Two different industries, two different events… all good times!

June 10 2013 | offbeatbride

I spend most of my time in the tiny little bubble of my home office, heads down working with the same little cluster of staffers I've worked with for years. It's strangely easy to forget that I'm part of anything other than my own little corner of the internet.

Despite this isolated sensation (othering, anyone?), in my work with the Offbeat Empire, I'm actually part of three industries:

  • As a blogger and web developer, I'll always and forever be a tech industry dork
  • Since my flagship site is Offbeat Bride, I'm absolutely part of the wedding industry (something I frequently try to remind anti-WIC Offbeat Bride readers)
  • As a writer and editor, I'm also part of the publishing industry

I used to be really good about getting out to industry events promoting my work and mingling and personal branding and bla bla, but a funny thing happens when you get really busy with running a small business: you stop having time to do anything other than run that small business! (Add a small child on top of a small business and hello, shut-in!) Anyway, over the past year or so, I've been making a concerted effort to get myself back out into the world of my various industries, and these past couple weeks have been EXTRA busy…

I'm pointing! Photo by Laura Marchbanks.
I'm pointing and wearing a blazer! This must mean something important! Photo by Laura Marchbanks.
First, on May 29th, I did a presentation at a meeting of the Seattle chapter of Wedding Network USA. I talked about about why the nontraditional wedding market matters, a version of the presentation I gave last fall at the Wedding MBA conference in Vegas, but in a way more intimate setting (50 people as compared to 500+)…. which meant we could actually do questions and answers afterward, which is of course the best part of any presentation.

Doing the presentation again reminded me that I actually have a video from Vegas I've been meaning to share! Here are the first 15 minutes of that talk:

I should probably get around to posting the other half of the video at some point…

Shifting from wedding industry to tech industry, this past weekend I was a panelist at WordCamp Seattle, a conference for WordPress users, developers, designers, and enthusiasts. I was on a somewhat blandly-framed "how to build your community" panel, which ended up being way more exciting than the title suggested. I was sitting next to a guy named Steve from Disqus — and he was FULL of metrics and big data about blog comments — stuff like how the peak time for blog commenting is 10am local. (I countered that while that was true of most blogs, parenting blogs were more like 10pm local… after the kids were asleep.)

You can tell which one is me by the hair flower.
You can tell which one is me by the hair flower.

Again, my favorite part of the presentation was actually afterwards, when a small cluster of folks hung out to chat with me about community building and community management — FOR TWO HOURS. Again, one of the downsides of self-employment and being in my own little bubble of home office is that I sometimes forget that I totally genuinely love this stuff and love talking to people who are as enthusiastic about it as I am. I remembered more about why I love my work in those two hours after the panel than I have in the last two months. Awesome! I might be making a point to attend more Seattle WordCamp events, 'cuz gawd knows I loves me some WordPress.

PS: Here's a post I did about the kinds of speaking engagements I do. Get in touch if you're interested!

  1. Ariel,

    It was so great to have you on the panel for WordCamp this past weekend. I'm so glad you enjoyed the experience and were able to connect with members from the community after the panel. We'd love to have you back as a featured speaker anytime!

    • My pleasure, Grant! (And hey: I thought you were unplugging and taking a much-deserved break after #wcsea? Go rest, silly!)

  2. Good stuff! I can totally relate after attending and presenting at a conference in Berlin last month and giving an Etsy workshop. I always leave thinking 'Maybe I'm not an introvert after all…'

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