This is our very own blog, where you can find out what's going on in the run-up to BlogFest. We'll update you on all the behind the scenes activity at Bloggers HQ and share our latest news and exciting announcements.
12.11.13 - What a day!
BlogFest - what an incredible day! We're still buzzing from it all. There was so much great advice and inspiration on offer from our speakers, our Blog Clinic experts - and of course, from our lovely delegates.
We're glad you had fun 'bumping badges' with each other - don't forget to connect with all the contacts you made, by logging in on the Blendology site.
Our brilliant sponsors kept you all busy between sessions with fun activities, discussions and comps, from windsurfing with Mark Warner and taking snaps in TalkTalk's photobooth, to getting creative with Honda and celebrating Diet Coke's 30th birthday - and chatting with Red & Yellow Care about spreading a hopeful message around dementia. A big thank you to all our partners: they helped make BlogFest possible.
We've been having fun looking back through all the pics and vids from the day - massive thanks to our brilliant photo and film crews who captured the day so wonderfully. Do head over and watch Jo Brand's fabulous keynote, and keep an eye out for more visual highlights to come soon.
Last but most certainly not least - thank you to each and every one of you who came along on Saturday and filled Kings Place with sharp, interesting and powerful voices. It was an honour to meet you.
So, who's ready for next year? ;-)
08.11.13 - Tomorrow, tomorrow...
So, the big day is nearly here! The final countdown is well and truly on and it's feeling a bit like Christmas Eve at Bloggers HQ - last minute wrapping, large supply of chocs etc. Though, we have managed to keep ourselves away from the gin
We can't wait to meet you all tomorrow and see our jam-packed programme come to life.
BlogFest '13 has now sold out, but if you weren't able to get a ticket, fear not - you can keep up with all the action online. We'll be live blogging on Mumsnet Talk, so look out for the Talk thread in Bloggers Chat - and do follow #blogfest on Twitter for a minute-by-minute account of the day. We'll also be uploading the photo and video highlights over the weekend - so look out.
All that's left to say now is, see you tomorrow!
06.11.13 - Let's get ready to mingle
Come 9am Saturday, hundreds of you will be descending on Kings Place ready for an action-packed day. If you're feeling a bit nervous about walking into a room full of strangers, the best thing to remember is: almost everyone's in the same boat! But, to help alleviate some of those worries, we'll be giving out two types of sticker on the day - one will say 'I'm new and a bit nervous', and the other says 'Happy to chat'. With a bit of luck this will break the ice and make it easier to start nattering.
There'll also be some whizzy new technology which allows you to connect with each other at the event by tapping your name badges together. Check your inbox for more info about setting up a profile that you can share with other delagates.
If you want to virtually meet some of your fellow attendees ahead of the weekend, you can also introduce yourself on the BlogFest Talk thread, connect on Facebook by joining our event page, and link up on Twitter with blogger Jax Blunt's Twitter list. So do say hello - and on the day itself, seize the opportunity to get to know some fellow bloggers and Mumsnetters IRL!
Chat to you Saturday!
05.11.13 - 4 days to go!
(Posts from Rachael Lucas, The Adequate Parent and Sonya Cisco)
"Back in the year 2000, Mumsnet was born, as was my daughter. I've been reading the site since it began, back in the days before blogs existed. If my Mumsnet search history could be seen (and thank god it can't), it'd tell the tale of the last thirteen years – from breastfeeding to sibling rivalry, divorce advice to how to deal with stroppy teenagers, and quite a bit more.
I went along to Mumsnet Blogfest last year – had an amazing day where I ended up sitting chatting to Tanya Byron about the joys of teenage girls (and met her daughter, who was absolutely lovely), and heard Caitlin Moran talk about how she writes.
This year I'm talking on a panel called How to Make Money from your Blog – I'll be talking about how self-publishing my book Sealed with a Kiss tied in with blogging and social media, and telling a bit about what happens next. (There might well be a bit of BIG news too. Eek.)"
"Mumsnet was the first network I joined, through all three pregnancies. It was a valuable support network when times were bad – and every time something bad has happened I've changed my name and kept going – a bit like blogging really, I get a new name every time something doesn't fit anywhere else.
I didn't go last year due to being scared. I'm going this year and yet again I'm scared. I might have blogged for as long as I can remember (and I will remind you of this) but that doesn't mean I know it all. I get a lot from all these conferences... Oh, and it's 9am to 7pm. That's longer than a day in the office – and I'll probably learn a lot more."
"Now I am properly old I have decided life is too short to turn down opportunities through fear of embarrassing yourself. Take this coming weekend - I am on a panel at Mumsnet Blogfest that sees me sitting alongside some luminaries of comic writing. I could have said 'No, I am not worthy', but I said yes. I don't know as much as them, there is every chance I will make a fool of myself and I will be properly terrified on the day, but I know I will be proud of myself for giving it a shot. Pop a toe outside your comfort zone sometimes, unless you are near one of those fish pedicure things, in which case run away fast."
04.11.13 - 5 days to go! <excited face>
So this Saturday is The Big Day! We're
frantically excitedly preparing - and we know we're not the only ones. Loads of you have been tweeting us and sharing posts about the things you're looking forward to - namely the amazing speakers, fascinating discussions and maybe a slice (or two) of cake and the chance to chat with fellow bloggers.
Some of you rather cleverly shared your posts on our competition linky to be entered into the draw to win a rather fabulous meal at London's Pont St. restaurant, and we're thrilled to announce that the winning blog <drumroll> is An Ounce Of Me! You can read a snippet from her post, as well as some of the other entries below. And do keep letting us know what you're getting excited about ahead of this Saturday...
An Ounce Of Me drop-kicks her confidence: "Despite the use of 'fest' in the title it isn't in a field, I won't have to wear wellies or use a chemical toilet, unless I want to of course. I attended BlogFest last year on its launch and it was a fantastic day, full of interesting speakers from Caitlin Moran to Prof. Tanya Byron and many more, all there to lend advice or opinion on the world of blogging."
The Meaning of Wife gets ready to mingle: "The line-up is truly inspirational and even if I just keep myself to myself (anyone that knows me will laughing, as I will find this impossible!) and just take notes and have a good listen then I know I'll have an amazing time and come back with tips and tricks and a lot of ideas. But if I get chatting to other bloggers, especially those who have been around the block a few more times than I have (blog-wise obviously!), and make some friends then it will be well well worth it."
There's tough decisions to make, Crazy With Twins: "I'm finding it very hard to decide which sessions to go to as they are covering everything from advanced social media, to image editing and making money. I'd love to hear the talks by Mummy Barrow (who gives THE greatest hugs in the world) and the legendary Mammasaurus, but really I need to choose my sessions by what I most need to learn, rather than who is talking! I think I'm going to end up tossing a coin!"
Southwark Belle has her day planned out - right up to the journey home: "The programme for this event has finally tempted me out of my safe little online cave. As well as a whole pile of successful bloggers there are authors such as Lionel Schriver (We Need To Talk About Kevin), campaingers, including Laura Bates of the Everyday Sexism Project and even a few science/techy types including Professor Tanya Byron. Oh and it's all topped off by my local Comedian Jo Brand (hmm wonder if she'd be up for sharing a cab home...)"
The Pigeon Pair and Me joins the cool kids: "The big guns are coming out for this celebration of what might, just a few years ago, have seemed like a niche activity for techies, nerds, and the stupefyingly socially awkward. No, these days, the word 'blog' (or - dare I say it - 'mummy blog') is a draw for the likes of Jo Brand, Jon Ronson, Tim Dowling, Lionel Shriver, Charlotte Raven and Prof Tanya Byron. Someone asked me whether a blogging conference has 'actual' bloggers talking about what they do. And yes: these days, rather than a blog being an add-on to help project an existing celebrity's name even further, it's possible for someone to become a big name off the back of a successful blog. Just take A Girl Called Jack or Glosswitch, both of whom are speaking at Blogfest."
BlogFest panellist Mummy Barrow prepares: "Me who had to be persuaded to start blogging just two years ago is not only attending BlogFest organised by the formidable Mumsnet, but am being invited to speak. I am even on the line up with Richard Bacon! Never in my wildest dreams when I started this blog with 600 followers on Twitter and no readership outside of my family did I envisage speaking at conferences."
Top Tips for first-time BlogFest attendees from Chocolate Is Not The Only Fruit:
- Dress how you like, it's not a fashion show and no one is judging you.
- Bring a very big bag - there is so much to pick up and the goodie bag is enormous!
- Take a break from whatever nonsensical food fad you're following for just one day. The cakes, the lunch and the drinks are so wonderful you'd be crazy to miss out on them.
- Tweet while you're there - it's a great way to meet and greet other bloggers who are sitting in the same room
- If you're bringing a baby seek me out and I'll be more than happy to hold and hug while you go to the loo or drink your tea - honestly!
- Don't be afraid to talk to the brands that are there - they will work with a range of bloggers and you don't have to be the Bloggess to get their interest
- Make friends & have fun!
Put Up With Rain was just a *little* excited about winning herself a free ticket: "WHAT. IN THE NAME. OF HEAVEN? I'VE WON A TICKET TO MUMSNET BLOGGERS NETWORK BLOGFEST. I actually screamed and clapped a hand to my chest, and I think I burbled incoherently for a few hours - but it's all a bit of a blur. There might have been some 'Dance of The Overwhelmed Woman Going to Blogfest' happenings, but Alistair is trying to spare me the flashbacks. On Saturday morning I got up stupidly early to see if Bobby Ewing was going to step out of the shower and reassure me that yes, it was all a dream."
24.10.13 - Write about BlogFest and you could win a luxury meal
BlogFest is just weeks away and we know we're not the only ones getting excited. So if you're coming - let us know! If you post about BlogFest and add it to our competition linky, you could win a luxury meal for two at the newly-opened and very swanky Pont St. restaurant in Central London.
BlogFest sponsor Pont St is the brainchild of chef and author Sophie Mitchell, who, after working in some of London's finest kitchens, is now the youngest female Executive Chef in Britain. One lucky attendee and a friend will be able to taste her fabulous food for themselves at the restaurant in luxury London hotel Belgraves.
Whether you're deciding on sessions, getting in a tizz over what to wear or just bubbling with anticipation about meeting fellow bloggers and some big-name speakers, share your thoughts with us and you could have another swish social engagement to look forward to :)
Pop over here to find out more, and add your post by Friday 1 November to be in with a chance.
22.10.13 - Preparing for the big day (Grubby Little Faces)
"What do you think was the first thing that popped into my head after finally clicking the 'buy now' button for my BlogFest 2013 tickets?…
'What the hell am I going to wear?'
Yep, I'm that shallow. This thought was swiftly followed by:
'I must not wear jeans. I wear jeans every single day. DON'T WEAR JEANS! Ahh but what about jeans and a smart jacket? Oh yes, that's an improvement on jeans and a cardigan… And a necklace. Yes, a big necklace! To detract from the jeans.'
Which finally led me onto something just a little more intellectual:
'Jeeeeez. This is big blogging stuff. Am I ready for this?'"
16.10.13 - Win a holiday!
As if you needed another reason to be at BlogFest <dramatic pause> we're thrilled to announce that all those attending will have the chance to win a fabulous summer holiday from Mark Warner!
The trip up for grabs is for a family of four to the 5* Levante Beach Resort, and it's worth up to £6,025. Flights and full board accommodation are included, as well as childcare (from 4 months – 17 years) and a host of brill activities like sailing and windsurfing tuition, tennis, mountain biking, scuba diving and fitness classes.
There'll be more info on the day of BlogFest about how to enter - but we promise it will be very straightforward, and the odds of winning are pretty decent ;-)
So if you haven't bought a ticket yet, do grab one now to be in with a chance - and if you're already on board, watch this space for more details.
11.10.13 - Visit our Blog Cinic
Allow us to introduce our crack team of blogging experts who will be on hand at this year's BlogFest, awaiting your questions in our Blog Clinic.
On the day you'll be able to sign-up to a one-on-one session with any of the following: social media butterfly Daisy Griffith; legal-eagle Francesca Shepherd; search engine-friendly Lisa Myers; Wordpress whizz Jax Blunt; serial blogger Mammasaurus and prolific tweeter Mummy Barrow - two of Team Honk's fab founders - snap-happy photography duo Carrie Barclay & Darren Baldwin of DIGITALbungalow; sass-mouthed web designer Gemma Regalado-Hawkey; brand insiders Gina Schauffer and blogger Emily Leary; Book Analyst Cressida Downing and our very own HannahMumsnet. Phew - what a crew!
Whether you want a frank critique of your blog design, or to know how to get the most out of WordPress; whether you need a legal-eagle to point out potential pitfalls, or you're desperate to understand what the heck affiliate marketing actually is - sit down with one of our hand-picked posse for 10 minutes of personalised advice.
09.09.13 - Counting down
Can you believe it - we're just 2 months away from this year's BlogFest! We are trying v hard not to get carried away 'til a little nearer the time - but last week's announcement that Jo Brand will be giving a keynote speech has got us all rather giddy. The fabulous Jo is a BAFTA-winning comedian, wonderful writer, actor and reluctant national treasure, so we can't wait to see what
scurrilous wise words she has for us on November 9.
Other recently-announced guests include roguish commentator Toby Young, who'll join Stella Creasy MP and Richard Bacon to ask 'what kind of internet do we want?'; while authors Lionel Shriver and AL Kennedy will share tips for crafting a perfect narrative, alongside bloggers Rosie Fiore and Cassandra Parkin.
We've got a brand new session to help you 'beautify your blog'. The sass-mouthed web designer and developer behind Jane&Philbert, Gemma Regalado-Hawkey, will be showing you how to make your site look awesome and stand out from the crowd. Filling up the rest of our Blogging Lowdown strand are panels on writing funnier stuff, boosting your blog with pics, making money from your hard blogging labour and two social media masterclasses for beginners and advanced.
We hope you'll agree it's shaping up to be a superb day - and it'll be here before we know it. The Early Bird offer is now sadly over, but you can still nab a ticket for the rather reasonable price of £95. They're selling quick though, and time is a-ticking, so be sure you don't miss out - book now!
05.08.13 - Join us at BlogFest '13!
Hurry! There's only a little over a week to go to catch the Early Bird offer for this year's glittering Mumsnet BlogFest, which will take place on Saturday the 9th of November at the swanky Kings Place in central London.
Once again we'll have a stellar lineup of speakers and sessions to tempt you, whether you're a talented newbie, a seasoned hand - or a curious MNer who fancies catching some cracking speakers, and weighing in on some gripping debates.
There'll be some high-profile keynotes to be announced <mysterious face> - and a host of other fab speakers, including Richard Bacon and Prof Tanya Byron, scattered liberally throughout a series of unmissable sessions.
There'll be a chance to sharpen your comedy skills with a writing masterclass from his royal wryness Tim Dowling and standup stalwart Viv Groskop. And we'll tackle more serious subjects too, including how we can make the internet - currently a pretty lawless environment for women who stick their head above the parapet - a less abusive place. What can be done - and who should be responsible for doing it?
With campaigning whirlwinds A Girl Called Jack and Laura Bates from the Everyday Sexism Project - plus sharp-eyed ex-politico and commentator Louise Mensch - we'll be puzzling out how to use social media and blogging to shape the agenda. And there'll be expert-led practical sessions on everything from tweeting like a pro, to photography, to telling a great story.
Feminist heroine Charlotte Raven and whip-smart commentator Glosswitch will debate whether there's a fundamental conflict between 'mummy-blogging', and feminism. AND we'll throw in a delicious canalside lunch, and a good few glugs of something sparkling to sip while you rifle through your veh posh goodie bag at the end of the day.
We'll be announcing plenty more high-profile guests over the coming weeks, along with details of our ace practical sessions to help you get the most from what you post. But don't delay: the Early Bird offer expires in just over a week - so if you want to nab a 20% reduction on the ticket price, book now!
- Find out more about BlogFest '13
- Read about last year's brilliant event
- Watch the video highlights from BlogFest '12