Perspective on Attending Blog Paws

P3JCP_Feb2013aWhere to begin?

From the moment I entered the lobby of the Sheraton
Premiere, on Thursday morning, to the time I finally left to catch my flight home on Sunday afternoon, I had one of the best times of my life.

As a newbie to Blog Paws conferences I admit to being a little nervous but, standing there in the lobby my nervousness soon disappeared as I heard my name called, turned around, & saw Caren Gittleman (Cat Chat); arms open wide, a smile on her face, charging forward to embrace me in a welcoming hug.

Soon I was walking the halls, attending my first speaker
session in the afternoon, and the welcome speech and get together in the
evening, like I’d been coming to the conference since forever.

Blog Paws 8I started my first day with a wonderful, informative, 2 hour
visit with my friend  the Creative Idea Gal, Amanda Socci
(Her adorable little daughter wasn’t exactly sure about me,
though).

The people who attended this conference are bloggers, freelancers, published authors, writers all! They are rescue volunteers, shelter workers, veterinarians, blog readers, major names in our niche of social media, pet related retailers and food manufacturers, and more.

They are male and female, representing all age groups, social/economic status, races and many nations.

Unlike a comic book, or Star Trek convention people were not
the only ones playing dress up; from cats and kittens, chicks, dogs and
ferrets, to cute, but humongous wabbits, many animals were strutting their
stuff, dressed up and not.

Sidebar Badge1 During the day I would wear either my shirt with Nikita and Elvira on the front, or the one with the blog header design, as a way to make it easy for people to find me and learn about the Opinionated Pussycat..

For anyone who writes online as a pet blogger this event is the best hands on introduction to how social media involvement is important.

You will get an ego boost in the most amusing way; imagine a 53-year-old, balding, dude finding himself being approached by a pair of women old enough to be his mother, all smiles as they breathlessly tell him they
are big fans of his blog!

Blog Paws 15

You will get an education on many subjects, at as many as 9 presentations that will help you be better at what you do. You will make new friends, meet old ones only known via online interaction, and connect with various industry types in many ways. Inspiration to be the best will come from attending the awards dinner recognizing some of the best in the world of pet blogging.

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You will take a ton of photos and pass out 100 of your blog cards, collecting just as many from others; buy a few things, including books you will get autographed, and maybe get pep talks about your writing efforts from the most unexpected people. You will gain 3 lbs. eating fabulous free breakfasts, lunches and dinners, and leave your room key in your room at least twice….but, um, let’s not get too much into all of that, hee, hee!

The Blogs of Kiril Kundurazieff:

1. Mad Macedonian

2. The Opinionated Pussycat

3. SMFCB: A 365 Day Project

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Day 72 : Blog Paws Conference Preview

P3JCP_Feb2013

BlogPaws was founded in 2009 by three pet lovers and bloggers – Caroline Golon of Romeothecat.com and Yvonne DiVita and Tom Collins of Scratchings and Sniffings and Windsor Media Enterprises.

The conferences are a great way for pet bloggers to connect with other pet bloggers  They gather to share expertise, tell stories and support one another. The sessions offer educational training and insight from industry experts in all sorts of topics such as SEO, Branding, Publishing, Video, Email Marketing, Photography, Writing, Blog Platforms, and a lot more.

This year I finally get to attend!

There are just a few days before the BlogPaws 2013 Pet Blogging and Social Media Conference and I want to share with you what’s on my agenda for those 3 days and a few other thoughts from discussions, today,  with fellow members of the Blog Paws Community Conference Newbies Group.

On day one there will be a Be the Change presentation on animal rescue at Sandy Hook and a Bloggers vs Vets discussion on how the 2 sides can work together and network.

There will be an evening welcome reception as well.

On day 2 the opening keynote speech is by Steve Dale then I plan to attend these presentations:

1. Facebook: Building fans to your page.

2. WordPress for beginners and converts.

3. Purina will be hosting a pair of presentations and I chose to attend the 2nd one:

A. The Link Between Diet and Domestication: 10,000 Years of Dietary Influences on the Canine Genome presented by Arleigh Reynolds.

B. Pet Welfare in America presented by Brenda Bax and David Meyer (of Adopt A Pet).

4. Using social media to be an effective advocate,

KIRIL-21 On day 3 the opening keynote speech is by Clara Shih, author The Facebook Era.

The presentations I want to attend are:

1. Foundations of reporting for pet bloggers.

2. How to write and print on demand your book in 90 days.

3. Taking Twitter beyond a Tweet.

4.  Standing out in the popular niche of pet blogging.

The evening will be centered on events connected with the BlogPaws 2013 Nose-to-Nose Pet Blogging and Social Media Awards and the “Pawty” afterwards.

Sidebar Badge1

There will be an exhibition hall, and plenty of free swag,

I am looking forward to meeting many of my fellow pet blogging friends and also meeting my friend, the creative idea gal, Amanda Socci.

It was announced today that BlogPaws Sold Out and there would be Livestreaming (Details about the livestreaming included).

I went onto the Blog Paws Community website for the first time since before my eye surgeries to catch-up and hopefully learn a few things to help this newbie survive the experience.

The hotel will have free internet for conference attendees, and many attendees will be bringing their laptops and even using them to take notes during presentations.

Me? I’ll bring my laptop, but will be using good old fashioned notepads and pen for note taking.

While the evening events will require business casual, or fancier, attire, many people will be wearing casual during the day, including t-shirts with their pets on them.

I will be bringing mine and will see about wearing it. It would definitely help people familiar with Nikita and Elvira to pick me out of the crowd.

I will be bringing all my Opinionated Pussycat business cards (around 200) and expect to be exchanging cards with many people.

I expect to learn a lot, make some useful connections and who knows what else. Most important I expect to have fun, loosen up, and relax among friends, people who understand me and my love of this particular niche of the blogosphere.

The Blogs of Kiril Kundurazieff:

1. Mad Macedonian

2. The Opinionated Pussycat

3. SMFCB: A 365 Day Project

Day 71: A Long Week Ahead

As readers know I will be attending the Blog Paws Pet Bloggers Social Media Conference, in VA., this week.

A long, busy, week began for me today (well, actually Saturday) and as part of it I am writing and scheduling blog posts for every day, Wednesday through Sunday, on this blog and The Opinionated Pussycat.

I will be taking my laptop and also plan to blog daily on the cat blog and on Mad Macedonian, as well, as time permits.

I will be attending a lot of  presentations, taking pictures and notes, meeting many people I only have known online, and expect to learn a lot.

Day 20: Change is in the Wind – Starting with a Blog Paws Follow-up

A few days ago I announced I was attending the Blog Paws Social Media Conference, in May.

http://tinyurl.com/d5d7lok

As part of my attending, and getting more involved, social media -wise, I joined the Blog Paws Community today.

Well, re-joined, actually. When the community was born, in spring 2011, I was the 54th member to join….

Then I broke my ankle, and so much more happened in the following months and participation went by the wayside. Last October I ended my membership. I little realized that all that has been happening with me creatively, since, would lead me to decide to sign on again.

http://community.blogpaws.com/profile/KirilKundurazieff585

The community has over 2000 members. Discussions and sharing of news and information are wide-ranging as critter bloggers make new friends and network, and learn ways to become better at what they do.

As for other changes…I am about to take a huge step platform-wise, and brand-wise, with my cat blog, How these changes will help me as I get more involved in various social media, is yet to be seen, but I have great hopes. Stay tuned!

Day 15: Social Media Conferences Occur Everywhere – I’m Attending One in May

P3JCP_Feb2013aFrom the simple to the complex social media conferences/conventions are occurring every month all over the world. The subjects of the conferences are as varied as the people who attend them, and new ones debut all the time.

Out of curiosity I did a Google search for social media conferences in Texas and came up with plenty going back several years. One such event, this past week in Austin, was SXSW Interactive. It had a long and varied list of events and panels, but one thing caught my attention; a slideshow shared online.

It is a 35 slide discussion of this question: Is social media making us sick? To say yes or no, here, would spoil the fun of your exploring the slideshow on your own, so let’s just say it is very interesting reading.

The conference program = http://austin2013.lanyrd.com/

The slideshow = http://lanyrd.com/2013/sxsw-interactive/scdhbm/#link-qkcb

I found a website promoting a twice a year conference called Social Media Week. It describes itself as follows:

A worldwide event exploring the social, cultural and economic impact of social media. Our mission is to help people and organizations connect through collaboration, learning and the sharing of ideas and information. In just under five years, Social Media Week has become a platform and a community that has grown to more than 100k members in 26 cities around the world.

http://socialmediaweek.org/

Before I move on to discuss the event I’m attending in May let me discuss conventions of a different sort, but related none the less.

Kelsey Belgrave, of the Tarrytown-Sleepy Hollow Patch, amusingly discusses 5 “social media conventions that, while seemingly negligent, can have a huge impact on the effectiveness of your social media channels in the long-run”, especially for businesses.

A few of these can apply to ordinary bloggers as well.

http://tarrytown.patch.com/blog_posts/5-social-media-conventions-that-are-completely-wrong-4a2cd146

So, what am I doing in May?

I am a cat blogger, among my other writing interests:

Meowsings of an Opinionated Pussycat = http://www.opinionatedpussycat.com

I'm going to BlogPaws 2013 badge

Thanks to the generosity and kindness of a sponsor, who wishes to remain anonymous (“Kiril, I just think you need to go.”), I am looking forward to attending the annual Blog Paws Social Media Conference, May 16th thru 18th, in Tysons Corner VA. It will be my very first time.   The Blog Paws website (http://www.blogpaws.com) dedicates itself to teaching pet enthusiasts how to use social media effectively, and so much more besides.   The annual conference, since 2010, has been THE social networking event of the year for critter bloggers. (http://blogpawsconference.com/)

Attending this conference is ideal for me because it will help me take my blogging from hobbyist to a professional level. I will benefit from the networking, learning, and marketing opportunities.

Just a few of the topics speakers will be discussing are:  

Foundations of Reporting for Pet Bloggers.

WordPress for beginners and converts.

Optimizing blogs to attract more readers via search engines.

Standing out in the pet blogging niche.

Connecting with and attracting, readers via social media.

One of the things I want to take away from attending this event, as a writer, is enough knowledge, experiences, and material to write an e-book, my first such publishing effort.   It is also an opportunity for me to not just learn new skills that will make me a better writer, and make interesting, useful connections, but to at last meet some of the many fellow pet writers I have called friends for years.

Day 11: Attending Social Media Conventions Related to Your Interests

There are conventions and conferences, seminars, webinars, and all sorts of other “nars” so obscure in subject matter it would fry your brain cells in a nanosecond, year round, related to writing, writers and bloggers, of various sorts and interests.

Ever been to Comic-Con, a Star Trek Convention, or the Sexy Underwear Roadshow Extravaganza (just kidding about this one!)? Similar idea, but in my case there may be lots of litter boxes lying about at the one I want to attend.

Let me explain:

The event of interest to me, as a pet blogger and writer, is Blog Paws a 3 day event named after the website and community of the same name. I have wanted to attend since it began.

Why would someone want to attend an event such as this?

This is how I explain my interest in attending this particular event….

P3JCP_Feb2013aGood evening, from deep in the heart of Texas and Harris County, home of the 4th largest city in America and, not just a highly respected artist, acting and music community, but one of writers and poets.

My name is Kiril Kundurazieff, a 53 yr. old writer and blogger, with a love for cats.

I have been blogging since 2002, and a lot has changed. Platforms, books, techniques, tools, communities, and more, present so much for bloggers, old, and new, to absorb, and learn from, that it can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming.

The world of critter blogging, alone, has grown so much, giving birth to offspring seemingly as fast as many of the animals doing the blogging, or being blogged about!

The Blog Paws website (http://www.blogpaws.com) dedicates itself to teaching pet enthusiasts how to use social media effectively, and so much more besides.

The annual social media conference, since 2010, has been THE social networking event of the year for critter bloggers. (http://blogpawsconference.com/)

I am writing to humbly ask for donations and sponsors to help me attend this 3 day event.

http://www.gofundme.com/2a9iuo

Attending this conference is ideal for me because it will help me take my blogging from hobbyist to a professional level. I will benefit from the networking, learning, and marketing opportunities.

It is an opportunity for me to not just learn new skills that will make me a better writer, and make interesting, useful connections, but to at last meet some of the many fellow pet writers I have called friends for years.

Sincerely yours,

Kiril Kundurazieff

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A Mad Macedonian and 2 Opinionated Pussycats

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