The first thing that happened when I got to the convention center was a delightful encounter with a young man named Henry Burner.
Here is his site: http://henryburner.com/
Here is the result of that encounter: http://treesflowersbirds.com/2013/06/30/video-interview-from-san-jose/
I arrived in San Jose early enough to kidnap my friend for an off campus lunch outing to In n Out so that he could have his first taste of a Double Double. That, of course, is one of the highlights of my weekend since any one on one talking time I can get with Stormy is rare, but so much more satisfying than our usual 140 character twitter conversations or texts and emails. (OK, we don’t text in 140 or email like that, but you know what I mean!)
Anyway…that all meant that my first sessions were not until the afternoon, and I was able to attend two. As usual, I picked my targeted panels a few days earlier basically based on a combination of either topic, panelists or both.
The first one was right up my alley in terms of topic + panelists, and I chose it since I knew the one it conflicted with was being recorded for later (Mansplaining panel which I will watch right after I hit post on this!)
“Getting Paid to Blog” was the title and with Chris Savage, Digby & Katherine Haenschen on the panel, I couldn’t miss it.
First off – links to their blogs:
Chris Savage – http://www.eclectablog.com/
Digby – http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/
Katherine – http://www.burntorangereport.com/ – this one is particularly prescient right now given the recent activity in the Texas state senate and the monumental filibuster by Wendy Davis.
As someone who has been learning about online marketing for the last two years, it was really interesting to hear them pretty much outline the same strategies to make money online as any non-political business would need to enact. They didn’t necessarily focus on SEO, but they did talk about the importance of excellent content, content worth reading and sharing, and using guest blogging as primary tactics. All of that has to be used to create an audience (website visits) large enough over a sustained period of time, to attract the attention of the blog ad networks. With a politically focused site, they discussed the opportunities for using pop up paid petitions, sponsored content widgets, holding fundraising events, and approaching campaigns early for advertising opportunities.
*As a side note, while my blogs have never meant to be sources of income, I did like the idea of using sponsored or affiliate link widgets on the side as long as they are product or companies that I can personally support. That was a particularly well timed note for me to take – see session #2!*
“Getting Real on Climate” – with my long time twitter friend RL Miller (Climatehawk) & Darcy Burner (mom to Henry). Those two were my reason for attending 🙂
Links to the sites relevant to this panel:
Darcy’s up and coming business: http://terraheating.com/
A company I wish was in CA – but that will be on my blog soon: https://ethicalelectric.com/
It’s easy to assume when you go to a climate change session that you will hear all sorts of depressing statistics on how we human beings are killing the planet. Well, we are, but thankfully, these panelists knew that we didn’t need to be convinced. We were, as it is, the choir, and we didn’t need preaching! What we wanted, and what they provided, were answers.
First of all, there are the two companies listed above. Different approaches to how energy is provided that will move the country away from fossil fuels and will only invest in other companies that support the same. The continuing explosion in solar electricity has shown that consumers are completely willing to switch to alternative methods of utility deliverance – PARTICULARLY if it saves them money! As always, hit them in their wallets, right? As someone whose next big home project is to figure out the best way to switch to solar, I get it. An electric car (hey, a Tesla perhaps?!!) would make me giddy. Of course, I need to gather up some money up front in order to save that money over the long haul, but I would happily do it. Since I am getting closer to that being a reality for me, I am going to be exploring every option I can. This session opened my eyes to more possibilites. Including the fact that Ethical Electric has an affiliate sale offer for people willing to list them on their websites. Yes, a widget will be coming to my blog very soon (See? Tie in to panel #1!)
Also, if the climate is important to you, then please do follow @ClimateHawkVote on twitter and sign up with your email for updates on ways you can help elect politicians who are true climate hawks.
So that was Day 1 – I’ll be back later with more panel write ups and tales of parties and TWiB!