Deus ex machina ... "God from the machine."
Years ago, I would sit next to Dave in bed and talk to him about blogging. And how much I loved it. He humoured me, mostly. Next Tuesday, it will be exactly four years since I wrote myself into the internet with this cracker first sentence:
"Hello. I can't seem to work out where I belong (ha!)"
I do twitter all wrong. I still don't understand what it's for - sometimes I get it and I'm in the groove, other times I'm flailing and paranoid ... and think that everybody else is in on the party except me. I'm having huge trouble getting to sleep lately, so I go on it in a manic state and then wake up with a twitter hangover. Considering locking myself out of my own account - it's a strange beast. And the addictive nature of it makes me feel uneasy. On the other hand, twitter is one of the most valuable and real sources of news out there. People were tweeting from Libya, Iran, Egypt ... real people, just like you and me. Telling the real truth. Amazing.
I'm going to Kerri Sackville's book launch next Thursday, down in Sydney. Dave asked me how I knew her. "Um, I met her through twitter." He looked at me incredulously. "You met her through TWITTER? What? What is twitter anyway?" Before I explain it he pretends to write on an imaginary keyboard and talks in a stupid stilted robot voice: "I am going to have a cup of tea now."
So I wrote on my imaginary keyboard with my stupid stilted voice: "My husband is not invited and has to stay at home to mind the children. Suck-O."
I still have the word "blogspot" in my URL. Which is apparently supposed to be embarrassing. I've had my eye on purchasing edenland.com for a while now ... recently somebody else bought it, and will sell it to me. For $5000. I'm trying to take it as a compliment, but man I was annoyed. I bought edenriley.com and edenriley.com.au just in case. The guy from the domain company asked me why was I buying my own name domains? And I didn't know what to say. And he asks "Is it brand protection?"
I laughed so, so hard. SO HARD.
Am I a brand, now? You know the thing about social media - people try so hard to be brands, and brands try so hard to be people. I'm just trying to .... keep my head above water in the world, and for some reason blogging helps me do that.
The head honcho from the Blogger team at Google asked me to come and speak at their offices last month. I asked him who else was going - "Oh nobody Eden. Just you."
What? It was very flattering, and strange. I almost didn't make the meeting ... but Mrs Woog went too, thank God. After I told her some choice dark secrets in the car on the way - Woogs, we have to always be friends. You know too much.
So, sitting at Sydney's Google offices that day was very cool. But there was this one guy at the front, with a French accent. His name was Marc, and he could not BELIEVE that I don't take ads on my blog. He was so persistent .. "But .. but, what is your number? How much money would it take for you to turn adsense on? $500 a month?" I kind of half-said maybe, and Woogs next to me was all, "NO WAY." And I said, oh, oh no. No way.
He came up after the talk, badgered again. "What is your number, Eden?" I laughed, and told him I had to think about it. I emailed a few days later.
"Ok, I've been thinking hard about it. In exchange for ads on my site, I'd really like .... a pony. HA! Just kidding. What I'd really like, is a hot dog stand."
I'm still waiting, google.
I'm this > < far away from final approval to receive full sponsorship to fly to America in August to attend BlogHer. Mrs Woog and I went to Sydney last week to talk about the finer details. This will be an Australian first, and I am beyond excited about it.
Things like this can help me with things like the 11th May, where I show you what I've been working on for the monthly Year of Turning 40 posts I've been doing. Two other amazing women are involved in this one ... it's one of the most meaningful things I've ever done, both online and off.
There's a lot of awards and competitions going on down here in Australia. Companies and brands are waking up. Aussie Home Loan Finder recently ran a "Best Aussie Mummyblogger with the X-Factor" competition. They stood out by hiring a caricature artist to turn photos like this:
The stunning Glowless eventually won the iPad2. It was very savvy of them - mum blogging has nothing to do with home loans, and yet the traffic that stampeded (and crashed) their site really helped their google ranking.
I get emailed and pitched a lot of things .. yesterday I was emailed about the Telstra Messages of Support Event for Anzac Day on Monday. I will send a message to the Aussie troops, and I'm mentioning it here because my grandfather fought in the war and Anzac Day has always been a big deal in my family.
Bec from the Childs i Foundation randomly emailed me a while ago, and we've stayed in touch ever since. She will be at Balmain Markets this Saturday to sell necklaces and bracelets like this:
A perfect gift for Mothers Day. "Every little bit helps, just $10 made from selling a necklace can buy a newborn jumpsuit for the babies who arrive sometimes only weighing 1 kilo."
People actually doing things in the world that means things ... that's where my "platform" my "blogging career" is taking me.
Even though I fail at twitter and I can't remember my password to get into LinkedIn. I'm completely inappropriate on facebook. Sometimes I don't post for days because - I just need to stay off the internet for the love of God. I forget to tweet my posts, have no idea how to take a screenshot of something, and never really learnt SEO. Stats scare me, so I only look at them about once a month. I need to add a PR tab here somewhere, but I keep forgetting. I need to import Disqus so that I can reply to comments properly .... the comments you leave, here. My God. I just want to set up a camping bed and sleep in there, most nights. Thank you so much. You people have big hearts and wise minds. I like you a lot.
So. In conclusion, blogging is heating up down here in Australia. About bloody time.
... and four years on, I still can't seem to work out where I belong. (ha!)