Type-A Parent Conference – Atlanta 2013
It’s been a week since I got back from the Type-A Parent conference, and I think I’ve finally recovered. Not from the conference itself, since that was mostly learning with a healthy dose of fun, but from my red-eye flight back and only getting 2 hours of sleep last Sunday night. I am way too old for that sort of thing.
Explaining to people I was going to a blogging conference is always weird (I usually say “work thing” and hope no one asks what I do) but once you get there it’s SO NICE to be around people who don’t think writing on the internet is crazy. Even if sometimes I think it’s crazy too.
I feel like warning you this is going to be picture heavy is almost redundant at this point, since it’s not really any more picture heavy than anything else on my blog these days.
I was super lucky my friend Miranda is Atlanta-based, since it meant I had an instant conference-buddy and didn’t feel quite so alone, although if I had gone alone I think I still would have had a good time. People were very welcoming and friendly. At one breakfast I swear I talked for 15 minutes straight before realizing I had told 6 people my entire life story and shut myself up. But no one seemed to mind – or at least they hid it very well and only talked about me behind my back when I left.
I put myself out on a limb a little bit and attended the Military Spouse bloggers tribe session on the first day and I’m so glad I did. I met the cool people behind NextGenMilSpouse and realized there are a lot of brands interested in talking to us as a community – and even if it’s a community I don’t always self-identify with, it IS one I belong to and that has value.
Type-A has been on my wish list of conferences for a while, but it wasn’t in the cards this year because of E’s work schedule and my investment in the photography thing instead of putting blog pennies back into blogging. Amazingly, the awesome team at MinuteClinic stumbled across my blog a few months ago and offered to send me as one of their sponsored bloggers. Not only was I honored to be chosen, I had a fantastic time with the whole team. We took a
slightly extremely terrifying cab ride to a delicious restaurant I probably couldn’t find again if my life depended on it, and I totally bonded with Vicki over New England and photography.
The sessions were really good, especially the technical ones. I got some excellent tips on using Google+ I plan to implement as soon as I can force myself to start caring about Google+. The session about the legal side of blogging could have been twice as long and still not long enough – did you know if you watermark your photo and someone crops out the watermark without permission it’s an instant fine in court? Obviously the lawyer was in favor of watermarking, although while I was chatting with the photographers after their session they shared my opinion that watermarking is generally useless, since people will take it out/clone it out/use your pictures anyway and you still won’t know. Watermarking might be worth it though, since I’ve found my photos on several sites recently thanks to the fact that they linked back – although that’s not quite the same as ASKING me if they can use them. But whatevs. I’m pretty busy trying to figure out webmaster tools, I can’t spend the rest of my life sending takedown notices.
The coolest sponsor event was the AT&T Digital Life house. Their PR team knows how to do it RIGHT – cocktails in mason jars, amazing tiny food, and great info. It’s a good thing my husband wasn’t there, he would have signed us up for the magical house that turns on and off automatically in a second. I have to admit it’s super cool and would be so handy as the kids get older – who doesn’t want a door that tells you when your kid gets home from school??
The best night was definitely the Disney Star Tours party plus the Time To Play game night. I was a little nervous “game night” might be lame – not because I don’t LOVE game nights, but because I figured I might be the only dork who DOES love game nights – but it was a blast. At one point I think I actually peed a little from jumping up and down pretending I was on a trampoline and laughing so hard. I wish I was joking (Headbanz, get it).
I think the absolute highlight of the conference was the We Still Blog readings on Sunday. I wish I had submitted something, although that’s an easy statement to make AFTER the fact when there’s no chance I might have to get up in front of 300 people and read a post about my vagina. Which is exactly what Miranda did, and it was HILARIOUS. It was nice to hear people read their posts out loud – not just because they were really great posts but because it’s a good reminder there is a person behind all the words on the internet. Even though tons of my friends live in my computer (and let me sleep on their couch when I come to Atlanta) sometimes I forget people are reading MY words and I need to make sure I’m using the best words I can. That was something Erika Napoletano said in her closing keynote and it’s definitely been on my mind ever since.
It was a wonderful weekend and I’m so glad I got to attend. I felt like the balance of education and entertainment was spot-on, most of the speakers were real experts on their topics, and I met some great people. If you’re thinking about attending in 2014 (it’s in Atlanta again, super easy to catch a flight and the public transit is amazing!) I would say definitely put it on your calendar!