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Once Upon A Bookshelf

Where Fiction and Reality Meet

On BlissDom Canada and a Bad Case of the Nerves

I’m alternating between extremely excited and absolutely terrified for BlissDom this year.

This will be my third year attending, and I’ve actually been lucky enough to be chosen as a Community Leader. Which (yay!) I was really hoping for when I applied, even though it is MASSIVELY outside of my comfort zone. And although I find this all super-duper excited, now that the conference less than a month away, there are moments when I ask myself if I was crazy when I applied to become a Community Leader in the first place.

Then I remind myself that I actually have something that I think is of worth to offer to this amazing community. I’m a web designer/front-end developer by trade. I live and breath the web. While the information that I’ve received from BlissDom in past years is awesome, there’s this huge gaping hole in what I’ve seen there.

While it is a social media conference, a lot of the stuff that I’ve seen discussed there focuses on blogs. Using social media to promote your blog, taking better pictures for your blog, WordPress plugins, writing reviews… and all of this is extremely important. So there is a lot of stuff about blogs, but we’ve been missing out on something that effects any user who doesn’t read blogs on desktop computers.

We don’t really talk about what happens when a user wants to see your blog on a mobile device

  • Have you thought about the fact that web users are changing how they are reading our blogs faster than we keep up with them?
  • What about the fact that about a third of global web traffic is from mobile devices?
  • Or the fact that it’s expected that there will be more mobile users than desktop users by the end of 2014?
  • By the way, did you know that in a lot of growing countries a smart phone is the only computer many people have?

Have you ever thought about it?

It completely blew my mind when I really grasped how important mobile is. Mobile devices are how users are surfing the web when they are watching tv, waiting for appointments, out with friends, shopping for new products, lying in bed in the middle of the night… We are seriously connected all. the. freaking. time.

I don’t know if many bloggers have really thought about how accessible their blog is on a device that’s not a desktop or laptop computer, or how to make their blog posts as readable as possible… but I know that if a website loads slowly, uses up all kinds of crazy amounts of bandwidth, has content that is hard to skim, as well as displaying all of this content on a non-optimized template, most users on mobile devices aren’t going to stick around.

With what I do every day for a living, I see that there’s a gap with businesses in understanding how users act on mobile devices, and that we need to make it so much easier for them to access content quicker. I’m guessing that it’s the same with bloggers.

And you know what? By golly, I know how to make blogs behave better on mobile devices! I actually know something that other people in the blogging community could benefit from!

So why am I so anxious about this?

Wait, do I actually think I can do this?I often feel like a bit of a hack in the blogging community. I don’t have a massive amount of traffic. I am horrible at promoting my own posts on social media. And I don’t post nearly as much as I want to. (Seriously, how on earth do these people find time to update their blog on an almost daily basis? Where on earth do they find the inspiration to post so often?!)

Even though I know that what I have to share is vital if we want our blogs to continue to compete and grow in the future, I am anxious that others may not feel this is worthwhile knowledge.

Also! What if no one wants to sign up for my microsession? Or if I can’t get across what I want to in the time I have (because there’s so much I could talk about!)? Or what if I do a bad job at the other Community Leader stuff, or my anxiety kicks me in the butt? BLARGH!

Excuse me while I go and hyperventilate a little bit.

Posted by Courtney Wilson @ 8:20 pm September 9, 2014.
Category: BlissDom Canada

  • Bibliomama

    I understand the anxiety (Dude, if it’s one thing I understand, it’s anxiety), but you will ROCK it. I think there is absolutely a need for this kind of expertise, and none of the sessions I attended were on a higher level than this one. Of course, I have a sleepy little blog that I don’t make any money off of and Blissdom for me is pretty much an expensive sleepover with some friends I wouldn’t see otherwise and a chance to hear some awesome speakers, so I know I’m not the voice of knowledge or anything. If you don’t mind a total noob at your table, I’ll be happy to promise to sign up for your session.

  • Courtney Wilson

    Thanks so much! And you are more than welcome to join! I am talking very basics that everyone will be able to understand. And I am totally inviting myself to hang out with and your friends at some point over the weekend :)

  • Bibliomama

    You’re totally invited at any point. Fair warning – we can get pretty goofy when the bellinis and snack mix start flowing. :)

  • Kyla @ Mommy’s Weird

    You will do amazing. Maybe you can be beside me, so if we make any mistakes we can look at each other and giggle :)

  • Anne A. Radcliffe

    Mobile responsiveness is huge. I built my first theme from scratch about a month ago, and the amount of CSS and Javascript that had to be dedicated to clean viewing on a mobile device was daunting! But you’re right, it’s so important… I have almost exactly as much mobile traffic as I do desktop. People are browsing with their phones, and it’s crucial that people have mobile responsiveness on their blog.