I had such a good time at Blog Out Loud last night. You guys so rock! I can’t say enough great things about all the people who came. I’m really sorry I didn’t get a chance to talk to every single person, but those I did meet were so cool and awesome and funny and smart, exactly as you’d expect.

The readers were all so, so great, and the photo books were amazing (so sorry to the photographers that our massive numbers last night pushed the photo books out of the way a bit…many thanks to Brie for the idea to pass them around instead). Everything went so well and I’m so happy!

Also, um, sorry to Katharine’s daughter for the language. Next year, Nat goes on after 9 p.m.

This year’s BOLO was a little strange for me because my older two kids actually understood what was going on – kind of. In the past year they’ve been allowed to play on a few websites (Webkinz and TVO Kids and the like) so they understand the internet. A few times this winter they saw me looking at my blog’s home page, and there’s a small picture of me there, and they got so excited to see me on the computer, like I was some sort of rock star (which I totally AM, of course).

Anyway, they are now aware that Mommy Has A Blog, and that I even write about them sometimes, and they’re still young enough to think that that’s cool, so they were actually excited about Mommy’s Big Blog Party. Which was nice, but oddly surreal.

Speaking of surreal, the craziest moment of the evening for me came when I met Jennifer, who is the NAC social media outreach person. She was so super nice and came over to specifically say hello to me, but as soon as she introduced herself I’m afraid I blurted out, in a most unprofessional manner, how angry I happened to be at the NAC right that moment. And it’s so weird, because usually I adore the NAC, only just yesterday they called to let me know that they were revoking some tickets I had already reserved and paid for.

And I know, you want to know more about that, right? Naturally I blogged all about it. And my post was very angry, especially for me because I almost never get angry, and just loaded with ALL CAPS, and yes, vitrol.

I wrote it just before I left for BOLO, but in case people were at the event and then came right home to read my blog I didn’t want the first thing they saw to be a super angry post about the NAC. So instead of actually posting it, I scheduled it for Friday (although I screwed that up so it might actually be in your reader this morning anyway).

So my point here is, poor Jennifer. I kind of unloaded on her. And I’m so sorry! Love the NAC! Really!

(Their ticket policy does suck though.)

If you can’t see the NAC post at the moment, it’ll be up tomorrow. Hopefully after Jennifer reads this one first.

Anyway, see you at BOLO 2011. Speaking of which, I am worried about the volume of potential readers for next year. I know I’m going to have to cap it. I’m looking for feedback on how you think it would be most fair to choose the readers. I think our options are a) first come, first serve; b) lottery system; or c) best posts selected by a jury of your peers. What do you think?

Oh my goodness, I just realized I have Dance! Show! on the PVR. See ya!

27 thoughts on “BOLO BOLO BOLO!

  1. awesome night lynn. congrats. wow, it will be tough to figure out how to pick readers for next year. i’m thinking lottery of jury. but the jury thing would take up a huge amount of time. hmm, something to ponder.

    i’m just writing a post about the incredible evening as well.

  2. So glad it all went well. I was thinking of you guys last night and wishing I was there, too. Next year maybe I’ll manage to make it. 🙂

  3. I know I’m going to have to cap it. I’m looking for feedback on how you think it would be most fair to choose the readers.

    That’s a tricky problem. You want people to read quality posts, but you probably don’t want it to be impossible for relatively obscure blogs to be in the line-up. Also, it would lose some spontaneity if people had to vote on specific posts.

    Perhaps you should have people nominate and vote on whole blogs, then leave the choice of post up to the author. You could do that for 80% of the line-up, then have a ‘wildcard’ category of blogs selected by lottery. That might be a good way to provide both posts guaranteed to be popular and some that will be new and unexpected.

  4. Hi Lynn,
    Congrats on an amazing event last night! I had a blast and was so impressed with the fabulous bloggers as well as the organization of the event.

    I’m so sorry to hear that you had a rotten experience about getting tickets for your family to the NAC and believe me, we are working on getting this issue resolved. I look forward to reading your post tomorrow (really!) and once again sincerely apologize for that bad experience. I’ll be back in touch tomorrow.


  5. I definitely think selecting readers is best. You’re putting on an event that’s meant to be entertaining and fun, and I don’t think some brilliant writer should be left out because she didn’t get her choice in fast enough. Art ain’t instant. 🙂

    Having a panel of judges is probably best. Although you’re quite capable of making the selections, I wouldn’t want anyone harbouring bad feelings about not getting picked, aimed at you alone.

    Having *everyone* vote is a) too hard to manage and b) spoils the surprise. I don’t want to read all of the posts and then go hear them out loud.

    Just my 2 cents.

  6. Lynn! You put together a wonderful event and I was delighted to be able to be there. What a great group of bloggers – many of whom made me laugh so hard, my belly hurt, or made me inspired by their awesome blogabilities. What an inspiration to a newby and not to mention an awesome night out.

    Would you be up to putting together a second winter blog event? Then perspective readers could do one or the other. Not many would complain about having to visit more than once a year.

    THanks again!

    1. I will think this over. Quite frankly, the biggest reason I wouldn’t want to have one in the winter is the weather. The thought of all of us in one room like last night…only plus boots, coats, mittens, hats, and bulky sweaters…UGH. I think we might easily need twice as much space just because it’s winter.

      Finding the right place to have it is definitely the trickiest part. I’ll see if I can come up with any good ideas.

    2. Twice a year is an excellent suggestion, if it could worked out logistically. I’m sure others would be willing to help with the organization, if an appropriate venue could be found.

      It seems many bloggers are SAHMs/WAHMs/etc who don’t get tons of social interaction (me! me!) and having an event like this twice a year would be a great networking/socializing opportunity. It would also allow more people to participate.

      As a newer blogger, I would also love to hear some established bloggers share best practices. A small panel discussion by some ‘pros’ would be a great addition to the night.

      Thanks again, I know putting on something like this is a lot of work. Much appreciated! Hopefully next time I can stay for the whole thing.

  7. I agree with Pam – one a year isn’t enough! That being said, it’s a lot of work. But I bet lots of people would be willing to help (me included!)

    The problem with voting is that there will be people who feel their writing isn’t good enough to “win” a judged “competition. It’s a tough call. I like the idea of people being nominated though.

    Great job! Great event! Thanks so much!

  8. Now you want to “cap” the number of readers? I would have been perfectly willing not to read this year, but you kept insisting that people were bailing out. So, one way to “cap” it, I think, is to give first priority to people who have never read at BOLO before. That way if you still need to weed out readers you can use the readers from past events to help select readers. It would be unfortunate though if we couldn’t allow everyone who wanted to read a chance to do it at least once.. Maybe we just need to expand the event somehow – instead of an evening of BOLO, we grow into an entire BOLOFEST? Because soon bloggers from all over the world will want to attend and read and then we’ll have to sell tickets and stuff and then BlogHer will fizzle out and die and you and BOLO will rule the world! Mwah-ha-ha

    1. neeroc

      Joking aside, the thought of a local blogging ‘conference’ or even the opportunity to join sessions is very exciting to me.

  9. Choosing posts by jury is an interesting idea, but I agree with Fame Throwa, I also don’t want to read all of the posts and then go hear them out loud. Part of the excitement is finding new bloggers, and finally putting faces to bloggers you follow regularly.

    What about a time cap per reading? Five minutes or less would mean you could squeeze in a few more people.

    I’m also for a second event! And I hear what you are saying about the winter being inconvenient, but it’s a good opportunity to get out and socialize instead of hibernating the winter away!

    I am so glad that I decided to read, it was definitely an empowering experience for me. I would love to do it again next year if there’s room!

  10. Wonderful wonderful event! Thank you for organizing it.

    You passed around the books? (I had a heart attack just there.)

    As for next year, there are a number of ways you could do it. I wonder if you create blog ‘categories’ might be an idea. (Mommy bloggers, political bloggers, bloggers who swear a lot etc. etc.) You could even “save” a few spots for first time readers. It would also avoid situation where children are exposed to things parents would rather they not be. Then do it on a first come first serve basis. I’d avoid opening up to a vote. It favours the big name bloggers. My favourite part is always discovering folks I don’t follow.

    You could always go with a ‘festival’ approach with two rooms?

  11. Thanks for organizing it, Lynn. I’m sorry I couldn’t stay until the end (although I have enough new blogs to read now anyway). 🙂

    I think the category idea is interesting, but limiting – I’m not a mommy blogger or a political blogger, but that doesn’t mean I won’t listen to / read those types of blogs – I’d hate to have to choose.

    I do like the idea of starting with people who didn’t read the year before (maybe a 75%/25% split between new readers and previous readers?) simply to allow for new voices.

  12. You did such an amazing job. Thanks Lynn.

    I think a bigger space will be needed next year! Because it is so awesome and everyone will want to come.

    Hard call about chosing the posts. A jury would be fun. It would be neat to see what posts people submit. The wild card idea is great too.

    Best idea is BOLOFEST.

    Let me know if you would like help!

  13. Thank you, thank you, thank you. You are seriously a goddess not only for orgnanizing such a fun event for all of us, but for organizing it so damn well! You rock.

    As for the picking readers thing … oh, gawd, I don’t know! Toughie! That’s why I don’t organize things I guess.

  14. Thank you Thank you Lynn! Wonderful job!.
    I think some sort of screening is in order, and I think Xup has some great suggestions. I would love to read next year though (just planting that bug in your ear now 🙂

    You are a rock star for sure!

  15. First? Thank you! A million times, thank you. I can’t imagine how much stress it must be organizing this thing, but damn you do it well. Brava!

    As for next year, I’d vote for a lottery if you have to cap it. The jury idea really does take the surprise and the fun out of hearing the posts, IHMO. Maybe you could just have a long lead-up time to give people lots of chance to submit their names? I’d also favour new voices to old, as discovering new blogs has become one of my favourite parts of BOLO. But please don’t segment the blogs — so many of us wear so many hats when blogging, and while I know I’m still in the thick of it, I’d rather not be known *only* as a mommy blogger, yanno?

  16. neeroc

    Thank you very much for organizing this, everything about the night was fantastic.
    I agree, I can see many more people wanting to read next year and I like the idea of reserving space for those that haven’t read before. New voices are just as important to me as the old favorites.
    Again, great job and I can’t wait for next year.

    (Thanks too for explaining the time warp on the NAC post, you had me checking my reader feed for a second *g*)

  17. Lynn, thanks again. That was a fabulous experience. Even if I never read again, I love that I got that chance. You rock!

    I honestly don’t know how to pick readers for next year. This thing is getting huge fast (because it’s awesome!) But I would be more than happy to help with next year’s organizing. Use me. I’ll be your BOLO bitch.

    Just remember, this is an event YOU created, but as it gets bigger politics can quickly get in the way and potentially destroy a good thing… Don’t lose the magic and love you have for it in the planning process, ok? I want to see you smiling at next year’s event, too! 🙂

  18. krista

    First off – thanks so much for organizing, BOLO was a treat! You did a fab job with this and should be proud.

    Re selection for next year… I loved being introduced to new blogs, so I would tend to agree that new readers should get a slight preference over returning readers. Maybe a weighted lottery would work?

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