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Blissdom Canada: Inspiration Is Waiting For You

Blissdom Canada

When I showed up at the Blissdom Canada conference last year, I had been blogging for about 8 months. I still had the feeling that I had been duped by my friend, Shannon (zchamu), who said that there would be plenty of men at the conference and that I NEEDED to go. She ended up being right about one of those two things…

It didn’t take a rocket scientist to notice that I was outnumbered about 20:1 in the Women:Men department, and most of the men in attendance were well established bloggers and media personalities, so it was just a tad intimidating. That said, I made a decision before walking into the room at Blissdom, that I would not accept fear as a reason to not get the most out of my experience. So, I said hi to almost everyone I wanted to say hi to, I asked questions at my round tables, I met new and amazing people, I dressed in a super hero costume, I did interpretive dance, I sang karaoke as loudly as I possibly could and I walked into a room where I was in the clear minority, and pretended like I was just like everybody else, which I kind of was. All of those things combined, helped me to leave Blissdom Canada with a completely new outlook on blogging and what I wanted to be, both as a blogger and as a person.

Seriously, they are not paying me to say any of this. Even as new and inexperienced as I was, the take aways from Blissdom Canada have set me on a path that I could have never imagined when I started this little blog. I get to cover kids shows & music festivals, work with amazing companies and bloggers, raise money for charity, help people in need, do TV and radio interviews and now I can add speaking at conferences to my list of accomplishments. All of this started at Blissdom Canada, where I learned to have the confidence in my abilities that I desperately needed to try some of the crazy things I have done.

Now I ask you, other than money, why are you not sure if Blissdom Canada is for you? Are you shy? Think you are too new? Do you get hives because Tanis “Attack Of The Redneck Mommy” Miller might be standing right next to you and you don’t want her to notice how sweaty and unreasonably excited you are to meet her? Are you intimidated by Erica Ehm and her Yummy Mummy Club superstardom? I was, but guess what? Just say hi. They are incredibly kind people and I promise you they won’t bite. Or at least they didn’t bite me… There are so many excuses not to come but I hope my story is something that you can relate to, because you’ll write me a thank you letter once you get home from it.

Let me go one step further. Here is my offer and promise to you. If at any point, you get overwhelmed, lonely, nervous, shy, sweaty or any other thing else that happens to us for some unfair, no good reason, I invite you to come and hang out with me until it subsides. I’ve been there and understand how tough it can be to be the new kid on the block. Plus, I had some great people help me out on my first trip to Blissdom and want to pay that kindness forward. So, tweet me, DM me, FB me, find me, and say hi. Don’t let nerves ruin your experience.

And, finally, Men of the blogging/social media/brand world! This is NOT just a conference for women. In fact, I can’t think of one time where I was made to feel unwelcome or where the content was completely woman centric. So get off your butts and join me at this thing. If not, I am going to return to Blissdom Canada again this year, more confident that ever, and I am going to be one of the few guys again and I will get all the guy spotlight and …. Actually, on second thought, maybe you guys should sit this one out.

Captain Caffeine! At Your Service!

Captain Caffeine! At Your Service!

Canadian Spotlight: When Children Inspire – Earth Hour Edition

Earth Hour Pledge

I’ll cut right to the chase here, I am no environmentalist. I know about Earth Hour but I really don’t know anything ABOUT Earth Hour, if you catch my drift. I try to be conscious about the usual things, such as turning off lights, not littering and conserving energy where possible but overall I am pretty clueless about the process. To my credit, I am interested in learning more about Earth Hour and began to do some research. That research quickly brought me to a 10 year old girl named Hannah Alper.

If that name sounds familiar it is because I just wrote about her Mom, Candace, on this very site last week. Hannah has decided to start an Earth Hour pledge, called the “Stop, Start and Continue Pledge“, that stretches out far beyond the one hour allotted for the Earth Hour event. Hannah is asking people to fill out one of her pledge forms, where you will commit to stop, start and continue doing something that is good for the environment.

It’s an incredibly smart initiative for a 10 year old and when I saw this interview she did on CTV, I was blown away by how comfortable she was with being on camera and explaining what her pledge was all about. After reading through her blog a little, I can now say unequivocally, that Hannah is an amazing young lady and her parents should be extremely proud.

Now, all that said, I never did get around to reading more about Earth Hour because I got sidetracked by all this awesomeness! I did, however, find a great article on Earth Hour from Yummy Mummy Club writer, Gwen Leron, and will be checking that out later this evening. I have also started filling out my Stop, Start and Continue Pledge, which includes the following:

1. I will stop throwing out what can be donated or reused (clothes, toys, books).
2. I will start using my voice, as young Hannah has demonstrated.
3. I will continue to read up and share amazing stories of people who are going out of their way to make a difference in the world.

I want to close by saying thank you to kids like Hannah and the charity group kids I have previously featured, for being the young voices that are going to lead the next generation. Your work does not go unnoticed and I commend you for everything you have done and I’m sure will continue to do. You have inspired at least guy to take a more active look at what I contribute to the earth, and I’m sure I’m not the only one.

I encourage you all to stop by Hannah’s website and take her pledge. It only takes a minute and it may even inspire you to take action for yourself.

Dad Blogs Exposed! – Dadditudes

 

 

 

 

After a one week vacation, Dad Blogs Exposed is back and better than ever! This week I’ll be featuring a new site for Dad’s that’s taking Canada by Storm.

That site is called Dadditudes and it is the brainchild of Neil Hedley, who I was e-introduced to through a mutual friend. I couldn’t figure out how to accurately describe Neil’s profession, so I’ll copy and paste from his bio and you’ll see why…

“Along the way, Neil’s been an actor, singer, stand-up comic, author of a book that hit #1 in its category on Amazon, World Record holder, and in 2011, was one of the first five speakers announced at Canada’s first-ever 140 Conference.”

How do you narrow that down to one? Oh yeah, he also contributes weekly to Sympatico.ca and also does a weekly feature on CTV here in Canada. On top of all that, he’s actually a really nice guy, not like those other hot head World Record holders! How he had time to come up with Dadditudes is beyond me but it’s quickly becoming one of my favourite hangout spots on the net.

Fittingly enough, Dadditudes was launched on Fathers’ Day 2012 as a magazine, community and resource for men who have better things to think about than the latest raunchy photos of actresses on the beach.

That tag line caught my eye right away and after checking out the site for a couple months, I can say that they totally live up to their word. It’s your one stop shop for everything from movie and music reviews to fatherly issues. Throw in some sports, cars and television talk and they’ve got all the makings of a successful site for men.

With a full staff of 21 writers and counting, you’ll never be lacking for material with Dadditudes. The more I read it, the more it starts to feel like one of my favourite sites, the Yummy Mummy Club, but for men. Much like the YMC however, there is more than enough content for both sexes to enjoy.

I hope you’ll take a few minutes (or hours (or days)) to check out Dadditudes and everything it has to offer. Neil has created the beginning of something very cool here and it’s definitely worth your time! You can also follow them on their Facebook page or head on over and say Hi to both Dadditudes and Neil Hedley on Twitter.

Cheers!!