Thursday, January 26, 2012

Come visit the Blogger's Lounge at Midwinter!

Here's the first of a series of guest blogs that you'll see on EduSlate during the next few days. We have a team of bloggers fanning out at Midwinter and bringing you information from a variety of sessions. Read on to learn more about this exciting new project.

As the week draws to a close, The Texas Association of School Administrators is preparing for its big Midwinter Conference. Plans include the usual conversations and presentations, but this year the organizers are working on something new – The Bloggers’ Lounge.

Blogging lounges are the norm at tech conferences but are just now gaining attention at mainstream events. TASA recognizes that more and more educators, at all levels, are creating blogs and using social media to reshape the way they train, learn, and connect.  

TASA’s Bloggers’ Lounge is set up for people who want to meet and mingle with friends, colleagues, presenters, and other conference attendees. It’s a casual, comfortable “venue within a venue” that provides space to write, socialize and network.  

For those who are unfamiliar with blogging lounges, here’s a little information to help clear up some common misconceptions.

Q: Do you have to be a licensed blogger to participate in the Bloggers’ Lounge? 
A: We’re pretty sure no such credentials exist, so the answer is “no.”

Q: Will I seem out of place if I don’t “look” like a blogger?
A: Since most bloggers look just like you, there’s a slim chance anyone will even notice.

Q: Can I simply sit and listen to the conversations? 
A: You bet! Half the fun of a bloggers’ lounge is the organic connections people make while just hanging out.

One of the highlights of TASA’s Bloggers’ Lounge is the availability of blogging experts and social media enthusiasts who can help attendees with questions on just about anything in the realm of new media. Feel free to come and go throughout the day or stay as long as you’d like.

If you are new to blogging or social media, then this will be a great place to be around those who are immersing themselves in this area. More advanced bloggers can find answers to questions about content development, WordPress plug-ins, search engine optimization (SEO) strategies, and much more.  

Interested in learning more about Twitter? Have one of our friendly team members set you up with an account in a matter of minutes. Hear how this powerful tool can be used to connect and communicate with speakers and fellow attendees before, during and after the conference. Have a cup of coffee while watching a live Twitter stream of your fellow attendees discussing the conference in real time. If you are a Twitter user already, please let us know what you’re up to throughout the event by using the hashtag #TASAmw.

A listing of what’s going on each day in the Bloggers’ Lounge will be posted, but here are some things you can expect while you are relaxing in the Lounge:

Continue the Conversation
These discussions allow for casual continuations of specific conference sessions. Speakers will be on hand at set times for extended Q&A sessions moderated by lounge staff.

Presentation Spotlight
Lounge team members will be live-tweeting and blogging from various sessions. Follow the #TASAmw hashtag on Twitter to see what’s happening.  

The Bloggers' Lounge will host two Q&A sessions focusing on the power of blogging, social media, and online community building. 

Please stop by and join us on Monday and Tuesday, January 30th and 31st, for fun and learning in the Bloggers’ Lounge!

The Bloggers’ Lounge is a collaboration between TASA, #BlogathonATX, and

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