16 August 2011

BlogHer, Fragmented

I've been feeling like I should write about BlogHer, but I had a hard time knowing where to begin. It's more than a little overwhelming, it's lots of fun, it's full of people I'm really happy to see, and yet? I don't know. Will I go back? I don't know. Was it worth the time and the airfare and the hotel room and the conference fee? I don't know.

I took hardly any pictures, almost no notes, and not much swag at all. The expo hall was good for outfitting my sightseeing family with snacks, I missed the flash mob, and I didn't even see the unicorn cake.

But did I see lots of people, including (but not limited to!) Bon, Kate, Stacey, Catherine, Monica, Cecily, Neil, Julie, Varda, Donna, Stephanie, Janet, Angela, Darryle, Briar, Dresden (OMG, her name isn't really Calliope) and Jessica. I took a picture of Aurelia and Anissa, at the very excellent Aiming Low party, but I'm not allowed to post it. Oh, and I saw Aunt Becky at that same party, who was, um, holding court with a large, firm, crocheted penis. And I saw Liz and Mel and Schmutzie - each of whom wrote a good BlogHer recap post, if you want other perspectives (and some great photos).

I went to something during almost every single session slot. I loved the Voices of the Year Community Keynote - if you click through to that link, you can read them all. If you don't have time for that, start with Eden Riley's post called Every Little Thing - about hanging art on the walls in a hospital and helping to remember a person who'd died of cancer - it's sad and wonderful and subversive. I thought the closing keynote with Ricki Lake and Fatemeh Fakhraie and Carol Jenkins was fascinating. And though I'm really not a fan of packaged foods, and I definitely prefer Coke (in a can, with sugar and caffeine, thanks), Indra Nooyi talks a good talk, and is pretty inspirational as a female role model. One good quote from her: "Capitalism without a conscience is dangerous".

Jenn drove me and my husband and my daughter over to La Jolla for dinner, and I have a picture of the two of us together (Jenn & I, that is), which Jenn forbid me to post because she thinks it makes her "look like a mentally ill chipmunk with very white teeth".

I ran into a vaguely familiar looking woman on the airplane out; she was on her way to the conference AND she lives in my town - but we'd never actually met before. I finally met Holly and Dagmar, two other bloggers who live not far from me. Crazy to have to fly to the West Coast to meet people from your own backyard, but there you have it.

And one of the most serendipitous things was meeting a semiotic anthropologist - who totally understood me when I told her I had a master's in ethnomusicology.

At the so-called end of the day, what BlogHer and blogging is all about - for me, anyway - is the community of people I've met and whom I now have the good fortune to know.

Maybe I should go ahead buy my ticket for next year.


AnnetteK said...

Please buy your ticket for next year. I bought mine a few days ago because I am NOT missing another one (especially on the East Coast) and it would be so great to see you again.

Bon said...

i was so pleased to see you. it's a weird whirl, isn't it? it was my first time and i really had a hard time coming to terms with the fact that ALL of it feels like stolen moments, never enough, and yet all together it's so much that it's almost overwhelming.

i think i may go next year, too. :)

S said...

I'm going to go next year. So you'd BETTER go.


Bibliomama said...

I just got the go-ahead (more of a "why wouldn't you?" actually) from my husband. Trying to wrap my head around the fact that I could meet people for real. In New York. Then trying to decide if I'm brave enough to meet people for real in New York.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I truly feel like I'm still processing.

Thanks loads on the picture--what can I say except "I'm so vain."

Anonymous said...

I too met the semiotic anthropologist, it sounded interesting.

Fourth B

JCK said...

I'm so glad that I got to meet you at BlogHer this year. It is definitely overwhelming, but the connections are truly amazing. New and old.

Elizabeth-FlourishInProgress said...

I'm so excited about going next year. San Diego was my first BlogHer and I learned so much and met so many people that I had previously known only online. Good times!

mayberry said...

Add me to the chorus saying you better go next year!

MDTaz said...

Hmmm. I have a B.A. in Semiotics. It was my major in college. I would have loved to have met this anthropologist. Maybe next year. With the conference in NYC, chances are better that I can make it.

nonlineargirl said...

Wait, isn't it in NYC next year? Should make it relatively cheaper for you.