If you’ve been following my Twitter account over the past few days and weren’t a BlogHer ’08 attendee, you’re probably about ready to abandon me, either because you wanted to be there and are madly jealous, or because you couldn’t give a whit about the conference and you would prefer I stick to my regular Twitter diet of odd musings about my walking commute down Oakland’s mean streets.
Note to those of you in the former category: keep an eye on registration for next year, because the conference keeps getting better and better.
But, to appease those in the latter category, I promise that the BlogHer-related Tweets will careen to a halt, and that this will wrap up my formal coverage of BlogHer ’08 for the week. Or the month. Or some other time period as yet to be determined.
Regardless, the conference provided one of the best opportunities in women’s blogging to put faces with words, and to meet new bloggers who I had not yet stumbled across in my prodigious RSS feed reading. One can never have too many posts in one’s feed reader, I always say.
OK, I never say that. But this is the age of the Internet, so I’m at least trying to get that phrase into circulation. It’s better if you say it in a slightly snooty accent, by the way.
I did end up going with my tagline (“It’s amazing what I’ll do for a good tomato.”) for Kalyn’s Food Bloggers’ Birds of a Feather gathering. Others interpreted the 10-word assignment a little differently, either stringing together 10 random words or not following Kalyn’s guidelines at all, or, in the case of one hapless PR person, meandering through a pitch for whatever site she represented (it does not speak well of her pitch that I cannot remember what she was talking about…) until she got to about word 75 and Kalyn reminded her diplomatically and firmly of all the other people patiently waiting to speak.
Friday night featured a terrific dinner at R&G Lounge with a bevy of amazing food bloggers: Kathy of Panini Happy, Andrea of Andrea’s Recipes, Shuna of Eggbeater, Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen, Sean of Hedonia, Elise of Simply Recipes (Thanks for the mug, Elise!), Lydia of The Perfect Pantry, Sara of Ms. Adventures in Italy, Amy of Cooking with Amy, Claire of Cookthink (Thanks for the tea towel, Claire!), Jennifer Jeffrey and myself. If I forgot someone, which I hope I did not, bug me via comments and I’ll happily update.
On Saturday, I finally got to meet Deb Roby, who is a Home, Garden and DIY editor for BlogHer and who also blogs at A Stitch in Time and Weight for Deb. She hosted a Home, Garden and DIY Birds of a Feather gathering Saturday that ranged through a variety of topics from everyone’s secret resources to sustainable products for the home.
On Sunday, I hit the UnConference, which is a free-form event where the attendees determine the agenda and take the discussion in whatever direction works best for all the small groups of participants. The move to Oakland has spurred me on to taking a closer look at my blog and where it’s going in its next phase (It’s like a teenager, this blog, with its phases and its moodiness and its storming around from topic to topic…), and I just happened to stand up and call for a session on going through a blog brand transition at the same time that Diana, maven of Of The Princess And The Pea, stood up and requested the same thing. We combined forces and ran the session together, and for those of you who joined that discussion, I promise to have the notes up by the end of this coming weekend.
I wrapped up the UnConference by spending about 45 minutes chatting with the only other Genie I’ve ever met in person—Genie Alisa of In a Bottle. We started the conversation by talking about WordPress, but moved on to life, how we depict it on our respective blogs, and how that affects the people around us and our relationships with them.
It was just the kind of discussion that makes BlogHer so rewarding—from a common platform, women who didn’t even read each others’ work before the weekend began went home feeling that much more connected to a larger community of women trying to do just the same thing: Tell a story, raise a hand and ask a question that might change the way someone else thinks, and maybe even make the world—online and offline—a little more beautiful.