The guest speakers passed over information and inspiration on how to make various social networks work for you as well as ways of dealing with those nasty trolls who seem to make it their life's work to belittle others and leave nasty comments on posts that you've spent time labouring over.
"Keep Calm and Carry On" would be the stance I think I'd have to adopt. I've only had one possibly nasty comment from some anonymous creature. I've deleted it, due to the sheer stupidity of it, but I should have kept it for a memory box. I felt embarrassed for them and for the fact that my readers might have to have the unfortunate chance of reading it too. There was a bit of racism thrown into it too which I didn't agree with. I think that is what really made me a bit twitchy but to be honest, the comment itself was just so pointless.
My thinking is that having to censor your writing style is ludicrous. If some idiot gets a kick out of writing stupid and potentially hurtful comments (they think they are witty but in reality, they are just nasty and evil little people), then so be it.
Anyway, enough about the trolls. I still can't work out my Google+ page (don't think I ever will?!) but on the positive side, I've now opened my StumbleUpon account which has given me hours of entertainment and I can really see the value in it. Why I didn't do it sooner, I don't know? I love sites like this where you never know where you will be taken, like the journey of life really. It's a lucky dip that slowly over time will show you predominately pages that interest you. Extremely intuitive.
When I started my recap of the day I was inspired to create a post around why I actually started blogging, what I wanted to get out of it and what type of blogger I wanted to be. I've broken my thoughts down into a few headings that has become the Mission Statement for my blog.
My Mission Statement
I honestly don't mind if I have a big following or not and I am not keen on running competitions simply increase my Twitter or blog following. I'd rather have people follow me on Twitter or other places because of the incredibly witty and creative writing skills I possess. Hopefully I have something interesting and useful to say somewhere along the way too.
If you do follow me and appreciate my incredibly witty sense of humour and unique (I hope?!) writing style, then I thank you! I'd be lying if I said that I didn't want people to follow me and read what I had written on a regular basis. Blogging is my verbal release and a way of expressing myself on a worldwide platform. It's the one place where I can let all my thoughts go into one (somewhat censored of course) and be creative through my writing and photos.
Ratings and rankings
Ironically I checked my Tots100 scored during one of the breaks at blog camp and I've shot up in the rankings to 427. I did a small fist pump and (almost) inner exclamation of delight. It is based on a number of factors and while I don't live or die by this monthly ranking figure, it does make me happy to see it climbing. I don't know how I got there but I am not questioning it. Thanks Tots100!
I'm not trying to get into the actual 100 but if I did I would definitely feel ridiculously happy and maybe a little smug. I'm still very reserved with the whole writing and blogging thing as a whole. I've been trying to write for years and to have someone read my work and appreciate what I've taken the time to create still makes me feel a bit weird. I'm the type of person that if I cook something, I hate to eat it because I'll be very critical of what I've done and am rarely happy with the finished product (I'm strange like that). I do make a mean batch of cupcakes though!
I will run competitions on my blog only if they completely tie in with my values and the ethos of what my blog is about. I don't want to run them all the time but they do add a fun element to the blog. Too many and it becomes boring, too few and you feel like you need to do more. Bit of a Catch 22 I think but I'm sure there is a happy middle ground somewhere.
I LOVE doing reviews. No, I don't do it for the 'free stuff'. I don't do it to get exposure to my blog (although it doesn't hurt of course). I do reviews because if I truly believe in a product, I want to share it with other people.
I'm that weirdo in Boots that stands next to you and recommends products. In South Africa it's called being friendly and helpful. In the U.K. it makes people look at you twice and give your family worrying glances as if you are about to be sent off with the men in white coats. I honestly don't care. I 'm just trying to help and would hope that someone would do the same if I too looked a bit confused by the sheer volume and variety of products on the market. So yes, I love writing as well as reading reviews.
I will read the press release but no, I will not regurgitate it and/or claim it as my own. I have a reasonable IQ and think that I can muster creating something that is my own. It took someone time and effort to write that document so I will do them the decency of reviewing the product and then doing just that...writing a review in my own words.
Love them, love them, LOVE them! The chance to write for various other blogs or companies is amazing. It is challenging and pushes my creativity and imagination to their limits which I adore. I also like people to guest post on my blog. It brings a completely unique voice and I've met and discovered some wonderful and incredibly talented people that way.
Respecting Other Bloggers
If I ever get to the stage where I go to blog camps just for the exposure, and not to learn or help new bloggers find their feet, I think that would be the stage where I realised that I had gone over to the 'dark side'.
If you find a blog camp boring then it's time for you to sod off and not ruin the experience for others, right? If I ever (heaven forbid!) spoke during a lecture because I thought that I knew more on the topic than the expert, I think it would be time to make a swift exit and go and find why I got into blogging in the first place. Maybe reinvent myself or read this mission statement again?
Never forget why I started blogging in the first place
Well, I'm not actually sure why I actually started?? I toyed around with my blog in 2010. Don't look at the posts. They are hideous and make me scrunch my entire face into an unsightly grimace at the thought of them (I just did it. You just envisioned it). I should go and change them but then hey, never forget where you started out!