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07 April 2014

Durban BloggerMeet & Other Stuff

Firstly, I hope you enjoyed the tutorial on DIY beading. It really was an easy one this time, but I hope to try doing more like it in the near future.

But that’s not what today's blog post is about.

I have had a very very busy past weekend! I am still recovering from a rather nasty bout of flu that I recently had, and so am terribly unfit and rather out of shapes. So getting back into my normal (no such thing really as normal remember) routine over the last week has been intense and quite a job. But, I am getting there!

So this past weekend has really been working at getting me "back into the swing of things".
I was invited to attend something that I have never attended before, not even attended anything like it before, on Saturday 05 April. The Durban Bloggers Meet. I was overwhelmed that the wonderful organizers thought I was worth inviting! Because let’s get real, I have never really been that influential in my blogging or social networking. But apparently my recent numerous blog posts (including the one on "Things I Learnt in Isipingo") as well as my Twitter account (@daisytazz) have been attracting some attention! So there you have it people, I'm famous!
Ok, alright, I'm not that famous; I just have a really loud mouth and like to speak my mind. If people don’t listen, I have a terrible habit, although apparently for this sort of thing it’s a brilliant habit, of getting louder and canonball-ing my opinion into the stratosphere of social media.
So, why is there such a thing as a Blogger Meet? Who goes? What Happens there?

What is it?
Really simply put, the popular (most followed, most often hit blogs etc) bloggers & tweeters, pinterest and instagram users are what are nowadays known as "Social Media Influencers". They are the people that the masses of humanity look to for guidance and advice. Heaven know why, we're not all that special or fabulous; we're just other human beings. But because we choose to voice our opinions in a way that others notice, they seem to look to us and say "Hey, let’s follow that guys/girl's ideas".
So, in the 80's & 90's companies would advertise on billboards and in newspapers, yellow pages and door to door salesmen, via word of mouth and handbills. However in 2014 those are not the best advertising mediums.
Compare this for yourself - how many times in the last week did you look in a newspaper or the yellow pages for a company, service or product you were looking for? Now how many times did you google & twoogle a product, service, or company in the last week?
That’s just it, nobody looks in the yellow pages for restaurants anymore, they google it. They look at references and reviews on blogs & twitter rather than in the newspaper. For my parents' Horse Riding on the Beach Company, we regularly ask clients how they heard of us, they heard of us on the net, mostly by googling "Adventure in Durban" or "Horse Riding Durban".
Therefore it makes sense to advertize on the Internet. A blogger meet gives companies an opportunity to sponsor a prize or a gift of sorts to the blogger meet and then for the bloggers to review the prize or gift online. It also gives the bloggers an opportunity to network socially and for work.

Who goes?
This blogger meet had 25 ladies who are bloggers in the KZN/Durban area. These ladies are from all walks of life, various races and area they live in. From fitness fanatics to foodies, from opinionated bloggers (like me) to beauty bloggers. All of these ladies had an opportunity to attend the Durban Blogger Meet.

What happens there?
Well I arrived a little late (fashionably?). But pretty much it was hosted at the AMAZING Hashtag Restuarant. On arrival we each had a little Zomato goodie bag with Cooee can drinks on our table spot, as well as Blink mints & Pens and Cupcakes from the Bake Shop waiting for us.
There were a number of speakers who gave presentations on their products, like the Fry Guy from Fry's Vegan products,
 and the Lenovo Lady from Lenovo electronics. There was also a presentation by the Cat Lady from Kitten Action on how and why they rescue cats. I must mention while I am on the subject of kittehs, that we have always had our cats spayed/neutered through Kitten Action and will always continue to do so.
After the presentations there was a prize giving session (names drawn out of a hat), the wonderful organizers arranged that every single lady was sure to receive a gift/prize. I got a hamper from Little Mud Hut designs to the value of R220. 

Then we all ordered lunch, which was generously sponsored by Hashtag restaurant. Might I add here that Hashtag gives you an iPad to order your food on?!?! Cool huh? 
And we got to mingle a bit with the other bloggers. I'll be honest, I'm not a stuck up person by any means, but I was tired as all hell on Saturday and thus not the most social being. Plus, this was the first event I've ever attended where it is NOT rude o be tweeting, whatsapp-ing and generally on your phone the whole time, so I did my bit of tweeting and the like instead of majorly socializing. Sorry ladies.
I did meet some interesting people, like G.I. Jane who's a fitness instructor, and the Ordinary Misfit who's a beauty blogger with amazingly bright pink hair. I was asked by Clair Norden (I think) what I blog about and it occurred to me that I really do blog about anything and everything. And an amazing lady who’s got the best handbag ever-see the chicken photo.
Then we were brought the biggest Gift bags ever! As one of the attendees stated, these put the Oscar gift bags to shame! Nearly needed a wheelbarrow to get them back to my car!

And that was the end of the Durban Blogger Meet. But I now have a few weeks worth of "review" blogging to do. So that will be a first for me, as I have never done reviews before. But I am excited about it, with amazing products from companies such as Consol, Cooee, BeautyBox, Royal Dansk and so on, this is bound to be fun.

After the blogger meet on Saturday, I came home, did a bit of work on the farm, and then got down to photographing all the stuff from the gift bag. It filled the whole dining room table!

Sunday I was up at the unearthly hour of 6am, was supposed to be up actually at 5 but I overslept the 4 alarms. The parentals and I jumped into Daisy (my car) and I drove 120km (that early on a Sunday morning, it should be illegal) to volunteer and help with a Kingdom Hall build about 15 minutes inland of Port Shepston at a tiny town called Murchison. We are on the concrete/slab throwing team, along with other volunteers of Jehovah's Witnesses who come from as far as Greytown and PMB to work on building places of worship for our brothers & sisters in the faith. We always love doing this, and we also got the opportunity to help somewhat on the fencing team this time around.
Concrete & Fencing Team. Murchison KH Build. Me in Green jacket, black peak & sunglasses.

After lunch and all the work was done, we remembered that oribi gorge (one of my favourite places in the world) was just 10 minutes drive away, so a few of us decided to swing by there for a bit of fresh air.
We spent a little over an hour at the bottom of the gorge, we went boulder hopping down the main river, climbed some impossibly difficult boulders, and then drove home after a lovely and tiring weekend.

Stopped by Toti to pick up a movie from a good friend of mine and watched the Book Thief as an end to a busy weekend that welcomed me back into my regular life.
I would not highly recommend the Book Thief; it is a sweet movie with a really nice "human" feel to it. But I've never been one to enjoy melodramatic style films. I'm a person who wants a happily ever after. This film has our heroine having a happy ending, but far too many of her loved ones dying along the way in the grips of the Second World War and its effects on Germany. Interesting touch at the end where they even do a little unobtrusive marketing for Apple.
See, I'm already starting to review stuff.

Ok, well that’s all for now folks. I have a ton of stuff to do this week, like admin for the upcoming long weekend, and spreading invitations for the Memorial of Christ Jesus' Death (you can find the nearest venue to you on the "look-up" function on ), and I have a permanently messy bedroom that severely needs to be tidied up.

Thanks for reading my LONG blog today, and please feel free to comment.
Remember, you can also find me on twitter @daisytazz