Leo Babauta and Annabel Candy at BlogWorld

BlogWorld Bonanza and Other Ambitious Plans

BlogWorld blew my mind. Seriously. I’ve been home for five days now and I’m only just starting to recover and piece things together. Many thanks to all the wonderful guest posters, commenters and tweeters who kept things humming along here while I was away. You’re marvelous and it was wonderful to see things tick along here without me but I’m happy to be back in action now.

Post BlogWorld Blues

Am I the only BlogWorld attendee who experienced this? Every other blogger seemed to come down with a common cold after BlogWorld but I felt totally blah. It’s hard to explain why I felt down after all my dreams of going to BlogWorld and meeting my blogging idols and blogging peers had all come true. But I fell back to earth with a bump.

BlogWorld Blogger Las Vegas 2010

General tiredness and lack of exercise played a part but I also think I had culture shock the whole time I was in the States. Culture shock isn’t like other ailments. No matter how many times you’ve had it you never become immune and no matter how big, brashy and flashy I expected Las Vegas to be, I could never have prepared myself for the reality of it.

My entire home town is home to the same number of people as the Mandalay Bay Hotel where the conference took place. One day there were 4,000 bloggers in attendance, mega pop star Shakira and thousands of squealing Shakirites, eight weddings and more gambling addicts, silicone breasts, party animals and scantily dressed women than I’d ever seen in my entire life.

BlogWorld Blogger Las Vegas 2010

It’s a crazy place and it’s also an entirely artificial environment.

We only have two sets of traffic lights in my home town Noosa and one helicopter which leaps into action for rare emergencies. Las Vegas has flashing lights, billboards and laserbeams everywhere. Plus someone with a wicked sense of humor organised for a helicopter to swoop around my hotel room 24 hours a day. What with all the excitement, unnatural lighting and jet lag sleep was well nigh impossible.

I kept getting lost too. My usual point of references like a bush with pretty red flowers, or a stream had gone, replaced by neon signs that, to my uneducated country eye all looked the same.

BlogWorld Blogger Las Vegas 2010

BlogWorld Bonanza

Meanwhile the BlogWorld and New Media Expo and conference has so much going on that some people don’t even buy tickets but just hang out in the hall ways. It’s probably quite sensible. I only attended five sessions during the three day event  – three good and two excellent but it still seems a bit wasteful since I paid over $700 for the ticket.

Obviously I didn’t make the Shakira concert either but what blogger in their right mind would be interested in that when you’ve got Leo Babauta, Darren Rowse, Jonathan Fields, Brian Clark and Sonia Simone to see? They’re our rock stars and they definitely rocked at BlogWorld.

BlogWorld Blogger Las Vegas 2010

I wanted to go to to BlogWorld because I reckon blogging’s massive and under-appreciated. But it turned out to be bigger than I imagined. BlogWorld’s a place where bloggers aren’t spurned or reviled but welcomed with open arms and plied with goodies by hundereds of charming exhibitors. Omaha Steaks flew five people to Las Vegas specially so they could feed some lucky bloggers their yummy food. I don’t eat steak but the scallops, prawns and puddings went down a treat.  They even gave us a free poker set as a going home present and let us take photos of ourselves with their handsome president Mr. Todd Simons.

I know that  many of the bloggers at BlogWorld think blogging’s mainstream. Srinivas Rao I’m paraphrasing you here and normally I agree with everything you say but I beg to differ on this one. Blogging is not mainstream. This is just the beginning. Those bloggers at BlogWorld are the first few stones falling off the mountain, the avalanche is still to come.

BlogWorld Blogger Las Vegas 2010

Let’s compare the USA with Australia. Las Vegas is wired. They have billboards exhorting you to follow them on Facebook or Twitter. The entire airport has free wifi. Meanwhile back in Brisbane (Australia’s 3rd largest city with a similar population to Las Vegas of around 2 million people) the airport has four miserable computers with a slot you can put $2 in for 20 minutes Internet access. After being in Las Vegas it’s like going back to the dark ages.

Blogging isn’t mainstream in Australia and it’s not mainstream in the States either because there are millions of people my age or older who don’t have a blog but should. People who would benefit from blogging and who have great things to say. I’ve personally succeeded in getting some of them to start blogging but there are many more bloggers still to come and I won’t rest until they’re all at it.

BlogWorld Blogger Las Vegas 2010

In Praise of Bloggers

Penelope Trunk didn’t go to BlogWorld. She prefers the sanity and simple pleasures of rural life and after my Vegas outing I can see why. But Penelope wrote a recommendation for my new book and says that most successful bloggers aren’t geeks. I thought they were, but then realised Penelope is right. The most successful bloggers aren’t geeks. They’re just people who’ve embraced new technology because it had something to offer them. They’re people who weren’t afraid to try something new, who have good skills in writing, business or teaching and aren’t afraid to experiment and take risks.

If I’d only been able to meet one blogger during BlogWorld it would have been Leo Babauta of Zen Habits fame. I asked Leo for an interview then flew into a panic when he agreed as I’ve never done an interview before. Luckily the sensational Sid Savara kindly spared his time to video the interview and I can’t wait to share that with you.

You know sometimes you meet someone you’ve been dying to meet and it’s a bit of a disappointment – they seem hurried, they have a squeaky voice or you just don’t click. That didn’t happen with Leo. I was a true evangelist for his writing and blogs before but now I’m even worse. We had a good laugh and I got some brilliant insights into the inner workings of Leo’s mind as well as his some interesting revelations about his underpants but I’ll save those for another story.BlogWorld Blogger Las Vegas 2010

I asked Leo how he gets the confidence to follow through with his ideas and love his idea that failure is just a natural part of our journey to success. It’s hard to imagine Leo failing at anything but I’m sure he must have. He’s certainly overcome fears and succeeded in living his dream life of working for himself and living the simple life he craves and being able to spend time with his family.

By setting up his blog Leo took a risk and gave it a go. And that’s a gutsy move that I saw everywhere at BlogWorld. Risk-taking is a quality that unites all the bloggers I met. They’re just normal people with the normal fears of failure but they don’t let that get in their way. Bloggers are people who are prepared to try something that many people still see as a waste of time and a indication of social failure and every one of those bloggers has been met with success because of that.

BlogWorld Blogger Las Vegas 2010

I went to Vegas and I met more dreamers, time wasters and social failures than I could count and I loved it. And I loved those bloggers for daring to put themselves out there and do what they love doing no matter what anyone else may think.

Bloggers rule

For many BlogWorld speakers and attendees blogging has been a path to unexpected success. Others are just starting their blogging adventures and wondering where it will lead them. The buzz around blogging is building and the promise of great things still to come is exciting. When you go to BlogWorld you can feel it, see it and touch it all around you. It’s a great place to be and a great feeling to be part of something huge and connected to so many amazing people.

BlogWorld Blogger Las Vegas 2010

Other Ambitious Plans

My new book Successful Blogging in 12 Simple Steps has been written, edited, laid out and formatted for easy reading. The podcasts have been recorded, the case studies complied. We’re nearly there. Launch date is:

Thursday 28 October – Los Angeles 4pm, Houston 5pm, New York & Miami 6pm, Toronto 7pm, London Midnight

Friday 29 October – Auckland 7am, Brisbane 9am, Sydney & Melbourne 10am

Have You Ever Been to a Web Party?

You’re invited to the launch party on Thursday 28th PDT 8.30pm or Friday 29th 1.30pm in Queensland, Australia. Use time zone coverter to find out what time it is where you are.

Some people call them webinars but the hot spot team are pioneering web parties. Just sign up with Vokle below and you’ll be reminded before the event. When the big day comes I’ll be live streaming on video. You can ask me questions by typing them in or chat via instant messaging with the other party people.

It’s fun and a great way to pick up more tips, get your specific questions answered asap, chat with other lovely hot spot readers and hear my funny British/Kiwi/Aussie accent. I’d love to see you there and hope to make this a regular events – either weekly or monthly depending on your feedback.

Exclusive Interview with Leo Babauta

I’ll put up the amazing interview with Leo on Monday 1 November on the Successful Blogging website. Affiliates can start selling the book on that date so I hope it will help with that. If you want to become an affiliate please sign up at the Successful Blogging website and if there’s anything else I can do to help you let me know. I want to make it a fun program with monthly thank you gifts, feedback on our progress and a real team spirit. If you can help me with my goal of getting this book out to as many people as possible I’ll be here to help you with your plans too.

RSVP Now and Feel Free to Bring a Friend

Reading by Email? Please visit the blog to sign up.

Thank You For Reading – Stay Tuned For More

I have plenty more stories, tips and photos from BlogWorld to share with you in the fullness of time. I just don’t want to blow your mind too by bombarding you with them all at once.

How many of those happy, smiley bloggers pictured above do you recognise?

Author: Annabel Candy

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{ 35 comments… read them below or add one }

Carmen October 26, 2010 at 11:23 pm

Very cool that you got to go. Thanks for telling us what it was like. I’ll look forward to seeing your interview soon!

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Annabel Candy October 26, 2010 at 11:26 pm

Hi Carmen, it was brilliant! I guess you’ll get to hang out at SWSX since you live in Texas. Even if you don’t go to the event it’s fun to hang out with so many bloggers and people who get it:)

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Steve C Thomas October 26, 2010 at 11:29 pm

Sounds like you had a good time.

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Annabel Candy October 26, 2010 at 11:45 pm

Thanks Steve. I was very tired but happy. I think most of the other blogggers were too!

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Amy Parmenter October 26, 2010 at 11:50 pm

Annabel! So excited for your launch! I am sure it will be a huge success and well-deserved. Glad to hear that you are home safe and sound (mostly…). And so grateful for the time we shared.

All the best,

Amy

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Annabel Candy October 26, 2010 at 11:54 pm

Thank you Amy, it was brilliant and great to share the excitement with you:)

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Barbara Hammond October 27, 2010 at 1:22 am

Nice to have you back Annabel. I’m sure Blogworld was overwhelming, not to mention Vegas. I do hope you won’t judge the rest of the U.S. by sin city.
I hope you’ll get a chance to visit Philadelphia sometime and see the roots of our History. It’s a beautiful city.

I won’t make the launch party, unfortunately, but would be interested in learning more about the affiliate program.
Welcome back!

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Annabel Candy October 27, 2010 at 8:51 am

Hi Barbara, I’ve been to Philly, seen the Liberty Bell and checked out the nearby countryside and local Amish residents. Yes, a world apart from Las Vegas and more my scene:) I’d love to meet you too!

Please sign up for the affiliate program here and I’ll keep you posted:)

http://www.successfulblogging.com

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Marilia October 27, 2010 at 1:41 am

So good to finally read from you a bit of what happened there. I´ll try to be at the party on Tursday :)

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Annabel Candy October 27, 2010 at 8:56 am

Hi Marilia, it would be amazing if you can make it. No idea what time it is in Brazil but fingers crossed it works:)

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Alex Blackwell October 27, 2010 at 2:05 am

Thanks sharing the sights, sounds, and success of Blog World! I hope to see you there next year!

Alex

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Annabel Candy October 27, 2010 at 9:58 am

Hi Alex, I’d love to meet. Not sure if I’ll get to BlogWorld again but it would be fun:)

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Sandra Lee October 27, 2010 at 2:10 am

Annabel,

I love your take on Blog World – it’s so fresh and unique. I really appreciate your insights. Having now been to America, it might be easier to understand why I’m so concerned about the environmental crisis!

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Annabel Candy October 27, 2010 at 9:59 am

Hi Sandra, there are huge amounts of waste in the States and the car/driving thing is crazy too… Yes, you’re doing a good job highlighting it:)

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Dave Doolin October 27, 2010 at 2:55 am

Excellent! Looking forward to it.

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Molly Kelash October 27, 2010 at 3:19 am

Nice one Annabel! I felt a bit of that letdown you experienced and i wasnt really even at the conference! Looking forward to your book release!

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Annabel Candy October 27, 2010 at 10:00 am

Hi Molly, thank you. It was great to see you there too! Can’t believe we left it 15 years. I think from now on we need to hook up every 15 months…. at least:)

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rob white October 27, 2010 at 4:49 am

Sounds like quite an experience of mingling minds! Vegas is like nothing else. I get a kick out of going just to be thrust into a totally different paradigm.

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Annabel Candy October 27, 2010 at 10:00 am

Hi Rob, it was definitely an eye-opener! I love that… thrust into a totally different paradigm! Thank you:)

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Ricardo Bueno October 27, 2010 at 6:27 am

I love what you did with the photos in this post and I’m so glad to see/hear that you had an amazing time at Blogworld! It’s one of my favorite conferences of the year because you get to meet just about everyone that you connect with on a day to day basis in real life and there’s nothing better than that. Truly.

Anyway, cheers and looking forward to your launch party!

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Annabel Candy October 27, 2010 at 10:02 am

Hi Ricardo, that’s what really makes it amazing and I loved meeting you. Hope to see you at the party too. If we can keep connecting in real time that helps so much!

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se7en October 27, 2010 at 7:16 am

Good to have you home again!!! Wow what an experience – I think I would roam about in my socks for weeks trying to gather all my thoughts after that and here you are up and blogging!!! I tell you bloggers just can’t help themselves!!! And 28th is like two days away!!! Well done you for getting everything together!!!

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Annabel Candy October 27, 2010 at 10:04 am

Hi Se7en, Lol! I did roam in my socks for a week. Well barefoot – too hot for socks here in Australia:)

Yes, the big launch is finally happening. I hope you can make it to the party, I’d love to connect in real time:)

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Farnoosh October 27, 2010 at 7:28 am

Repeat after me, Annabel: Las Vegas is not USA. Las Vegas is its own city, its own country, its own culture, one and only place in the world, you can love it you can hate it but there is nothing like it and there are many ways to enjoy it – and for largest conferences, (ours wasn’t THAT big), did you know it’s the ONLY place in the world that can host them in one hotel? :)
Great recap, love that you infused your emotions and thoughts and feelings into this one…..Very well captured. And you are NOT the only one with post-Blogworld blues. I went into a mini-depression and really want to make some changes….life changes which take time.

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Annabel Candy October 27, 2010 at 10:06 am

Hi Farnoosh, I think Vegas if like the US on steroids! I’d love to do it all over again:) I think a lot of people are re-evaluating now. We’ll see where it all ends and I know all changes will be for the best. Let me know if you need any help/a sounding board or anything else:)

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Farnoosh October 28, 2010 at 1:08 am

No, not even US on steroids. It’s just its own world, that’s all – it’s as close to US as it is to Australia or Paris – as in, it is NOT :)!
I’d love to know if you are going to the Aussie blogger’s conference in March in Sydney by any chance? We may just be down there :)!

Christine October 27, 2010 at 8:59 am

I’m so glad you got to go! It sounds amazing and I’m happy that I can live vicariously through you.

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Annabel Candy October 27, 2010 at 10:13 am

Hi Christine, great to see you here. It’s a rollercoaster ride but that’s life isn’t it?!

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Santhi October 27, 2010 at 9:50 am

What an abolutely candid and true to heart post!!! I am so excited for you that you got to meet who’s who at BlogWorld… cool idea to use those partial snapshots- nice touch to the entire post!
Advanced congrats on the upcoming launch and web party…. u really think out of the spot! ;p

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Annabel Candy October 27, 2010 at 10:13 am

Hi Santhi, great to see you here, love to catch up with you at the party too if you can make it:)

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Robin Dickinson October 27, 2010 at 10:27 am

Excellent report, Annabel. Thank you.

Loved your previous ‘party’. Will you be dancing at this one? ;)

Well done!

Robin :)
My sharewords: helping you succeed in business. What are yours?

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Annabel Candy October 27, 2010 at 10:30 am

Hi Robin, probably not dancing – in training for a dance show in December – might be able to video it so you can see for yourself:) Love to see you at the party. Don’t forget to RSVP:)

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Teresa October 27, 2010 at 9:33 pm

So very proud of you…You are right up there chick and I am right behind you. Can’t wait for the launch! Woo hoo!

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Annabel Candy October 27, 2010 at 11:14 pm

Hi Teresa, I’m so lucky to have you backing me up:) It’s an exciting time, glad to share it with you and would love to see you at the party!

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StarsintheEyes October 29, 2010 at 7:30 am

Glad you enjoyed. Vegas is weird for sure. I once knew someone who lived there for a while because she was a Cirque de Soleil artists and she told me all about how artificial Vegas is too.

I’m still a bit skeptical about blogging, even though I do it myself. I guess I’m old fashioned (at 22 already!). But I’ve begun to embrace all social networking sites as well and now I’m one of those kids you described as “curious to where blogging will lead them.” Hopefully Los Angeles! Talking about artificial places haha ;) But interesting all the more!

Oh and if you ever find the time: I’d love to get some feedback on the style and pacing of my last Tales of Tinseltown post. It’s my longest post and I feel it’s a bit rushed. Curious as to what you think!

Give the tickles to your kids!

xx evil babysitter

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