I recently attended a conference where the MC of the event came out and did a bit of a “strip tease”. And one of the first speakers was a pole dancer. I can hear you all now saying, “what kind of conference did Erica go to? What was she thinking?” I attended the #140confONT conference here in Kitchener, ON. The purpose of this conference was to talk about twitter, facebook and other online social media and how it can impact us, our brands and the world. “Passion + Purpose = Change”. That quote was felt throughout the whole day. 140 Conferences were founded by a man by the name of Jeff Pulver. The idea came from his dreams and started from his early childhood and being on the ham radio. He opened up the day by telling us, “your voice matters. Twitter has a power. All it takes is one tweet.”
There were 30 speakers at this event. I won’t be talking about each of them directly because one- it would take me way too long and the post would be so long you wouldn’t want to read it. And, two- many speakers cover the same purpose/thought/challenge as each other only with using their personal stories to give it more meaning and help me to better apply everything to my way of thinking.
Now, back to the pole dancer. Her name is Jane Wilson and she runs “Oakville’s Premier Pole Dancing for Fitness studio for women”. She talked about how after having her child she was overweight and had no self-confidence. One day her friend encouraged her to come to a fitness class with her with an open mind. She fell in love with pole fitness so much she kept coming back and she noticed herself loosing weight, becoming stronger and more confident. She loved how much it empowered her she started her own class. She used twitter not only to promote her company but to encourage women to feel great no matter who they are and to find the support she needs to stay strong too. She closed her talk with a performance to Pink’s “Perfect”. Her movement was so beautiful, strong, and empowering. I even cried at how amazing it was. As a lot of you know I’ve lost close to 70lbs this past year, but I still don’t feel comfortable in my new body nor do I feel confident. I would love to try this kind of fitness out sometime and then share about it with you all on here.
Our next speaker was Kevin Magee. One main quote that I will never forget from him is “Small tweets can amplify into something big.” You may not think what you tweet matters but all it takes is one tweet to change the world. And you can’t change the world if you don’t allow yourself to be out there.
One speaker who’s talk changed y heart forever was by Jodi Sonoda. I had met her back in February and loved her even back then. She’s not afraid to say it how it is, open honest, and caring. I hadn’t really gotten to speak with her since with the exception on following her on twitter. In her talk she gave us a glimpse into her life, the struggles she overcome and how twitter really helped her through all that. From needing parenting advise to seeking help, twitter has impacted her life greatly. By the time she was done talking I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house. As she walk to the back of the room everyone was giving her hugs. When I saw her she smiled at me and said with an excited voice, “you were able to make it!” It made me feel loved knowing she noticed me trying to get a ticket to the event on twitter and was excited to see me. We hugged, cried some more. I truly respect this women. She’s impacting the world already and I don’t think she even knows it.
Another speaker that had a great impact on me was Chris Eh Young. He talked about how society gives us unrealistic expectations on our lives and how important we our or lack there of if you haven’t made it big. We shouldn’t be afraid to be ourselves and to speak out. If someone doesn’t like what you’re saying they them “feel free to unfollow me.” But you have to be able to swallow that and take the criticism as it comes. He also said, “Prepare to defend everything you say.” In other words, don’t tweet it or retweet it if you’re not prepared to stand by it. The last thing he covered was being sure you prioritize your time. What’s more important? A tweet that you can read later or your family who is here now? That one hit me big time. I find a lot of times I feel the crunch of my blog and the timeline to get things done “right now”. Instead of waiting til the kids are in bed or during a down time. I really have a lot of prioritizing when it comes to all of this. I use to keep it all in balance but now I feel like it’s out of control.
Neil Hedley gave some great advice on auto-tweets and being impersonal. A lot of us bloggers get on the auto-tweet pilot but forget that the people reading them are people, not computers. We all need to interact more with each other in order to be successful and to make a difference in each other’s lives.
One speaker I was very exited about hear was Craig Silva of Big Daddy Kreativ. I met Craig and his wife (@Mapsgirl) back in February at another social media event. I fell in love with them from the first time I met them. they are so open and honest and loving. I felt like I have known them forever. Craig shared his story about some hard times with is old job and the adventure of building up his own business. He talked about how twitter played a key role in his company and his social online/offline life. He talked about Scott Stratten‘s book “Unmarketing” and some key points he got from his book. One thing that effected my twitter is not having a real profile picture. Everyone just knows me by my logo and not my face. It’s important for people to know there is a really person behind my blog and not just a brand. The minute I got home I changed my profile photo, it felt good to be me not just bassgiraffe.
We then broke for lunch and came back to a very emotional, impactful afternoon.
Matt Scobel was one of the speakers in the afternoon. He talked about his vision to change the world. He motto is “Think Less, Move More.” He shared with us about his project called Project Macfrica. He saw a need of some kids in Kenya in an orphanage to have a chance to have the equal opportunity in life as he did. The company he worked for had many old Mac computers laying around no longer useful to them. He had the idea of bringing those computer to these kids. But how could he make it possible? How could he change lives? He tweeted about it and before he knew it he was on a place to Kenya bringing this kids a hope. he even told us a story of a young boy who was able to learn his alphabet, numbers and so much more by using these computers and that’s when he realized action is what helps, not just the idea but taking that idea and going with it.
Another speaker I am glad I get to hear from was Taylor Jones. He started a blog/photo blog on tumblr called Dear Photograph and now has his own website and an amazing following. It all started with a photo from the past and has moved in to amazing things and beautiful works of art. He’s grown so big you’d think he’s been around for a long time doing this but in reality it’s only been a few months. He’s now moving to C.A. and has created a movement with his photos. And it all started with one little tweet one little photo on tumblr.
Dave Carrol came to talk about the kindness project. He has a ministry that’s “in the heart of Brantford full of believers who passionately pursue God… with a dream and a team committed to seeing our city holistically transformed BY good INTO good. The problem with our world today is we’re too afraid or too into ourselves we don’t take the time to do good to others. His ministry has been able to reach out to many of what the world would call “unlovables”. They’ve been making an impact in their city and through twitter are making an impact to others around the world encouraging them to “By good into good”.
One last speaker I’ll talk about is Guy Gal. The main thing I got from him was the importance of being the same as you are in real life as you are on twitter and vice-versa. If you stay true to yourself you’ll have a better impact of those around you. This hit me hard. I’m not afraid to talk on here on my blog or on twitter/facebook but when I’m in a room full of people I am shy. You’ll find me standing in the corner by myself afraid to talk to anyone. This will be a challenge that will be very hard for me to overcome but I want to do it. I want what I have to say matter, not just online but in “real life”.
As you can see I got a lot out of this conference. There was so much more I could talk about and so many thoughts just swimming around in my head. I don’t think I could ever convey the impact this day has had on me. There will be a lot of changes coming to bassgiraffe’s Thoughts, changes on how I will be using twitter and how I interact on my facebook page. They will be slow changes as I need time to work through them in my head and make what I learned stick. I HUGE thank you to everyone who made this event happen, to Jeff Pulver and to the Flying Camel(who I was able to buy a ticket from so I could go). I hope I’ll be seeing you all on twitter and again at one of these awesome events.
Below are some photos of the day. I didn’t take as many as I would have liked, I was too busy writing notes and taking it all in.
I tried correcting any spelling errors or grammar errors. I might have missed some and I’m sorry.