I visited Cybher 2012 last Saturday - the first all-female blogger get together held in the UK. I booked out of curiosity as much as anything, but I did hope to come away with inspiration and knowledge and I fulfilled this ambition! I have been “blogging” since July 2010, because we were launching a new website and told we MUST blog! And Facebook! And Tweet! So I joined the 21st century and threw myself into “social media” and the Buggysnuggle Blog.
I must admit to feeling a bit of a fake at Cybher, surrounded by so many proper bloggers – my blogs are infrequent and very random! I attended with my sister who is definitely a “proper” blogger, writing often and very entertainingly on food (www.fulltobursting.org ) There were bloggers of every type: parenting, food, fashion, erotica, life, art, thriftiness, green issues – you name it, they were there. I follow quite a few blogs and tweeters and did find myself trying to identify my favourites from their photos. I discovered people look different in “real life”!
Every delegate received a FANTASTIC leather satchel goodie bag from The Leather Satchel Co – free! Yes free! Has to be the best goodie bag ever! Only problem was deciding on the colour. I went for pink, sis went for green, and I then had green satchel envy all day! Loads of other freebies and info, from Palmers (I’ve been using the fake tan and its great – actually smells nice!), Freya lingerie, Dodo pads and many more.
It was a pretty full on day, with just an hour for lunch. I found it quite hard to choose which of the 4 choices per session to attend, and in most wanted to be in at least 2 places at once. Sis and I split up, so at least we could gain as much as possible between us!
Firstly, I discovered how to run competitions legally in “Competitions and the Law” with Spark & Fuse. Realised some that we’ve done in the past may not have been strictly legal! Now I know! It was also very interesting to hear from “Professional Comper” Lucky Di who has won over £200,000 worth of prizes!
“Imagery & Idea Generation” with Jo Gifford (by Skype!) was bursting with ideas – so many apps to try out and stuff to download – I think I may start with Polyvore when I get 5 minutes! I did leave full of ideas and inspiration and Jo sounded fabulous – shame I didn’t get to meet her.
After lunch was a very powerful session “Blogging for Good” with Christine Mosler, Jennifer Begg, Sian To and Liz Scarff. All 4 women spoke very powerfully about their reactions to the book Half The Sky by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl Wudunn. Jennifer described her efforts to raise money to build a school in Cambodia in memory of her mum. What came across very strongly is that the small things (buying cakes!) really can help and grow to become something special. Janies School now educates over 400 students - a massive achievement. Check out these trailers: http://www.girleffect.org/video and http://www.halftheskymovement.org/ - you cannot fail to be moved after watching them. I am waiting for my copy of Half The Sky to arrive. All 4 women are involved with WorldVision and a campaign which is aiming to raise awareness of the West Africa food crisis, which is being largely ignored by the media, but aims to change this by using social media to spread the word and show we can all do something to help, however small.
My final session was a very funny hour in the company of Gigi Eligoloff and Paula Battle, otherwise known as In The Powder Room. They talked about the launch of a new way of internet shopping called WeShop – watch the intro here: http://www.inthepowderroom.com/WeShop - I’m hoping we’ll get a blogger to recommend Buggysnuggles so we can join in! As for the rest of the session…What happens in the room, stays in the room! We await the launch of Vagingo!
This is really just a snapshot of the day - there were also interesting panel discussions at the beginning and end of the day; Zoe Margolis told of her awful experiences as a blogger (be warned); the ethics of blogging was discussed (general consensus “be real”); and a final appeal from Justin Byworth of WorldVision to follow Sian To and Liz Scarff who are travelling to Niger at the end of this month to see for themselves the devastating consequences of the food crisis in West Africa. Read about their experiences and share as much as you can using #shareniger.
Twitter: @WorldVision @Geekisnewchic @LizScarff
Finally a huge thank you to Sian To who did an amazing job organising the whole event and I look forward to returning next year. In the meantime, I’ll be reading Half The Sky and following Sian & Liz in Niger.