BritMums was the first blogging network I stumbled upon. When H was born I started the old blog (which one day I’d like to import in here, once I’ve erased her name from it all) and happily blogged away on my own with friends commenting – non-blogger friends that is. Some still say they follow me which is nice – but I had no idea that networks for mums (and dads) even existed. I remember the first thing I reviewed – a sheet for H’s cotbed. The whole idea of reviewing things on a personal blog about H felt wrong, so that’s where Mum Friendly came in – it felt like it sat better, and anyway I quite liked moaning about the lack of room in the aisles at M&S for buggies and how it’s impossible to take a buggy to the London-bound platform at Carshalton Station.

The idea that blogging could make you money was a new one. I’ve worked in music for long enough (since 1992 I think?) to know that music blogs can be sent promo cds, items, gig tickets and so on for showing support – so it’s not a new thing. As far as I was concerned I had been noticed, I’d been sent something appropriate to us and I reviewed it and felt happy I’d had an opportunity.

Then I joined BritMums, Tots100 and found there were gazillions of opportunities. From back then to last weekend I feel like I’ve come along in blogging and what you learn (as I truly believe nobody knows everything – we can all learn from each other) never ends.

Me at BritMumsFor me; and I’ve been blogging in some form since around 2000, possibly even 1999; getting to conferences and seeing newer bloggers who ‘get it’ and do ‘it’ amazingly well is great – sharing what they know and have learned, and most of all making sure you remember it’s ‘your blog, your rules’ – within the law of course. I’m still learning, and for me BritMums is about learning more. Learning more photography skills, am I missing something on WordPress which could make me better? My lack of confidence in almost everything and pushing myself to do things, am I right? The putting on a brave face and trying to talk to people (who will occasionally then pull a face as if to say ‘who on earth are you?’ which I find rude, but I’m over it) vs the chatting to whoever is next to you and THEN realising who they are (Emma Crazy With Twins, hello!) and knowing their story even though they don’t know you and them chatting happily because they’re lovely.

I know I’m not a part of the community as such. I post there but I haven’t connected. This is due to my lack of time rather than anything else, and I accept this. It meant that at the end I’d only heard of two or three of the final bloggers reading out posts at the Keynote, so I didn’t have that connection. This is me though – not everyone else. I didn’t enjoy it, I’m afraid. The tributes had to happen as for the community it was important – for me outside of the community it was a bit like watching a celebration from over the wall – you were there and you’re supporting but you don’t have the history or knowledge. Again, I’m fine with that. Have I discovered any new blogs? Yes I have – so that’s a really positive thing.

I made some new friends and that is brilliant. I spent time with people I’ve got to know online and that was brilliant. That made me happy. I didn’t get to all the talks I’d have liked to, there was too much to see though I did get to chat to the four companies I would love to work with.

If I cast my mind back to my first post about H, about how the power of breastmilk fixes pink eye and how on earth do you squirt it in there, things have changed a lot. I’ve lost that sense of humour a bit – it comes from time to time (maybe I should have gone to the storytelling chat?) but these days I’m documenting it less as she’s starting school in just over two months. Is that sad? I still save the good ones for here though.

Oh, and I’ve bought a ticket for next year. You can’t get rid of me that easily.