This weekend I attended TBEX in New York City. Only having this blog for a year or so and only a handful of readers I that I know of, I have to admit – I felt like a little giraffe in a giant Savanna with the Big 5. Or is it the big 4? Who cares – giraffes aren’t part of either one of them.
It was really interesting there though on several levels – meeting people, watching people and learning about blogging.
When I got on line on Saturday morning I realized I had made a big mistake. I had a good reason, but it was still a mistake. I didn’t go to any of the pre-parties. My good reason – I get up at 4am to work in Brooklyn and leave work by 2pm and usually crash by 9pm. It’s not a good shift for party people. Plus the whole dragging myself back into the city, blah blah blah. But I realized on line that there were a lot of people who knew each other already and many from the party the night before. I’m a shy person at times, so this was a difficult social setting for me. I did manage to meet some people and make connections but not as much as I had hoped.
But I did enjoy watching some of the “rock stars” of the travel blogging world. The first day at lunch Johnny Jet really struck me. He had an almost childlike exuberance, and I mean that in a good way. He was taking pictures and did it with no constraints on him – you could tell he was enjoying taking pictures and trying different angles without a thought as to the people around him. Then there were the ever evolving groups of “rock stars” you would see talking – Don George, and David Farley or Chris Christensen and Craig and Linda from the Indie Travel Podcast. There were many others, though I’m surprised now how many I totally missed, especially the ones I would have liked to have met.
I learned a lot though too, I’m going to try and take my writing in a different direction – write with more purpose. It will take more work, but then again if I want to make a go of this blog then I have to put in the work. I also realized why every video I take sucks – I’m just video taping stuff that strikes me, not with a purpose. I don’t think I’m going to get into video anyway, but I think when I do take video it will be better quality. Then there’s the concept of branding and finding a niche – I think it’s easier to explain what I don’t write about and I’m ok with that, but I think I will try to tighten things up with my content. I don’t think I learned much about self promotion though – I didn’t do a very good job of it myself – or maybe that was what I learned.
Then there was the community keynote – someone described it as bedtime stories for travelers and the description was too true. Heck, if I wanted I could have taken a nap. Not that the stories were boring, but it was so mellow and I was so tired.
All in all though TBEX was interesting, educational and a good opportunity to meet people. Will I be attending next year in Vancouver though? I’m not sure, I have to see where the blog goes and what is going on in the next few months, but I wouldn’t rule anything out. But if you read, I’m more likely to go, so READ!!!!
And a big thanks to Kim Mance who made it all happen.