I don’t know how to explain the mix of emotions after coming home from something like the Mom 2.0 Summit. I’m excited to keep up new connections and try out the new things I’ve learned. I’m sad to return to a world that for the most part doesn’t understand or identify with what I’m so passionate about in social media. I’m tired, too. Just plain tired.
So I’ll just take one look back before I move onward and upward.
What was the point of the summit? Who cares about “social media,” anyway?
First of all, social media refers to thing like blogs, Facebook, Twitter…anything where you can put yourself out there, speak your mind, and then interact with others who find and read you. That’s how it’s different from a static website – the interaction, the “social”ness of it.
Women get involved in social media for a variety of reasons – to keep in touch with family and friends, to find a place to creatively express themselves. And then there are those opportunities to eventually use your voice to speak to others not just about your life, but about the community and about companies and products and experiences that are important in your life.
Why should companies care if you talk about them? Because of things like DVRs that allow us all (and don’t we all?) to skip through tv commercials. Fewer of us actually read print ads, either, as magazine and newspaper subscriptions decline. Satellite radio and mp3s mean less attention to radio ads, too. Where else should a company look to have their product mentioned and discussed? SOCIAL MEDIA.
Moms talk to each other about products, and more importantly, moms trust each other about products. It behooves both parties to have moms and marketers connect.
And that’s what this conference was all about, making that connection. And for me personally, it was about standing up and saying to myself and to those I met, “I have a voice, and it could be valuable to your company.”
The entire conference experience was surreal – from meeting people I read and admire, to having people know who I am from what I’ve put out there on the internet. More than once I felt humbled and appreciative of the attention, and not at all in a conceited way. Just in a way that made my hard work feel validated.
For those of you who read blogs and may recognize names, here is my list of Mom 2.0 Summit Awards. It may not include everyone I met, and if you’re not on here, please don’t take offense! It’s all in good fun.
MOM 2.0 SUMMIT AWARDS:
FIRST REAL-LIFE SUMMIT CHAT & BRUSH WITH STARDOM: Trisha from MomDot
FAVORITE BIG-TIMER WHO I KNEW WAS A BIG-TIMER BUT WAS STILL INCREDIBLY NICE AND APPROACHABLE: Julie Cole from Mabel’s Labels
MOST EMBARRASSING RUN-IN WITH A BIG-TIMER: Lisa Stone from BlogHer. Her face was plastered all over my conference program, but I still said, “Hi, who are you?” to her in the elevator on the first night. And then when she told me, I totally geeked out. She was very gracious about it.
BEST USE OF THE WORD SHIITAKE: Guy Kawasaki
FAVORITE MODERATOR: Karen Walrond from Chookooloonks. Incredible focus and poise.
BEST HOSPITALITY SUITE HOSTESSES: The ladies from Brand About Town. You were fun to meet!
FAVORITE PROVIDER OF UN-OFFICIAL MOM 2.0 SOUVENIR: Emily McKhann of The Motherhood. (thanks again for the bracelet!)
FUNNIEST STORY FROM ATTENDING THE SUMMIT: Esther Brady Crawford from FaintStarLite. Thank you for allowing us to laugh (chortle and snort) at your misery.
STILL MY FAVORITE PANEL QUESTION: From Maya Ford of the Houston Zoo. What obligation do bloggers have to their communities? To non-profits? Amen, Maya.
THE THANKS FOR MAKING ME FEEL SPECIAL AWARD: To Bronwyn Phonseya from Moms Like Me for calling me her “celebrity moment,” and to YouData rep Megan for repeatedly calling me “Queen Bee.” That was sweet.
MOST SUPPORTIVE HUSBAND: Kris Thurgood (from youcanmakethis.com and JesseKateDesigns) was literally TOLD by her husband that she was coming to the summit. He made all the arrangements like the day before she had to fly out and insisted that she come. I’m glad he did – it was SO NICE to meet you, Kris!
MOST JOHNNY-ON-THE-SPOT HUSBAND: Goes to Susanna H’s husband, who designed, printed, and delivered her business cards asap when she realized that she’d probably need them to hand out. Susanna, you were fun to chat with and I look forward to more from MamaTKettle!
THE IT’S A SMALL WORLD AWARD: To Jennifer from Little Bug Botanicals, who is good friends with a feed I have on my blogroll (who is a total stranger to me, but who I like). Jennifer then found out that another woman at our table took a class at college from Jennifer’s father-in-law. Small world, indeed.
MY FAVORITE LOCALS: Marian, Joan, and Marla, who were all volunteering at the conference and who were all incredibly lovely women!
AND TO THE WOMEN WHO MADE IT HAPPEN….Carrie, Laura, Monica, Amber, and others – thank you again for bringing me in and giving me this experience. Until next year.