Moderating my first panel

I regret that I didn’t have Trinity stay to take at least one picture, but oh well.

Before the panel I was to moderate, I attended a workshop that ended exactly how I feared mine would — early and in silence, with no questions. Ironically, it allowed me to leave early, so I could mentally prepare (heheh, and pray!) for my panel. I feel really strongly about blogging and my online work, so I wanted it to go well.

I got there early, and unfortunately, the session in the room where I was to get into next didn’t end early or quietly — essentially, we had to shoo them out. Then we had to wait for the hotel’s A/V people to set up a projector and screen for us. Luckily, the night before, I had studied how my friend Belinda’s laptop was hooked up to a projector and borrowed a special cord (that I have, but no longer know where its located) to link my laptop to a projector.

Then I stood up and introduced myself and everyone on the panel and asked them to give some background on themselves and their blogs. Pretty much from there on in, I stepped back and allowed the dialogue to begin.

I think the session went well, because it did not end early, nor quietly, plus a few of the attendees came up to introduce themselves and ask more questions and advice. Topics that were addressed included how long it takes to blog every day, how you choose topics for the blog versus what you choose for the newspaper (thanks, Katie!), how you keep the snark out of your blog posts (my answer: just put it out there and tell it how it is), how much opinion do you put in, can you make any money off blogging? All of a sudden I was glad I had my geeky 9 years of blogging to fall back on for answers, and I was really happy that I had a variety of folks on the panel to answer all these questions.

The only things I think that could have been improved on was the time we had (it was supposed to be an hour and a half, but I think it ended up being more like an hour) and our location — we ended up being right next to the Broadcast Mentor Program Session & Reception, and man, those broadcasters can be loud! Maybe I should have asked for microphones.

I think everyone involved in the panel feels good about how it went, my perceived success of the panel makes me excited for another opportunity to coordinate another one. I’ve already started thinking about a political blogging panel I feel UNITY absolutely should have next year in Chicago, even though I think I can’t go…

Shruti’s New on the Jersey Shore
Katie Nelson’s Plugged In blog
Joe Grimm’s Ask the Recruiter

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