Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Blog rockstars.

I completely nerded out at Sunday's TxSC panels. There were so many bloggers who I couldn't wait to hear from and meet that I think meeting the entire cast of Modern Family would've been less exciting than TxSC panels.

Ok, exaggeration. Panels is a close second to meeting Phil, Cam and the gang of Modern Family.

Blog Lesson 1: Jump and you will land.
Kendi from Kendi Everyday opened with an amazing keynote about being fearless and going for it, whether you land on your feet or face. It doesn't matter where you land, because you land. And that's much better than not jumping at all.

Let me just say, Kendi is a speaker like no other. Us bloggers are writers. Wordsmiths. People of the keyboard. Not speakers. But Kendi got up in front of a hundred of us ladies and talked like she was having a one-on-one conversation. I don't know where she got her speaking skills, but I need to have a sip of whatever she's having.

Blog Lesson 2: Our online lives are edited.
It's so, so easy to get wrapped up in the perfection of others' lives on the internet. Not just in the blogging world, but in the Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn worlds too.

It's all an edited version of ourselves. We put our best foot forward, 100% of the time online.

Take Saturday morning, for instance. I was a madwoman. I stayed out way too late the night before, woke up and had missed two TxSC events that I'd been excited about for weeks. You would've thought the entire world was coming to an end. I was crying, freaking out, refusing to go to the rest of the TxSC events because I basically had ruined the entire weekend.

Who does that?! Thankfully, Robbie pulled me together (he's such a saint) and drove me downtown to catch the next event. Even on the way there I was being ornery and telling him I should just skip the events because I had already missed too much.

Never in a million years would I take photos of me being nuts and post them to my Facebook and blog. Geez, I'm embarrassed to even be sharing the story now! We're edited online. And while we should keep it that way, we shouldn't compare our entire lives to others' edited ones.

Blog Lesson 3: Quality, quality, quality.
Of course I was totally looking forward to panel two to see my girl, Tolly from Austin Eavesdropper, moderate "Think Local, Go National." While there were several fantastic messages that were touched on during this panel, the one that stuck with me the most was publishing quality, original content. Don't just blog to get 5 posts up a week. Write high-quality work that people will relate to and produce original content. Stand out with your own, beautiful writing, photography and ideas.

(Matt, Fashion Week Austin; Charmie, Rae Cosmetics; Jessie, Style and Pepper; Camille, Camille Styles; Tolly, Austin Eavesdropper)

Blog Lesson 4: It's ok to be different. In fact, it's encouraged.
Tolly said that she really had to hone in on what she wanted to do for her blog. She was explaining to her husband that she wanted to have a little TV show. Tolly started interning for a local NPR affiliate while keeping her day job as a publicist and began learning the ins and outs of making a show. Now, she just rebranded Austin Eavesdropper and began making webisodes called AETV! So awesome.

After the panel, I introduced myself to Tolly and she had some extremely encouraging words for me. I can't tell you how good it feels to have someone who's created something really great tell you that you can be great too. Thanks, Tolly! It was also kind of cool that she had seen my blog. Score one for Who's Austin.

Here's a blurry photo of the Austin Eavesdropper herself:

Blog lesson 6: Your blog is not your purpose.
This was a big one that hit home for a lot of people. You are not your blog. Your blog is YOU. You have a purpose that is so much greater than your blog. Find that purpose and run with it.

I love these wrap-up posts by fellow bloggers:
  • Jenni at Story of my Life has some awesome quotes from the best panel speakers. Great note taking, Jenni!
  • Michelle at Uncharted Style turned her quotes into awesome photo quotes. Beautiful work, Michelle!
  • Tolly at Austin Eavesdropper (don't you just love her new site?!) wrote a thought-provoking piece inspired by Kendi's awesome keynote.

Decentralized Dance Party video coming your way. Get pumped.


  1. I totally agree with your bit about our lives being edited. I try to be as real as possible on my blog but there are obviously things I keep private and things I don't share (including the fact that last weekend I didn't shower in 4 days, oh wait I shared that!). I usually only post pics of myself if I am feeling/looking cute and that is definitely not a daily occurrence! I love to find bloggers who are genuine but I know that people do need their privacy and HAVE to edit their blogs:-)

    1. Wow- so glad we're friends now because I can be a total showerless grunge too. I totally agree- I love genuine bloggers as well. People who share the realest aspects of their lives on their blog are my favorite bloggers! Loving your blog, Ruthie.

  2. Ahh, Nikol this is definitely the best wrap up post I've read all week from TxSC. Due to some unedited life of my own, I was totally unable to even attempt to make it out, and I'll be kicking myself for it for at least the next year. Thankfully, your post has shared some really amazing wisdom that I would have otherwise missed entirely. I'm so, so glad you shared lesson number two because, especially during the craziness of SXSW, I've been trying to live my offline life as pretty and edited as all of my favorite bloggers' online lives. Not only do I compare my own blog to others, but I'm trying to live like their blogs too. Not even a little fair to myself and the awesome things I'm capable of. As for lesson number one, Kendi is so right. My blog--and my life--may not be where I want them to be, but at least I'm getting out there and showing something so that I can improve over time. What an important lesson to keep in mind.

    1. Thank you for the sweet compliment! So many bloggers can relate to the edited lives lesson. It's something I've been feeling for quite a while now, but couldn't quite put my finger on how to describe it. I'm so happy Kendi touched on it during her keynote. Your blog is awesome, lady! I love all of your outfit posts! One even inspired me to go out and buy a jean shirt!

  3. Also, I was DYING to meet Julie and Kendi, but they both left town after TxSC. Did you meet either of them? I would just die!

    1. I met Kendi real quick but not Julie! Julie was also an amazing speaker. She had some excellent words of wisdom. Such inspirational women!!

  4. I totally should have gone to this!! :)

    1. Ah! It was so great. Next year we'll all go together!

  5. I love Kendi! So awesome you got to meet her.