I was hard at work yesterday when my phone rang. Glancing at it and seeing an unknown number, I groaned inside. Unknown numbers usually mean work. Still, I answered. And to my surprise and delight, I heard:
"Grace? It's Suebob."
The lovely Suebob was calling to ask if I'm going to attend the annual BlogHer conference coming up in New York in a couple of weeks. I am! And I'm getting excited about it, too.
BlogHer seems to be one of those things that only makes sense to folks who are into it, if you know what I mean. For the uninitiated, it's a two-day conference focused on women and blogging. This is the 6th one (and will be my 3rd). The days are filled with panel discussions and hands-on technical classes, the evenings with keynote speakers followed up with parties. It is, as the website claims an opportunity for bloggers to enjoy "hands-on learning, rich discussions, opportunities to meet with the brands that support them and plentiful networking opportunities."
Which still doesn't really explain why I'm so into it, does it? The truth is, I'm kind of a half-assed blogger. As Suebob said on the phone to me yesterday, I'm not particularly interested in improving my blog or building my brand. I know I'm never going to blog for money, and that's fine with me, that's not why I do this. For me, blogging is about communication with folks I know (online or in the flesh) and having a reason and a platform to write. So, crass as it may sound, I'm not really there to learn anything.
The primary reason I love it is for the people I get to hang out with. This year I'm especially excited, because I'll get to room with and spend some time with my friend and Heroine Content co-blogger The Princess, who I left in Austin a year ago and haven't seen since and miss horribly. I'll also get to see the aforementioned Suebob, who is nothing but lovely and so much fun to be around, and hopefully Laurie, who I also adore and haven't seen since last year, even though we live in the same neck of the woods now. If I can spend even a moment basking in the rather glorious presence of Karen this year, as I was lucky enough to do last year, then I'll be completely happy. It goes without saying, I'd hope, that there are a ton of other folks I'm looking forward to seeing as well, or even being introduced to for the first time this year.
Beyond the specific folks I go to BlogHer to see, I also go for the general environment. Though it does get a little rah-rah girl power for my tastes at times, the fact is that there aren't a lot of times when 1,000 or so women convene on any space, take it over, make it their own, and enjoy the living hell out of it. Sure, it's less political action group and more sorority party, but at least it's *my* sorority, you know? These are, by and large, women with whom I feel really comfortable, and it's great to spend two days surrounded by them.
Another great thing about BlogHer is finding new blogs. Every year, after I return, I end up with an even more bloated feed reader, full of new blogs to read. And as time goes on, I whittle some of them off, but a few always hang on and become new favorites, and if I've met the mastermind behind them, I'm much more likely to be interested in their content. My favorite from last time around? Gotta be No Appropriate Behavior, the blog-child of Laura, who I was thrilled to get to know at BlogHer '09.
Finally, there's an atmosphere of fun and...luxury? at BlogHer that just isn't part of my daily life, and I enjoy the hell out of that. The swag is plentiful and sometimes incredible, the parties are great fun, and I get to spend three nights staying (at a VERY reduced rate) at the New York Hilton. Like I'm not gonna be into that.
SO! Are you going to be there? Drop me a comment so we can be sure to find each other!
Oh, that picture? That's me at the MamaPop party last year, with a giant cardboard Edward Cullen. Not a great picture of him, but it's cute of me, right?