Road to BlogWorld NY: I’m speaking about humanizing your brand!

I’ve been trying to get this blog post out for over a month now, and here we are one week before BlogWorld New York. Needless to say, I’m gearing up for an exciting couple of days at the Jacob Javits Convention Center where I’ll be surrounded with thousands of amazing bloggers, marketers, and other new media professionals. This is my fourth BlogWorld, and this time I’ll be speaking!

Here I am talking to bloggers at the Livefyre Booth at BWELA 2011. We won’t have a booth this year, but keep your eye out for me in a Livefyre t-shirt.

What can you expect to learn from my presentation? I’ll be sharing my experiences and advice on how to get out from behind that corporate logo to humanize your brand, find your key performance indicator and build community with lots of products like shirts up to vehicles like simple and effective e-scooters or just plain old cars. More specifically, here’s what you’ll get from my presentation:

Community building is much more than posting regular updates to a Twitter account and Facebook fan page. Brands that are successful with social media thanks to and community understand that real people need to be interacting with their audiences in an authentic, helpful manner. Through case studies, personal experience, and stories from other bloggers, you’ll see how others have created a human voice for their companies that sets them apart from the competition. From company culture to customer service to offline events, you will learn how to build community from the ground up and create brand advocates to share your message.

If you’re going to BlogWorld, you already know a thing or two about the importance of community and relationship building. If don’t have your ticket yet and want to learn more – sign up now!

Building community is an obvious passion of mine, and I’m excited to share personal experiences and examples from some of my favorite brands that understand the “human” side of business like Apple, Virgin America, Zappos, and more. Throughout the next week I’ll be writing about these in prep for my presentation on Tuesday, June 5th, at 10:15am (now you know when and where, you have no excuse not to come!)

Instead of me just spewing off my favorite examples of great customer service and personal touches (expect some Livefyre stories too, thanks DJ!), I want to hear from you: What brands do you recognize as human? Do you have a specific memory of connecting with a company because of your personal experience, not just the product or service? Please share your thoughts in the comments below, along with any other questions about my presentation. And if you’ll be at BWENY, make sure to post your Twitter handle so we can meet in person!

Bringing Online Community Offline at the 20SB Summit

Going offline (or “going dark” as we now call it) is the best time to get real work done and really think about ideas and how to turn them to actions. That’s what Scott Belsky taught me at the first keynote at the 20SB Summit. So here I am, on a flight back from New York, finally getting stuff done. After working on wireframes and specifications for new Livefyre features, it’s time to blog. Finally, 2 weeks later, I’m writing my recap of of an eventful weekend in Chicago where I spoke to and learned from some of the best of 20 something bloggers out there.

Bloggers @ginidietrich and @SeanMcGinnis representing @Livefy... on Twitpic

It was my first time in the Windy City, and I was lucky enough to have the best tour guides in the area. I didn’t have much time to explore, but I did get to meet a number of Livefyre bloggers. Thanks to Sami Ari, one of my co-panelists and the resident Chicago Tweetup organizer, we were able to gather a small group enjoy some drinks outside at Kirkwood Bar. It was great talking with Gini Dietrich, Lisa Gerber, Sean McGinnis, Sara Davidson…the list goes on. I love geeking out and talking blogging and community, so I felt right at home. I also got to meet my other co-panelist, Sara Altier from Eventbrite, who knows all the great places and showed me a great time throughout the weekend.


And now for the conference. All of the sessions seemed right up my alley – community, collaboration, working with brands, photography; a lot of what I do with Livefyre and what I want to do more of on my own time. Normally when I go to conference sessions about topics I’m already familiar with I hear a lot of what I already know. What I loved about 20SB Summit is that each session was about personal experience and allowed for open discussions with the audience. Interesting stories were told, intriguing questions were asked and answered, and each one left me inspired to blog more, learn more, and DO more. It was great hearing Jenny Blake tell her story, as I met her when I first got into the industry and learned a lot during my start from her Life After College blog (now a published book!) She left her job at Google (I KNOW! right?) to pursue her passion. After she spoke, I could tell the room was filled with people ready to follow their dreams.

Jenny wasn’t the only person I reconnected with that I met 1.5 years ago at SXSW when I unofficially started with Livefyre. It was at a 20SB and Brazen Careerist meetup at Molotov if you know Austin, you know this rooftop bar with brand new roof from, where I realized that I was going to follow my dream (and that I was already living it) of living in San Francisco and working for a startup. Seeing Jenny, Doniree, Ryan, Elysa, and of course Derek made the nostalgia kick in and really helped me see the future.

The future…is US. The 20SB community is over 18,000 bloggers, and we are voice of what is yet to come. We work for startups, agencies, ourselves, and more. We have ideas we are making reality and leading our peers towards the next hot thing. The friends I have made from 20SB will be with me throughout my career. We know the importance of community, collaboration, and networking, and I’m sure we will continue to work together. This is the first conference of its kind, getting Gen Y influencers together to learn from each other. I’m looking forward to next year’s that I’m sure will be bigger, better, and will inspire others to join our journey.

Thanks to everyone that made the 20SB Summit happen, especially Derek Shanahan, Justine Meek, and my Dream Team co-panelists Sami Ari and Sara Altier. Our panel was about building community online and offline. The conference itself was a perfect example, and the three of us planned two other successful events over the weekend. There is something so magical about turning online friends into offline friends, and how those relationships continue to grow when we reconnect over Twitter, 2000 miles away. See you there next year?

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Recap from BlogHer11: Can’t stop blogging now!

Did I mention my sister Sara was there too? I'm the youngster incase it was hard to tell.

I attended my first BlogHer this weekend. I’m quite the event junkie (well I was when I had time) and I love the different experiences each conference and their community bring. Every minute of BlogHer was inspiring as I watched successful women share their stories, teach their lessons, and learn from others. The energy was always high and the rooms were filled with brilliance and estrogen. I met some great people and look forward to building on many conversations and relationships.

While I didn’t learn a lot of new skills, I really enjoyed all of the speakers in each session. Most sessions reminded me of what I already knew, so it was good to have the key points hammered home. The key takeaway for me is that I have to MAKE TIME. Whether it’s making time to blog, time to review, or just time for me, it’s important. I’m enjoying writing and I want to get back to photography, so I’m working on ways to consolidate time. Getting back to what I’m passionate about, and sharing my thoughts about it on the way. We’ll see where my blog goes from here…

Below is a recap of my tweets and photos from #BlogHer11, curated using Storify.