Tomorrow is September 1. That date means many things to many people. For me it represents the official Blogalicious Weekend Conference countdown. Yep, I am excited. Why? Well, how much time do you have?
Blogalicious Weekend is one of my favorite social media conferences. I’ve been attending it since the first one that was held in Atlanta in 2009. That weekend will always be memorable because of the many women I met like Veronica Arreola, Boni Candelario, Xina Eiland, Terri Holley, Thien Kim, and Aliza Sherman. I also reconnected with Corynne Corbett and Natalie McNeal, two of my BlogHer 09 hanging buddies. The lessons I learned from sessions featuring Shameeka Ayers, Leticia Baar, Angela Benton, Jessica Carter, Shannon Nash, Corvida Raven, and Karen Walrond were key to my making smarter moves as a blogger, entrepreneur, speaker, and writer. I was also able to teach a kind and gentle yoga class for social media users and interview one of my digital sheros, Cheryl Mayberry McKissack, founder of NiaOnline. Those were HUGE moments!!!!!
Confession: The 2010 conference was my favorite. It was held at the Ritz Carleton on Miami Beach (loved the location)! I roomed with my digital sister Xina. We co-hosted an open-mic luncheon sponsored by McDonalds.
I also learned about the Heart of Haiti campaign and became a blogger ambassador with the help of Lauren Thomas, met Danica Kombol of Everywhere and Willa Shalit of Fairwinds Trading, and sipped the Middle Sister wine in the Wine Sisterhood suite with my digital sister Boni. I took time to lay out in the sun and drink a few cocktails.
Taking Takeyah Young’s morning yoga class on the beach with Veronica, Xina, Shirelle Kirkland-Andrews, and a bunch of other digital sisters was yogalicious! Some of the best moments happened when I used my smartphone to interview several digital sisters and brothers for my Cinchcast podcast. I screamed when I met my Twitter digital sister Dr. Goddess in person! That was a huge moment because we traded so many tweets! Having a lot of time to chat with my Latinos in Social Media digital sisters Kety Esquivel and Julie Diaz Asper was fabulous. I sat in the audience and enjoyed hearing CNN journalist Soledad O’Brien share her thoughts about life and technology via Skype. At the end of the conference, I was inspired me to launch #DigitalSisterhood Wednesdays. What fun we had!
The 2011 conference was held closer to home at the Gaylord National Hotel in Maryland (about 30 minutes from my home in Washington, D.C.). During that conference, I served as a Blogalicious Ambassador and mentored the Digital Sisterhood Network’s Blogger-in-Residence Kamaria Richmond. Thanks to Kamaria’s fundraising efforts, I was able to stay in her room as a guest. She knows how to raise money for a conference! My dad Dr. John F. Leeke also attended the conference. That was a lot of fun to see him connect with bloggers and brands. He soaked it all up and became a Blogalicious fan for life.
I cried so much during the American Cancer Society’s presentation featuring one of my digital sheroes, Susan Niebur. That moment is etched into my heart forever. I hung out with Danica and Britton Edwards from Everywhere, chatted with Corynne and LaShanda Henry, interviewed a group of bloggers including Issa Mas for my Cinchcast podcast, and had a great “brinner” chat with Dr. Goddess and Kiratiana Freelon. My favorite session featured Aliza Sherman who talked about apps and other techie tools. She dropped some serious science on me. The Susan B. Komen for the Cure pajama party and the Wine Sisterhood suite were my favorite places to hang out and connect with other bloggers. One of the best chats I had was with Barbara Jones and Julie. These ladies gave me a lot of food for thought!
Earlier this month, I reconnected with my Blogalicious family during Brunchilious at the BlogHer 12 conference in New York City. During the brunch, I shared my Blogalicious experiences and the power of the community. What an honor!
And so now I am looking forward to learning, growing, connecting, laughing, sharing, and making more memories in a few weeks at Blogalicious 12. It will be my first time visiting Las Vegas. So I’ll definitely have to take photos of the strip. I am rooming with Xina. So we are gonna have a great time. She’s working the conference as the official Blogalicious publicist (a job she does so well!). I am serving as a media sponsor via the Digital Sisterhood Network and as a speaker for the Blog Community Jam Session on September 28 at 2:00 p.m. I am speaking with an amazing group of folks. See below.
- Melanie Edwards, owner of Ella Media
- Ana Flores, founder of Latina Bloggers Connect
- Jennifer James, founder of Mom Bloggers Club
- Jyl Johnson, founder of Mom It Forward
- Manny Ruiz, founder of Hispancize
- Lisa Stone, co-founder of BlogHer
So here’s what you can do.
- Register for the conference so you don’t miss out on the great Blogalicious experience of a lifetime!
- Participate in the #beuplifted Twitter chats on Wednesdays at 9:00 p.m. on Twitter. Follow @beblogalicious and @justicefergie during the chats.
- Follow #blogalicious12 tweets for all things great about the conference.
- Be sure to follow me on Twitter at @anandaleeke or @digitalsisterhd. I’ll be live tweeting from the conference … sharing photos … and audio blogs during the last week of September.
Hope to see you in Las Vegas in September! Ciao!