Alt Summit Recap


I think it’s safe to assume that everyone who attended Alt Summit had a blast and everyone that didn’t go missed out. I am so glad I got to attend. I was in heaven, rubbing shoulders with the finest and creative-est in blogging & design. I think I said, “Oh my goodness, I love your blog!!” about million times last weekend. Every time I said it, I meant every word. I was just giddy and maybe a little star-struck to meet some of my blogging heroes, like Grace & Maxwell. They were all SO KIND and surprisingly approachable.

There’s no doubt, Gabby & the other fabulous Kirtsy ladies put on a spectacular conference filled with 100% relevant topics for design/creative bloggers. IT WAS AMAZING. It was rolling-on-the-ground hilarious. It was thought-provoking. It was an absolute blast. It was perfect. Here are a few of the highlights:

Early Bird Session: How to Find the Best Design Sites

Morning Keynote Breakfast: Why design?

  • Putting all of my attention into blogging full-time made all the difference. – Maxwell, Apartment Therapy
  • Martha is OVER. It’s all about being real, not flawlessly perfect. – Maxwell, Apartment Therapy
  • People will always have an opinion about everything. – Heather, Dooce
  • Heather Armstrong is a fabulous speaker and hands down hilarious.
  • Grace from design sponge is so genuine and so awesome. I love her blog so much more now that I’ve met her in person.

Form & Function: Designing online

  • What makes a good site awesome? Pixel perfection, good CSS, faster loading speed and sites that function on most browsers.
  • Good clients trust designers. They know what they’re doing. – Struck Design
  • Good designers don’t say no. They come up with something even better & knock the socks off their clients. – Struck Design
  • IE sucks. – Bryan, Typekit
  • Good typography is possible, even on the web. – Bryan, Typekit

Form & Function: Building your brand & business

  • I came into this session a tad late, but it was still super inspiring. Victoria from SFgirlbybay is ridiculously cool. I cornered her a few times to chat and she was very, very nice to me.
  • You don’t need to pigeonhole yourself in blogging. As long as it’s something you love & true to you, people will read it. – Gayla, You Grow Girl
  • I try to make my life blogworthy. – Sarah, Sarah Jane Studios
  • Blogging is a labor of love.

Keynote Lunch: New media artists

  • Let the creative process take you on a journey. – Erik Natske
  • Erik Natske does some incredible things with flash. Jaw-dropping awesome.
  • DJ earworm does an incredible job of mashing up 20 different songs to make a cohesive song. Super awesome.
  • DJ earworm did a mash-up for Annie Lennox. It’s stunning. Check it out here.

Design Theory: Designing Your Community

  • Erin of Design for Mankind is another new favorite person (Goodness, I met so many!). She’s so genuine, sweet & super stylish.
  • It’s good to keep the conversation going in the comments.
  • Meaningful comments that add to the conversation, are key. It’s especially important to show appreciation for folks that take time to comment on your site & to those that may write about you.
  • A canned response is better than no response. – Erin, design for mankind
  • It’s not super important to follow metrics obsessively, but be aware of them. – Erin, design for mankind
  • Blogrolls can be frustrating. Who to add? How many to add? Should they just disappear? {probably}.

Form & Function: Beyond Ad Networks

  • This session was super helpful. I really enjoyed how each panelist had a different perspective & brought different ideas to the session. Maggie is another new favorite person of mine. She’s stylish, clever, a savvy shopper and super fun to talk to.
  • If you’re a good writer, try selling your stories to a newspaper. (that does NOT apply to me)
  • Sell individual ads rather than sponsorships.
  • Sell more ads at a lower price.
  • Stay consistent in your ads aesthetics. It’s not bad to send advertisors a style guide. Ads are like accessories to a great outfit. They’ve got to match.
  • Make sponsored posts separate, and mark as being sponsored content. Charge 10x more for in content sponsorship posts.
  • Hand-pick your sponsors, don’t be afraid to ask for advertising. You’ve got to grow a pair to be a successful blogger. Ask for what you want.

Is there a rewind button I can press so I can relive the conference? Goodness, I had so much fun! I didn’t meet a single person there that I didn’t like. I can’t wait for Alt 2011!

*I didn’t take these photographs, mine turned out terribly. You can see the event photos here.

view or add a comment
  • Categories
    1. awww i miss you already, melissa! thanks for your super sweet words. :)

    2. marta says:

      thank you for sharing your notes, melissa. i’ve loved reading everyone’s recaps. it helps me feel a teensy bit better about missing out on the incredible event.

      i love the idea that ‘perfection is out’. hip hooray. and amen to good typography and making time for commenters.

      yay for ALT. so glad you had a ball.

    3. AmberLee says:

      it is so good of you to share a recap! thanks for taking the time, all so inspirational. I saw your stickers over at the mother huddle, what a great little package.

    4. Emily H. says:

      Like Marta I too love that perfection is “out.” It was never my strong point. Love the recap and I’m so glad you had such a wonderful time!

    5. victoria says:

      ahhh, thank you. and i wouldn’t say ‘cornered’ – we had a nice chat! it was great to meet you! :)

    6. Brittany says:

      great recap! i think you covered it perfectly and you have a lot of the great quotes!

    7. Erin says:

      LOVED this recap. I’ve been reading them all as I didn’t take a camera OR jot down many notes…I was too busy absorbing all of The Awesome of Alt.

    8. Wonderful recap m’lady. And OF COURSE you’re the next big thing, we all know it.


    9. Ah, I already want to go back. And it was so nice to meet you!

    10. tvmom says:

      great recap…sounds like a great conference!

    11. Amy says:

      Love the re-cap! I’ve enjoyed reading so many and wish I was able to have been there. Lucky you:-)

    12. good advice. I’m going to article a link of this podcast on my blackboard internet site for my students. Everything you said performs for discussion boards as well. Numerous !

    13. How come you dont have your website viewable in wap format? cant view anything in my iPad.

      • Melissa says:

        That makes no sense. We have a custom mobile site perfect for the iPad. Maybe you should try reloading the page?

    mobile site