My series of posts on BlogPaws has more episodes than some TV shows… apparently I had quite a bit to say!
Anyway, it’s time to recap Day 2. I was running a tad behind, but I managed to grab some breakfast and slip in just as the keynote speaker was getting started. The morning began with a talk by Heidi Ganahl, the Top Dog at Camp Bow-Wow, which sounds like a pretty fun place for a pup to spend a day or an evening.
Heidi is quite the impressive entrepreneur as well as a philanthropist. Her speech was quite inspirational; she shared the experience of losing her husband at the age of 27 and the journey that eventually led to the creation of Camp Bow-Wow.
For more on Heidi, check out her website and then read this pre-BlogPaws interview that Grouchy Puppy did with Heidi. If you’re interested in finding out if there’s a Camp Bow-Wow near you, check here. You can also check out the Bow Wow Buddies Foundation, a nonprofit arm that is involved in some great causes.
After listening to Heidi, I should have gone to a breakout session. I planned to – and from what I heard, the offerings in the first time slot were great. However, I ended up hanging out with Diane and Cosmo from To Dog With Love and a few other bloggers, including Tamar from I Have Cat and Donna (and her pup Yaxley) from Raising a Super Dog.
I got so distracted by talking (and by cute puppies and that adorable kitten Tamar is holding in the photo above) that I completely missed the first session. The dangers of being chatty, I suppose.
I got back on track in time for the second session of the day. There were a few I was interested in, but I’m very happy with the one I chose, entitled “No Blog is an Island: Tools to Build Traffic & Community.” The session was presented by Felissa Elfenbein from Two Little Cavaliers and Neil Brogan from Life with Dogs. Neil was unable to make it in person. However, thanks to the wonders of technology, he joined us via phone. While waiting for the session to start, I talked it up with Lisa the Pet Book Lady. So glad I got to meet her!
The session began with an absolutely awesome video. Seriously. Go watch it. I’ll still be here when you’re done.
Now that you’re back, a few notes about the session itself. We had a great discussion of the concept of community, which led to last week’s Pay it Forward Blog Hop. (I still plan to find some great guests posts from you from the hop… my to do list is just taking longer than I thought! However, one of the lessons I took from the session was that guest posting is a great way for us to build on each others’ ideas within the greater community.)
A few other highlights:
- If you have the choice, go for threaded rather than flat comments. (If you’re like me, “threaded comments” was a new phrase. However, you know how on some blogs you can reply to specific comments rather than just replying at the end of the discussion? Those are threaded comments – discussions rather than just a linear list. Blogger doesn’t offer this option.)
- Follow the Golden Rule – deal with troublemakers quickly. Consider posting rules for behavior so that your readers know your comment policy. Don’t spend time arguing with your community members.
- Don’t be the loudest voice in the conversation.
- If you would consider it SPAM, don’t do it to your followers.
After that interesting session (complete with Felissa’s retelling of the Stone Soup folk story – a timeless classic in my book), I headed to lunch. While eating, we were treated to a special presentation from BZTAT (a.k.a. Vicky Boatright). She teamed up with Miah from Start the Change for a very moving performance. Go visit BZTAT’s website to learn more about Okey’s Promise. I also recommend this great post about Okey’s Promise over at Bocci’s Beefs.
Oh, and did I mention that Saturday morning was when my fun photo shoot with Pamela and Honey from Something Wagging this Way Comes took place? It was a good time!
Up next… one last session, finally meeting up with the fabulous lady behind Grouchy Puppy, and some closing thoughts. We’re in the home stretch!