Well here it is. My first official "Post and Toast."
The very first gathering for the "AZ Real Estate Blogging Network," brainchild of Candace Robinson, was a rousing success.
Thanks to Candace and her crack team of sponsors (notably Shelli Bates with LandAmerica Lawyer's Title in Mesa - Thanks, Shelli!), the whole thing went off without a hitch.
There are several posts already floating around to recap the events, so I'll just write a brief summary from my perspective and get to the pictures (which is all anybody is ever interested in anyway).
Our first speaker was ActiveRain's own Teri Ellis. The Lady in Red projects supreme competence and know-how, and was the perfect selection to speak to fledgling bloggers about how to properly set up a blog. She was a terrific ambassador for the ActiveRain network as well, relating what a nurturing environment it is for newbies and veterans alike. Great job, Teri!
After I finished my dissertation on "Blogging and the Time/Space Continuum," or whatever the heck I was talking about, Shailesh Ghimire was left to pick up the pieces. Talk about a guy with energy and passion! Dubbed as the "AZ Mortgage Guru," he could just as easily roll with the moniker of "AZ Blogging Guru." The man has it wired, and is enthusiastic about sharing his considerable acumen. Do yourself a favor and visit his outside blog to review his tutorial on Blogging 101.
Mike from Tucson is one big dude. It didn't take long to realize that he has the heart to match. Mike spoke at length about the importance of utilizing photos and images in your blog, but that was merely a launching point for delving into his overriding philosophy about utilizing a blog to attract business. Sharing a few success stories, it became readily apparent why Mike is the name you think of for Tucson mortgage lending. Go ahead, Google most any combination of "home" "loan" and "Tucson," and you can't help but find Mike.
An added bonus was a summary from perhaps the most recognized name in Phoenix Real Estate blogging. Jay Thompson, The Phoenix Real Estate Guy, shared the importance of blogging to his business. With examples of the success and media attention that his erstwhile efforts have created, everyone in the room was ready to charge out into the world ... or cubicle for that matter, to get blogging.
In addition to the great lineup, it was wonderful to meet many of the online personalities I have grown to consider friends.
- Nick Bastian with his guerrilla interview tactics and friendly demeanor.
- Doreen McPherson, who came late and missed my stirring rendition of "Easy Like a Sunday Morning" by Lionel Richie.
- Anne McKechnie, who made the drive up from Tucson with Mike.
- A Calie Waterhouse sighting, though I was not able to speak with her at this event. Next one, Calie!
- Steve Belt, my Scottsdale Realty Executive cohort and terrific blogger in his own right.
- Shoot, we even had a special guest appearance by Alex Trebek himself! Okay, so it was my father, Ray, but same difference.
It was a great morning, and all involved are looking forward to an even bigger event for the next go-round (May 22nd).
Now, without further ado ...
From Left: Jay, Shelli, Nick, Teri, Mike, Candace, Shailesh, Home Inspection sponsor dude without sufficient credit supplied here by me, Me.
Shailesh getting it done ...
Teri Ellis lamenting her seating choice ...
Demonstrating my vaunted "Hand Slap Game" techniques ...
The Phoenix Real Estate Guy, Jay Thompson
Nick Bastian feigning rapt attention as he attempts to shake off the cobwebs from last night's NyQuil binge.
Candace Robinson: Realtor, Blogger, Event Organizer, Director, Singer, Dancer and Queen of Gilbert, Arizona!
The backs of our heads ... just in case anyone was curious.
Sorry, but no shots of Alex Trebek. His publicist was quick to confiscate all footage.
See everyone at the next one!