The Best Moment, PHX Version

I love an ah-ha moment — it’s one of the main reasons I like attending and organizing events. Conferences are (hopefully) full of those moments during the day, the times that you perked up, laughed, understood something clearly, got a fantastic new idea, or really connected with someone.

I had a number of those moments at Press Publish Phoenix on Saturday. The one that sticks in my mind was when I was listening to Katherine Fritz speak in the opening session, and she said something about how her blog made her feel less alone. I empathized strongly and found myself nodding my head, and happened to see another attendee nodding too. Our eyes met as we nodded, and there was this great moment when we were connected, listening to a speaker talk about connection online… and it was really great. I even choked up just a little — because I am a big softie, in case you did not know — thinking about how blogging helped me feel less alone too, and how connected I felt right at that second with the person on stage and the people in the audience too.

What was your favorite moment at Press Publish Phoenix? Share it with us in the comments!


  1. My ah-ha moment was when Erik helped me in the happiness lounge figure out how to create sub-pages. I’ve been trying to figure it out on my own for the past three years since I began blogging but since my nickname is I’m-not-technical-Queen, for the life of me I just couldn’t understand it. In comes in Erik, tip-toes on the keyboard and ta-da! here I have sub-pages. I felt like a kid in a candy store (I know it sounds so cliche but it’s true) FINALLY solving my problem.
    So, Erik was my ah-ha moment 😉

  2. One of many ah-ha moments was when Emily Austin talked so tenderly about her followers as her community, how they come to her blog and she goes to theirs. I appreciated the reassurance that my time spent online with others matters. Each connection, each follow, like, comment, etc. really matters.

    Thank you, Andrea. I love and appreciate each of the ah-ha moments from Press Publish Phoenix. Great event!

  3. Just this second posted about how Katherine’s talk made me cry. So glad someone else had that response too.

    I had some technical takeaways and lots of inspiration from the speakers. My biggest ah-ha was not from one particular speaker, but from spending time with and hearing from so many bloggers on so many different paths… I just felt validated in my own particular path. That was confirmed over and over again. What a fantastic experience. I sure hope you guys do it again.

  4. My ah-ha moment was when I discovered that my writing doesn’t have to be perfect and that I don’t have to be responsible for what the reader gets from my blog. The willingness to put yourself out there and to be authentic is all that it takes.

    Thank you Cheri for a couple of great sessions. I have never just allowed my see to write before it has always had to be about something and not just an expression of what I had to say in the moment, what a freeing experience. Thank You

  5. The Happiness Lounge was the best; outside of all the speeches and how-to talks. No question was off limits and the support was not just amazing, it was educational as well. My hats off to all of you. If I had to single anyone out, it just wouldn’t be fair, besides you probably know who you are.

  6. My A-HA moment came while I was serving in the U.S. Foreign Service as Human Resources Officer and trainer for the American Embassy in one Central American country.  I was opening the first day of the two-week session for the Information Management (IM) section.  That particular section, in many embassies, is usually the least understood and most maligned of all the sections of the organization, with by far the lowest morale amongst its staff members.  Its personnel bore the brunt of jokes, complaints and criticisms. Seldom do they receive one single word of encouragement or praise.   As I entered IT’s large meeting room, I noticed something very strange on the wall.   It was flip-chart paper taped with notes from one meeting that was held three (3) years before.  My first question to the audience was:   “Why is that old 3-year old Flip-Chart Paper Still There?”   The answer I received from everybody was:  “Oh, Mr/ Semmes, that was the day we had the most terrible, awful meeting we have ever had,.  We marked the paper in black letters to symbolize death.  The person who came to visit wanted to eliminate our section entirely and outsource all our jobs to the private sector! That was a very sad A-HA moment not only for me but for also for the 100+ staffers in ITl. I faced the IT people with a declaration:  I would work with them for as long as it took to raise their morale to the basic survival level and assist them to make dramatic improvements in the image, output,customer service level and importance of IT in the whole Embassy.    I subsequently was transferred back to the USA for a tour in Washington. I saw an announcement from the Office of Vice President Al Gore, calling for nominations for the highly coveted “Hammer Awards” for Reinventing Government.  I put in a nomination for the IT section based on their incredible turn around after working with them for almost four more years. My A-HA moment changed from sad to very happy and exceptionally proud when I learned that IT HAD won the Hammer Award that year and was the first and ONLY organization outside of the USA to actually receive such an award!   i KEPT UP MY FAITH IN THE IT SECTION, EVEN WHEN DARK DAYS CAME, AS INEVITABLY THEY DO.   In 30 Years of Experience, I found that, If you believe in your team,  STICK BY THEM through thick and thin.  It usually will pay enormous dividends in happiness, morale, performance and good feeling IN the organization.          Whenever any of my colleagues passed by the IT’s meeting room from that day on, he would usually stop by the gleaming Hammer Award in a special case on the very wall where once hung those hated charts from 3 years ago. At that point, I felt as though I belonged to the IT TEAM  That was a huge collective A-HA moment for all of us that I will never forget.          

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