It’s been a few busy weeks and sadly, my beloved Word Wednesday posts have paid the price. Today I deliberately sought out some time because I wanted to post about an amazing experience I had in the summer that led directly to an amazing experience I had last week – and I wanted to do it while the memory was still fresh in my mind.
Even though I work (at least partially) alongside the education system, I don’t really go “back to school”. Still, it’s a new beginning – and as the song says “every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end”. So Labour Day has just passed, and summer is coming to a close and every store has Hallowe’en decorations up, except Costco who has decided to go one better (worse?) by having Christmas trees for sale since July. Pens and pencils and pretty books to write in are going on sale which makes me very happy and also means I should actually brave one of the stores sooner rather than later so that I don’t miss out on pretty things to write with or in being on sale. Still, I’m always a little sad at the end of summer, and wish it would hang on for a little longer before the leaves change. The crisp, cool, morning air on the other hand, could start any time now. It currently feels like a sauna when I step out of my doorway, hot and very humid – another in a string of hot and humid days that seem to have characterized this summer here.
It’s no secret that I’m an introvert by nature. I like people and once I’m comfortable with you, I’ll never shut up, but groups of people, make me seriously nervous. I get overwhelmed and then all I can think about is running away and hiding in a corner. Give me a group big enough that I can’t possibly interact with all of the individual members though, and I’m perfectly fine. I loved lecturing to large undergraduate classes, but for the first few weeks of classes, whenever I had to lead a small group seminar I wanted to hurl. Fortunately, I never did, and by all accounts I was really good at being a Teaching Assistant – at least if my feedback sheets were anything to go by. [Read more…]
I’m very excited to be going back to the She’s Connected Conference this year. Last year I had a great time meeting new people and learning a lot about blogs, brands and how the two can work together. The only thing I really didn’t like about the experience was lugging my laptop around to take notes on. This year I’m solving that problem by borrowing a BlackBerry PlayBook Keyboard Case from a friend to test it out during the conference. If I like it, I may just have to find a way to purchase one. My BlackBerry PlayBook already goes pretty much everywhere I do, so it makes sense to use it at the conference. I will, of course, also be taking my BlackBerry Bold 9900. Not only can I use the BlackBerry Bridge and connect my tablet to my phone, but I can use my BlackBerry PlayBook charger to charge everything. I love the way it looks like a little netbook but one that has a ton of great apps on it.
Yes I realize I’m a little insane to be going to a conference about blogging and social media and not taking my laptop. I still love my laptop (though at 7 years old it’s on its last legs) but I don’t like lugging it around and constantly worrying about it being stolen. With the keyboard, I have everything I need to make my BlackBerry PlayBook into a mini laptop for the 2 days I’ll need it. I covered the Grey Cup in 2011 without taking my laptop (again it was a weight / space / afraid it would get broken issue) and didn’t really miss it and won’t be borrowing the digital audio recorder again since the recording on my PlayBook is actually better quality and easier to upload. One thing I want to try to find before I leave for the conference is a neoprene sleeve so the case doesn’t get scratched when I toss it in my bag. I got a neoprene case with the PlayBook but it’s too small to fit the PlayBook and case.
I’m also going to be wearing a BlackBerry shirt to the conference on Friday. I have promised several people that I’d help set up their BlackBerry devices to do what they needed them to do and I figure it’s best if they can find me. 🙂 While I don’t work for Research In Motion (though I would love to work for such a great company whose products I love and use daily), I have spent a lot of time with my BlackBerry Bold 9900, my friends’ BlackBerries, and I’ve got a pretty good grasp of what’s going on with them. If I should happen to run into a problem that I can’t fix, I also know that help is only a BBM message away. If you’re attending the She’s Connected Conference and want me to show you how either my Bold 9900 or my PlayBook / PlayBook with keyboard work just ask! I’m always happy to talk mobile devices!
I’ve been invited to attend the She’s Connected Conference in Toronto in September. I’m really excited to go because I want to learn how to make my blog and Twitter and Facebook accounts more relevant. In the last few days the excitement has started to be co-mingled with trepidation (yes it’s a $20 word but I love it so I’m using it). I’ve seen a lot of the other attendees actively seek wardrobe, travel, or shoe sponsors for the event. Lord knows I’d love to have someone pay for the hotel room for #SCCTO – Money isn’t a luxury I have a lot of right now, but I’m wary because I’m not sure I want to sell myself to do it. Right now, whenever I endorse something on Twitter, Facebook, or here, it’s because i use it and genuinely like it. I won a new Blackberry Bold 9900 on Twitter in July. I entered the #BB7FanNight Contest and won. I got to go to a really fancy launch party and play with all of the new devices that use the BB7 OS and choose one. I received it on Friday an tweeted that I love it. I really do love it. It has a touch screen and a keyboard and it’s really easy to use. There were no terms in the contract that said I had to tweet about how much I loved it – I gave Blackberry PR the right to use the tweets I entered the contest with in their advertising campaign, they liked one of the entries, I won a new Blackberry. If I hated the device I would say that, but I don’t.
Incidentally I also won a pair of Skullcandy ROCNATION headphones at the BB7FanNight event and I love them too. I’ve been looking for a new pair of headphones for awhile, and the ROCNATIONs in addition to looking really cool (they came with a cloth to make sure the outside stayed shiny!) are incredibly comfortable too. The only problem may be that they’re TOO good – when I tried to do some transcription off of a cassette tape they conveyed every hiss and crackle of the tape! I had heard of Skullcandy headphones before but figured they were too ‘hip’ for me – now I don’t care – I just love them.
I have an iphone that I got from my best friend. I like it a lot too – but there are some things about it that drives me nuts. I’m sure after I use the new Bold9900 for a year, there will be things that drive me nuts about them too. If I were to be offered a sponsorship by Blackberry, would I be free to voice any concerns I had about my device?
I’m afraid that if I enter into a relationship with a brand to get sponsorship for a conference, it will force me to not be honest about my opinions of products. I like to support local companies and failing that, Canadian companies. but I’m not willing to support a company that has crap products. I want my friends to know that when I recommend something (like I did with the Adult Essentials vitamins this week to a group of friends) that I actually use and enjoy the product. I’m still pretty new to the whole brands and blogs thing, but I’m not sure I’m willing to sell my soul for the price of a hotel room.