26 March 2011

Aussie Bloggers Conference. Perfect day 2: New friends. Heartfelt stories. So much love.

The Aussie Bloggers Conference. Wow. So many attendees have already written about their experiences. I was going to write an epic post earlier, but unfortunately I've been so tired this week, and fell sick. So you can read the epic posts and elaborations of the speaking panels in the link I've provided above.

Words alone can't express how excited and passionate (and thankful) the conference made me feel. I loved it. So. Very. Much.

(Disclaimer: I met so many wonderful bloggers that I can't recall who was who, and so I apologise if I leave you out of this post. But please leave a comment and say hi so I can find you. I also plan to email those whose business cards I have.)
The conference was held on Saturday 19 March in Sydney. Around 170 bloggers, advertisers and media reps attended. I wish it was over two days because I wanted more discussions about blogging, and more time to get to meet and know people.

To be honest, I was worried about going - worried there'd be cliques. I talk to everyone, but in the back of my mind I feared it'd be like highschool. I don't have a blogging circle, and I didn't 'know' more than about five bloggers attending the conference. But I am relieved to say that the conference was filled with nice, kind hearted, inclusive and caring people. If you want your confidence to be boosted, I recommend attending a blogging conference.

The conference featured a number of discussion panels covering blog content, social networking and building communities. I got some useful messages from these discussion panels, a lot of things I do already:
  • Good content is key - we can pretty up our blogs a lot, but readers come back for the content.
  • Twitter is best the marketing tool to use - and not just to promote your blogs. Interact with your followers, engage in conversation, and this will help draw people to your blogs.
  • Be careful online. Don't post pictures of children. Don't tell other peoples' stories. 
  • Be authentic with your writing voice. Be honest. Don't advertise products that don't fit with your blog or beliefs (and say nice things about your sponsors all the time - they may just be sitting on your table - hi David from Nuffnang!)
  • Blogging creates wonderful communities and friendships. It's a little like online activism. 
There was a lot of tweeting through the conference. To some (me included) this may have been considered as rude, but it was also a good way to get instant messages from the conference recorded and out there. I did partake in tweeting, especially about the attractiveness of a certain male panelist.

I didn't get as much out of the panels as I got out of the personal story readings. I think if the next event is over two days, it'd be good to have some more practical workshops - how to promote blogs, how to write a certain style etc.

The personal stories blew me away. I was asked to speak in the My Blog My Story feature.

Thanks to Nicole Avery for recommending me. It was an honour to speak alongside five inspirational, strong and courageous women: Tiffany Tregenza - My Three Ring Circus, Kelley - Magneto Bold Too!, Kim Foale - Frog Ponds Rock, Lori - Random Ramblings of a SAHM and Karen Andrews - Miscellaneous Mum. 

Their stories were very moving. Everyone who spoke showed strength through adversity. They've experienced hard times. Kim and Karen have posted their stories on their blogs so you can read them for yourselves.

My speech was about the way my blog has afforded me so many opportunities. I did it off the cuff, but read out two blog posts: When my face is this sore I find it hard to look in the mirror, and the DiVine version of In control telling my story. The off the cuff bits covered what I do in my life, what my illness is, what support my blog has brought, how I have helped others, my achievements since blogging, and giving out my room number to any men in the room. And I spat my lolly out on stage! Keeping it real!

Thanks to Kim from All Consuming for recording this, sorry for the sound. You will need the volume up high.

I received so much good feedback. Four big claps, lots of laughs, some tears, and so many people came up to me to thank me for my speech. It was a honour. I felt very loved.

When I returned to my table, I received so many tweets of wonder. Wow. Seriously, wow. Thank you. This bit will be rather self indulgent. But I want to record it for prosperity. And it makes me feel so proud and accepting and loved. Awwww :)

@ You rock big time. Your energy should be bottled & sold. Pleasure to meet you. xx

@ thank you Carly - you were a wonderful revelation to meet and hear. As for the clothes, you do pretty well yourself! ;) x

@ thankyou darling... You speak so beautifully! Xo

@ Oh you are...you were/are fantastic!

Just fell hopelessly in love with @ WOW

@ and she has a fabulous dress on! @ @

Fallback career in stand-up RT @: @ brings the lols to the room. :D

Carly says her room is 504 if there are any single men out there... @ :-)
Who's the rock n roll chick on the stage..rocking this blogging community with her life story. @

She's got it. She gets it. Wow. @

@ you are amazing!!
@ What an engaging speaker #ausblogcon2011

<< 'I realised the power of blogging.' @ Led to writing jobs. Awards. Yay you Carly.
Oh how awesome is @ !!

In a store a shop assistant said to @ 'what's on your face? Get out of my store!' After blogging >> support >>

You know what @? People ARE stupid.
@ blogs about her illness, Ichthyosis vulgaris. 'I get stared at, teased every day. It's ok. People are stupid'

@ you rock beautiful girl x

I love @. She rocks my cotton socks.

Totally awesome RT @ Fabulous dress! @

@ is speaking now. Amazing.
Fabulous dress! @

Thank you tweeters, if I haven't thanked you via Twitter already.

I loved the Crowdsourced Keynote feature too - bloggers reading their blog entries: The NDM - Not Drowning, Mothering, Bern Morley - So Now What?, Jodie Ansted - Mummy Mayhem, Kristin Brumm - Wanderlust, Kim Berry - Allconsuming, Mark Mullins - Blak and Black and Eden Riley - Edenland.

So much honesty, raw detail, confronting topics, interesting stories and humour in the My Blog My Story and Crowdsourced Keynote features. It's this sharing of life experience which resonates with me and makes me want to blog and read blogs.

I met some wonderful new friends. And found wonderful new blogs.

I got to know all the speakers in My Blog My Story who sat at my table, plus Veronica Foale from Sleepless Nights. And I chatted with Veronica and Kim Foale, plus Magneto Bold Too at the airport on Sunday.

I met the lovely Denyse Whelan who wrote this on Mama Mia:

And K from Sunnyside Up who deemed me the Best Pocket Rocket of the Aussie Bloggers Conference in her ABC Awards:
Thank you both for writing about me :)

I FINALLY met the gorgeous, stylish and so very nice Bern Morley. She's so tall! And also wrote some lovely words about meeting me.
Meeting Bern was a blog idol moment. I was seriously excited.

I also met Rick Morton, blogger and Mama Mia staffer, who I tweeted across the room for his attention.
I enjoyed speaking with Del from Relish, My Relish - looking forward to catching up in our 'hood, and Eden and Beth from Baby Mac during the breaks. I met a really nice Queensland journalist at lunch too - but I can't recall her name, sorry - I hope she reads this and reminds me. Edit - she commented, and revealed herself as Belinda from Save Mum Sanity.

And I was so lucky to win some Moet and Chandon.
After the conference was the ball. Hello princess skirt, sparkly shoes and unlimited champagne!!!!
Dinner was good. Caesar salad, fish and risotto, and strudel.
The ball allowed me to meet lots more people.
I met Corinne and Ann Paterson - lovely ladies. Corrinne kept me entertained with her tweets during the conference.
One of my favourite people I met at the conference was Michelle from Farmer's Wifey. She was so nice, funny, and immediately made me feel welcome. And I loved her dress.

Bern took these. I was a bit tipsy.

And this is me, a bit star struck again with Bern.
Lori from Random ramblings of a stay at home mum was also so sweet.
Here's the crazy crew:
River, Bern, me, Lori and Rick.

I spoke for ages with Suzanne from Aussie Writers - she was great to talk to and we have a few things in common.

I danced - no photos of me here but you can see dancing pics on my blog's Facebook. I swished my skirt like it was nobody's business. Particularly during Khe Sanh (and my plane buddy Magneto Bold Too was not impressed with my love for bogan rock!)

I like these anonymous dancers though :)
Back off the dancefloor I chatted with Fox in Flats, Kelly from Be a fun mum, Jayne and Sarah, and Bern took this upside down photo.
And I ate chocolate out of a wine glass.
 And laughed with Idle Dad.
Such a wonderful day and night.

My only regret is I didn't get to speak with everyone. A big thanks to the organisers, you did an amazing job:
And to everyone who made me feel special - thank you from the bottom of my heart ♥ We can be friends for life.


  1. I had so much fun meeting you. You really are so much fun and seriously, I don't know where you keep your energy, but I want some!

  2. It wasn't that hard making you feel special Carly because you certainly are one special chick (notice the boganism there) xx

  3. Who doesn't love them some Cold Chisel once in a while?! ;) Looks like you had an amazing time! I'm bummed that I couldn't go. Maybe next year... :)

  4. Hey Carly,
    want to make a person feel good on a cold Saturday...well you knew how!
    Such a warmly written post...by a person with much warmth & charm.
    Two mentions...I feel rock star like now...LOL.
    I was sad to hear you got sick once back home...your attempts at Chicken Soup P A T H E T I C...I will email you easy-as recipes for the sick and unwell...OK...
    When you get a chance, pop over to
    www.memoriesbydenyse.com for some other ABC blog posts.
    Love your work...love your attitude..Rock on..D XXX

  5. I find it ironic that we caught a plane out of Sydney together after our little 'discussion' about your terrible taste in music.


    You are a rock star Carly. xx

  6. Great wrap up post Carly. As I was moderating the other session I didn't get to hear your My Blog, My Story, but I heard nothing but rave reviews. Thanks for all the energy and positiveness - you are an inspiration!

  7. Oh I completely loved meeting you too you bloody pocket rocket.

    I knew you'd have the personality that melts walls away, but I didn't expect for you to be just so, I guess, like me. Just easy to talk to and someone who would have been my friend had we grown up together. Guess that's why we became friends online.

    I was so freaking hungover that I only wish I was in better form this time last week. In fact, it makes me sad it was a week ago.

    Next year my love, we will rip Melbourne apart xx

  8. Hey there 'neighbour', it was great to meet you. See you around soon, perhaps you can give me some of your energy!

  9. I was so thrilled at meeting you ,you are awesome and can really kick arse on the dance floor!!! lol... You are such a brilliant speaker and i had a tear after your beautiful speech :-))))

  10. Hi Carly

    Was great to hear your story, to have a chat at the dinner and to dance the night away with you. I love Cold Chisel too, and I envied you your princess skirt and sparkly shoes all night!

    See you next year in Melbourne?


  11. Hi Carly, it's me the nice Qld journo you had lunch with! Loved your wrap up and really enjoyed meeting you. Lets do it all again next year.


  12. What an amazing experience! It sounds as though you've met some amazing people and made a real impact on many others.

    I loved the dancing photos and your skirt-swirling. It just seems like the best sort of conference ever. Thanks for sharing your experiences and photos with us. :)

  13. Carly, what a post!
    I've no doubt you inspired and think it's great you take the time to celebrate by recording the tweeted feedback you received. and hey is that the long tutu you mentioned on my blog? LOVE! I raise a glass of chocolate to you;) X

  14. What a brilliant post Carly. LOVED, LOVED meeting you! You are amazingly beautiful. Thanks for the mention too xx

  15. This post is THE BEST. Your enthusiasm Carly, your energy, just shines through SO MUCH. I met you in the lobby on Friday afternoon - and you blew me away with that infectious energy. IRL or URL, that energy you have is electric.


  16. Carly,

    You have such an awesome, amazing sprit. Thank you so much for writing this blog and inspiring myself and others. It's people like you with your positive energy that make the rest of us want to be better. Congrats on your warm reception at the confrence. You deserve all of the postive feedback you've recieved.

    I'm catching up on all your Sydney posts now. (Packing up to move is making me fall so far behind! :) I always seem to catch up on your blog at 2am or 6am. Determined to comment when I'm intellengent. lol)

    Anyhow, I can't wait to read more about your adventures! (and the food. You've really awakened the foodie in me)

  17. Hey Carly

    I am so glad we met. So many people to see and so little time to chat with everyone. I agree with you. All a whirl really. Happy you had giggle at my tweets.


  18. Haha bogan rock, that's awesome. Your skirt is SO beautiful! Glad to see you took it out on the dance floor. There is currently loud construction work outside my window (shhhhhh, dammit!!) so I can't hear your speech. But it seems you got a wonderful reception though, of which I am not at all surprised. It truly sounds like a fabulous day - indeed perfect!
    Heidi xo

  19. Ah, this takes me back. What a wonderful day it was!

    Thanks for Rewinding at the Fibro.

  20. Was such a fantastic day. And so glad to have met you :) xx


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