Finessing Your Inner Zoo by Richard Jesse Watson. Watson had a tough job: the post-lunch session! Watson did this by starting off with some pig stories. No, really. Not only did it wake us up and engage us, it also demonstrated the use of voice — and isn’t blogging about finding one’s voice, sharing that unique voice?
Watson also had the audience participate in some exercises, including finishing these sentences: “My fire burns higher when . . .” and “in five years I . . .” Both of these tied into finding one’s voice. Watson then shared posts from his own blog to illustrate what he meant, and how his blog reflects his voice. So, really, the best thing to do at this point is go read some of Watson’s posts at My Inner Zoo, such as Art Begets Art.
Moving Beyond Google Reader: Taking Your Blog to Where Your Readers Are by Jen Robinson and Carol Rasco. Jen began by admitting that she’s not reading as much blogs via RSS anymore, and she’s down to reading 1 to 3 blogs a day. To find them, she follows lists or keywords on Twitter instead. I was like “wow,” because lately I’ve been reading less blogs, also, and wondering if it was just time management or something else. Like Jen, I click through from links on Twitter; so it was great to hear Jen talk about being aware of the many ways that people come to blogs and blog posts, and to try to be in all those places (without, of course, running oneself ragged!)
So, basically, RSS is not enough. To go where the audience is, also be available by: email, Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, etc. Luckily, there are ways to do this where one post is found in multiple ways. FeedBlitz or FeedBurner can be used to email posts to readers, or to create newsletters.
Carol spoke about blogging, including blogging as part of an organization. She also spoke about using timed tweets (she uses co-tweet); bufferapp was also mentioned. (As an aside, what do you use for timed tweets? I’m trying to find one that works best for me.) Back to Carol — she spoke about the benefit of being online, in multiple ways, and how that brings RIF to the attention of more people. (Me: isn’t that what we all want?)
Jen asked (and I’m throwing it out to you!): what else is there? What else are people doing?
Someone asked about Tumblr, and I’ll just say I’m very tempted to start one.
Blogging Diversity: Prejudice and Pride by Lee Wind; panelists Sarah Stevenson, Brent Hartinger, Sara Ryan and Justina Chen.Wow, wow, wow, This was another “you had to be there” panel, with so much discussed, and some great insights and observations and passion. I’ll try to capture a little bit of it for you. Lee began with an easy question (not), who has the right to tell the story of a minority character? Sara Ryan, librarian, began with a librarian answer (love her!) — recommending a book. Writing the Other: A Practical Approach by Nisi Shawl and Cynthia Ward.
Some quotes (and I didn’t always get who was saying what), “no one is every going to perfectly represent another. . . . we write to connect.” “Do you have the right to write a character that isn’t you? Yes.” Justina Chen said, “What is the universal truth? What is the emotional truth? Then do your research to write from a strong stance.”
Sarah said, writing is “about the story I’m ready to tell, not one I’m allowed to tell or supposed to tell.”
Sarah asked, “what do we mean by authentic stories?” which then played right into Lee’s next conversation starter, the danger of a single story. The danger is not that the story isn’t true, but if that story is the only story being told, it’s the single story being told, and that — reducing it to one story — is what creates problems.