Monday, October 25, 2010

KidlitCon 2010

Just in case you didn't notice from my last post, and the barrage emanating from my Twitter account, I spent the weekend in Minneapolis at the 2010 Kidlitosphere Conference. Which was awesome. That is all.

You want more? Okay, fine.

So this is my fourth KidlitCon. I'm in the rare position of being just one of three kidlit bloggers who've been to all of them (the others are Jen Robinson and MotherReader, in case you were wondering), and here's what I've found to be true at all of these.

Yes, the sessions are great. They gave me good ideas and food for thought, and reminders about things I know I slack on regarding my blog.

Yes, the geeky book talk is great, as is the geeky tech talk. In real life, I rarely have the chance to go, "Oh, did you read that book yet? What did you think of that one guy, what he did?" and have the reply be, "OH MY GOD! I did! Yes! I couldn't believe it!" or even, "No, but I reeeeally want to after reading that one review!" And then have the conversation continue on to, "What do you think of this new functionality from Blogger?"

Yes, we get fed, and the food is good. This year it was all provided, yowza, and thanks to the organizers and HarperCollins.

But none of that is really what KidlitCon is about for me.

For me, this conference is about the people. I realized that some of the attendees are people that I actually know very well (down to being able to count off the number of their kids, which may just verge on creepy), but I've only met in person a handful of times. Others are people I want to get to know online after meeting them.

So, to the friends I caught up with: Jen Robinson, MotherReader, Book Nut, Melissa Wiley, Mary Lee Hahn, Lisa Jenn, and Laura Lutz: It was so great to see you all, catch up, and bask in your noises of sympathetic devastation when I lost my e-reader. (Which was turned in to lost and found at Mall of America by a very kind . . . Minneapolite? Minneapolitan? and will shortly be posted back to me.) Especially especially great were the hours of conversation about everything from mom details to blogging ethics to new books to what the heck to do in Minneapolis on a Sunday morning. (Answer: not much.)

To the friends I met for the first time or got to know better: PragmaticMom, Janet Fox, Jacqueline Houtman, Charlotte Taylor and anyone I randomly struck up a conversation with. It was fun to get to know you.

To my fellow mad Tweeters, keeping the twitterverse up to date on the happenings: @alicepope, @teacher6th, @BonnyGlen, @LizB, @MaryLeeHahn @RascofromRIF @thepageturn @mudmamba. . . tweet on!

To anyone who wasn't there: next year!

To anyone I forgot to mention, all of the above, or at least as much of it as is personally appropriate.

So this recap wasn't a recap so much as a processing, was it? For hard details, see pictures of the weekend on Flickr, read the Twitter transcript at Greg's The Happy Accident, and check in with some of the many other recaps, collected at the KidlitCon 2010 blog.

Thank you to the able organizers, Andrew Karre of Lerner Books, Brian Farrey of Flux, and Ben Barnhart of Milkweed Editions. You put together an amazing weekend for all of us, and you fully deserve the nervous breakdowns you're going to have now.

Next year will be in Seattle. Woohoo for West Coasters!

The last session, which as per tradition focused on the Kidlitosphere itself and what we're all about, stressed the community aspect of this group. We lose people all the time, but we also gain people all the time, and if we're to maintain our sense of community we have to welcome the newbies with as much warmth as we were welcomed. This conference goes a long way toward making that happen.


Michelle said...

Thank you for all your tweets (along with the others you mentioned) it was great to be able to "attend" even though I couldn't take advantage of all the excellent face-to-face interaction you mentioned here. I agree, that really is the best part of all!

Lisa Jenn Bigelow said...

It was great to see you, as well! And I'm so glad your e-reader will be returned to you. Hooray for humanity coming through. :-D

Melissa said...

Woo hoo for honest Minneapolisians (or whatever)! And it was great to see you, too. Here's to next year!

Charlotte said...

I am so glad you found your e reader. I hope all the books were still on it :)

And it was great getting to know you too!

Susan Taylor Brown said...

You nailed so many of my own thoughts about the conference. It was great to meet you and put a face and a voice to your name and your blog.

Unknown said...

I am so happy your Nook was returned!!!! Hurrah for Minnesotan kindness!

GREAT to see you at KidlitCon. And thanks again for your excellent tweets--next best thing to attending a panel itself.

Pragmatic Mom said...

I was so delighted to meet you in person at KidLitCon 2010. Thank you for being so welcoming to a "Mommy Blogger" and for all your helpful advice. It was my great pleasure to be there. Wonderful conference. Thank you to all who organized it!