Friday, 14 June 2013

Cybher 2013

So, here's the thing, Cybher is too good.

I attended last year, my first blogging conference. And that's what I put it down to.
But the same thing happened this year.
I had to take a brief pause from blogging.
I attend this fantastically full day of wonderful bloggers and great workshops.
And I get on the train home on such a buzz.
My To Do List grows to an intimidating large checklist, and I retreat.

But the same thing happened this year as last year.
Baby steps.
I don't have to do everything today.
There's about a year till Cybher 2014, so I can do little bits of at a time.

What I love about Cybher?
I love meeting new people. And this is with the knowledge that from the moment I bought my ticket I was in panic mode, I hate meeting new people. And I think, expecially from the twitter timeline, everyone else feels the same, so you just have to get past it.
And in a room of 200 people of the same mindset, with the same enthusiasm for being there, it's so easy to get to know people.

I was fortunate to tweet Sara-Jayne beforehand, and fortunately she was lovely in real life (well, you never know do you!), and basically has had me in stitches ever since, and please check our this post, I challenge you not to follow her blog once you've read it.

I also through Sara got to meet Becca and her gorgeous daughter Emma. Emma was the most wonderfully behaved nine-week old I've had the pleasure of meeting (well, apart from my own of course). I have to take my hat off to Becca, I couldn't have managed a blogger conference with a baby and she made it look effortless.
And of course I got to get all broody with Emma, and life was good.

I've read some posts about cliques at blogger conferences. I think the easiest way to describe a conference, is that it's not like school where you can easily separate newbies from older kids, it's more like a new job, but there's lots of you starting on the same day, and you just have to have the confidence to accept that you're not the only one, and the people who aren't in the "cliques" feel the same as you, and the people in the cliques were in the same position as you a few years ago, and they've developed fantastic relationships with other bloggers because of these amazing events.

There is so much to write about, I will try and capture my most memorable.

I loved the keynote by Zoe Margolis. I hated the position the press put her in but I loved the message, that people can make a community, and communities do come together and create support, and ensure that good prevails, even against those who seem untouchable.
It set the scene for what blogging is about, and more importantly what Cybher's about.

I loved the session hosted by +Sian To and +Claire Archbold on improving your blog.
My favourite session last year, which had most impact on my blog was +Nickie O'Hara's- the session which took me the year to get through my To-Do list.
This year Sian and Claire provided a session with focus on Blogger and Word Press, which meant it was about improvements everyone could consider, and it had great interaction so it was really easy to understand the messages.
Most importantly, the session came with a list. Job done.
I can't tell you how long I have tried to understand the wonderful camera Mr J treated me to when I decided I wanted to improve my photography.
I can't tell you how much my head hurt when trying to understand three considerations (Shutter speed, ISO and Aperture).
After attending +Jay M's session on 'Auto to Manual Photography' I feel confident in not thinking about them overly, but just having the confidence to play with each and see how everything impacts.
Yes, of course I'll still use my auto settings whilst I get to know what I'm doing, but in the meanwhile I've got some new learning, some great principles in the back of my head, but just knowing it doesn't have to be about following the textbook from A to Z if you can take the time to experiment in reality.

I then chose the Pinterest session with +Claire and +Natalie Lue. I was torn between this and Google+ tough decisions were made!
I think I chose ok though, not only did I learn lots, but again (woohoo) I came away with ready made To-Do lists.

My final session of the day was another 'torn' one, I opted for a session with Doug Richard and Medeia Cohan about making your blog pay. Whilst it's not on the top of my to-do list, I loved the session as the messages weren't specific to blogging, and could be applied in any context.
It once again got me thinking about what I want to do in the future, about what choices I might be able to make once my little ones are in school.

So, despite being absolutely shattered, I did not manage to sleep on the way home, despite being on the 0555 train that morning. My head was buzzing, so many ideas, so much to do, such a fantastic day.
And now, nearly two weeks on, the buzz is still there...

Top of the to-do list: sort my ticket for Cybher 2014!


  1. Fab post. Thank you.
    I really struggle to get my head around the talk of cliques too. Especially when they are simply groups of friends.

    At the end of the day, you get out of these events what you put into them. If you don't talk to people and socialise then that's up to you but it's not the fault of other people.

    See you next year. xx

  2. Hi Debbie, I was there too. Sorry we didn't meet.

    Just wanted to say that your section on cliques is really sage. As an outsider and newcomer it's easy to feel intimidated. But I did as you suggest and reminded myself I wasn't alone. The Twitter list set up by helped too.

    So yes, good advice for others, well done Debbie...

  3. Phew, glad you liked my sessions! :D
    And yes, I think you have summed up the clique thing perfectly. when I started blogging in 2009 it was the same time as Sian did, we literally set up twitter accounts within weeks of each other, that has grown to our friendship. :)
    See you next year x


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