Taking the Online, Off Line: BlogVille

By Social Media

I am a big believer and promoter in the practice of taking online relationships off line and in person. I believe that the virtual relationship is cemented in that voice-to-voice conversation or in-person encounter. Sure, long-term and solid relationships can begin and even thrive online, but if you have the chance to meet in real life, why not take it. That is one of the many features of events like BlogVille and other social media or blogger gatherings. People who have interacted in one way or another finally come face to face and magic happens. I was so energized by the conversations around collaboration happening all around me at BlogVille and by watching faces light up when recognition happened for those who only knew one another by a Twitter handle.

When’s the last time you took an online relationship off line?


BlogVille: a Full Day of Social Media Goodness

By Social Media

I have been to several blogging conferences and many industry conferences with elements of social media included. The first blogging conference I ever attended was BlogOrlando in 2007 and before that, there were more informal blogger gatherings I attended in St. Louis. Since then, I’ve added BlogHer on the national list and Show Me the Blog St. Louis for a smaller, regional meetup.

Yesterday, I attended and spoke at Central Virginia’s first social media and blogging conference, BlogVille.

I have to say — I was pretty impressed. The content was great — excellent speakers with topics that covered specific social media areas and philosophical concepts (like time management) that so many bloggers desire. For me, the experience was especially gratifying because so many people I know or who I admire were there and engaged in the day’s events. It was also enjoyable to be at a blogger conference that was a manageable size (one of my complaints about BlogHer in recent years is the behemoth crowd it has become — at 800+ it’s a mob and more than a little overwhelming).

I couldn’t attend all of the sessions, as there is only one of me, but I particularly enjoyed meeting (at last) Billy Hunt and learning from his presentation (which is a blog and available to you, as well).  I was inspired by Denise Stewart who has to be one of the most entertaining speakers I’ve ever heard. As ever, Christine Hohlbaum (who I love, love, love), the author of the Power of Slow helped us learn how to become blogging rock stars with staying power. (I have written about Christine and the Power of Slow before.)

Great connections were made and everyone left inspired and encouraged. This was the first year for BlogVille and I anticipate a fantastic second year — and beyond.

12 Reasons to Register for BlogVille, the Central Virginia Blog and Social Media Conference

By Social Media

I’m getting pretty excited about BlogVille, Central Virginia’s first comprehensive blogging and social media conference. I’ve been to other social media conferences; in Florida, Missouri, New York and Chicago, so it’s nice to have one right here in my backyard.

I have to mention: I’m speaking at this event — providing a session on social media specifically for beginners.

If you’re thinking about blocking out the time and making the investment to learn more about social media and blogging, here are 12 reasons to help you make up your mind to register today.

  1. Denise Stewart is a wellness coach, a writer and an actress. (She also happens to be married to my friend Lance). Denise is the motivating force behind many women I know in Charlottesville, helping them to eat better, get active and live a more healthy lifestyle. Denise will be kicking off BlogVille and I think we can all expect to be inspired and motivated by her enthusiastic spirit.
  2. Renee Revetta is smart, gorgeous and really, really likable. As senior marketing specialist for Search Mojo, Renee will be de-constructing the mysteries behind Google Analytics and search engine optimization. No matter how much you think you know on this topic, you’re sure to learn more.
  3. Struggling with setting up or managing a WordPress blog? David Moody‘s your guy, and he’ll be workshopping with BlogVille participants to help them get going with WordPress.
  4. My buddy Steinar Knutsen is always on hand when social media is afoot. Steinar will be helping bloggers figure out how to make blogging a profitable venture, something he’s mastered in his own career.
  5. Billy Hunt is just all kinds of awesome — he’s a very talented photographer and videographer and we’re lucky enough to have him share his talents with the BlogVille attendees, leading us in a session devoted to video.
  6. Our keynote speaker is a personal friend, someone I deeply admire and who inspires me — Christine Holbaum is flying in from her home in Germany to share with us the Power of Slow.
  7. Rev. Claire Goodman has mastered the art of wedding blogging and will be speaking along with Steinar Knutsen about the business and monetary advantages she’s discovered through blogging.
  8. Dr. Dolly Garnecki is a seasoned blogger; she’ll be sharing best practices for conference attendees who are brand-new to the blogosphere.
  9. Sales and Marketing director for V-meals, Molly Fulton will bring tremendous value to BlogVillians — Molly will share her secrets for maintaining an online footprint with the minimum amount of time.
  10. Fellow pie enthusiast, Mollie Cox Bryan will be focusing on helping bloggers find their passions and stay inspired through writing (I’m looking forward to this one!)
  11. Photographer Elisa Bricker will help attendees create visually beautiful blogs, using photography and photo editing tools.
  12. Last but not least, yours truly, I, Marijean Jaggers, will be bringing it all together for you, demonstrating how to pull together an integrated, strategic social media presence.

I hope to see you there — it’s going to be a great event.