'd all gone to summer camp together and just now were having our umpteenth reunion. The only problem was there was too little time; too many people I didn't have the chance to talk with.

What surprised you at the conference?

How much fun we had, for having just met. How nice it was to be with people who "get it"; you don't have to explain what a blog is, why you do it; you don't get the comments like "I could never do that because I have a life."

At the same time, you also get a broader perspective of why people blog. So many reasons; talking with authors and their perspectives, publicists and their point of views.

EDITED TO ADD: I just read the comments to Colleen's answers to these questions and in a comment Colleen describes this better than I, so I'm going to put it here : one thing that was really reinforced for me last year was how many authors don't know how to interact with bloggers or how the blogosphere (for lack of a better word) works. Nothing like real-life talking and back & forth for authors to "get" what it is bloggers do, and don't do.

What will you always remember about the last conference?

That I couldn't go. I'm still upset. Online is great -- it created these friendships and connections that transferred quickly into "real life." Which then meant that the online connection is that much deeper.

Did you blog about the conference?

This is a trick question, right?

My posts: Round up of reports, including mine. More reports. And more. Photos. Esme's Bookroom Visit. My final post. My really final post.

Who do I tag?



Please come to DC! It's only fun from the people who go, and the more the merrier. There is really nothing like it. ALA get together? Full of ALA business meetings. BEA? Full of BEA business, plus, starting next year it's mid week so that only works for people who can take off midweek. This is a weekend!!

© Elizabeth Burns of A Chair, A Fireplace & A Tea Cozy


Robin Brande said...

"Up until I got to the hotel and met other people, I was thinking 'what if this is some kind of scam?' "

Oh, Liz, I'm so sorry you were even worried! I had my own fears, like what if no one shows up? And generally, what the hell am I doing? Is this whole thing nuts?

But it was so great to see everyone there in 3D, and even better that the conference lives on. Thanks for taking the risk and not only coming that first year, but also being one of the speakers! Hope you all have a great time in DC this year!

Anonymous said...
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Alix said...

Ah well that's made me feel a bit better. I just registered and am having cold feet so I thought I'd go round and read all the meme's :)

Liz B said...

Robin, I had this image of telling police .. and them saying "and why did you think it was the real Robin Brande, hmmm?"

Alexa, yay! See you there!