So, I'm going to the Blog Business Summit. I'm really excited as mentioned before. First of all, when I do panel presentations, I tend not to have the same queasy sensations I do when I have to speak on my own. Co-presenting is the same way; I really don't want to hurl my cookies in a crowd perhaps, or, just simply, having more speakers evens the odds against the hundreds of people in the audience. It feels much easier. More among friends.
The second thing I hope to do is bring a couple of my new bath creations to bloggers I know. I figure, you are stuck in some swanky hotel room, able to take a hot bath without worrying about using up all the hot water in the house - why not? If it's too girly, heck you are out of town. No one needs to know why you literally smell like roses. :)
According to Fortune Magazine (yes, my mom subscribes me to Fortune - I think she has high hopes for me!) the other hobbies you do train your brain for your "real job." The bath bombs are so alien to my real job in so many ways I think they qualify as professional development:
1) making bath bombs, literally, stinks. I have allergies and even the essential oils I love, make me sneeze.
2) it is completely tactile, unlike working at Microsoft. You spritz. You stir. You smoosh. You get citric acid and baking soda crumblies all over your clothes. Coding a gadget was nothing like this.
3) you have something you personally and physically can give away at the end
4) it takes patience. I always try to tap the bath fizzes out of the mold too early. nothing about my job rewards patience. Microsoft is a fast-moving culture. :)
Sometimes, not always (I'm no Robert Scoble), I can do a public speaking gig about community and I feel like I gave something personally away to the people I blathered on to (or as I think of it, did the community "woo woo" at them.) When I had had no sleep the night before and ranted (raved?) to the Mac blog team at Microsoft about Joseph Campbell and hero stories and they ended up calling the blog what I suggested.
Or when I raved to TechEd audiences about what Microsoft really was doing, by having no blogging policy.
Or when I spoke an an internal conference about being a web professional at Microsoft and noted (I come back to this phenomenon time and time again) what it means to have that email from a customer to whom you are suddenly THE most important person at Microsoft.
Going from being virtual person to..the place where humans have emotions and care and struggle and get pissed off but at the end, see the very human thing in you that they see in themselves.
But that's not something you physically give away? or is it?
I've wondered about spark lately. I loved this post by Kathy Sierra about knocking the exuberance out of employees. For now I can give away some bath fizzes. Maybe the spark can be a tangible thing...more on this later.
Live it vivid!
(and go ask those questions on Live QnA, will ya? :) )