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This week I attended Blog World Expo and New Media conference in Los Angeles. I was thrilled to be asked to present my session all about managing communities online. And while you would imagine the session part to be the main focus- it really was so much more than that.

I often use the phrase only half jokingly ‘that I am in the business of people.’ And before you think I am referring to being a pimp or in some kind of terrible slave trade, I explain how working in digital is often about gathering brand advocates and building communities. And communities are made up of PEOPLE. It is my job to accumulate PEOPLE for the brand. So it is really ‘the business of people.’

Interestingly- when others in the Business of People gather for a conference such as BlogWorld- we are all blind sided by the enjoyment of real human interaction. Anyone in digital enters the world through the portal of their screen- and far too often while we are mastering our skills on increasing engagement or acquiring followers- we lose sight of the importance and joy from being social outside of social media.

In short- we forget about reality. And just how fun actual reality can be.

Blog conferences offer a great opportunity to connect with those avatars/twitter handles and profiles you love so much online. As you can see by the photos…clearly I like this ‘in human’ part of conferences.

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When you are speaker- people ask ‘so how was your session’?’ over and over again. I assess my presentations not on how I performed- but on the questions I am asked after, during the Q&A. It was clear to me- that everyone there was actively listening and interested in more details of community management best practices, strategy and Weber Shandwick in general. This was a stellar group of attendees. BaconWinner2

It was exciting to also play Bacon Fairy at this conference and gave out a year supply of Oscar Mayer (client) bacon (and a super cute t-shirt too) to Nancy. She said her husband was almost in tears when she told him she won. AWESOME.

Am I a bit exhausted today? Of course I am. I think I am suffering a ‘happy hangover’ and plan to #OccupyRobe today.

Thank you to BlogWorld for putting on a huge event-and allowing all of us to connect and learn. See you all at the next one!