The lunch session was a Q&A which some people found to be very interesting, but I was kind of bored and was waiting to get to the next session.
Here were the break outs.
Session 1 - Design 101: Creating a Picture Perfect Blog or Design 201: Taking Your Blog to the Next Level – I attended the 101 session because I figured why bother taking my blog to the next level when I need so much help on a basic level.
In Design 101, we talked about blog design and the tools available to assist. Tools, fonts, images, color, etc. We were given some websites to checkout. Then we talked about programs like Photoshop that can be used to enhance a blog. Then there were blogs Dos and Don’ts, which also incorporated typeface, the header, sidebars. We talked about organization ti make it pleasing to the eye. We discussed hiring a designed to update all or part of a blog and the average costs associated. A lot of really useful information.
Session 2 – Software 101: Best Blogging Tools or Technology 201: Ad Networks. – Ass I am not even thinking about ads at this point, I again went to session 101.
In Software 101, we discussed different blog platforms as well as free vs pay host sites. We also discussed the flexibility found with each of the platforms discussed. We talked about RSS feeds, newsletters, scheduling posts. While it was helpful to a degree, we discussed some of this information last year. I didn’t take a lot of notes.
Session 3 – Beyond the Blog: Introduce Yourself to Vlogging and Podcasting or Blogging and the law. Well, since I am not currently entertaining podcasts or vlogs. I had no choice but to attend the legal presentation. This was actually a bit better than last year. Last year’s discussion was basically about the law and what you can and can’t do. This year, we also discussed what the blogger can do to protect himself or herself.
Session 4 – The Publishing Process: How Bloggers Have Changed the Game or Engaging Your Readers: Take Your Writing to the Next Level.
Now both these sessions sounded good, but I went with the writing one as it indicated it was a writing workshop. Okay. Now we’re getting somewhere, learning to apply everything we’re being told. It was a lot of rehash. We did discuss SEO, how to bring people to the blog. We also discussed how to generate comments and using social media. I was bored for most of the presentation and wished I had gone to the other session instead, but figured it would be bad form to get up and leave in the middle of the presentation.
Alexandra Bracken was one of the panelists in the other session and had I actually read the program earlier rather than just now, I would have seen there were giveaways; a copy of The Darkest Minds, a series tote bag and a special sneak peek of In the After Light. But I didn’t. Although, I did see the ad for the Disney Booth where if we mention the ad, we would get an ARC of a “Hot, New YA Title!”
It matters not, though. Now last year, the sessions were genre specific. We could either take the YA track or the adult fiction track which I believe was Sci Fi. The afternoon sessions were more generic. There were galleys for each track, but if you were in the YA track, you only got the YA books. It seems, or at least I was told, some people complained about the organization last year, so all the tracks were non-genre specific. The ARCs were all handed out at the end and everyone was able to choose any of them. There must have been about 20 titles and some only giveaways for the Blogger Conference, like Stitching Snow, which is a futuristic telling of Snow White.
After the last session and the giveaways, we had a party! There was candy on all the tables, beer (although crap beer in my opinion), popcorn. The author of Diamond Sisters, Michelle Madow was at the party and was signing copies of her book. We also had live entertainment by Tiger Beat and while the sound was crap, the band rocked. They played the Cure and Bow Wow Wow. There was also a song they performed about David Levinson and there were David Levinson heads on popsicle type sticks I guess we were supposed to raise in the air during the song or some such. It was actually quite a bit of fun.
I stayed to listen to a set of music and made my way home. The rest of the day didn't end up being too bad. I had to stop at the store on the way home and was planning on relaxing once I did get home, but my friend Terri from Alexia's Books and Such sent me a bunch of links for BEA giveaways and signing schedules. So while I thought I was all organized, I found I actually had more to do now, so thanks, Terri. Actually I'm really glad you sent the links as I had missed some stuff. Didn't get to bed until after midnight again, though. Surely it is enough time to get a good night's sleep and get up on time for BEA.??