Guest blog post by Melissa Stange, Ph.D., Blackboard System Administrator at Shenandoah University and a 2012 BbWorld VIP Blogger.
When I started making my list of the five best things about being a BbWorld blogger, I quickly realized that this was going to be a difficult task. I’ve felt many benefits since winning last year’s contest.
But I forced myself to narrow it down, so here are my five best things about being a BbWorld Blogger:
1. You get priority seating at all keynote sessions – I did not have to rush from the previous session to get a seat that wasn’t in the nosebleed area and I did not have to walk over ten people’s feet to get to the last available seat in the middle of the row. BbWorld bloggers get reserved seats up front, which allows you to take some great photos.
2. You are recognized as a powerful voice – Bb is revolutionary by inviting BbWorld bloggers to expand on their blog as a guest blogger on Blackboard’s blog. Other BbWorld attendees look to the bloggers as a resource for details about sessions they could not attend, client opinion, and honest feedback. It’s so fantastic! Blackboard’s Social Team reads the blogs and reacts, so I believe my voice helped shape Bb outside of their standard client programs.
3. You learn a lot about social/new media – At BbWorld I saw that social media is so much more than Facebook and Twitter. I learned about new technologies and how to integrate these technologies. I applied this professional development to my own social efforts while using it to enhance my courses. Bb’s Social Team is very patient and helps beginners learn and advance their skills.
4. You help expand the reach of BbWorld – Whether due to cost or time commitment, not all of Bb’s clients who want to attend are able to attend…physically. As a BbWorld blogger, the feeling of helping others is always present. There’s something so genuinely heartwarming and fulfilling to share your conference experiences and have others comment “Thanks! I did not know that” or “That explains what is happening”.
5. You can validate the importance of BbWorld– If your boss is worried that you will be enjoying Vegas attractions instead of attending sessions, being a BbWorld blogger will correct that mindset. Your boss and co-workers (not to mention the rest of the world) will not only see the sessions you attend but also the level of attention you give to each session. The more people who see the wealth of learning that happens, the more willing people are to invest in attending. Participate in a Blackboard usability study or feedback session and make your institution’s voice heard. Remember, being away from the office sometimes clears the mind, promotes creativity, and allows others to appreciate you more. You can be assured Bb will show you their appreciation throughout BbWorld.
The VIP blogger benefits don’t end there. I also got to interview the keynote speakers, expand my professional network, and take home a great keepsake from Blackboard. While I may not be Bb’s VIP Blogger this year, I am hooked on BbWorld blogging and there’s no going back… See you in July!
Learn more about being a BbWorld Blogger at this year’s conference