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« SOBCon08 Suggestions | Main | SOBCon07: Day 1 Impressions »
Tuesday
May152007

Unpacking SOBCon07

SOBCon07I'm not surprised to find myself still brewing and unpacking the reverberations of this weekend at SOBCon07. The conference was a concentrated burst of energy, community and challenges, that I haven't been able to completely process.

Part of it for me, and I think for many attendees, was diving headlong into something completely new, without any expectation of what to expect, or what we'd get out of it.

I didn't know anyone but my buddy Phil Gerbyshak, so I had to step out and meet some new people. That's the wild thing though — people were stepping out to meet me, treating me as an old friend.

Some of this must be chalked up to knowing Phil, but much of the warmth and friendliness of other people seemed to be at the very core of the SOBCon vibe.

Here are some observations after much brewing and pondering:

We all came to give and take. Everyone present came ready to give something away, while being confident they would receive that much and more in return. Everyone I met was sharing energy, which encouraged me to keep sharing my energy.

This was our conference. Bloggers dreamed it up, handled the logistics, showed up and then created it like a barn raising. We connected and encouraged each other, challenged each other and made it happen. Two nights in a row, I witnessed people spontaneously gathering to talk, pulling chairs into circles until no chairs were left.

We are brands, like it or not. One thread running through the Saturday sessions was how we're all projecting a brand (ourselves), whether conscious or unconscious. From our writing to our blog design, everything we project and communicate is our brand. The challenge for everyone was how to sync your brand with who you really are.

We're communicators, not bloggers. David Armano challenged us to stop calling ourselves bloggers, and instead consider ourselves “conversation architects.” I'm a communicator — whether with words, sketches, graphics, sound or video — I aim to communicate with others through this space on the web. Rohdesign is now operating without "Weblog" in the title to reinforce this idea.

Conclusion: I had a great time at SOBCon07!

It was more powerful than I expected, and the people were wonderful. I've already established relationships with several people I resonated with, and plan to build more relationships as the week goes on. Relationships really are at the heart of SOBCon.

I was also challenged to step my communication to the next level. After 4+ years of writing at Rohdesign, I'm energized to keep on sharing, encouraging and learning.

I can't wait for SOBCon08!

SOBCon07 Attendees:
Liz Strauss
Wendy Piersall
Andy Sernovitz
Phil Gerbyshak
David Armano
Mike Sansone
Drew McLellan
Mike Wagner
Terry Starbucker
Christine Kane
Rodney Rumford
Ben Yoskovitz
Chris Cree
Robyn Tippins
Diego Orjuela
Vernon Lun
Jonathan C. Phillips
Sandra Renshaw
Brad Shorr
Timothy Johnson
Tammy Lenski
Sean Rox
Muhammad Saleem
Lorelle VanFossen
David Dalka
Todd And
John Yedinak
Joe Hauckes
Tim Draayer
Jeremy Geelan
Carolyn Manning
Sheila Scarborough
Steve Farber
Dawud Miracle
Doug Mitchell
Jeff O’Hara
Dave Schoof
Jamy Shiels
Adam Steen
Hannah Steen
Chris Thilk
Barry Zweibel
Eric Bingen
Ellen Moore
Cord Silverstein
Jean-Patrick Smith
James Walton
Sharan Tash
Vernon Lun
Tony Lee
Scott Desgrosseilliers
Mark Murrell
Kammie Kobyleski
Easton Ellsworth
Mark Goodyear
Ann Michael
Kent Blumberg
Ashley Cecil
Robert Hruzek
Sabu N G
Mazur Krystyna
Lisa Gates
Franke James
Chris Brown
Troy Worman
Karen Putz
Jesse Petersen
Terry Mapes
Andy Brudtkuhl
Lucia Mancuso
Peter Flaschner
Derrick Sorles
Thomas Clifford
Rajesh Srivastava
Claire Celsi
Jason Alba
Alex Shalman
Cristiana Passinato
Brad Spirrison
Ari Garber
Dr. Rob Wolcott
Cheryll Cruz
Sharon Scherer
Jason Wade
Jill Pullen
Doug Bulleit
Wendy Kinney
Brenda Friedrich
Ella Wilson
Chelsea Vincent
Ayush Agarwal
Paul Mangalik
Premchand Kallan
Xochi Kaplan
Michael Snell
James Bergstrom
Raj Majumder
Keith Levenson

Special thanks to Jonathan C. Phillips for providing this extensive list of attendees. :-)

Photo: Vernon Lun

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Reader Comments (12)

Hi Mike!What's not love in a room filled with bloggers who have their heads and their hearts fully connected and directred toward the future?

I'm so glad you came. :)Liz
May 15, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterLiz Strauss
Liz, you are so right! You could feel the love in that room! :-)

Thanks for your hard work in getting this all setup and connected together, along with the rest of the guiding team. I truly appreciate your efforts in unifying this group.
May 16, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMike Rohde
Hey Mike. It seems we kept hovering around each other but didn't find time to sit down and talk. Odd, you were on my radar.

What a great weekend. I only wish it was longer so I could have had some heart-to-heart time with each person.
May 16, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterDawud Miracle
Hey Mike - It was great to meet you.

I'd just found your blog a few weeks before SOBCon, so it was cool to meet the person behind the awesome sketches.
May 16, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterTony D. Clark
Dawud, you're right � we kept sliding past each other! Sorry about that! We can at least get to know each other online, so when SOBCon08 comes along, we can carve out some dedicated coffee time. :-)

Where are you located Dawud?
May 16, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMike Rohde
You got it. Would love to sit down and talk. Of course, we always could spend some phone time between now and then.
May 16, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterDawud Miracle
Tony, thanks for stopping by! I love your cartoons man, and your writing too. Don't forget that I'm your official "blogpal" for the next 20 years! :-)

Phone works great Dawud! Email me your number, because I never got one of your cards. :-)
May 16, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMike Rohde
Mike: Nice summary! It was great to meet you at SOBcon and I look forward to reading your blog in the future!
May 16, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterClaire Celsi
Thanks Claire! It was a pleasure to meet and talk with you last weekend. I'm glad to hear that you'll hang around here. :-)
May 16, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMike Rohde
I'll email you my contact info in the morning when I get back to work.
May 16, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterDawud Miracle
Mike,

It was great getting to know you at the table. Now I can't wait to learn more from you on your self-published website(blog).

Kent
May 17, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterKent Blumberg
Thanks Kurt! You're always welcome to stop on by the site. Please head down to Community Coffee and have a Cafe au Lait for me! :-)
May 18, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMike Rohde

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