• Heading to TAM

    Today I’m busy packing to head to The Amazing Meeting (TAM). Good grief. Getting everything done before I hit the road is quite the feat.

    First, it pretty much takes a very large shoe horn to pry me out of my office these days. (I’m looking directly at you, Mr. Ed Clint.) 🙂 Second, I’m not exactly a social butterfly, but my husband is coming so I shouldn’t become too cantankerous. Third, I’ll miss my little pups. How will they ever survive without me? 🙂

    Bah. It’ll be fun. In fact, it turns out I get to sit in on one of the panels discussing various aspects of writing, blogging, and such.

    This is my third skepticism conference. Sure, I’ve been to scores of events concerning publishing, writing, and particularly marketing/copywriting. But those were pieces of cake… terribly fun, to be honest… in comparison to my narrow conference experience in the skeptic community.

    The first skeptic event I attended had a very sparse audience. It was supposed to be an annual event, but quickly died. The conference wasn’t exactly “fun,” but quite informative.

    When the day ended, I had a headache from concentrating, sifting through copious jargon, wading through thick accents, revisiting subjects I haven’t thought of since… well… my college years. It felt like a lot of work. We skipped the second day.

    The second skeptic event was larger, but I found myself carefully guarding my tongue, always fearful I’d say something wrong. Sadly I have a dismal track record when it comes to asking (evidently) inappropriate questions. After reading the harassment policy, I half expected to see armed guards patrolling the main hall, billy club in hand, shooting attendees the stink eye. It didn’t happen, but in my twisted imagination, I would have found the whole scenario amusing.

    During that same event, a few attendees #hatehatehated when, during a panel discussion, I suggested blog commenters be treated respectfully so as not to escalate conflict. As a marketer I can’t help but wonder what outsiders think when they peruse comment threads. Also, I’m still puzzled as to why anyone would treat their commenters… someone who visited their site, took time to comment, evidently cares about a subject… without a modicum of respect. If we’re skeptics, shouldn’t we act respectful towards other points of view?

    But that’s just me… the eternal PR person. We skipped the final day of that seminar.

    And now, I’m off to seminar number three, TAM. I’m heading to Vegas with no expectations, an open mind, hoping it’ll resemble the good old days of copywriting seminars where I came home exhilarated, excited, with a boat load of memories that make me smile to this day.

    If you’re attending TAM or live near Las Vegas, shoot me an email. I’d love to meet you in person and enjoy a cuppa joe together. I super-love talking shop.

    Category: My Opinion


    Article by: Beth Erickson

    I'm Beth Ann Erickson, a freelance writer, publisher, and skeptic. I live in Central Minnesota with my husband, son, and two rescue pups. Life is flippin' good. :)