I like my skin on my body.

Word on the street has it there is a little blogger get together going down in the fall. Phil, who blogs at PT Money, is the mastermind behind Financial Blogger Conference 2011: “a two day conference designed to bring together the best of the personal finance community so that we can network and learn.” These financial shenanigans are going down the first weekend in October. There are currently over one hundred PF bloggers signed up to attend. Guess who’s not signed up…

I’m sure everyone in attendance will have a freakin’ blast, network like crazy, and figure out ways to increase blog readership and revenue, but I have a few hesitations/reservations…

1) I’m still convinced there is at least one person out of my 1,400 subscribers that is a creepy, ninja loving, serial killer. If I sign up, said stalker could potentially fly to Chicago, break in to my hotel room, and cut my skin off while I’m sleeping. It gets creepier. They would then proceed to put my skin in zip-lock bags to preserve it for their long trip back to Nebraska (FYI all serial killers come from Nebraska). They would then use my skin to make “Flesh Bracelets” and sell them on their Etsy shop for $9.99. Call me crazy, but I don’t want you wearing my skin, it’s weird.

2) Chicago isn’t Seattle. When I lived in San Diego, I made the 1.5 hour drive to Irvine a few times to meet some So. Cal PF bloggers. It was quick and easy. Chicago, however, would be a whole different beast. I’d be looking at a minimum of 7 hours travel time (driving, getting to airport early, etc). Since the conference happenings are on Saturday and Sunday, I would have to take the Friday before (and probably the Monday after) off. My days off are very precious to me, I don’t like the idea of using them to sit on a plane all day.

3) I’m not a super serious blogger. I’m sure you’ve noticed I don’t run this website like a business. I’m not spamming you with sponsored advertisements, obtrusive popups, and I’m not trying to sell you a Stick Figure E-book (although I should consider making one of these). I’m also not SEOing the bajezzus out of my content just so it shows up a few ticks higher in the Google search engines. Side Note: You can usually tell when a post is SEO’d because it has a lame title like “10 Ways to save money” and then the phrase “Save money” is used 86 times throughout the post in really awkward spots. I know that if I turn my focus to income generation and SEO hacking, I’ll burn out quick.

4) J. Money is going. Need I say more?

5) Cost. What kind of PF blogger would I be, if I said the cost wasn’t a HUGE factor? Looks like tickets right now are around $400 round trip. Taxi from Chicago to the hotel runs $25 each way. The hotel is $82/night x 3 nights. Let’s say $110 for food over the weekend. And the conference itself is currently priced at $129. All said and done I’d be lookin’ at dropping a minimum of $935. Ouch.

I’ve had a handful of bloggers check in and see if I’d be attending. At this point I’m going with “probably not.” I’d love to meet the people behind the numerous PF blogs I read, but not sure I want to meet them $1,000 bad. If the Financial Bloggers Conference was a little closer to home I’d be all for it, but Chicago might be a bit too far for this Ninja.

  • If you’re a PF blogger, are you going? How much do you think the weekend is going to cost you? What was the biggest draw?
  • If you’re a PF blogger and NOT going, why?
  • Non bloggers, have you ever met up with a bunch of random online strangers? Was it weird or totally worth it? Would you go?

p.s. I expect all you fabulous bloggers that are attending to take copious notes and write about your experiences so I can get all the details and live vicariously through you 🙂

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30 thoughts on “I like my skin on my body.”

  1. Is J. Money your nemesis? I kinda imagine you guys on Face Off, where you are Travolta and he is Cage 🙂

    • He’s one of the few bloggers I feel could accept jokes at his expense.

      p.s. thanks for making me Travolta, way classier than Cage.

  2. Not going – working on getting my debt done this year so it’s a little counter productive for me to go there when that money is ear-marked to get this now $17,950.00 of debt blown up by Dec. 31, 2011.

    Would I like to go? Yes. Is it in the cards this year? Nope.

    On top of that, I have some reservations about flying to a strange city in another country (I’m Canadian) to meet with the faces of the words I read, having not first met a single one.

  3. I was actually planning on going, but I reached out to Phil and realized it is a different conference than I thought it would be. I thought it was going to be a bunch of Personal Finance nerds talking about how we can all do better at providing great content. It turns out, it’s a bunch of Blogging nerds talking about how to monetize and SEO optimize your site. I’m way more personal finance nerdy than I am blogging nerdy. If it wouldn’t cost me so much to get there, I would probably go anyway, but I can only listen to so much about Search Engine Optimization before my head explodes

  4. I’m definitely not going for the following reasons:

    1) I blog anonymously. It’s hard to remain anonymous in the physical presence of a shitload of people wondering who the freak in the ski mask is. Plus, it’d be really hot to sit through sessions in a ski mask, not to mention eating the crappy hotel food.

    2) I don’t make enough $ blogging to legitimize such a trip. I blog for fun. Like you implied, if it stops being fun and starts being SEO retarded, then I’ll probably stop enjoying it.


  5. I would totally buy your book of stick figures!

    Put a book together, sell it for millions and then you can go to ANY blogging conference you want, probably be the key note speaker and get PAID to go, and live happily ever after!

  6. Dangit. I was planning to fund my trip selling Ninja Flesh Bracelets.

    I am going.

    Hotel for 2 nights: $185
    Plane: $200; Train: $180; Driving: $190(according to AAA).
    Plane or train each come with $50 in round-trip get-from-the-airport/depot-to-the-hotel costs.
    Food and booze: $1000. Err. I’ll figure probably $150-200.
    Con cost: $65

    Total cost will be around $650.
    Hotel’s covered by credit card rewards.
    If I fly or take the train, that will get covered, too.

    That leaves food and the cost of the con itself and the flesh bracelets should cover that.

    You should come. 🙂

  7. I live in SE Minnesota, so Chicago is driving distance. If there was ever a blogger’s conference that I could easily go to, this is the one. If I didn’t go I’d regret it – like “stab myself repeatedly with a fork” regret it. Since it’s driving distance, travel cost is way, way low for me.

  8. You are much closer than me, my trip would cost way more starting with the foreign exchange rate. I live in the Caribbean but it would be cool to meet the people behind the blogs which I enjoy. If it is about SEO and monetizing I would be less interested but the real draw to the conference is to meet everyone.

  9. I’m planning on going.

    Like Jason said, I figure total cost of about $650-700. I’m actually hoping that it isn’t all SEO and such, but, one thing I’ve learned from several conferences I’ve attended for my day job, the real meat (or flesh in your case) of the conference is in the networking. The way I see it, there will be about 100 other bloggers there and we can sit and talk about getting good content and coming up with ideas during every break, and all night saturday. Is it expensive? It depends on your point of view, but it certainly could be viewed that way. To me, it’s an investment. I’m investing in becoming a better blogger both by learning to do better seo and advertising, but also through networking with other bloggers to bring better content to my pages and point to better content on other peoples pages.

  10. I’m still convinced there is at least one person out of my 1,400 subscribers that is a creepy, ninja loving, serial killer.
    – No, I don’t subscribe.

    If I sign up, said stalker could potentially fly to Chicago, break in to my hotel room, and cut my skin off while I’m sleeping.
    – Or they could drive to Chicago.

    It get’s creepier.
    – Gets, not get’s.

    They would then proceed to put my skin in zip-lock bags to preserve it for their long trip back to Nebraska (FYI all serial killers come from Nebraska).
    – No, we have serial killers on Long Island (where I live) too. Haven’t you been following the news?

    They would then use my skin to make “Flesh Bracelets” and sell them on their Etsy shop for $9.99. Call me crazy, but I don’t want you wearing my skin, it’s weird.
    – What I if sold you for $19.99?

    • Funny thing Larry. When I wrote that post I actually put your name in parenthesis after serial killer, but then removed it cause I wasnt sure how many readers would get the reference. Glad you’d want to wear my skin.

      Oh and you can sell me for $19.99 if I get half…oh wait? I’d be dead.


  11. Damnit, I always have to be Cage!! That guy is the worst at managing his money too! (although he has good taste on haunted mansions) 😉 I hear ya on the costs and what not – kinda feels like you’re paying for friends. That’s the only reason I’m going out there really – to hang out and talk biz to people who actually enjoy hearing it, haha… I’m pretty sure my wife is paying ME to leave for the weekend! Also, I heard Justin Bieber was gonna be there… and you know what I’d do to get a picture with that guy!

      • I’d never ON PURPOSE do that! haha… although I’m 0 for 1 in house buying right now. my townhouse is a good $60-$80k underwater and I want to dropkick it outta here. On the plus side, it’s what got me started blogging 😉

  12. I’m not going for the pure and simple fact that it is not in line with my debt repayment plan. I can’t exactly justify it while I’m swimming (although no longer drowning) in debt.

    And I don’t take blogging too seriously.

    J$ – In your comment above I totally took two sentences and ran them together and came out with this: “kinda feels like you’re paying for friends–that’s the only reason I’m going out there really” I had to reread.

  13. Nah. I’ll be out of the country, hopefully gettin’ cuh-razy at Oktoberfest!!!

    But if it wasn’t for that, I’d probably use some student loan money and go. It is educational right? Just kidding…sort of

  14. I think your making the right choice, you’ve got other priorities in your life.
    I am not going, the cost vs. what it is is just not worth it. Plus I don’t blog for money, if I did I would be in the poor house.

  15. I would love to go but already have another event that weekend that I’m committed to. And I love how you directed your second question only to non-bloggers — it’s probably a given that bloggers have met up with random internet strangers before 🙂

  16. I don’t consider myself a real PF blogger, but I decided to impersonate one for the weekend of the conference. For me, it’s mainly about the opportunity to meet all the people I “know” online AND get out of Kentucky for a few days. My total costs should be less than $300 between gas, hotel, and food.

  17. If it were in NYC I would have went, but hard to justify the trip when I’ll be traveling to ATL that month as well as Denver for a work thing in Sept

  18. I’m going, just for the experience of going. I often attend business conferences, and it’s good to network with like-minded individuals. Really, it’s only $166.66 per month ($1000/6 months) when you look at it from this perspective.

    I do understand that everyone’s financial situations are different, and if I were getting out of debt, this trip wouldn’t be the first thing on my list. But if you can afford it, why not do so. Life is too short.

    If anything, it can give us an idea of how we should run the 1st annual Yakezie conference next year ;-). I’m thinking it should be in San Francisco so “Sam” can’t have an excuse not to attend. 2nd choice, Charlotte, NC. It’s a great city an I’ll be glad to sponsor a conference here.

  19. If it were even in my darn country, let alone state or city, I’d consider going. Just kidding.

    Actually it’s more that I’m lazy and trying to be invisible.

    I don’t want to go because I’m Semi-Anonymous but also the cost of getting there… well. *sigh*

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