Friday, June 25, 2010

Citizen Ojo goes to Washington D.C. for Blogging While Brown.

I waited 2 years for this moment. So when I heard it was going down in the District of Columbia, I had to be there. I’m talking about last weekend’s Blogging While Brown. This is an event where bloggers of color can come together under one roof. Some of the bloggers that were present blog about technology, natural hair, politics and even their personal lives. You also have writers, authors, journalists, and social media specialists attending the event. If you were a blogger of color, this was the place to be.

I took the train to D.C. (alright coming up – not so alright coming back). Amtrak runs hot and cold so you never know how your trip will be. The only thing that is promised is that someone will bring fried chicken on the train. No, not Church’s, Popeye’s or KFC. Chicken from their house!!!

I arrived into D.C. last Friday night and spent my time catching up with my friend/frat brother. But I couldn’t stay out with him too long because I was there on business. I didn’t want to miss the convention because I was sleeping off a late night on U Street. Besides, I would end up back on U Street on Saturday night with another Friend/Frat Brother. As the old saying goes “Every time I try to get out, they pull me back in.” I believe that U Street has a hold on me!!!

I woke up the morning of the convention and was nervous like it was the first day of school. I’m usually shy by nature and I have a hard time just randomly talking to strangers. It didn’t help that I was struggling with my shower before I left (it’s a long shameful story). I finally made it to the convention center and I ended up getting lost. This was even after receiving directions from the security guard inside the building. I don’t know if it was the nerves or the heat but I was off my game. I got myself together and made it to the meeting area.

From the moment the convention started I was in heaven. They provided so much information that I felt that I should have tipped someone. Some of our speakers were from Facebook, Congressional Black Caucus and the Federal Trade Commission.

Side Note: Don’t sleep on this event. This wasn’t something that “pookie and em” threw together. This was a “Real Deal” event. That was truly nice to see because sometimes “all” black folks get a bad rap for “some” black folks putting together mess.

If you want to know the exact list of sessions, check out the schedule here. If you have further questions, hit me up on twitter or email. This experience helped in personal social media journey. I was finally around people that understood me and I didn’t have to explain myself to them. I didn’t have to explain my excessive use of twitter because everyone else in the room was using it too. People didn’t look at me crazy when I told them I was a blogger. It was like finally meeting your real family (sorry mama but I still love you). It was cool to finally meet people that you knew about from on-line. Also it was cool to meet new people for the first time.

I have to be honest and say that my table was the “Cool Kids” table (per the African American Swag Standard Scale). I was sitting at a table full of confident and capable females. They were bloggers, photographers, and social media specialists. I also had some of the most popular folks on the internet sitting next to me. Two of my fellow table mates were none other than Afrobella and Awesomely Luvvie from the House of IG. It was cool because they talked to me like a regular dude and didn’t play me like they were Hollywood celebs. I have to admit that I was a little star struck with Luvvie but I think I held it together (not really but a brotha tried). And Afrobella has that Jill Scott vibe going on so that’s always an extra plus in my book. The following folks were also at my table: Pretty Brown Girl (straight outta D.C.), Danielle J, Adria Richards, and Vivrant Thang. I can’t stress enough how friendly these ladies were. Adria showed me something pertaining to my blog (thank you ma’am) and Danielle J and Vivrant Thang have something in common with me (didn’t know that until we met). I love the name of Pretty Brown Girl’s blog. Check it out and the other ladies blogs when you get a chance.

I am so glad that I attended this event. I plan on taking the information I received and will use it to be a better blogger and social media specialist. I thank Blogging While Brown for reaffirming what I do and the need for it. I also have gained new networks which hopefully will become great friends. This was a true life changing experience.


TB_BT said...

Good recap...Glad you took my advice to write something. You can thank me later! LOL

Witches Brew said...

I hope our city treated you well!

RiPPa said...

Good stuff man! I was about to ask you last weekend if you were there as I followed your tweets.

Val said...

I'm glad you enjoyed BWB, CO. It sounds like something I'd like. And I'm kinda shy too so I get your anxiety.

And I'm hoping you'll do a post about your train experience. :-)

Unknown said...

I went to the first BWB conference back in 2008. I'm sorry that I missed the one earlier this month in Washington DC.

Anyhow, I appreciate your blog post!

peace, Villager

PBG said...

It was great to meet you. I enjoyed your company and insight at our table! I'll be sure to stay connected!

Glen Antoine Palmer said...

Well done. A brother has to attend one sometime. I need to start saving some pennies pronto.

Luvvie said...

It was pretty cool meeting you, Ojo! You made my day w/ ur kind words. It was my pleasure :-D

the uppity negro said...

Alright sir...

I want the story on the train!! LOL I took Amtrak my freshman year of college from New Orleans to Chicago--20 hours. Honestly, if it wasn't so long, I'd do it again. I enjoy the relaxation of it all. And yes, you should bring your own lunch and what not lol.

And the shower....sir, we need stories here.

But, yeah I remember you saying how much you were looking forward to it. And I understand what it means to finally be around "your own people" and sometimes blood family can't even do that for you.

Citizen Ojo said...

TB_BT - Ha! Yeah, I give you full credit!! A gift card comes with that. I'll put that out in the mail.

Witches Brew - What? And you didn't call a brotha?

Rippa - Yeah I was in the place to be. I hope you make it out one of these days.

Val - The next one is in Cali. Maybe you could catch that one. A "Train Post"..oh wow! I don't know if you are ready for that..ha ha.

Villager - Thanks for stopping by. I have been waiting to attend for 2years. I wanted to go to the 1st one and the 2nd. This one I was not going to miss.

PBG - Hey!! Yep please do stay in touch. It was nice to meet you and I had a real good time.

Glen Palmer - You need to my man. We need your swag at the event.

Luvvie - *bows to you* ha! the pleasure was all mine. Next time I need to bring a camera. The wife was excited for me!!! Hopefully we will meet again.

the uppity negro - 20 hours with people eating Fried Chicken??? Can't tell the story on the shower. I'll die with that one. Yep, it was like a family event. It's hard to explain but I think you know what I mean.

Marty said...

Great review Ojo. The funny train ride story though, is the one Bella and Luvvie had (still cracks up in remembrance). Hope to see you there next year and hang out.

Citizen Ojo said...

Marty - yeah it was great meeting you too. Lord willing and the creek don't rise I will be in Cali in 2011..

Afrobella said...

Just now seeing this! Blogging While Brown was magical. It was a delight. Great meeting you!