Monday, July 27, 2009

It's Not About the Swag

I've still barely recovered from BlogHer '09. In the days since, I've been trying to wrap my head around what the experience meant to me so that I could compose something close to a coherent post.

It's easier to say right off the bat what it wasn't about for me. If you've come here to read another take on swag-gate, or the baby controversies, you'll be disappointed (although I will say, while squarely against elbowing babies, someone's gunna have to explain to me when it's ok to take a baby to a cocktail party and when it's not.). BlogHer was SO not about that for me.

I went to BlogHer mostly to see what all the hype was about and to meet some of my virtual friends. This was no easy feat for me. Growing up I was one of those kids that hid behind my mother in public places. Still painfully shy, but better at masking it as an adult, networking and cocktail parties are my worst nightmares. So going a conference of 1500+ strangers in a foreign city by myself was daunting to say the least. But determined to step out of my comfort zone, I psyched myself up and sucked it up. And of course, while at times it was very awkward and very scary, it was worth it. I met some of my bloggy heroes and some very cool women.

But what I mostly walked away with was a huge dose of inspiration and a platter-full of food for thought. I walked into BlogHer feeling like my blog was stuck in a rut, wondering if it was even worth continuing to blog. And I walked out wishing I could clone myself because I had so much to many posts to write!

At the SEO Geek Squad session I learned how to make my blog pop up in the search engine rankings (um...bye bye blogroll...sorry...). The Internet safety session put my decision to blog anonymously into perspective (yeah, I suppose it makes sense that it would be too much trouble for a child predator from where ever to see my children online, do the research to track them down and travel halfway across the country to find them, no matter how irresistible I may think they are). And last but not least, the Hope and Action session made me realize that if I really wanted to incite social change with my blog, I had to be more provocative -- call some people Satan or at least call them out.

All in all, it was a great experience. The only problem BlogHer didn't help me solve was the cloning thing -- how to fit more time into my life to do more of what I want to do online and off. And while there was actually a session on that (Liar McLiar-ton work-life-bloggy balance???), I was pretty sure that unless someone figured out how to magically add hours onto the day, I wasn't going to find any concrete answers on that subject.

1 comment:

fourthbreakfast said...

Hi Amy,

It was nice to meet you at breakfast on Friday at BlogHer. I didn't make many of the same session you did, but now I am really curious. How does a blogroll take away from your traffic? Do you mean that you feel good about blogging anonymously or that it's no big deal to be open about your identity?