I came, I talked, I learned. And I was inspired.
For those who missed BlogPaws, the first pet blogger’s conference, I’m happy to report it was a huge success. I don’t have all the stats about how many attended — a big ballroomful, for sure — or how much money was raised for pet charities — lots! — but I can attest that the spirit of the pet community is huge.
The social buzz
I met some of my favorite bloggers in person for the first time: Eric Goebelbecker of Dog Spelled Forward; Roxanne Hawn of Champion of My Heart, Deborah Flick of Boulder Dog… There were many, many others, but I spent the farewell event drinking and shmoozing with those three, so can attest that they’re fun to hang out with as well as being terrific bloggers.
I also met the wonderful Mary-Alice Pomputius of DogJaunt, with whom I am sponsoring a SleepyPod giveaway contest — there’s still time to enter! — and her dog, Chloe, who is even more adorable in person than in her picture.
Chloe is a love machine, the unofficial greeter of the conference, conferring doggy kisses on all who came her way. (Yes, Frankie, it’s true, I kissed another dog. It was a conference and I couldn’t help myself; I missed you so much. I’d intended what happened in Columbus to stay in Columbus but since I came home wearing the same black jeans I wore throughout the entire conference, I knew you’d sniff me out anyway.)
I also reconnected with old friends from my travel writing past, Paris Permenter and John Bigley who created the stellar DogTipper site.
And I met Esther Chen of PeoplePets.com at check in. Although I am a great admirer of her publication and an avid reader of her e-newsletter, I didn’t think that was an appropriate time to tell her that I thought Frankie’s adorable book trailer (it’s on the right of this post) needed to be up on the PeoplePets website. If you’re reading this, Esther, I hope you’ll realize the restraint I showed and consider this less invasive but oh-so-heartfelt request.
The pet blogging biz
I still have too much material from all the sessions I attended to process, so I’ll just focus on one in which I participated, on book publishing. I had to defend the honor of funny dogs from Sparkle the Designer Cat, whose spokesperson, Janiss Garza, claimed that cats are the more amusing species. The defense was a no brainer. All I had to do was show the aforementioned book trailer, which demonstrates just what a card — not to mention world traveler — Frankie is. Incidentally, Sparkle, although you’re correct that there are more pet cats in households than pet dogs, dog owners spend more money on their charges because we, well, love them more. And that’s because they’re more lovable.
Also on the panel, Penny Sansevieri, creator of the Author Marketing Experts Inc, and author of Red Hot Internet Publicity, spoke on a topic that I’m very interested in checking into: the advantages of self-publishing. The fact that she also liked Am I Boring My Dog, which she’d gotten as a gift for Christmas — talk about serendipity! — only endeared her to me further. Clinching her status as one of the people I was happiest to meet at BlogPaws: She was at the ever-shifting table of revelers at the final event and lots of fun to hang out with.
The spirit of giving
There’s much much more, including the great swag that I plan to put together in a gift basket for a silent auction to benefit the Humane Society of Southern Arizona; I’ll be taking a picture and thanking all the donors individually. But I need to unpack and give my undivided attention to Frankie, so I’ll end with a big thanks to BlogPaws organizers Yvonne DiVita, Tom Collins, and Caroline Golon, who put together an amazing event, and with the video that captures its spirit, created by Lynn Haigh, a.k.a. Frugal Dougal, CDO of #pawpawty events, which help animal charities around the world.