Bloggin’ Okanagan Follow-up

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Months of brainstorming, organizing and rejigging what was organized came to a head this afternoon when the first Bloggin’ Okanagan mini conference unfolded at the Kelowna Art Gallery.

Some 65 bloggers and aspiring bloggers gathered together, surrounded by colourful works of art, to explore the phenomenon of blogging, its value and how to make it mean something to them and to their readers.

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Our all-girl panel (we’ll see if we can mix it up a bit next year) was made up of Kerry Taylor, Susan Knight, Lisa Redl, Lori Welbourne and Cherie Hanson, whose experience varies from blogging instructor to social media guru to multimedia bloggers to landing a book deal the first year running (click on their names to visit their respective blogs and find out who’s who).

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Topics of discussion ran the gamut from why blogging is becoming so popular – we especially loved Kerry’s answer that it makes her feel like she’s not living in the middle of no where surrounded by organically reared cows – to what kind of businesses can benefit (any can, as long as they’re consistent with posting) and tips for gathering a following of readers.

But perhaps the best part of the two-hour session was the networking portion that followed the hour-and-a-quarter panel discussion. Those who stayed exchanged names and cards, asked some excellent questions and sipped on coffee from giObean Esspresso.

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Jeffrey Bunn serves coffee

It was fun to put faces to some of the names I’ve been encountering in The Pear Tree comments section and on Twitter. Kazia, Ralph Hass and Jason Neumann are some examples.

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I also enjoyed crossing paths again with a few people I haven’t seen in some time, including Nick Kellet and Kim McMechan.

I don’t know about anyone else, but I left the event feeling inspired and motivated, and excited that there are at least 64 other bloggers out there interested in stepping away from the computer for a little bit to mingle in real time.

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And so, plans for Bloggin’ Okanagan 2011 are already under way. Watch this space (and/or @BlogginOkanagan on Twitter) for more information. And if you have ideas you’d like to see for our second year, don’t be shy about emailing, or leaving a comment below.

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In the mean time, we collected a small list of blogger addresses to put into a data bank. Check them out below. If we missed you, feel free to add yours in the comment section. Down the road, we’ll make a page for them.

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– Words by Lori-Anne Poirier, photos by Kyle Poirier

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  1. Thanks for putting on the event.

    Great to see so many people interested in blogging in the valley

  2. Hello – Thanks for putting this together!

  3. Thanks for putting on a fantastic event! I thoroughly enjoyed the panel discussion and the networking time afterwards was fabulous. Looking forward to 2011!

  4. Excellent mini-conference! The panel did a great job of informing and inspiring us to write with our true voice and enjoy the freedom of our chosen topics and schedules. I am glad I attended and hope it happens again next year. . . or sooner 🙂

  5. Thanks for going that extra mile Lori-Anne!
    Great to meet Cherie as I arrived today and sat next to Jason. Later I connected with panelists Lori Welbourne, Lisa Redl and Susan Knight before I met Nick.

    As Cherie said, a blog “lets you see where you have been.” I celebrated my 4th Blogiversary four days ago and since Cherie also said not to use the overused word “fabulous”, I did a search on my blog and am happy to report that it has only been used four times in four years:)

  6. Thanks for a fun day!!! Great to meet you and look forward to visiting you here often!


  7. Thank you so much Lori Anne. Great event. I am inspired.

  8. Thank you for putting this together! I met so many wonderful people and have found new blogs to explore!

  9. Thank you for organizing a great mini-conference. Lots of fabulous info and fabulous people.

  10. Thought I’d add my site to your list. Best wishes! Karin

  11. Crap, missed it. Found out about it too late. Here’s another blog site for the list though & keep me in the loop for next time:

  12. Too bad I couldn’t make it after all!
    Looks like a lot of my local tweeps represented the micro-blogging community very well though 😉
    See you next time 😉

  13. Loved the venue, had some good laughs as well as so many great blogs to read! I’m so glad I went, I often stay away from group activities. I’m already looking forward to next year….. Lori-Anne and Kyle you put a stellar event together, set the bar high for yourselves.
    As Yoda says, “do or do not, there is no try”

  14. Thanks for renewing my motivation to continue on my journey. I have several other sites, but I keep coming back to blogging. My daughter came with me and she’s just started her very first blog. All around … quite a success!

  15. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I am learning to blog- but also love to discuss colour and painting- I would love to see a 2 day conference come to Kelowna, and maybe we could get it going soon. It was a pleasure to meet everyone….

  16. Sorry I couldn’t stay until the end.. I was looking forward to collecting some business cards! Thanks for posting the list of blogs.. if you get a chance to add mine, I would love to be included. is my blog about building a sustainable home in the okanagan, and I am hoping it will become a resource for others who want to do the same.. now I’m off to read some blogs! Looking forward to next year!

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