“Faaaaabulous!” (or, My Requisite BlogHer Recap)

Friday, August 13th, 2010

Now with photos and embarrassing video! Alright, so it’s not as exciting as all that, but we did have a really good time. :)

I left San Diego Wednesday at noon on Jet Blue, who despite the bird-flipping, slide-exiting, job-quitting flight attendant’s recent escapades, is a pretty awesome airline. The seats were roomy, I could stretch out my legs completely in front of me, there was free DirecTV (so I timed my entire trip by how many 30 minute Food Network shows I watched) and the snacks were tasty items like Terra Chips instead of crappy peanuts. And the pilot got us there almost 40 minutes before he said he would, so that was nice.

I took a cab into Manhattan from the airport and proceeded to spastically tweet about how to tip the cabbie. I’m an overtipper and standard tipping here is 20% for like, everything, it seems like, so with a $50 cab ride, I was concerned about giving too much. Of course, despite the encouraging 10% recommendations from Twitter, I still overtipped.

Kathy modeling in our roomWe decided to escape the hub-bub of Blogher, we’d stay elsewhere… so we booked ourselves at Empire Hotel. We found out after we made our reservations that it’s Chuck Bass’ hotel in Gossip Girl, which was pretty funny. While the staff and management at Empire were really lovely, the place was a total Monet. It’s much better on TV.  It looks beautiful from a distance, but when you get up close, it’s much shabbier than the marketing implies. We knew it was a vintage building that had been renovated, but how long ago? There was water damage on the walls, the chairs were pretty worn, our rooms had cobwebs in the corners and the beds… oh my god, the beds. It was like sleeping in a mausoleum — hard, hard mattresses.  HARD.  We both were in pain by the end of the trip.

Oh, also? Apparently, the rooftop deck bar is the hot place to be on a Thursday night. There were lines of short skirts around the block to get upstairs.  If they offer you the 11th floor, despite the spectacular views of Lincoln Center, don’t take it. You’ll hear remixes of Lisa Lisa and the Cult Jam and hooker heels on your ceiling until 3:30am (and heat rises, so the hallways were constantly like, Africa Hot, while our rooms were Meat Locker Cold).  Given that we had to be up at 8am for the conference, we sweetly called down to management — I swear! I even made him laugh — and they moved our luggage to the old people’s floor for us the next day and knocked $75 off our bill for two nights. Like I said, great management, mediocre rooms, granite mattresses.  It does have a lovely lobby bar, though.  We called it our Brokedown Palace. With lube.

read more >

Just a Jump to the Left and Then a Step to the Right

Thursday, February 26th, 2009

Bloggers, I need your opinion! I pose a question that is beginning to really vex me from a user experience standpoint. I’m talking about “previous/next” navigation. Riveting, I realize, but I’m looking for answers and who better to ask than bloggers themselves?

As an old school blogger who started off using MT 1.something, I’m accustomed to the front page of the blog being the most current entries, obviously, and the link for a previous or older entries/entry being displayed on the bottom right of the entries with an arrow or similar indicating “to the right”.  Like I’ve got on this blog.

Over the years, especially with the success of WordPress, I’m seeing it done in the opposite and it’s beginning to confuse me quite a bit while organizing client sites.  In my opinion, you view the most current entry, then “flip back” like a reverse book to read older entries.  And, to that end, the link by default would read something like “older entries” or “previous entries”, not next entries, which I’m seeing linked on the left with a left arrow.  This seems to be WordPress’ default setting.

Uh… this doesn’t make sense to me.  I’m not trying to be difficult… maybe that’s what the kids are doing these days. I don’t know. But if I’m looking at an individual entry, to me, the most recent entry would be “to the left” and should read “newer entry” or “next entry”.  And vice versa.  Why would I go to the right?

So, what do you think?  What makes sense to you?   What do you use on your blog?  I want to make sure the navigation makes sense to users, regardless of what I think.

Thanks for your input!

Categories: design, moxie


Monday, February 23rd, 2009

So… I changed my mind about doing a session at BlogHer.  I would rather do something with Kathy and since she can’t be there this time, we’ll wait until next year.  A 30-minute session is pretty darn short to cover much that requires actual instruction, at least from a design standpoint, which is why I wanted to make it more of a “conversation with the Moxie Girls” — a place to just hang out, dish and answer questions about blogging and design.  But, despite the positive response it got, there was also a little confusion, so I think it’s better to just go this year to get a vibe of what the attendees want out of a session.

I was also kind of unclear about how BlogHer handles the submissions and presenters. It would be perhaps several weeks, if not a couple months before I even heard if my panel was chosen, and since it doesn’t appear that speakers get free admission (like SXSW), I wanted to make sure I got my ticket before “early bird pricing” passed me by.  Then I decided if I was going to pay for my ticket, I didn’t really want to be anxious about presenting, too.  Despite my gregarious nature, I get a little nervous speaking in front of groups… alone.   I want to enjoy myself, network, sign some books (I’m working on setting up a signing with our publisher) and mingle with all them fine ladies. :-) read more >

“Earn More Sessions By Sleeving”

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

Hey, We Wrote That!

Kathy and I decided to forego SXSW this year so we could attend a conference that allows us to meet n’ mingle with our clients and other lovely people likely to be potential clients and friends… BlogHer.

We were supposed to go together, but she’ll be delivering another kidlet right during that time, so I’ll be flying solo.  I was just going to go to hang out and observe, but I’ve reconsidered and decided to throw my hat in the ring to host a panel, but not really a panel because it’s just me. A session, they call it.

I wanted to call it “When Your Blog Has That Not-So-Fresh Feeling”, but I decided at the last minute to call it “Blogging with Moxie”… you know, what with the book n’ all.  I figured I could go over topics from the book and do a lot of Q&A and maybe some on-the-spot blog critique and tip-offering, if anyone was interested.

Or I could just sit there and drink coffee if no one shows up.

I’m not stuffy, in case you hadn’t noticed, so my session won’t be either. It’s not going to be boring, it won’t be explicit insert tab A into slot B, it won’t be overhead projectors with code all over it.  It would be more intimate, more relaxed, fun, if you will.

I’m open to questions and basically… dishing.  About blogging. And all the merriment that comes with it, like the obvious design tips and some technical stuff like, what exactly does an RSS feed do? which blog platform is right for me?  where should my ads go?  But also things we’ve gleaned over our six years in this business, like how to handle blog drama, blog etiquette, choosing a topic, how to keep people enchanted with your bad self… that sort of thing.  I’m considering some kind of game or quiz and of course… prizes.  Everything is better with prizes.

If you are going to BlogHer (or even if you’re not), I’d welcome your input on my session idea. You can let BlogHer know you’d attend by visiting this link.

Categories: design, moxie

The Moxie Girls Interview with BlogTalk Radio

Tuesday, March 11th, 2008

Did we mention that we loved our interview with John Haven at BlogTalk Radio?  Well, we did. We want to drink beer with that man.  If you’d like to take a listen, please clickety-click that widget right there.

Don’t mind the very occasional sound issues… it was due to the intermittent WiFi and the fact that we were streaming live (or the hoardes of attendees shuffling past). Ah, technology!  We both started spontaneously singing “Let’s Get Together” from the Parent Trap, which I find amusing. Fortunately (or unfortunately), you can’t hear it that much.  wink

Categories: moxie