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Changing the World Through Blogging, One Heart at a Time.

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Session: How Your Blog Can Change the World
Speaker: Kyeli Smith and Pace Smith

To dig deeper into how your blog can change the world, come see me and Pace present at BlogWorld LA! Our talk is titled, unsurprisingly, “How Your Blog Can Change the World.”

Last year was the absolute worst year in my entire life.

I had a big dream, you see, and a mere handful of weeks before I made it real, it was torn from me violently and unexpectedly.

I thought I lost everything.

I wrote about it. I blogged my entire journey. I posted a very public post about my very private parts. I wrote about my desperation. I wrote about my anger. I shared my fears and my sorrow. I told the world how much I hated Great Spirit. I blogged when I was broken, I blogged when I was weeping, I blogged when I had nothing left in me but words. I blogged when it scared me and I blogged when it was all that kept me alive and I blogged when I started getting better, too.

I thought I was alone.

But then the comments started. And then the emails came.

People pouring their hearts out to me, a strange girl on the internet writing about her pain because there wasn’t anything else she could do. People weeping when I wept. People raging when I raged. People holding me in their hearts when I couldn’t hold myself. People offering me comfort. People offering their own pain. Sharing. Opening. Connecting.

Worlds were changed.

Late last year, for the first time in over twenty years, I declared myself a writer. I looked back over the sea of posts I’d written through the sea of grief, and I saw how it nourished me to write. I saw how my words kept me alive. I saw how connections had been forged, how lives had been altered – and not just mine.

I touched hundreds of lives.

But all I did was blog my own pain.

I didn’t set out to change the world last year. That was my goal before my tragedy, but afterwards, all I could think about was the despair. I set out to write, selfishly, because there was nothing else I felt I could do.

And even then, even in the darkest of my days, I was changing the world.

The world needs your stories.

We need to hear your voice.

We’re here, waiting for you. We will resonate with your heart. We will share our stories in return. We will build bridges together, forge connections, learn and laugh and listen. We will weep when you weep, love when you love, cheer for you when you need lifting up. Communities are built through blogs. Hearts are opened. Lives are touched.

And worlds are changed.

When you change one person, even a tiny bit, you are changing the world – because the world isn’t made up of a ginormous glob of people-goo. It’s made up of individuals, all thriving and thwarting and breathing together.

Each person changes everyone they encounter.

And that changes the world.

So gather your words and tell us your stories.

We’re waiting for you.

Kyeli Smith (that’s me!) is co-leader of the Connection Revolution, teaching people to change the world through connection. (I’m @Kyeli on Twitter, if you’re into that.) My wife is also my business partner – which is awesome – and together we work to foster love, tolerance, healing, communication, and personal growth. I’m a writer, a witch, a lesbian, and an unschooling mom. I sing in the shower, wear fantastic stripy socks, and believe in faeries.

Do You Have What it Takes to Manage a Community?

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Session Title: So You think You Can Manage a Community?
Speaker: Marcy Massura

Recently I have come across articles that like to talk about successful techniques for Community Management, but rarely do they focus on the most important ingredient; the community manager themselves. I thought I would put a list together for MY essential five things I think it takes to not only snag a job in this killer field- but to keep it– by being outrageously effective for the brand.

PASSION

Be absolutely passionate about the power and potential of social media. Understand that you are not just promoting products…but you have the power to create communities of like minded people. Sure that means they are ‘like minded’ in their love of a brand- but that is nothing to sneeze at. You are at the helm.  And while your purpose is to promote (which is a euphemism for SELL) the brand, you are also there to fascinate the consumer. Make sure your passion is evident to both your employer and the readers.

PROUD

You must be proud of the brand. (I adore my brands.) You must use it, love it and proudly tell everyone they know that they represent the brand. Why? Well it is pretty hard to fake sincerity, even in 140 characters. Additionally- it is easy to create content for a brand/product you have personal experience using.  Can fresh-out-of-college Bob write content for product targeted to mothers? Maybe. But can he do it with a convincing sincerity that will help to build the community? Probably not.

STRONG

Not all brands are prepared to be in the digital area. Of course that doesn’t stop them, especially since everyone keeps telling them they HAVE to be doing social. So they hire a digital agency to build them a page(s) and hire themselves a community manager. But they are nervous, and realize this person and voice is the biggest spokesperson they have ever had. Gone are the days of being able to bury a bad quote on page 17 of the paper by making a call to a buddy after a press conference. Nope. Now, everything in the social world is broadcasted and permanent. So they want to play it conservative. Safe. The best community managers push back- just a little to help bring the brand along with creative and interactive content. But that takes guts, vision and strength.

PATIENCE

Every time I mention I am a community manager for a large brand I almost always get the same reaction- “Wow that must be FUN”. I generally smile and say “It is. I am lucky”. But what they don’t understand is- my idea of ‘fun’ and their idea is totally different. My fun is high paced, tumultuous, last minute, long hours, stressful and jam packed with opportunities to be effective. Very few community managers are creating content with no checks and balances- most major brands have a slew of people hired to check and double check every Facebook update, every Twitter reply and more. So you need to be patient and remind yourself that it is their multi-billion dollar business that gets sued if you say something false, (likely) NOT YOU. They have every right to double and triple check and change your content (because in reality it is THEIRS)  But that also means you are frequently working on tight schedules…so patience on all levels helps.

VISION

Know where YOU want to take the brand. Don’t wait for the brand to tell you what they want because chances are- they don’t know. You need to TELL THEM where you are going to take them. Do you want to increase Facebook likes? Change demographics, increase interactions, change over-all perception, build alliances, promote advocates etc etc and etc.

Community management is a fun and exciting path that many bloggers are venturing into, as a realistic career option. After all- once you fully understand the space- why not help others and grab a paycheck while you are at it. However, it is important to remember that it can be a demanding position with many pitfalls. Being the face, the voice and the consumer point of contact for a brand is a huge responsibility. One that must be treated with respect, care and love.  And while I would not say I have fully mastered all 5 of these traits- I do work towards these every day.

Hear a bit more about Marcy’s topic and why she is pumped to attend BlogWorld Expo L.A. in November:

Go to our YouTube channel to see what other speakers are saying about BlogWorld.

 

Marcy Massura is a Community Manager at Weber Shandwick representing Oscar Mayer and Lunchables in the digital space. She is also a long time blogger, humorist and all around ‘social’ gal. Learn more than you needed to know about her at marcymassura.com or on Twitter @marcymassura. Better yet, come hear her speak at BlogWorld.

Track Keynotes Announced for BlogWorld LA

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We have some good news for the upcoming Los Angeles BlogWorld event! Earlier in the month, we hinted that we’re adding some new features to help you get the most out of your event experience. We’re looking forward to our first ever networking breakfasts, and the new workshop sessions (details coming soon), but especially excited to make our first Track Keynote presenter announcements!

Track Keynotes will take place in the mornings, right after networking breakfasts. There will be a special limited selection of these taking place each morning, allowing us to showcase some sought-after presenters and niche-focused content you won’t want to miss. And…they won’t compete against the larger volume of concurrent sessions taking place during the main conference day. Instead of leading off with up to 18 sessions at once as in the past, we will open up some big rooms and have three or four keynote-worthy sessions going on at the same time to start your day off right. There will be something for everyone.

Now, we’re still working on naming names and forming titles and descriptions for our Track Keynotes, but we’re happy to announce the folks who we’ve already confirmed to lead these keynotes.

On the roster so far are:


We also have several more track keynoters to announce, we’re just waiting to confirm the details and we’ll let you know very soon.

One thing our community tells us, over and over, is how we have such a good group of sessions going on at once, it’s hard to choose. With the Track Keynotes, there will only be three or four sessions at the same time, making it easier for you to choose which influencer’s talk to sit in on.

Stay tuned for more announcements regarding speakers, workshops and networking events.  We’re going to have the full conference schedule up soon as well, and all our potential speakers will be receiving word regarding their proposals in the next week or two.

You ain’t seen nothing yet! Looking forward to seeing you in LA!

 

RESERVE YOUR PASS! If you haven’t reserved your pass or hotel rooms yet, you’ll want to register now! BlogWorld official partner hotels are offering Discounted Rates (from $120/nt), Free Wi-Fi for attendees, and and all have just undergone multi-million-dollar renovations–so you’ll be in a fresh, vibrant and comfy new room during your BlogWorld stay! And…we’ve lined up Free Shuttles for you too! Check out your hotel options.

 

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