Now that I have a good night's sleep and can function at least at half-capacity, I am sorting through my Casual Blogger Conference photos and remembering my favorite moments. While I love the instant connection and the relationships that slowly evolve online, nothing solidifies those friendships like meeting in person. Heck, it puts them on steroids. And even though it felt like I took a million pictures, I couldn't capture moments with everyone. So in no particular order, here are a few of memorable faces and moments. Disclaimer: I am not a photographer and these were all taken on my iPhone so please forgive the graininess and general lack of artistic talent :)
The photo above is one I snapped while taking a long walk one morning. I had a blissfully silent walk along the road from the hotel and enjoyed staring at the Wasatch mountain range.
Lisa (on the left) is one of the hard-working co-founders of CBC and Heather King is one the kindest, most sincere heartwarming ladies you will ever meet. She blogs at The Extraordinary Ordinary and you can find her on Twitter at @HeatheroftheEO.
This is the crowd we had for the Online Communities presentation that Rustin and I did. We talked about the power of using online communities to grow their blogs and walked them through how to use BlogFrog.
Me and my favorite mascot, Blogger the Frog!
Jennifer and I met on Twitter and I was thrilled to meet her in real life!
Another big highlight - meeting Courtney Kendrick, author of the blog C-Jane. She is as lovely and disarming in person as she is on her blog. Courtney was one of the earliest users of BlogFrog over a year ago and we are so grateful she gave our product a try way back when it was ugly and awkward. But she saw the potential in our little widget and stuck with us. Now look at how far we both have come! Thanks for all your awesome support, Courtney!
Sounds odd to say that a 25 minute ride to the airport could be a highlight, but when you are traveling with Jessica Bern (BernThis, @bernthis)) , Heather King (The Extraordinary Ordinary, @HeatheroftheEO), and Lori Anderson (@loriyay) , it can be incredibly entertaining. Jessica had us cracking up the entire way. After nine years as a comedian, she now channels her gift for humor into her blog.
To appreciate these next two ladies, you need some context. My company, BlogFrog, started over two years ago when Rustin Banks (BlogFrog's creator and CEO) programmed an early prototype during nights and weekends while working full-time as an engineer for an aerospace company. He and I launched the company early in 2009 and worked hard to get bloggers to try it. As with many early-stage start-ups, the product did not look nearly as elegant as it does today. Lets just say it was not very pretty and still had a lot of bugs to work out. But Laura Franklin (Better In Bulk, @1momof5 and Brandie Rudy (Rudy Family Rukus, @rudyrukus) gave us a chance and became loyal fans of BlogFrog. They overlooked our awkward appearance and saw the inner beauty and potential we had. They shared BlogFrog with their readers, gave us insightful feedback, and became two of our favorite champions. For that I will be forever grateful. We have shared lots of emails, tweets and discussions but until CBC, we'd never met in person. Laura and Brandie, thank you for being so amazing and talented and for giving us a chance when no one knew who we were! THANK YOU!
No, I didn't meet Magnum PI at CBC - this pic is just to see if you're are paying attention. Totally random but I find it hilarious that in this picture, Tom Selleck is holding the handset of a phone with no cord attached (um, they didn't even have cell phones back then). You can even see the little hole where the phone line plugs in. LOL.
For those I met and hugged at CBC, I look forward to keeping in touch on your blogs, Facebook, Twitter and in BlogFrog communities!