Kidding! It’s a week later, and I’m still recovering from my first BlogHer Conference experience as are many others (I’ve noticed many post BlogHer attendess/cold sufferers on Twitter this week which has turned me into an amateur epidemiologist.
I spent 3 1/2 days in San Francisco at BlogHer 08 and 3 1/2 days working in my California office in San Mateo, California–in other words–a long week from home. Bjorn the Houseboy and my geriatric cat were very happy when I returned on Wednesday night. In fact, I walked into a room full of people and a surprise birthday party. Surprised!
I’ve been thinking about what I want to say about BlogHer since it started because it was beyond an interesting experience. For instance, there was tons of women-targeted marketing; MicroSoft, GM, HP, Macy’s, Bertolli, K-Y Jelly (!), iRobot (because apparently men don’t vacuum)–the list goes on and on. Of course, most of them were not marketing to me because I don’t have any children. So while it’s nice to see women, who spend most of the money in this country, marketed to properly, it was a little alienating to realize that I was not their target. Nonetheless, I did walk away with a couple of flash drives, some K-Y Jelly, and four boxes of Merci Chocolates.
Here is what I came away with. Women who identify themselves as political bloggers often approach blogging differently. We tend to blog less about our personal lives and blog about political issues. Although we often end up blogging about the same things, it’s the approach and often the motivation that separates us. I find it ironic, but not surprising that in the NYTimes article on BlogHer and the blogging glass ceiling thatthey somehow missed the one session that approached that very topic head on–Top Notch Political Opinion Commentary. And they published the article in the fucking Fashion & Style section. Honestly, that’s more than ironic, it’s kind of stupid.
What was most important to me at BlogHer was networking and I was finally able to meet a bunch of inspiring activist women who attended including:
Sorry, I definitely left people I met off this list because I lost their mini-cards, which leads me to:
Important observations about business cards:
The plainer the business card, the bigger the company.
Mini-cards are cute but easier to lose.
Complaints (because you know I’ve got them):
BlogHer needs to open up to more contributors. Most sessions seemed to involve contributing editors and want to see more outsiders informing BlogHers.
Personally, I would like to see less, well, sort of condescending marketing. The handbag, shoe, and lingerie cattle call at Macy’s? Ugh.
I’m not sure BlogHer can do more to integrate non-political bloggers and bloggers in general, but I guess, selfishly, I felt like this year’s conference should have been much more political considering the timing. To go back to that famous 70′s feminist phrase, the personal is political and I think it’s important to teach women how important it is for them to be political. Women in this country do not contribute money to candidates at the same rate as men for instance. Oh, and BlogHer CEO Lisa Stone should have asked the presidential campaign representatives my questions about contraception. What issue is more important to women these days?
I left my damn swag bag at the hotel and just had it shipped to myself. Duh.