Tuesday, 13 November 2012

#MumsnetBlogfest 2012 - The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

So after the fall out about the whole Liz Jones vs Mummy Bloggers thing I had to sit down and actually think about the positives from this weekends conference.

I seem to have learnt a lot more about blogging and the blogging world AFTER the event than I did at the event itself, which, to me, is madness.

I have to agree a little with critics, that the event fall out afterwards was more interesting than the day itself. Mainly because it sparked such a rage of emotion from myself and my fellow bloggers. I found the response from people fascinating to read as not everybody had the same opinion on what had been said. For me I was absolutely appalled at the lack of common decency shown by Liz Jones and the fact that she showed so little respect after being asked by a mummy blogger site to be an 'inspirational' speaker, for a group of people hoping to learn from her experience and gain a better understanding about their job or hobby. Instead we got a sad and very lonely lady telling us that we were all pathetic wannabes and purposely and single handedly putting us all down, one by one. Almost as if she was putting us all into her cauldron, as she cackled and plotted her next attack in order to further her dying career. Someone should have told her Halloween was a few weeks back now.... the mask can come off! **bitchy comment**

Any way enough about her she isn't worth our time. Lets talk about the good points of the day!

So my first shout out of appreciation would be.... The Blogess! @TheBloggess

pic courtesy of Schoolgatestyle

What a fantastic lady she is! I was amazed that she was up and hanging out on G+, at 4am, in Texas, just to speak to us in the UK and share her time and knowledge on blogging.... quite happily and enthusiasticly I might add!.... I got slightly distracted by her cat and the fact she was surrounded by scary looking dolls but what I did take from that first session was this. On dealing with Trolls on her site she does the following...

If the troll says something like 'your an ugly old hag' she leaves it, as they spelt you're wrong so she finds that funny as they make themselves look like idiots anyway.

If the troll does a whole paragraph about how horrid she is etc etc she just goes in and changes the wording to something light and fluffy like, 'you're the most amazing wonderful lady isn't your post so interesting and funny' apparently they then come back and say I didn't say that I said 'blah blah' then she does it again until eventually they give up and disappear. Hahahahahahaaha that is GENIUS! I will be doing the same from now on.... not that I have any trolls, I'm not that important for them to pick on me.

Shout out No.2.... Paul Armstrong aka @munkyfonkey

Paul is a social media God! I went to Paul's morning session all about Social Media as I have no idea what I'm doing really when it comes to anything in that field. Oh My, did myself and Cambridge Mummy laugh and gasp and say 'ohhh that's awesome' over and over again. Cambridge Mummy and I were sat at the very front and as he announced that to get a good website we should sleep with a web designer and photographer, I almost spat my Innocent Smoothie out. He was brilliant and I made a few very good mental notes, including sleeping with a photographer, but as he knew we would leave thinking... 'what was that address again?' He even put it all down on a link that we can go back to. My iPad felt unloved in that session but my eyes and brain were racing and I was actually laughing out loud. What a wonderful man. Hats off to him!

Shout out No.3.... Cambridge Mummy aka @TheLizWeston

Although Liz wasn't actually there to teach or give her advice during the day she actually taught me a lot. She talked me through G+ (whilst we stalked loads of peoples profiles) as I had no idea what it was or how it worked! Then she talked me through domains and how to buy them. I am a technical thicko and she is a technical god so the pairing was amusing but I didn't panic and look gormless at any point, as she dumbed it down a bit for me. Lets face it, I will never fully understand this stuff but it is nice to know others around me do as at least then I can panic and cry on their shoulders when things go wrong.

Oh & PS. Thanks Mammasaurus for the heads up about what the hell SEO meant... kind of useful in this business.


Shout out No.4.... Caitlin Moran! aka @caitlinmoran

Oh blimey. I had no idea who she was. I had no idea why there was so much hype about her before the event either.


Oh Caitlin, I think I love you.

You wondered in and sat behind me, whilst we were all sat opened mouthed and awkwardly twitching watching Liz Jones on the stage and I just assumed you were one of the many bloggers straggling in late (like I did). As they announced you and you stood up, I saw your red chequer shirt and crazy hair... and I thought:

Ah, now I get it!!

As Caitlin appeared she seemed bold as brass and happy and up beat and I heard a huge sigh of relief behind the massive round of applause and cheer she received. She was a breath of fresh air after the awkwardness of the previous speaker. She opened with telling us all about Liz Jones stealing sperm from a used condom and that sort of set the tone or the rest of her speech.

She was bonkers but fascinating and because of this I forgot to take any notes! Derrrrr! What I do remember is that she said that the second paragraph in a piece of writing is always the most full of info and if you copy and paste that to the end you'll more than likely have your conclusion. Brilliant advice.

She reminded me so much of my sister in law that it scared me a little. Although not a journalist, my SIL is as bonkers and out going as Caitlin and has a similar look. Little did I know that the SIL actually had dealings with Caitin in the past when she was a music journo and the SIL was part of a band entourage.... VERY SMALL WORLD! Her life seems like one big adventure and a story she told about an awkward train journey with Mrs Cameron (PM's wife) where she ended up standing with a group of lads going to a Slash concert, just to avoid her, sounded like the type of thing Myself and my SIL would end up doing! (this story had my attention and also made me jealous for one reason, Slash, he was my first crush... odd child that I was! I wanted to be stood in that doorway with those lads and Caitlin on my way to see Slash play. That and she made me laugh).

I am really looking forward to reading her book, which was kindly put in to our Swag Bag's at the end of the day. I don't usually do reading books any more, apart from Kyd's school ones, but as she's now my new favourite person I might just do it.

I may become her stalker I haven't decided yet!

An extra shout out to the girls on the Nintendo 3DS stand & the folk of Skoda...

I was told to bring my DS with me in order to get the new Professor Layton Game so after distracting Kyd with cake, I stole his 3DS and then told him I hadn't seen it!... bad mummy!!|

The girls sat me down and showed me the new game and the XL version of Kyd's 3DS.... I should've bought him a big one, I'm such a div. Much easier to see and use and less pressure on his eyes! I learnt that you can turn the 3D bit off which was good to know as that hurts my eyes so god knows what it does to him. The new Professor Layton game was really exciting! I'm going to wrap it up for the Hoff for Christmas as I think Kyd will get a bit confused with it.... it's all about baby steps with our Kyd!

Skoda interviewed me on what Ideas I had about extras I might want to see on my car and my car buying experience.... which was a little bit brief as I have only bought one in my life and it was a disability car. The guys were really engaging and made me laugh so it put me at ease a bit. Maybe I'll look into a Skoda for the next car....

I must admit out of all the stalls the girls on 3DS and the folk of Skoda were the most approachable. I felt they really wanted to engage with us Bloggers and really took an interest in what we were saying. I also found their areas to be bright and intriguing. The Skoda lads were drawing a giant ideas poster board of our mummy safety ideas, as we stood there and Nintendo had consoles for us to play on. I think some other brands should take note.... The more fun, the more interest and the more memorable.

The Bad Points...

Other than their choice in influential speakers, Mumsnet did quite well. Maybe a few extra brands who understand how to engage with bloggers a bit better and being more picky about guest speakers might be my focus next year.... but that's just my opinion.

All in all...

I really enjoyed the day and I loved the fact that it was smaller and more personal than the only other one I'd been to, Cybermummy 2011, I felt less scared and more welcomed by the world of Blogging. I suppose this will prepare me for next years big conferences.... Bring them on!


  1. Great write-up Alice, well done! X

  2. Wish I'd been there. I might have exploded with rage.


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