Matt Heaton with The Nice Guys from Trulia
There was no shortage of laptops, tablets, blackberries and treos at Bloggers Connect
Pat Kitano, Dustin Luther, Robbin Tippons, Aneil Dash were on the panel for Blogs and Social Networking (host was Jessica Swesey from Inman)
Joe, Fran, Mary, Tisza, Drew, Kevin and Ardell wait to see who will be announced as the winning team for Project Blogger. The Active Rain guys brought out a huge check, shrouded in cardboard, and showed the check to the audience before showing it to us....
The audience saw right away that the check for $5000 was made out to CARE. Joeann Fossland started screaming and clapping with wild abandon - that's when I knew that Fran and I really did win the Project Blogger Competition. It was not a shock as we had been in first place all along, but the contest was way too close to call.
Tisza thanked everyone and expressed how happy she was to have been a part of this amazing 4 month competition. She really gave it her all!
And Ardell had a few words to say about Kevin Tomlinson and his hard work and successes in Project Blogger.
Frances Flynn Thorsen and I hold the check for CARE and she explains to the audience why the work of CARE is so vital, and how this donation from Inman News and Active Rain will make an enormous difference in the lives of many, many people. (When I was asked how I did it, I joked, "obscessive compulsive?" but Fran's comments were the real deal - we were both very highly motivated to do our best for CARE. I should have said, "I need to thank Mr. Johsens and Mr. Scott from Saratoga High School for teaching me how to write well as I was growing up in Silicon Valley". They actually DO deserve a lot of credit.)
What surprised me is that I also got an award (which they have back to engrave with my name). How nice is that? I was happy just to be there and see so many of my cool blogging friends, and tickled to have won, but didn't expect any lasting momento. Thanks, guys!
And Fran got one too! Joeann Fossland put us together and she and Fran are very involved in the Web Women Giving Circle, which supports CARE.
And Tisza Major-Posner won a Tom Tom just afterwards at a drawing upstairs (for "her Mel")
And just after all of that fun, I got to see a cousin of mine who was in SF for Inman Connect - Ryan Slack of Property Shark. We had a nice visit between sessions.
So yes, playing with my friends in The City, attending great sessions at Bloggers Connect and meeting folks I "knew" online before getting to Bloggers Connect was all very cool. And it was nice to win, I'll admit it. But my fellow apprentices worked very hard and I learned a lot from them and EVERYONE who really worked at this contest did win in one way or another.
Thanks are in order:
Caleb Mardini gets thanks for a heroic amount of effort throughout (and for taking our fairly frequent gripes about this or that which hadn't gone exactly right).
Many mentors (esp Jeff Turner, also Ardell) warrant thanks, as do my fellow apprentices and some knowledgeable folks on the sidelines such as Maureen McCabe and Laurie Manny and Theresa Boardman (and the list should be longer but I'm afraid to come close to a comprehensive list for fear of missing someone...).
Thank you, Inman News, and thank you, Active Rain, for creating this wild ride we all just experienced. We all learned a ton. Thank you, Joeann Fossland, for introducing me to Fran. And Fran, many many thanks to you for your constant belief in me, encouragement and tips from the very beginning.
Thanks to my husband and kids for putting up with my diving into this perhaps too enthusiastically at times. They were ready for it to be over by Week 3 but hung in there.
Thanks to all who participated!