What I Learned at Alt Summit (on Twitter) / by Leslie

I still have not gone to my first blog conference. With a two year old who NEEEEEDS me at night and limited childcare options, it hasn't become a reality. One of these days. Soon. So for now I tune in from afar, and like being inspired by Mighty Girls without actually going to the Mighty Summit, I was still able to learn a lot even though I wasn't at the Altitude Design Summit in Salt Lake City this week.

The Alt Summit, organized by Design Mom and Kirtsy, is geared towards design, style and photography blogs. All kinds of fabulous people from all over the country and the web gather at the Grand America Hotel and attend lectures and events for three days. They get advice, network and meet new people, get inspired and just generally get smarter about what they are doing. The people there are leaders and trend setters and they all have something to say.

I checked in to the #altsummit hashtag on Twitter every once and a while and found a bunch of wonderful new people to follow and got a ton of wisdom in under 140 characters. Here were some of the best ones from just Friday alone:

1. Tina Roth Eisenberg of Swiss Miss gave the final keynote talk and inspired quite a few people on Twitter. These points were given as blogging "rules", however I really think they can apply to life in general.

  • Your enthusiasm and integrity are your biggest assets.
  • Don't talk, just do it.
  • Surround yourself with smart/creative people.
  • Don't wait for a solution to fall in your lap. Go out and make it happen.
  • Have the right intentions. It shouldn't be about the money. Focus on what's important.
  • Surround yourself with beautiful things.

2. Liz Stanley of "Say Yes to Hoboken" has a list of the best up and coming blogs.

3. Photographer Nicole Hill Gerulat said "You can do anything with a tripod and a slow shutter speed."

4. Writer and designer Meg Mateo Ilasco said "The more technology we have in our lives, the more we need to touch things" referring to the fact that print and books are not dead. 

5. DJ Spooky gave a lunch keynote and many people were surprised by him. He talked about Copyright Criminals, a documentary about the history of sampling and said "I wasn't planning to go into music, I was planning to be a diplomat." and also  "The number one selling album of all time is the blank CD."

6. Heather Armstrong from Dooce talked on a panel with Federated Media about the art of pitching to advertisers if you have a blog. Her advice for bloggers?

  • Dealing with ads/ad networks can easily become a full-time job, if you're serious about generating $ you need an assistant, an intern or a clone.
  • You need your own domain for people to take you seriously.
  • Most of the best ad leads are in your inbox. Be sure to reach out the them and send them your media kit.

Overall, on Twitter, people were utterly raving about this conference. It was clear that many of us who weren't there had plans to go next year and were, quite honestly, jealous that we weren't there this year. It's a fantastic opportunity to meet with creative people in an environment perfect for networking and building relationships. It's also a pretty small conference, since it is specifically for design-type blogs. It's far easier to meet the people doing the work that you admire and be able to ask questions about how they do what they do. 

Attending this conference next January is a must for me. I will fly my Mom out from Canada or just bring my husband and kids and somehow raise the money to afford the plane ticket, hotel and conference fee. Anyone want to come with me? Or sponsor me? Let's talk.