Here’s my wrap-up. I know you’re all on the edge of your seats.
Having BlogHer in NYC was fun because it’s in NYC, but… it’s a pain in the butt because it’s NYC.
But I ‘get’ it… get it… get it….
The Hilton was very accommodating. Bravo Hilton. Nice rooms (and Room Mate Linda from Elleroy Was Here– if you don’t read her- you should. Awesome has a face). Good conference space. Excellent signage. Fully stocked bars. Men’s Rooms that had been temporarily changed into Women’s Rooms (smart). Fully stocked bars (Did I already say that? Oops.)
The break-out sessions were actually informative. Someone has been encouraging the ‘Experts’ to ‘practice’ their presentations, unlike a few past sessions (that were more like slide-shows of flowers) and organize the information they will impart. Always a good idea.
Suggestion: a take-away flyer with all the bullet points so that people aren’t madly transcribing every word, missing the bullet points, that are the ‘take-away’. Just sayin…
Re-connecting with on-line friends, and connecting with new people is always a great time. This conference did not disappoint in that regard. Hell, we could all meet in a subway or in a Subway and have a good time.
And/But/However there ARE a few ‘things’ that I found interesting (code for ‘still considering’):
I sensed a shift in who BlogHer has identified as their audience and, hence, their power base.
It’s not all about Mommy Bloggers anymore.
Ohhhhh no it’s not.
It’s also not about MidLife writers.
And it never was (here- at BlogHer, otherwise we ROCK everywhere) but that’s okay ’cause we pick-up the tabs and tip well. People love us.
The attendees were much more diverse- in gender and race and sexual orientation and point-of-view- which brings me to my next point… Voices.
The ‘Voices’ that were chosen to speak on the stage sorta bummed me out.
Wow. Talk about people that have had a few shit pancakes thrown at them.
But those are the ‘pieces’ that ‘won’ the opportunity to present, which means, BlogHer is becoming a platform for, not just social awareness, but CHANGE. And not just CHANGE but sorta in-your-face CHANGE, but not really YOUR face, more like that weird neighbor’s face that never peeks from behind the drapes, because we all clapped, we wouldn’t dare not clap, because we’re in this together, except we’re not, if the pieces presented are all about the worst of Humanity, with nary a lighter, well written (of course) piece.
Now, let us assume that BlogHer is, in it’s essence, a commerce driven organization.
As such, they will be looking for ‘identifiers’, or ‘trends (if you will) that they can promote directly or indirectly.
This would lead me to believe that the ‘sponsors’ would be vetted/chosen/courted to fit with the tone of the conference, that the Expo sponsors, would know HOW to work with bloggers.
“Hi. Your product looks interesting. How do you see yourself working with Bloggers to promote it?”
“We’re sorta in the experimental stage. We really don’t know what we want, but if you want to buy one…”
“Hello! This looks serious! How can I help you increase your sales- get your word out?’
“You can sign-up for a free five minute analysis of your finances, and here, we have funny hats and will take your picture!”
“Do you Blog?”
“That’s the rumor.”
“Maybe you could write about us.”
“Do you have a sample or a sample program?”
“Here’s our flyer. We just want you to write about us.”
“And that’s working?”
Not so much.
“Hi there! I love your product. My readers are your demographic! How can I help you?”
“We’re selling ad space.”
Aren’t we all.
Postscript: Seriously, I had a wonderful time. It did my heart good to re-connect, and connect, with so many wonderfully talented and strong women. I’m looking at you Estelle.