On November 4, I was on the Women in WordPress panel in Seattle; on the 18th I gave the keynote in Rochester.

My passion is to help business owners understand how to use social media, how to build relationships, and improve their ability to encourage others. I’m grateful to be invited to be part of a panel for WordCamp Seattle and to present the keynote at WordCamp Rochester.

Personal Thoughts

When I attend WordCamp US in two weeks, I will have attended 11 camps in 2017. This was a huge part of our strategy at Give to promote relationships and the product. Though I’m freelancing now, I was glad they sponsored these two trips.

After WordCamp US in 2016, Jason Knill and I decided to see part of the cities we were visiting. All I saw of Philadelphia at US was the convention center. So, I took that attitude toward these two solo trips.

In Seattle, I walked to the camp instead of rideshare. The city was under construction. It spoke to me. Even established, thriving, and beautiful places like Seattle are under construction. I am, too. Going into business for myself is scary, but I have a foundation beneath me to support this venture. It was good to be reminded of that.

In Rochester, once I realized how close we were to the Erie Canal, I ditched camp early enough to spend some time looking at it. It’s amazing to think that a very small man-made canal (I was surprised at how small it is) impacted history so greatly. It wasn’t even in use for very long, but it allowed Chicago to become the city it is today. Small things — even for a short period of time — can determine fate — fate bigger than itself. Think of that in our personal lives.

For your entertainment, I also sang the song, “Low Bridge” that I remember from Fourth Grade music class. It’s on my Facebook Timeline.

As I walked from the canal to the after party, it began to rain. It struck me as awesome that just two weeks ago, I was rained on in Seattle. Now, on the other side of North America, I was also being rained upon. I walked a mile in the rain and couldn’t have felt more content, happy, joyful, or at peace in my entire life. That moment filled my heart with courage.

Back to the main reason for this post.

A brief Recap of Seattle and Rochester

Rachel Cherry and Miriam Goldman both submitted Women in WordPress panels for Seattle so they were combined. What a great group of women. Wow. We covered the entire spectrum of feminism. The panel was informative and controversial — just the way I like it.

My favorite part of the panel was when a man asked how he could better advocate for women in the workplace.

I was happy to answer for him, for that audience, and for you, my readers.

It is very important how you characterize the concerns of women on your teams.

Let me repeat that.

To advocate for women in the workplace, be mindful of how you characterize their concerns. Click To Tweet

Adjectives matter. If we bring up that we’re offended it doesn’t mean we’re “mad.” If we have an intentional word choice, we don’t have a “tone.” Think about that. It determines how we’re seen by our peers and this effects our ability to rise in organizations both in structure, position, and salary.

The keynote was a special invitation. I was honored to be invited to travel to Rochester to share my passion for building community. Rochester has a great community.

Seeing the faces light up as I spoke, knowing they “get it,” reassured me that my passion is teaching. I not only want to work that into my business, I need to. I’m not fully me without teaching.

I felt a bit lost, honestly, until I met a woman in the bathroom. She has a cluster of stars that looks like a galaxy as a bracelet tattoo. That made it all click for me. Small encounters mean everything. That is how I pulled the talk together.

Recap of the Seattle Panel By Other People’s Tweets

 

Recap of the Rochester Keynote By Other People’s Tweets

 

Thank You.

I know your time is valuable. Thanks for being part of my community.

Love,

Bridget

Special Notes:

  • Special thanks to GiveWP for sending me to both camps. It’s the most robust plugin for online donations.
  • I use Postmatic to send these posts via email and to respond to comments. I’m on the $20/month plan. Check it out. (It does not support embedded content in email, to see the tweets, you’ll have to click over to the actual blog post. Thanks)

About Bridget Willard

Observing human behavior and predicting it is what makes the way I approach content management different. I mirror your voice in my social media management. I analyze your dreams when I consult. I think deeply and respond appropriately. I have time to work on your business. Do you?

5 Comments

  1. Justine on November 20, 2017 at 6:02 pm

    I really enjoyed this post! I believe your calling is to teach others and I really think you are on the right track!

    You be you and do what you do!

    Justine

    • Bridget Willard on November 20, 2017 at 6:27 pm

      Thank you so much for spending time talking this out with me at lunch in Seattle. You’re a precious star in my universe.

      • justine.pretorious on November 20, 2017 at 9:22 pm

        Awww you are too sweet! It was a wonderful conversation and I’m glad we were able to spend time together.

        J

  2. Teresa Beard on November 21, 2017 at 10:03 am

    Really, we helped each other in Rochester.

    I was in the bathroom hiding (pretending to fix my hair) because I felt completely out of my depth. I’m just a beauty blogger. What was I even doing there? Our short interaction was an awesome ice breaker for me.

    After I listened to you talk about community and diversity I felt a bit more confident. Still terrified of course, but maybe I wasn’t totally insane for showing up. I might even go back next year.

    So, thank you for being brave and friendly!

    • Bridget Willard on November 21, 2017 at 10:49 am

      Teresa you’re not “just” anything. You are a writer. You are a connector.
      You matter. Your voice matters.
      WordPress is a community not just of developers, but of graphic artists, marketers, writers, and more! Thank you for inspiring me.

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