Lorelle‘s two presentations were for me the highlight of the conference and the reason I slogged through the entire 10-hour day from beginning to end. Lorelle is an energetic and enthusiastic speaker and even if you didn’t agree with everything she said or thought you couldn’t apply what she said to your own blog, you couldn’t help but be supercharged with her energy (and finding out that she’s also a fan of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld didn’t hurt either).
Her morning session on “Content Connections” touched on a number of my blogging faults. Lorelle asked if there was anyone in the audience who wrote their blog like they were still writing for their high school teacher. Ouch! Writing does not come naturally to me. I really have to work at it and anyone who has met me knows that I pretty much talk like I write. Unfortunately, this doesn’t reflect how people tend to talk today. Soundbites are how it’s done and apparently are favored by search engines. Ain’t going to happen here, though. It wouldn’t be “me” if I did and, of course, I’m not writing for search engines. The other fault I have is finishing the blog conversation and, again, this tends to reflect my personality. Working on it.
The other thing I came away with from Lorelle’s morning session was “persistent and consistent”. There are way too many things that interest me which might end up as a blog post. Between Israel, being a mother, being a mother in Israel, being a knitter, photographer, digital life observer, bookworm and graphics freak, among others, things get a little scattered. (Like buckshot!) Thanks to Lorelle’s insights (and her book, of course) I’m working on a plan to bring more focus to my blog.
Lorelle’s afternoon session dealt with practical tips for using WordPress and the number one tip was use Firefox. Firefox has a number of useful WP scripts for the Greasemonkey add-on, ones that will work even if you are using wordpress.com because they are browser-based and don’t depend on where your blog is hosted. This might be the push I needed to finally install Greasemonkey. Many of the other tips she gave, such as using Akismet to deal with comment spam, didn’t apply to my situation being on WordPress.com where Akismet is a part of the “package”. Given the fact that many of the people in the audience are blogging in the Hebrew-language version of WordPress, I had no idea if they could also use all the FF add-ons and WP plug-ins she mentioned.
Too soon 7 pm rolled around and we wearily and hungrily adjourned for the day. Thanks were given all around to the organizers and to Lorelle for making the trek to the Big Orange.
A small number of us accompanied Lorelle to dinner in Tel Aviv and enjoyed the post-conference let down together with good company, conversation and beer. (And again thank you G for the ride back to Naot Afekah!)