I Went To BlogHer 08 and All I Got Was This Lousy Cold

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:

I will be asking them for jobs soon! Kidding! Maybe.

I also met a lot of less politically centric bloggers:

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:

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These gatherings are a treasure. FORGET ABOUT FACEBOOK, MYSPACE, etc. Those alleged “social networking” sites are like making it only half way to first base.

Real life gatherings are still where it’s at, and will always be where it’s at.

I think I see a factor which inhibits a personal infusion of interest in political efforts (and the attention on the related blogging). And, that is there seems to me to be a too narrow straightjacket approach in politics and blogging which many people (women and men) just can’t identify with at all. Truth be told, we all are a complex mix of perspectives and “ideologies”. But, too often, the politics people and the political bloggers stand in our midst more as missionairies for a limited, one dimensional and predictably delivered message. And, that’s compounded by how they filter actual facts and events and then present those events and facts via their publishings (after going through this filtering process).

Maybe the personal interest in all of that (which you report encountering) comes from the inability to resonate, and identify with, what is put out??

Dirty Penny DOES have a Facebook account, but finds he is always talking to a wall!!!!

Great rundown. I definitely share a number of your observations – as well as that – ah – where do I start!? I’ll be starting by linking to others. :)

I’m particularly loving this:

“The plainer the business card, the bigger the company.”

because mine was so plain!!! Yeah for plain. :)

If I thought I could get you a job, I would – just let me know.

It was great to meet you, too! Boy, I’m so lucky that I didn’t catch that cold everyone got! And I agree… more substantive political stuff would have been great in this political year!

It was great to meet you—such an amazing array of women. I also would have liked more substantive political discussion but I really enjoyed what we did have.

Lisa Stone said she’d pass along our questions that we pre-submitted and the representatives said they’d answer them so hopefully we will get those answers.

I think we had at least two about contraception and choice!

When is BlogHim?
Zeke feels left out.
Like usual.

Egads, every tech conference in the world is a bloghim–that’s why BlogHer exists.

I agree with your comments. It would be nice to see a wider range of bloggers who work with different topics.

I spoke to so many new bloggers that I think a few “how to ” from a technical side would have been great.

Your post is a great idea. I will have to write up my observations in my blog. I was told I could expect to receive a feedback form by email, although not a one has yet to grace my inbox :)

Karrine – GreatAupair

It was wonderful meeting you at the Unconference on Sunday. I enjoyed reading your BlogHer wrap-up post because as someone who is not a mother (like you), the marketing aspect to the conference is always interesting to me. I was glad to see Zwaggle there, recycling the swag that I was going to leave behind anyway.

I also love Moo cards, but agree with you that they are very easy to lose. That’s why I’m sticking with my company cards…

This post is great! I think you are putting a lot of hard work on your blog. I’m sure I’d come back here more often. You can also visit my site where you can find Professional Nannies or you could also post Babysitting jobs if you want for free. Thanks!

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