img_0263Yesterday I went into the “city” (that would be what Long Islanders call NYC). Took the train to Penn Station and then a cab to Chelsea Pier to attend BlogWell NYC!

Thanks to my friend Shari Storm, I’m happy to say I’ve been a blogger since August of 2006! Wow. I didn’t realize that until someone at the conference asked me “How long you been blogging….” She even said “Wow!”

BlogWell’s promise was 8 case studies in 4 hours. I was going to hear the blogging adventures of such great companies as Microsoft, GE, Coca Cola, Tyson (yup, the chicken people blog) and Turner Broadcasting, to name my favorites.

I planned to blog and twitter my way through the conference. They even had tables with power strips set up along the side walls of the conference room just for me! (well, and a few other dozen bloggers). They gave out “I heart my Blog” pins which I proudly wore.

But the best thing I learned at the session, was not happening in NYC, per se. It was happening in credit union land on the internet. Social Media lessons learned by a CU girl named Jossi.

It began with a Google Alert and a less than 140 character Twitter. Apparently this gal was having an exceptionally bad day. She’s a receptionist at a credit union in Utah. Anyway, her “work pet peeves” blog post went viral. Swine flu viral.

I haven’t read it, just twitter comments about it. Jeffry Pilcher called her directly and gave her a heads up. She pulled it down immediately. Not sure what ensued but within an hour (or so it seemed) she had posted a retraction and announced that the following day she was killing her blog.

Immediately the credit union community (meaning CU industry bloggers) urged her not to. People make mistakes – the important thing is to LEARN from your mistakes. And I’m sure she has. CU Warrior did a post about it today – the lessons learned, and it’s so comprehensive there’s nothing I can add to it except this:

I learned more from my Credit Union network yesterday about blogging than the 8 Fortune 500 companies I paid to hear. I could’ve saved myself $225 plus $14 cab fare and $21 train fare and just stayed home, in my jammies and let real life teach me all I need to know about compassion, retraction, cooperation and what social media REALLY is. People helping people.

But I wouldn’t have gotten those really great pins! So it was worth it!