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SOBCon Leaves Me Speechless


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I’ve read through so many SOBCon posts over the last couple of days, and I’ve been quite frankly a little nervous about this moment - it’s time for me to write a post about the conference. And guess what?

I don’t know what to say.

It’s not like I’m usually at a loss for words, as many of you know! The event was a connection on a deeper level with old friends met for the first time. Dare I say magical without sounding like a total hippie?!

I tried to sneak in late on Friday night, which was an absolute joke, because the minute I walked in the room, I was greeted with a giant bear hug from close friend Dawud Miracle. Then once the hugs started, they just couldn’t stop, and somehow I was running around the room hugging everyone as I couldn’t wait to wrap my arms around all these people who mean SO much to me.

The first hugging victims:

Lorelle VanFossen, Adam Kayce, Easton Ellsworth , Ben Yoskovitz, Robyn Tippins, Liz Strauss, Phil Gerbyshak, Tony Clark (the best surprise because I didn’t know he was going to be there!!), Alex Shalman, Sharon Scherer, Kammie Kobyleski , Ari Garber, Mike Sansone, Chris and Lisa Cree, Terry Starbucker, Muhammad Saleem, and Sheila Scarborough.

The next day, the presentations were just amazing - they far exceeded my expectations. I know a LOT about blogging, but to have an open discussion in person really put a whole new perspective on things. Jason Alba live blogged the whole event - so I steer you to him for the dirt on the presentations.

At the end of the night I really didn’t want to leave. We were with our “online family” that we finally got to spend some quality time with - and now I’m sad everyone is back home. :(

I think I hugged almost every single person there. And if I didn’t, I wish I did!! But here is a virtual hug to all of the rest of the people I haven’t already mentioned:

Sandra Renshaw, Brad Shorr, Timothy Johnson, Tammy Lenski, David Dalka, Todd And John Yedinak, Tim Draayer, Jeremy Geelan, Carolyn Manning, Sheila Scarborough, Steve Farber, Doug Mitchell, Jeff O’Hara, Dave Schoof, Jamy Shiels, Adam Steen, Hannah Steen, Chris Thilk, Barry Zweibel, Eric Bingen, Ellen Moore, Cord Silverstein, Jean-Patrick Smith, James Walton, Sharan Tash, Vernon Lun, Tony Lee, Scott Desgrosseilliers, Mark Murrell, Mark Goodyear, Ann Michael, Kent Blumberg, Ashley Cecil, Robert Hruzek, Sabu N G, Lisa Gates, Franke James, Chris Brown, Troy Worman, Karen Putz, Jesse Petersen, Terry Mapes, Andy Brudtkuhl, Lucia Mancuso, Peter Flaschner, Derrick Sorles, Mike Rohde, Thomas Clifford, Rajesh Srivastava, Claire Celsi, Cristiana Passinato, Sean R., Brad Spirrison, Ari Garber, Dr. Rob Wolcott, Cheryll Cruz, Sharon Scherer, Jonathan Phillips Jason Wade, Jill Pullen, Doug Bulleit, Wendy Kinney, Chelsea Vincent, Ayush Agarwal, Paul Mangalik, Premchand Kallan, Xochi Kaplan , Michael Snell, and Ella Wilson.

And to my wonderful co-presenters who made the day amazing:

Andy Sernovitz Phil Gerbyshak Liz Strauss David Armano Mike Sansone Drew McLellan Mike Wagner Terry Starbucker Rodney Rumford Ben Yoskovitz Chris Cree Robyn Tippins Diego Orjuela Vernon Lun and Christine Kane

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    On May 15th, 2007 at 1:26 pm, Sue Olson said:

    I believe my attempt at blogging will nto be a flash in the pan — I hope to be part of the hug fest one of these days!

    On May 15th, 2007 at 1:33 pm, Jonathan-C. Phillips said:

    hehe, hug fest! that was awesome! I had a blast at the event! And Wendy, your presentation was top notch! You speak with your heart! Keep it up!



    On May 15th, 2007 at 2:10 pm, derek said:

    I’m learning a lot just going through all the sites/blogs you just linked of people that were in attendance!

    Sounds like you all had a fun time.

    On May 15th, 2007 at 2:10 pm, David Airey :: Creative Design :: said:

    On my way to Jason’s site to check out the procedings. I would’ve loved to have joined you, but alas, I’m in Scotland.

    Bye for now.

    On May 15th, 2007 at 2:22 pm, Timothy Johnson said:

    Wendy - “magical” is not too strong of a word, and if it makes you a hippie then I say “Here’s to the 60’s again”

    It was an amazing, wonderful, magical experience.

    All Liz and Phil and Terry and Chris have to do is mention SOBCon08 and dozens (dare I say hundreds) of bloggers will begin to salivate.

    As for your hugs, you and Phil can go toe-to-toe. For those of you not there to experience one of Wendy’s hugs first hand, think of a wrestling body slam, yet vertical and where the energy is derived purely from friendship and love.

    Wendy, one last note: your presentation was so wonderful and heart felt. It was a pleasure to meet you.

    On May 15th, 2007 at 2:56 pm, Dennis Bjørn Petersen said:

    Sometimes I really want to live in the States. Not just the hugging ;) but to participate in those Blogcons and Web 2.0- cons.

    (and Dairy Queen but thats another story)

    On May 15th, 2007 at 3:02 pm, Easton Ellsworth said:

    Wasn’t it just the best?

    On May 15th, 2007 at 4:31 pm, Terry Starbucker said:

    Wendy! Your hugs were wonderful, and so was your presentation. I continue to draw great inspiration from you, and I can’t wait to get another dose of your smile and huge positve vibe. Keep the faith!

    On May 15th, 2007 at 5:14 pm, JoLynn Braley said:

    I’ve never been to one of these conferences (I just started blogging in March) but it sounds wonderful.

    I can imagine how great it would be to meet in person all of the people that you “know” online and build positive relationships with. I imagine it could even be a little overwhelming (or maybe that’s just me) meeting everyone at once! :)

    I’ll have to come back and go through your links like derek mentioned he’s been doing. I’ll check out Jason Alba’s posts to learn more, too. Thanks Wendy!

    On May 15th, 2007 at 6:03 pm, Tony D. Clark said:

    I was so glad to meet you in person and be a part of the hugfest. It felt like we’d been friends for years.

    Your presentation was awesome and your energy and passion is contagious.

    I’m glad I was there to experience it in person.

    On May 15th, 2007 at 6:17 pm, Steve Farber said:

    Hey…I’m one who did not get a hug. Geez, what’s a guy gotta do? Thanks for your remarkable energy at the conference!

    On May 15th, 2007 at 7:08 pm, Achieved Success said:

    I agree with Dennis. Sometimes I wish I lived in the States too. There are no such thing as Blogcons and Web 2.0- cons in Singapore :(

    On May 15th, 2007 at 7:22 pm, Adam Kayce : Monk At Work said:

    Yeah, Dawud got lucky he was sitting closer… he saw my head turn when you came through the door, and beat me to you. I’m not sore, though — I got plenty o’lovin’. ;-)

    For all the folks who wanted to be there but couldn’t (I empathize, David; that’s what, a 13-hour flight?), you can tell that we’re all highly passionate about doing it again next year. There were 110 people in attendance this year, and it wouldn’t surprise me if there were 500 next year.

    There were a lot of folks in the room who’ve only been blogging a short time; I’ve only been blogging five weeks, myself!

    And thanks, Wendy, for what you shared in your presentation; the message of taking the conversation to everyone we know and sharing to the level you encouraged us to was very inspirational.

    (and shoot, I’d go to BlogHer if I could, just to see you speak again, and get another few hugs!)

    On May 15th, 2007 at 8:33 pm, Kent Blumberg said:


    You were magic to the max! And just right for that point in the day. Supercalifragilisticexpealidocious! (That’s a 60s word for you youngsters.)


    On May 15th, 2007 at 8:41 pm, Mark Goodyear said:

    I never got a hug from you specifically. But I think I hugged people you hugged. Does that count?

    Maybe I’ll earn a Wendy Piersall original by next year.

    And you’re right. Magical.

    On May 15th, 2007 at 8:46 pm, Mark Goodyear said:

    And, um, sorry for misspelling your name on my site. And I’m an editor too. How embarassing.

    On May 15th, 2007 at 9:12 pm, Phil Gerbyshak said:

    Wendy - you are a hugging MACHINE! Thanks for sharing so much of your passion and love with all of us at SOBCon, and continuing to share it here on your writing home.

    I miss you already ;)

    On May 15th, 2007 at 9:58 pm, Wendy Piersall said:

    @ Sue & Derek - you would have LOVED this conference - you have to make it a MUST next year!

    @ Johnathan - thanks and more hugs your way!

    @ David - I think next year, you’ll just have to plan better. ;)

    @ Timothy - that comment gave me warm fuzzies. Shucks - thanks!

    @ Dennis - I have a DQ within walking distance from my house. And I’ll bring you DQ if you show up at SOBCon next year!

    @ Easton - YES!

    @ Terry - More warm fuzzies! More hugs to you and you did an AMAZING job this weekend - you made such an impact - thank YOU!

    @ JoLynn - yeah, it was a lot in one weekend - I think next year they will be planning a little more down time and perhaps a longer conference to have plenty of time to connect with everyone.

    @ Tony - totally agreed - it felt as close as gatherings with some of my best friends I see on a regular basis. I’m still so psyched you were there!

    @ Steve - I actually LOOKED for you post conference and couldn’t find you to introduce myself and get caught up on our hug! :( Do you live in the Chicago area, by chance?

    @ Achieved Success - You can always create the SOBCon Singapore Edition! ;)

    @ Adam - it was so great to get to hang out with you, too. Dawud and I were talking about how amazing your blog is for being so young - you really already stand out from the crowd - I thought you had been around for months and was just hiding! I look forward to watching your own path grow and blossom in the coming months! (And BTW - BlogHer will be completely different, more of a panel conversation)

    @ Mark and Kent - I got back at you on your own blogs! :D

    @ Phil - I MISS YOU TOO! We need to do a bloggy barbeque at my house SOON!!! :D

    On May 16th, 2007 at 12:19 am, shaz said:

    this one sounds like my kind of conference! maybe once I start making some money, my husband can be a “stay at home dad” so I can jet off to fancy conferences… or, I could just read about them here! :)

    On May 16th, 2007 at 12:21 am, Wendy Piersall said:

    Nah - Shaz, it’s way more fun in person! :D

    On May 16th, 2007 at 1:03 am, Rory said:

    SOBCon07 sounded like great fun and a great learning experience.

    Being over here in the UK I’ve really appreciated the various posts and “shout-outs”, and particularly the photos which are so helpful in finally being able to put faces to names.

    Thanks for this write-up, Wendy.

    Maybe I’ll start saving now for 2008…

    On May 16th, 2007 at 6:39 am, Dawud Miracle said:

    Wendy, I don’t even know what to say…I guess I’m still processing all that happened - all the heart connections - from the weekend. Funny, it’s really hard to put the weekend into words.

    I guess we use words with each other all the time in our writing. But being able to experience each other in person is something different. It’s more. It’s…what this ‘blogging’ thing is all about. Meeting people, having great conversation and building relationships that evolve into friendships. WOW!

    Thank you for your friendship, your energy and your hugs. And your smile. I guess I’m feeling sentimental today.

    Reading the comments, however, I chuckled with what Mark said about hugging people who hugged you…


    On May 16th, 2007 at 4:43 pm, Robert Hruzek said:

    Wendy, sorry I missed meeting you - it’s hard to keep track of who meets who at these things. But here we all are again, still at SOBCon, right here in everyone’s comment boxes! So cool!

    Mentions on other sites...

    1. SOBCon07…Sharing Our Best Conference 2007 - Dawud Miracle @ - (formerly Healthy WebDesign) on May 15th, 2007 at 3:33 pm

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