Tips

Dawn & Helen’s Very-Vegan Instagram Musts (Cat Ladies ‘R’ Us)

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One of @jdfunks’ roommates being such a cat.
A few months ago, our friends at VegNews issued a list of vegan Instagrammers they simply “can’t get enough of”, which naturally, inspired us to contemplate our own. Your friendly VVC organizers quickly scrolled through our own feeds and so many eye-catching, appetizing, adorable and quirky photos popped out at us. It’s no surprise that Instagram may undeniably be the social media medium of the moment, and that encouraged us to hand this notion over to our own social media mavens, Seattle vegan bloggers Helen Pitlick and Dawn Quinn, to get the list even more relevant. Trust us, they know what’s up.
social media dawn quinn helen pitlick vida vegan tech
Best.

Dawn and Helen are seriously super and super serious Vida Vegan alumnae, with a joint presentation on “Effective Social Media” already under their belt from this past fall’s first-ever  VVC Tech Seminar in Seattle. The lovely power duo is back again this upcoming weekend (!!) with “How to Use Social Media to Win (Vegan) Friends & Influence People”  on Sunday afternoon. From the sound of it, you’re in store for a lot of discussion – and time for questions – about social media tips, photography, relevancy, community, practices, promotional disclosure, popularity, balance, and more – so, stay tuned, listen up and ask those question!

Case in point: darling Eva VonSassipants of the @VidaVeganHQ household

We picked all of these people because they’re all real people (minus the cat, and not professional photogs) who take photos of their food, adorable pets, travels and vegan lifestyle in a way that’s relatable, sometimes funny and always super delicious-looking. We also have representation from raw-friendly and gluten-free pals. They’ve got good followings for good reason and are all super down to earth and cool. They make you want to be their friend with their pictures. - Dawn & Helen

Without further adieu, here are six vegan folks that Dawn and Helen dig on Instagram, and think you may, too:

@RyanPatey: Ryan frequently shares what he’s eating, from wraps to soups to restaurant experiences, which makes veganism seem really easy. Everything he eats looks delicious, but he’s certainly not a professional chef (in the best possible way!). He balances this out with his cat, shows, and other randomness. @food_and_cats: You just want to be Michelle’s friend. Her profile description says, g”uess what I mostly post about,” and while it’s true that her feed is largely devoted to the delicious meals she cooks up and the adorable Pekoe and Tetley, Michelle also gives insight into her life outside of veganism by posting pics of her partner, adventures, and the occasional PBR. @Amanda_eats_slc: Dog owner and feral cat whisperer of Salt Lake City, Amanda makes being vegan look easy. In addition to adorable animal pics, you’ll find healthy vegan lunches, highlights of veg-friendly SLC restaurants along with travels, friends and her vegan lifestyle. Her profile tagline of “will write for cat food and vodka” seems it up in the most endearing way. @Pjrvs: Paul is a vegan who makes things happen. A vegan cookbook author and designer, he’s made a name for himself in terms of being a successful guy. You want to follow him everywhere just to see what makes him tick. In addition to being awesome, Paul uncooks a lot of amazing raw (sometimes cooked) meals, adventures in the great outdoors and hangs with two adorable pet rats. Seriously, come for the gorgeous outdoor scenery and mouthwatering meals, and stay for the sweet rats. @Albert_Weskie: Move over, Maru — if you’re a fan of fluffy orange cats with sweet faces and a penchant for naps and mischief, follow Albert. (If not, you’re probably a horrible person — JK!). Albert may not be vegan, but we have it on good authority that his parents are. JL of @jlgoesvegan: JL is as lovely in real life as she is online, and her Instagram account showcases bits and pieces of her very vegan life: her speaking engagements, cooking for clients, exercising and of course the delicious, healthy meals she has dining out and at home. Expect a plethora of smoothies, colorful salads and some wine and treats thrown in for good measure.

What they like about Instagram:
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  • Makes anyone a better photographer
  • Hashtags are great potential for discovery and community

Their habitual hates:

  • Accounts that are all or predominantly selfies
  • People who share their Instagram photos on every social media account (!!)
To follow along with our two mavens, check out @hpilick and @veganmoxie

While we’re here, the ladies of Vida Vegan Headquarters (meaning @VidaVeganHQ, @janessapk and @jdfunks) would like to throw even more love to some of our favorite Instagram accounts (which comes with a bunch of duh’s, no doubt): @IsaChandra, @Lechousauvage, @Prfctpineapples@Lazysmurf, @animalkind@vegankitten, @lagusta@redhotvegan, @jayastafa and @inmypiesClearly, we’re enamored with vegan Austin!

Jess would also like to throw out a little public plea about her own Instagram pet peeve numero uno - Please, please, stop with the blatant screen-caps of your own blog posts and facebook updates  – it’s so not necessary (and frankly, an obnoxious overstep into marketing land on a casual medium)….We come for the vegan tacos and cats, pls!

Let’s spread the vegan inspiration!

Want to share your own Instragram account or a favorite? Leave a comment – and of course, hashtag ‘con happenings with #VVC2013 and #VidaVeganCon.

VVC 2013 Expert Corner

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expert

By now you’ve all seen the agenda, but we figured we might as well pack as much as possible into this weekend. To that end, in addition to all the classes and workshops and discussions, we netted some really fantastic talent together for an Expert Corner. They’ll be in the Kridel Ballroom, our home base for the conference. Stuff your brains with all their know-how!

Photography • Marika Collins & Kate Lewis
Two of the most exciting vegan photographers out there, Kate and Marika can school you on composition, lighting, editing, and even what all those buttons on your camera actually do.
Friday, 1:45-3:45 • Saturday, 3:15-5:00 • Sunday, 9:45-11:00

Nutrition • Ginny Messina
Ginny Messina’s been studying and writing about nutrition since you were in short pants. You can’t get more thorough, reliable advice.
Friday, 4:00-4:45

Marketing & Social Media • Helen Pitlick & Dawn Quinn
Dawn and Helen live and work in social media. These savvy ladies will get your online peripherals (Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, whatever else was invented last night) in order.
Saturday, 9:30-10:45

Business • Nicole Sopko
As Vice President of Upton’s Naturals, Nicole Sopko is pivotal in its growth. She knows how a vegan company can succeed ethically. It’s possible!
Saturday, 11:00-12:00

Tech • Jason Das
Got a question about your blog or website? Ask web developer and designer Jason Das, founder and publisher of Super Vegan.
Saturday, 2:15-3:00

Business & Culinary Arts • Julie Hasson
Julie Hasson has decades in the food industry and has run her own food cart, written more than a handful of books, and is starting a line of baking mixes—pick her brain!
Sunday, 11:15-12:15

Vegan Pregnancy & Raising Vegan Kids • Sayward Rebhal
Having a kid? Thinking of maybe having a kid? Don’t miss this chance to sit down and chat with Sayward Reghal, an intelligent, open woman who’s been there and studied that.
Sunday, 1:45-2:30

The 2013 Vida Vegan Con BlogFeed is here…

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Let's read more!
…and welcome to vegan summer camp!

Update: Signup is complete! Thanks for all who signed up – see you at the con and in the future!

The 2013 Vida Vegan Con BlogFeed has arrived!

Bookmark it, subscribe, or download the OPML file to import into your reader of choice right here.

We’ve made it public via Google Reader for ease (which will fortunately, exist until July, as Feedly does not offer publicizing bundles…yet!).

Get to know your fellow attendees and the speakers of the upcoming con, and most of all, enjoy!

P.S. If you haven’t signed up yet, you can do so here. Please leave a comment below so we can add it quickly. Remember…This is totally opt-in and not required. We do ask that only registered attendees sign up (this is also open to sponsors and speaker blogs, of course), that all blogs are vegan in content, and that you’re comfortable seeing your website on a public feed.This won’t be a blogroll or contact list, it’ll simply be a feed of your latest posts to share.

Note: If you haven’t yet posted to your blog, you won’t be seeing it on our feed until you do, as it won’t be recognized by Google Reader just yet – so get working!

P.P. S. If you see any issues with your blog or someone else’s, simply email Vida Vegan Headquarters and we’ll take a look. Feeds can be a tricky business.

Check the 2013 Vida Vegan Con agenda right here.

Coming to Vida Vegan Con II? Join the 2013 Blogfeed.

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UPDATE: The 2013 Feed is live! If you’re attending and haven’t added your blog yet, please leave a comment when you do so we can update the feed ASAP. We will be removing signup on Sunday, May 19 so we can focus on the busy week ahead. 

Update: Signup is complete! Thanks for all who signed up – see you at the con and in the future!

 

With the end of Google Reader (and all the associated gasping and groaning that came with the news), comes the quick rise of Feedly, the official replacement for all your up-to-date blog reading. And with Vida Vegan Con II rapidly approaching, it’s time for even more to peruse.

So, we’re putting together a list of all Vida Vegan Con II blog feeds for ya—one big feed of excitement and plant-based creativity!

The 2013 VVC II Blogfeed.

Simply fill out this form with your URL feed information, and we’ll debut the list shortly. Stay tuned!

See you..next month!?!?! Artwork by J. Legume

We do ask that only registered attendees sign up (this is also open to sponsors and speaker blogs, of course), that all blogs are vegan in content, and that you’re comfortable seeing your website on a public feed.This won’t be a blogroll or contact list, it’ll simply be a feed of your latest posts to share.

Let’s get to know each other, shall we?

Thanks!

P.S. This is all you need to do.

Help Plan a Class this May: Tech for Effective Web Presence

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Image credit: clker.com – Please note this is not actually Jason Das

Jason Das, the co-founder of both SuperVegan and Vegan Drinks, is returning to Vida Vegan Con this May to share his expertise and thoughts in a few of our exciting panels and classes: Ethics Beyond the Plate, Vegan Invasion: Community Building, and Tech for Effective Web Presence. 

For this third class, Jason asked us if he could solicit some ideas on just what *you* would like to know more about.

This is your chance to design his class. It’ll be more than a mere general presentation with some handy tips—Jason wants to address your concerns!

Here are some topics being mulled around for the Tech-orientated class:

  • Intro to CSS
  • Responsive Web Design
  • Best SEO practices
  • Tumblr theming

So, what interests you? Let’s make the most of his versatile expertise and innovative planningit’s now in your hands!

If you’d like Jason to explore these, or other topics, simply tweet @floodfish or email him personally: jason@supervegan.com.

Be sure to check out the full agenda for Vida Vegan Con II here.

Q & A: Amey Mathews of Vegan Eats & Treats

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11It’s the return of our blogging Q & A! This time, we’re joined by the super talented and lovely Amey Mathews. We are so excited to have Amey return as a speaker for Vida Vegan Con 2013—whether you can make it or not, check out her blog, Vegan Eats & Treats. We love Amey for her positive, genuine attitude. She is smart as hell and is an endless font of adorable little drawings.

Where do you see blogging going?

It’s amazing how many blogs there are now—which is really great. When I first started blogging, there were just a small handful of vegan blogs. Today there are so many, that everyone can find a sense of community for exactly the way they enjoy eating and being vegan. There are all the PPK community blogs, all the raw date-ball blogs, the no-salt-oil-sugar blogs, vegan athlete blogs, and so on. Sometimes I’ll stumble onto a new blog that’s outside of my usual favorites, and find a whole sea of comments from other bloggers I’ve never discovered before… It’s pretty amazing.

Also, I was just looking at some old posts the other day and looking at how crappy my pictures were. Ha ha! There are a handful of bloggers like Hannah at BitterSweet, or Susan at Fat Free Vegan, or Allyson at Manifest Vegan, who take SUCH great pictures—I think they’ve really helped raise the bar for the rest of us. Even if you’re not gonna spend 30 minutes staging your picture (I gotta eat dinner, man!), you’re also not going to be satisfied with a yellowish picture with dirty dishes in the background.

One last thing, is how many bloggers are turning their blogs into cookbook deals. It’s amazing and exciting! I wish I could write recipes, but it’s really not my strong point. But if anyone needs little doodles for their cookbook, I’m here to help.

What’s your favorite photo editor?

I use ArcSoft Photo Studio if I want to actually cut and paste and combine my doodles and photos and all that, but usually I just use PhotoShop for simple things like brightness or color balance. The best is making dinner before dark so I can just use natural light, and not need a photo editor at all.

What blogging trends are you liking? Disliking?

Liking: Great photography—especially the folks who really take photography seriously. I love that blog writing is evolving into something much more focused and not just “I had some seitan and broccoli for dinner,” like it was in the old days of blogging. I’m LOVING all the mofo themes, and people who are doing a different theme every day for the whole week. It’s a cool idea even for non-mofo-season! In general, I love that the blog designs seem to be getting more attractive, more classy, and more appealing to look at. I love that Blogger—my old faithful blog host—has really improved its design options…and I LOVE that we can finally respond to individual comments on Blogger!

Disliking: my number-one blogging pet PEEVE is the whole weird giveaway thing that is going on. Kittee calls it “Like Gate,” which I think is hilarious. This is the situation where someone says “I”m giving away a free pizza coupon”…”but first you have to ‘like’ me on Facebook, and ‘like’ the company on Facebook, and tweet about this contest to everyone you went to kindergarten with, and leave 10 voicemail messages on your parents’ answering machine, and leave a comment for every single thing you do, so that I have 1,000,000 comments by the end of it!” It makes me grumpy, as you can tell. For me, it makes the blogosphere feel crass and corporate and pander-y, instead of having it feel like a community of friends who want to do something fun like have a giveaway for the fun of it. I feel that as vegan bloggers, we should be serving one another (our fellow vegans or aspiring vegans), and not serving the companies. I don’t mind product reviews or cookbook reviews, because I think that’s news everyone can use…but I think some discretion is needed. Changing the whole tone of your blog post into something with an advertising tone just so someone can win something worth $5 isn’t worth it to me.

What blogs/websites do you read?

I read so many blogs! I usually read anything in my blog crawl on the side of my blog. I love reading randomofo.com SO MUCH—I’ve marked so many new favorites this mofo season.  A few of my standby favorites are: ColdandSleepyCooks, Meet the Wikos, Cake Maker to the Stars, Tahini Too, Manifest Vegan, Julie Hasson… But gosh, the list goes on!

What’s your go-to vegan meal in Seattle?

I actually lived in Seattle, for 2½ years after I graduated college. Back then, I was just a vegetarian—not yet a vegan, and Seattle had only a couple of all-veg spots. But halfway through my Seattle stint, a beautiful veg spot called Carmelita opened up, quite near my house. I was a pretty poor youngster back then, working part time for minimum wage…so I only went to Carmelita once, when my aunt took me out for dinner. I haven’t been back to Seattle in years, but next time I go, I’d really like to go back to my old neighborhood and try out Carmelita again. For old time’s sake!

In Portland?

Oh Portland! I love Dovetail Bakery and Back to Eden most of all, because where I live (in Santa Cruz), no one is making delicious vegan baked goods. I usually load up, and come home with a huge supply that go straight to the freezer for the times when I want a baked treat and I don’t want to bake it myself. For proper nutrition, my two favorites are Native Bowl and Blossoming Lotus. I love the bowls at Native Bowl—so full of flavor and veggies and proteins…filling and fun! I also really love the food at Blossoming Lotus—so far I haven’t ever had a dud there. Once I got to go there for brunch, and that was totally amazeballs!