Viewing: The Hive

I’m NOT going to The Hive

They’ve already started to arrive: the 250 bloggers who will be part of The Hive, a European blogging conference being held in Berlin this weekend. I was at The Hive last year, and I loved it.

This year’s Hive is bigger and better, with a fantastic lineup of speakers and workshops, sponsors like Etsy, Airbnb, Canon and Pantone and more, and a vibrant community of attendees who are self-organizing their own meetups, dinners, trips and tours outside the conference.

The Hive Berlin welcome posters

All of which makes me heartbroken that I’m going to miss it.

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Sisters who rock

Sisters rock! Especially mine, who celebrates her 3xth 30th 26th birthday today!

My sister & I at ages 8 and 3, photo by Mom; then, at ages 25 and 20, photo by Anton Sheker

My sister’s name is Sheila, but she’s always been Ate (“older sister”) to me. My ate rocks, and she always has. At an age when most teens wouldn’t be caught dead with their baby sisters, she always let me tag along with her and her friends (she was 16, I was 11). She helped me jump over the fence at a Bon Jovi concert, brought me into the awesome universe of Robotech, let me wear her vintage 60s dresses from Bambang Market (in 1998 when nobody our age was wearing vintage), even introduced me to my first boyfriend (let’s say that was a good thing).

She took on huge responsibilities at an early age with no questions asked, and supported me throughout college while building a stellar career. She has all the classic big sister traits—good, sensible, successful and responsible—combined with the boundless energy and adventurous, fun-loving spirit of a younger sister. (Especially when it comes to a night of partying, when I become not just the older sister, but a total granny.)

My sister and I have shared everything from clothes to late-night conversations, to international mommy handovers and mad dashes through airports. She shares because she has a big and loyal heart, and I’m so lucky to be one of the people whom I know always has a place in it.

Happy birthday, Ate!

Speaking of sisters, let me leave you with some weekend reading from another pair of sisters who rock. Thea and Toni Neubauer publish sisterMagazine, an online mag for “active, widely interested and digitally living women.” Covering topics that range from food, lifestyle and fashion to technology, mobile developments and start-ups, sisterMAG is bursting with content and is beautifully designed to boot. You can see for yourself by browsing sisterMAG’s second issue right here.

I met Thea and Toni briefly at The Hive in Berlin and was blown away by their style and smarts. So I’m really looking forward to meeting them again this weekend at the Meet the Blogger event here in Amsterdam.

I’ll be back after the weekend with details on Meet the Blogger and a week’s worth of posts on beautiful, beautiful Florence (yay!). In the meantime, happy reading… and happy weekend!

The Hive Berlin: blogging, inspiration & passion

The Hive Berlin was last weekend, but I’m still buzzing. The first conference for European bloggers was appropriately named—it was a hub of constant activity, where a swarm of hardworking individuals gathered to produce some pretty sweet results.

There’s something special and powerful about a place where something is constantly being created. If the Betahaus had a counter ticking off every new idea born, friendship made, artistic creation produced and skill acquired at The Hive, it would have broken down this weekend.

Even breaks were not really breaks, but pockets of energy and opportunity. (The funky coffee cups may have helped!)

Meeting creative, inspiring and passionate individuals was a major highlight. I think this photo I took of vlogger Amy from Diamond of Tears captures the personality of The Hive attendees: unique, creative, tech-savvy, in constant flux between real and online life. .

As you’d expect in a roomful of creative women, there was no shortage of stylish details. One could do entire posts just about what the attendees wore (as I’m sure someone will!).

The meat of the weekend was the lineup of talks and workshops by some of Europe’s top bloggers. It was hard not to get overloaded (with information) and over-stimulated (by inspiration).

We’re all stimulated by the talk. No, really.

It’s also hard not to get intimidated when it hits you that there’s still so much you don’t know… about something you’ve been doing for years! After taking a few days to absorb everything, here are my own Hive highlights and why they stood out for me.

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Heading to The Hive

Guten abend from Berlin!

I think I’ve just died at the hands of a mean, mustachioed margarita-mixing hipster with a heavy tequila hand. Before my soul leaves my body, I want to share what I’m up to this weekend. It’s also the reason I’m in Berlin, and why the new and improved Currystrumpet absolutely (die die, as they say in Singapoh) had to be launched this week.

That would be The Hive, a first-of-its-kind conference for bloggers in Europe. Founded by three like-minded (and brave!) bloggers from Hamburg, Amsterdam and Prague, The Hive is meant to be a place for Europe-based bloggers to meet, share ideas and learn from a great roster of speakers, many of whom are blog celebrities in their own right. It takes place at the Berlin creative hub Betahaus this weekend.

I signed up for The Hive in February; I didn’t think much about it, I just did it. Only after registering did I even begin to think about how I would present myself and my blog. It soon became clear to me that I needed to overhaul my blog before I could feel right about putting it out into the world—much like cleaning up before inviting guests over.

I’ve blogged for years, but kept it pretty low-key. No self promotion, no Facebook page, no networking. The Hive marks the first time I’m going to actually, physically put myself out there and introduce my blog to complete strangers, many of them far more successful/inspiring/professional/______(insert adjective here) at blogging than I.

So I am feeling both excited and nervous. Wish me luck. And have a happy weekend, wherever you are!