So here we have it, the obligatory Cybermummy post.  For anyone bored to tears with the whole thing, please feel free to move on – I’m not armed with google analytics – I have no way of monitoring your activity and tracking you down, you are free to go….

Someone asked me today what I learned on Saturday.  I have thought a lot about this question; I want to answer honestly.

From the outset I was someone who struggled with the whole concept of a conference for mummy bloggers.  I don’t feel comfortable defining myself in those terms and I could understand the mumblings or, in some cases, rants of those who felt it was deliberately ostracising folk.

I wasn’t going to go.

For one thing I couldn’t afford it, and for another I didn’t consider myself ‘that type of blogger’.  I wasn’t looking for a book deal, or to learn how to increase my traffic, maximise my brand or improve my content. But as the list of attendees grew I recognised with a sigh an unalterable fact – I wanted to go.  I wanted to meet all of the amazing people whose blogs make me laugh and cry, whose tweets force me to descend into a world of random nonsense and dammit! I didn’t want to be left out.

That didn’t change the fact that I wasn’t going – just made me put 🙁 at the end of every tweet I gave in answer to the “Are you going?” question. And then a chance meeting with a rather wonderful wig-wearing-woman meant that I was offered the opportunity to go, and of course I said yes please.

Making my way to London town on one of the hottest days of the year I cursed Chiltern Railways – not only had they changed their timetable and deleted the train I’d booked, they also saw fit to divert me all over the county, ensuring my late and somewhat flustered arrival.  Thankfully my rather lovely friend Heather waited for me and held my hand as we entered.

Inside was a chaotic concoction of enrolment procedures, goodie bags, badges, lanyards and friendly faces on the registration desk *phew*. Heading into Room2 was massively overwhelming – so many people, many of whom I ‘knew’, but not so many familiar faces – it’s just the weirdest thing, you spend most of the day appraising people’s midriffs trying to get a sneaky peak at their badge.  We leapt into speed networking and then the first session before I’d even got my breath…I was still cursing Chiltern Railways.

I enjoyed hearing my friends Josie and Gigi speak, I’m already familiar with their opinions, but hearing them expressed verbally was a new treat, and one that really defined the entire day.  The most incredible session was listening to the keynote blogs being read. To hear the voices behind the keyboard clicks really brought the pieces alive. I laughed and cried, and cried, and cried…. we all did, unashamedly.  They were simply brilliant. I watched my friends steel themselves to deliver posts that I’ve wept through before and I mentally clutched their hands as they shook on the podium.

I missed sessions I’d have liked to have attended – too busy chatting to move, and sat through sessions that didn’t feel terribly relevant to me. But this was the first…I’m sure the organisers went away with a lot of valuable feedback that will enable them to build on this fantastic start.  Ultimately for me though, it all boiled down to this:

1. Bloggers are invariably shorter than you think.  With one or two notable exceptions….

2. Chiltern Railways are conspiring against me.  I got my revenge on the way home by taking up an entire 4-seat table combo with my haul of goodies

3. Friends may be absent, but they are never forgotten….

4. No pub quiz will ever be the same again, unless compered by the legendary Linda S Jones

5. For people who communicate largely through the written word, we really can talk!

6. Bloggers are an amazing, gorgeous, intelligent, and slightly crazed bunch of truly supportive types.  As sickly as it may be for anyone not attending to read, that spirit is what truly defined my day – oh and Cosmic Girlie kissing me repeatedly….

7. A cup of tea at 1am with Rachael and Jen is the perfect way to round off a very special day, and;

8. ….what happens at Cybernutters stays at Cybernutters…..

and finally a thank you, to all of you who were there… YOU really made my day…

Cybernutters….?
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51 thoughts on “Cybernutters….?

  • July 5, 2010 at 10:58 pm
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    Must admit I went for the same reasons….so glad I didn’t go and hide in the hotel room all day which is what I nearly did at about 9.45am! Lovely, lovely to meet you at last . X

  • July 5, 2010 at 11:01 pm
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    I wish I could have been there and met everyone.

  • July 5, 2010 at 11:09 pm
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    I agree about trying to sneak a peek at everyone’s badges. I’ve never stared at so many pairs of boobs in my life! It was great to meet you – and so lovely to have a chat.

  • July 6, 2010 at 6:43 am
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    it sounds like it was a lovely fun day. Really wish I could have been there to meet you (again) and everyone else.

  • July 6, 2010 at 7:11 am
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    I’ve already said it a zillion times, but I wish I’d been there. Being kissed by cosmicgirlie sounds like an excellent way to spend a day. At least I made it into the quiz, which considering my love of quizzes is a very good thing. Pleased you had such a good day.

  • July 6, 2010 at 7:22 am
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    Also, why are bloggers so short? Someone should do some research. In real life I’m usually the token small person.

  • July 6, 2010 at 7:29 am
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    For me the best part of CM was meeting old friends for the first time. It was lovely spending time with you, you’re very good at hugs!
    I can’t believe I missed Victoria. Next time, next time.

  • July 6, 2010 at 7:31 am
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    I’m so glad you had such a good time. I’m sure I would have loved it too but for all sorts of reasons (money /nerves) I didn’t get there. I’m sure I will be very tempted next year. Thank you for giving us a great picture of the day!

  • July 6, 2010 at 7:51 am
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    I really loved meeting so many bloggers and only wish I’d been able to stay for the evening and meet many more. I’m very aware of how “left out” so many people are feeling at the moment though and think @himupnorth did a great post on that point yesterday (can I link? thought it was good & sure you’ll agree…http://tiny.cc/16rik)

    Am toying with what post I want to write about CyberMummy. Want to record that I was there, that I read my post and cried, that you & our other friends were there to hug me when I’d finished etc etc.

    But really, the thing that is most interesting me right now is how even in this virtual world, normal human relationship and group dynamics are evolving. It is fascinating me.

    MD xxx

  • July 6, 2010 at 8:45 am
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    The best part for me was meeting lots of new people. I managed to arrive at quarter to eleven in the end which worked out well because everyone seemed relaxed by then. The keynote speeches were brilliant I agree. I was sitting at the table just behind you. Every time I saw you starting to well up, I did too! Three days on I’m still buzzing and I am yet to do anything constructive. And London City Mum is too fabulous for words! x

  • July 6, 2010 at 10:09 am
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    An excellent summary which is honest, touching and diplomatic all at the same time! So glad you got the sponsorship from the fab London City Mum and were able to come. It wouldn’t have been the same without you.

  • July 6, 2010 at 1:49 pm
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    I am getting a great feel for the day from reading peoples posts, thanks for that. It is lovely for those of us who weren’t there to hear so much about it:) Jen

  • July 6, 2010 at 4:28 pm
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    I totally relate with not being sure whether to go – but at the end of the day I’m very glad I did 🙂 Glad you enjoyed yourself!

  • July 6, 2010 at 5:14 pm
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    Um, thank you for calling me legendary. At a moment when I am just here sneaking a look at some blogs when really my head should be hitting a pillow, it means a lot. It was lovely to meet you. Next year we could do a…well we’ll have to think of something, won’t we? x

  • July 6, 2010 at 8:00 pm
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    I’m really glad you didn’t too! So good to finally meet you – hopefully we can do it again soon x

  • July 6, 2010 at 8:00 pm
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    Me too Susie – that was the only shadow on the day…..the one cast by absent friends x

  • July 6, 2010 at 8:01 pm
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    LOL Di! Was great to meet you, really enjoyed chatting to you – next year I’m voting for personalised T-shirts to make it very easy for us all! x

  • July 6, 2010 at 8:11 pm
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    me too my friend, me too…. xx

  • July 6, 2010 at 8:13 pm
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    You were very much there in spirit – or at least your fireplace was – next year, clear your diary now! xx

  • July 6, 2010 at 8:14 pm
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    I believe it’s to do with fused vertebrae from poring over a keyboard permanently. Oh, and Emily (Babyrambles) already did – it’s just a surprise when you see everyone in the cold light of day….

  • July 6, 2010 at 8:16 pm
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    As are you! You’re also very good at making people cry with your wonderful words – I can’t watch that video on your blog without kicking off again….

    I know – Victoria should have been there, curse her for having RL friends and inviting them over that very weekend! x

  • July 6, 2010 at 8:16 pm
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    It was really nervewracking, but I think we pretty much all felt the same which made it easier…. No excuses next year! xx

  • July 6, 2010 at 8:35 pm
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    Ha – I was trying not to look round at anyone, didn’t have a tissue either (deffo a mistake!). I think it’s probably best that I missed the first bit too – would have sent me a bit silly. Was so good to finally meet you, wish I’d had longer / been more confident to talk to you more – next time!

    Oh and yes, LCM is a wonder-woman!

    x

  • July 6, 2010 at 9:17 pm
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    Thanks lovely, and LOL at the diplomacy…..! Was a fab day/night – still so tired though…. xx

  • July 6, 2010 at 9:18 pm
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    It would have been lovely to see you there Jen – maybe next year? Get sponsorship and bring the whole family over? THAT would be fab! x

  • July 6, 2010 at 9:20 pm
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    Thanks Vonnie – I’m so pleased I did too – wouldn’t hesitate again! x

  • July 6, 2010 at 9:21 pm
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    You were beyond fabulous Linda! Still so tired here too – and I wasn’t part of the ‘last blogger standing’ crew! So good to meet you, and yes we really will have to think of something! x

  • July 6, 2010 at 9:36 pm
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    Hi Paula. Great post and one which reflects the emotionally charged elation you felt, tempered by understandable apprehension. I would probably be the same. I don’t do well in crowds and crave anonymity. I’m just a wallflower to be honest.

    You took a lot from the day, as it seems did many. That is fantastic.

    Thanks to yourself and Modern Dilemma for plugging my post on the subject. It was one of those times when I hovered over the “publish” button. No kidding.

  • July 7, 2010 at 8:11 am
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    Oh I feel very jealous I wasn’t there…I’ve only recently accepted the fact that I am a Mummy Blogger. Like you I don’t particularly like to define myself in any one way but, there’s no way around the fact that a significant portion of my blog is about parenting. Damn those kids…they get everywhere 😉

    I am also short. And can talk enough to suck the oxygen out of any room and the will to live out of any male in hearing distance….

  • July 7, 2010 at 8:12 am
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    Oh, and I’m very skippy to see another wordpress blogger < we rock. Sometimes I think Blogger is taking over the world. Why? It's so…so…clumpy?

  • July 7, 2010 at 9:28 am
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    As I have said, it was a real pleasure to meet you, I had just the best day socailly and want to do it all over again but for evertone to wear a big t-shirt with their blog name on!!

  • July 7, 2010 at 10:01 am
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    Next year I shall be in Japan. At least I won’t be just up the road. Maybe 2012. It can be the Olympian Cybermummy. With an athletics theme. I’m wittering now. I’ll stop.

  • July 7, 2010 at 2:29 pm
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    Blogger was there first 😉

    I was there. I didn’t know so many ppl before I went, and I don’t think I met as many ppl as I wanted while I was there. But I enjoyed it, even though it was overwhelming, and I’m glad I made it.

    Hasn’t made any difference to my blog comment level though 😉

  • July 7, 2010 at 7:40 pm
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    So bummed I didn’t go, I think I only heard about it late on and had exactly the same no-go list as you. Next year for sure. I’m quite tall so could have balanced it up a bit. And I heard there was free stuff damn it.

  • July 7, 2010 at 7:51 pm
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    What a great summary of the whole thing. Nail. Head.

    So sorry I didn’t get to meet you – I have loads of people to stalk next year and I think Jen’s idea of a ‘Frankie Say’s’ style, large print t.shirt with blog name on is a great idea. x

  • July 7, 2010 at 8:20 pm
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    I can understand why – but your approach was without malice or negativity, much like your good self 😉

    I hope you’ve found some answers, I’ve got a feeling that for our generation of bloggers it was mainly a social event, but no less valuable as a result…

  • July 7, 2010 at 8:34 pm
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    You sound like perfect Cybermummy material in that case 🙂

    It’s do hard, I’m not one for categorising at any time – I’m sure there’s a blog post in there somewhere! But at the same time understand only too well the need for some sort of segmentation – so whilst I dislike the naming convention, I somewhat stroppily wear the mantle…

  • July 7, 2010 at 8:41 pm
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    Short and large of bosom. Allowing for all that heart I expect.

    My two highlights were Pub Quiz (Linda ) Jonesy – which still makes me smile when I remember the lyrics round. And the keynote blogs which I had flippantly declared I might miss in my desperation for a post-panic-panel drink. Thankfully you pointed me in the right direction where I pretty much attempted to stem the tears like everyone else for the best part of an hour.
    Yeh thanks for that.
    Next year I’m wearing a minimizer and some heels.

  • July 12, 2010 at 9:09 am
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    Excellent round up hun! So glad you did come was lovely to see you again! and your right we certainly can talk cant we! xx

  • July 12, 2010 at 12:13 pm
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    What a lovely, all inclusive post! I regretted so much not being able to be there, but I am not short and am a bit challenged in the bosom department so maybe it was for the best!
    I hope to make it next year if only for the hugging!

    C xxx

  • July 12, 2010 at 8:00 pm
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    I do love a WordPress blog…..so clean, and symmetrical and… nice 🙂

  • July 12, 2010 at 8:00 pm
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    Ha yes, that would make all the difference Jen x

  • July 12, 2010 at 8:07 pm
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    Aha, that makes sense then! I think we all came away with a longer list of people we hadn’t managed to speak to but it was great.

    Yours is a new blog to me, I’ll be popping over to say hello 🙂

  • July 12, 2010 at 8:08 pm
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    She is completely wonderful – I love that we both have outfits to give her…..mine is on order, hope she’s not reading this…. 😉 x

  • July 12, 2010 at 8:09 pm
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    I’d have loved to meet you – next year deffo. Tall blogger – check, I’ll find you easily…..and yes to free stuff – I had more breast pads than I will ever need.

  • July 12, 2010 at 8:15 pm
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    Ditto – the speed-dating was terribly stressful…I ran and hid and the other side of the room after two shuffles! Next time, next time…. x

  • July 12, 2010 at 8:17 pm
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    The pub quiz was pure entertainment. And I’ve just remembered that I won something in the prize draw *makes mental note to follow up on that*. You were marvellous as always, even after a couple of pinot’s finest. Same place next year x

  • July 12, 2010 at 8:18 pm
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    And you too…. I imagine we’d have spent a lot more time giggling had we been sat on the same table 😉 xx

  • July 12, 2010 at 8:19 pm
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    You’ve have been the blog of balance….So gutted that you weren’t there, but was so pleased to see your picture at least 🙂

    xxx

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