About BlogFest 2012
Welcome to Mumsnet BlogFest 2012! Join us in celebrating all there is to love about blogging and social media, in the company of some of most talented writers and bloggers around - including a keynote speech from the fabulous Caitlin Moran. Whether you’re a talented newbie or a seasoned hand, we’ve put together a high-octane programme, jam-packed with great info and advice, to help you get the most from what you post .
We’ll help you square up to some of the big issues facing bloggers in our Blogging and Beyond strand, and sharpen up your blogging skills with exclusive tips and tricks in our The Blogging Lowdown sessions. PLUS there’ll be the opportunity to meet with a crack team of experts - one-to-one! - for bespoke advice on how to make the best of your blog. Honestly, who could ask for anything more?!
But there is more! There’s a chance to swap news and views, and connect with your fellow bloggers over a lovely lunch - AND time to unwind and at the end of the day (and process all you’ve learned) with a glass of something cold and delicious. Chat to blogging friends and make new ones, rifle through your fabulous goodie-bag - and come and say hello to members of the Mumsnet Bloggers team.
We do hope you can join us. Whether you’re new to blogging, an old pro, or a non-blogger who wants to hear some great speakers - it’s going to be an amazing day.
Highlights from the Programme
We couldn’t be more thrilled that Caitlin Moran has agreed to deliver the keynote speech at Mumsnet Blogfest! Her 2010 manifesto How to be A Woman was a sweary, ranty, pant-dampeningly funny tour de force which was devoured by women from twenty to seventy, and lovingly bequeathed to teenage nieces and daughters everywhere. Moran’s book reclaimed the word ‘feminism’ and thrust it thrillingly back into the centre of women’s lives - “Do you have a vagina?” she memorably wrote, “Do you want to be in charge of it? Congratulations! You’re a feminist.”
A bit of a prodigy , Caitlin published her first novel, The Chronicles of Narmo, at the age of fifteen, and by sixteen was a star writer for Melody Maker. She’s spent the nineteen years since writing for the Times - as TV critic, Saturday Magazine columnist, and author of Friday’s gloriously snarky Celebrity Watch column. Caitlin has two young children and approximately one billion followers on Twitter, where everyone wants her as their new best friend. Her excellent follow-up Moranthology is out now.
BLOGGING... AND BEYOND
Finding your voice: Celebrated authors, columnists and bloggers - including literary giant Jeanette Winterson and broadsheet firebrand Zoe Williams - discuss how to write with authenticity, passion and personality. They’ll offer guidance on finding your natural tone, genre and subject matter (or, perhaps, allowing them to find you). There’ll be suggestions for honing and refining your writing skills, and we’ll probe that old chestnut “less is more”. We’ll ask whether perfectionism is the enemy of creativity, and explore ways to become an effective self-critic. Plus, doing it daily - is it impossible to write well unless you write every day? All this and much more, in a session that really will help you squeeze the very best out of your writing style.
Fight or flight? Dealing with detractors and tackling trolls. In this session, we explore the sticky, slightly-matted underbelly of the internet, as writers and bloggers who’ve been targeted by online trolls swap experiences, and share advice. They’ll be joined by Dr Tania Byron, who’ll shed light on what motivates those who seem to thrive on spite - and how best to respond if one happens across your path. How do you keep your head when faced with bad behaviour online? Can negative comments sometimes actually be helpful? And which strategies can prevent a drama from turning into a crisis?
Blogging can change the world: Blogging can be a potent force for change – but how can you harness its power? We hear from campaigning bloggers - whose subjects range from feminism, to developmental aid, to party politics - about how they've used blogging to get the issues they care about onto the national agenda. A policywonk (and blogger in her own right) from a leading campaigns organisation will also advise on how to tap existing networks, harness the power of the crowd, and be an online catalyst for change.
Private Lives on a Public Stage: how much should you reveal online?’ In this session Zoe Margolis, who wrote the sensational blog Girl With a One Track Mind (and was subsequently - and painfully - outed online) discusses the tensions, restrictions and rewards of writing frankly about oneself with controversial columnist Liz Jones, and other leading authors and bloggers. How does your online persona differ from your real world identity? If you choose anonymity, what happens if your true identity is revealed? How do your nearest and dearest feel about their inclusion in your blogs? If you’re interested in the line between private and public, this one’s not to be missed.
THE BLOGGING LOWDOWN
Each of our ‘Need to Know’ sessions covers a specific skillset. From SEO to social media, from photography to getting published - in this strand you’ll find all the techie tips and marketing know-how you need to give your blog wings.
Search Engine Optimisation – extend the reach of your blog with up-to-the-minute SEO tricks and techniques. Industry experts will run two sessions, one for beginners and one for intermediate/advanced bloggers, to demonstrate how SEO can deliver the crowds to your blog’s door..
Social Media – think you know all there is to know about maximising blog readership through social media? Think again. Our crack team of experts talk you through making the most out of your favourite social networks - and what you can gain from ones you mightn’t have tried yet. Covering Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Tumblr, and Pinterest
Photography - Do your pix lack oomph? Struggling to express yourself visually, or flailing with layout? Don't panic - our online photography wizz will help you squeeze the most from your snaps. The session will cover all the bases - from brushing up your composition and making the most of your camera phone, to image editing tips and how to use photography effectively as a social media tool.
Getting published – how do you make your move into the mainstream? What routes are available to the determined blogger who wants to break through to a bigger platform? We’ll hear from experts in the fields of trad publishing, journalism and self-publishing, who’ll give you the skinny on what it really takes to get published.
Blog Beautiful - want to find our more about blogging style and beauty? This is the session for you. Hear from successful beauty and fashion bloggers about how they went about it, and get the lowdown from a major fashion company on building relationships with brands. Plus, a style insider on the rise and rise of this blogging phenomenon.
THE BLOG CLINIC
Throughout the day our hand-picked team of experts will be on hand for speed advice sessions on any and all aspects of blogging. So, whether you’re after a critique of your blog design, or want to know how to get the most out of Wordpress; whether you need a legal-eagle to point out potential pitfalls, or you’re desperate to understand what the heck affiliate marketing actually is - come and grab an expert for one-to-one bespoke advice, suggestions and solutions.
Coming to BlogFest? Talk logistics, ask questions and plan your day over on the Mumsnet Talk thread.
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