Facebook, following your passion, and C.R.A.P.

I have to say, waking up at the Grand Floridian and seeing the Monorail silently glide past the resort is one heck of a way to start your day! I could get used to this...

Day two of Disney's Social Media Moms Celebration started with breakfast at Citrico's - you could feel the anticipation in the room .... I "knew" most of the day's speakers (by name at least) but I had no idea how much I would learn or how much I would grow as a person in one morning.

One of the things I love most about a social media conference is looking around the room and seeing everyone 'connected' via laptops, netbooks, smart phones, iPads and more. You could never hear a pin drop .... there is a constant buzz of fingers on the keyboards Tweeting, Facebooking and live blogging.

After a warm welcome by Meg Crofton, president of the Walt Disney World Resort, it was time to "get down to business."

Our first speaker was Matt Jacobson, Head of Market Development at Facebook. He made it a point to tell us that he was the "eighth employee at Facebook." (And yes, I was VERY tempted to ask who played him in the movie...but I didn't.) One of the first things I tweeted out during his session was this: "this great big world is stunningly small when we're all connected" #disneysmmoms (from Facebook video)

[And that, my friends, is something to think about. As I read those words, I looked at my table and saw my friends from Georgia, Florida, Connecticut and Michigan - two of whom I had never met "in person" until the this trip. But there we were - connected, sharing friendships that were started online but transcended into the "real" world. It really IS a small world after all.]

OK. Back to Matt Jacobson.
After listening to what he had to say I had a few take aways that I'd like to share:
- Import your blog into Facebook. I really MUST do this. I think it's high time The Fishbowl had it's own Facebook page.
- Facebook is a meaningful way to communicate - people are leveraging it in so many ways.
- Go tell your story. On Facebook.

The next speaker had such an incredible impact on me that I'm still processing it today, three weeks later.Her name? Rene Syler, former anchor on the CBS Morning Show. Now, Rene is the Good Enough Mother - she blogs, she tweets, she imparts her wisdom in a brutally honest way that smacks you upside the head and makes you go "holy crap! she's talking about MY life too."

Rene's life in the past few years has been challenging at best. She lost her job, had a preventative double mastectomy, got very sick, lost her hair, suffered depression, reinvented herself and tells us that every day she eats a $2 Lean Cuisine in her "closet office" and has never been happier. Why Good Enough Mother? Well, the concept behind the blog is that you don't have to be PERFECT and that being "good enough" is OK. (Whew. This is refreshing because I am so far GONE from perfect that I'll never find my way back.)

And now, the most valuable lessons I learned during the entire day:
- Nobody is going to believe in you as much as you believe in yourself.
- You may not know what you want to do, but you definitely know what you don't want to do.
- You don't need someone to tell you that you are "the one", you only need to make it happen.
- Just because you used your womb doesn't mean you can't use your brain.
- Real growth hurts.
- You will not grow when you're comfortable, and you won't be comfortable when you're growing.
- People who make you feel bad have no place in your life.

As Rene was talking I was crying. (Heck, I'm crying as I type this right now). So much of what she said echoed in my head and settled in my soul. One of my (many) tweets during her session: i want to be able to say "every day I am happy" when it comes to my job! #disneysmmoms @renesyler (love this session!!!) and then this: it is OK to take yourself off the bottom of the "to do" list. #disneysmmoms @renesyler

I cannot put into words how inspiring and enlightening it was to hear someone echo the things that I know are true, but that I am (probably) afraid to face. Thank you for everything, Rene.

So...after we all dried our eyes (many moms were crying!), the Fairy Godmother showed up and gave away some prizes, including an overnight stay in Cinderella's Castle suite. Clearly, I didn't win that. :)

And then things got a little crazy.
All of a sudden this woman stood up and ran up to the stage and starting talking really, really fast. But the joke was on US! It was our next speaker, Fran Capo - the world's fastest talker. She really does talk fast. But I was able to get a few take aways:
- Just say yes, figure it out later.
- When a door opens, walk through it.
- Live every day as if it's your last and one day you'll be right.

After a lovely lunch and some wonderful conversation with friends, it was back to the ballroom. But not before meeting Duffy!

Next up...Chris Brogan. I really like Brogan's no nonsense take on social media - it's as simple as saying "I see you." That's it. I. See. You.

Other things Chris said that I think you should know:
- Always ask yourself "why?" "How" is easy to answer, but "why" will stop you from doing something stupid.
- As bloggers, we are in customer service, sales and marketing.
- Do things. Try Things.
- Always ask "then what?" over and over again.
- Attention is like currency - give attention to GET attention.
- Little bloggers do grow up (my personal favorite)
- Everything is content.
- Start with you - make you whole first.
- Make it human.
- And then there's C.R.A.P. = Connections, Referrals, Attention, Presence.

After listening to Rene Syler and Chris Brogan I was left with many thoughts and ideas, but kept coming back to one thing: I NEED TO BLOG MORE. I need to spend more time on my blog, telling my story. I also need to comment more on other blogs.

Our day of social media sessions was capped off with champagne and the music of Susan Egan and Georgia Stitt. It was a lovely way to end the afternoon.

And now.....I'll save the rest of the day's activities for the next blog post. But I have to say, this day sealed the deal for me - it really was an incredible day. And there was more magic on the way.....

Disclosure: While I paid my way for this event, we were given an incredible deal by Disney. The conference fee included three nights at the Grand Floridian, 7-day park hopper tickets, the conference, most meals, several special events, and other 'goodies' to take home. All opinions expressed in these posts are mine. Disney did not ask that we blog about the event. But as a lifelong, dedicated Disney fan, I am more than happy to share my experiences with you.


  1. Glad you had a good time!

    Thanks for sharing the lessons learned. I really liked the "you may not know what you want to do, but you know what you don't what to do." Loved those words of wisdom.

  2. LOVED reading this.

    Loved it.

    And yes, you do need to blog more. (No pressure.)

    (I use "networkedblogs" to automatically update my blog's facebook page whenever I write a new post. I highly recommend it. Just search, "networkedblogs" on facebook.)

  3. I agree, Rene was AWESOME & INSPIRING!
    Great recap, thank you!