Today was the day I broke away from my family for most of the day to actually network with other bloggers (minus kids) and hear from some great speakers. After a great buffet breakfast we were ready to tackle the day!
(Me and Maria with Duffy the Bear – Mickey’s Teddy Bear)
The first speaker we heard from was Meg Crofton who is the president of Walt Disney World Resorts. She gave up some Disney facts, welcomed us and introduced each speaker throughout the day. I wish I had wrote down all the stats but they were truly amazing including the ones of number of employees, laundry washed, and the miles driven by buses!
Next up was Matt Jacobson, the eighth employee of Facebook who is the Head of the Marketing Department. He talked a little about the beginning of Facebook and social media in general, but mainly he answered questions and told us about his own daughters usage of Facebook. I was amazed though to learn that 92% of moms are using Facebook to check on friends and family – I know I definitely use Facebook to post about our family and keep in touch with others. He talked about how important it is to use the notes feature to import your blog posts directly to your blog’s Facebook page and how important it is to use social media plugins in your posts so others can easily share them. I know for my blog have a Twitter and Facebook button definitely helps get the word out since everyone has their own network of friends and family and once someone shares something hopefully someone in their circle will also notice it.
Matt Jacobson also stressed the importance of having a professional and personal page. He used founder Mark Zuckerberg as an example showing his professional page where anyone can like him and his personal page where he only accepts friends and family. I think that is especially important since I don’t necessarily want to share all my photos and comings/goings with all my blog readers but I do want to share it with my friends and family. You can also categorize your Facebook friends and set different privacy settings (Family, co-workers, blog friends…)
Finally, Matt talked about the age restriction of 13 for having a Facebook account. He explained how realistically Facebook can’t monitor ages or check them and that parents need to be responsible for it. I can only imagine how hard it would be for them to look into the ages. I know my sister just lied about her age since she wasn’t 13 yet and my mom was okay with it as long as she was friends with me so I can watch was she is doing online (my mom refuses to join Facebook.) Matt explained how he wouldn’t let his 15 year old twin daughters have an account until they gave a good reason why they needed one – the reason being they are dancers who meet girls at competitions all over and want to stay in touch. He also made them invisible to others so they have to find friends rather than random people friending them just because (my 13 year old probably only know 20% of the people she is friends with on Facebook.)
The next speaker was Rene Syler who is The Good Enough Mother. She is an author, blogger, news anchor, and mother. After getting fired for telling her bosses she was going to have a double mascetomy (she says that was only part of the reason) she went on a downward spiral in life. She finally got her life back together and back on the job market, although she had issues finding an agent who would help her with her vision. I have never been that depressed but I can only imagine how hard it would be for her family as well as herself. She explained how she is now happy everyday because she is alive. To say she was inspirational wouldn’t even do her justice! She was funny, confident, and truthful.
Fran Capo was next and she was surprise! Meg Crofton was asking the audience for Disney memories and Fran ran up out of the audience and started going on and on – turns out she is a standup comic as well as author of 15 books. She opened up by telling us the story of how she earned the world record for fastest female talker (she did it just because.) Her motto is “Just say yes and figure it out later.” I am not that confident but it has definitely worked for her throughout her life. She steps through doors and then figures out how to succeed. She spoke of how she takes her son on crazy adventures to learn and explore the real world. She is amazing how she has accomplished so much and she is definitely not someone to judge by her cover!
(Fran doing a book signing while climbing Mt. Everest!)
Next up was Chris Brogan, author of Trust Agents and President of Human Business Works. He spoke last year and was a favorite. He basically just gets up on stage and wings it, but he does it well! He is awesome at social media and gave some great tips. One big tip he shared is that bloggers need to give each other love, rather than tear each other down. I know I have heard lots of blogger drama which I tend to stay away from, but I do try to help other bloggers wherever I can. By raising other bloggers up, we are sharing and spreading the love! He also suggested to Tweet and Facebook something other than your blog post title to intrigue readers to come over and read it!
Chris had so many great suggestions and tips, that I know I am missing a lot but I hope I am sharing the jist of it. He shared a great acronym for starters: CRAP.
He says to write notes and use everyday life for posts. For example, out of ideas one day he wrote about “warm bread” for a blog post and said he got more comments than some of his other posts he put a lot of effort into! Finally her mentioned about vlogging and sharing it on YouTube. He said it should be around three minutes and should be clear and to the point. I am not big on vlogging only because I using blog while my kids are in my face or late at night when I look like crap! I know eventually I will get better at doing it, but for now I will leave it to the experts!
Finally the day ended with Georgia Stitt and Susan Egan. Now I will admit I had no clue who they were, until I realized Susan was the voice of Meg in the animated movie Hercules. The two sand and chatted about motherhood, love, careers and basically life. Georgia played piano and sang while Susan sang too. They were funny and great entertainment.
(Chicago Bloggers that were at the Disney Social Media Conference!)
Then we had a few hours before joining our families at the Hollywood Studios Disney Junior party on the set of “Lights, Motor, Action.” We had a great meal and entertainment, including a dance floor for the kids! My sons are in love with the new Disney Junior show Jake and the Neverland Pirates so they were thrilled to see the real Sharkey and Bones on stage singing pirate songs! Then came a slew of Disney characters all dancing and mingling with the kids. My boys danced until I dragged them off – they were in heaven with all those kids, the music, and the Disney characters out there. Aidan was break dancing, which was really funny since I have no clue where he learned it and there really wasn’t a lot of room open for him to do it!
Overall, the day was full of great advice and speakers and then great family time. Everything went smooth and flowed nicely!
Sharkey and Bones!
Aidan and Gavin dancing
Kassie and Me
Walt Disney plan from Hollywood Studios backlot
Mom and More Disclosure: I received discounted hotel accommodations, theme park passes, meals, conference sessions, and some goodies in exchange for my honest opinion. Please see my Disclosure Policy.