Tuesday, July 29, 2008

BlogHer: Get Over It!

Only the shoe department was closed, BlogHer was all-inclusive

Can you stand one more post about BlogHer? No? Well, sorry, but I have to write it. There is no snark here, and lots of love, but also some truth, I think. It is not my way to slam or gossip about others. I pretty much run a kind blog and live by the credo that if I wouldn't say it to your face, I damn sure won't write it here. Just because I know how to type does not give me the authority to hurt others with my words.

This medium is powerful. Even if you only have ten readers, those are ten people you can conceivably influence for the good. I always try to remember that though you all sometimes come across as just pixels and screen names, you are real people, with real feelings. You can be hurt, or angered by what you read. You may go to bed and think about it. It might really affect you, even though it is online. It is easy to bring into your offline life. All that to say, I don't understand the meanness that I am seeing concerning BlogHer at all!

I am no longer twenty-something. And maybe my perspective comes out of my experience. But people treat you the way you give them permission to treat you. You give them the power to hurt your or make you feel inferior. They don't have it unless you surrender your own will to them. So some of the "cool kids" didn't talk to you at BlogHer? SO WHAT. There were enough of us there that would have talked to you if you approached, and honestly, probably did.

me with Military Mama, littles, and GeekMommy

I don't know some of the Celebrity Rock Star Bloggers that some are so up-in-arms about. I know the group that tends to comment on one another's blogs, but for crying out loud, that's what friends DO for one another. There doesn't need to be a tear in your beer because they aren't commenting for you! They have established relationships. Find new bloggers to connect with. They exist. The Blogosphere is HUGE and there are a ton of people who would love to link to you, be your comment friend and just overall wet themselves with joy for the traffic.

I have nothing against the cool kids. They don't need me to defend them. I met some of them and partied with a few more, and they are awesome. Do I know them well? No. I have twittered with a few here and there. And will they remember me? I couldn't tell you. But you know what? I don't care. I had a great time at BlogHer, would go again in a heart beat. Because? It was what I made it. I didn't sit around and feel sorry for myself, I jumped in to meet the women (and men) that I wanted to know. There wasn't hero worship, there was simply a meeting of the minds and a sincere admiration for their work. In some cases, they knew mine. In others, maybe it made them want to see it. And then again, maybe not. I don't care. I went to meet women, validate my passion and learn a bit along the way. That's exactly what I did.

Leah, Aaron, Sarah, Mary, Lucretia & Shannon...the Lobby Party

It's funny, because I wrote a post about whether I should even attend BlogHer. There were so many reasons not to go. But I figured if I hate it, or I don't fit in, or they hate me....I had a vacation from my family in a luxury hotel. How could I complain? Sure, there were fears. I went to BlogHer not knowing a soul in real life. My expectations, though, were that I would fit in fine.

I was never a popular kid. I was the geeky one in high school, maybe I tried too hard, or didn't know what to do. I wasn't athletic and I wasn't beautiful or stacked. I was a late bloomer, and didn't "find myself" until my mid-twenties. My interests were too cerebral I was once told by my high-school crush, "You're too deep. We want to know what color the car is, and you want to know what the paint is made of." Well, crap, just shoot me, then. Because I am who I am, and I always was. I stayed true to myself, and it worked out well.

I guess what I am trying to say is that there were over a thousand women attending BlogHer. And you couldn't find anyone to connect with? Really? Or you just couldn't be part of the A Crowd, and it felt too much like your experiences in high school so you sat in a corner to pout? If I see one more post that compares BlogHer to high school or college, I swear, I am going to lose it.

Leah, living the dream and making the most of BlogHer

BlogHer was NOT high school. It was grown women, socializing with one another, getting to know one another, and in many cases connecting in a very strong way with one another. There will always be those who appear to be having more fun than you are. That's a given. The question is, can you find the fun there is to have? If you always look at the quarterback, don't be surprised if he is eyeing the cheerleader...and we can't all be the cheerleader but there are lots of other fish in the sea. Smarter ones, too. So the A-List bloggers didn't give you the time of day. Did you introduce yourselves to them, or snark about them from afar? Because not giving them a chance is just flat wrong.

For me, high school was over twenty years ago. I am over it.

Are you?

T, who doesn't want to hear anymore nastiness

These are some of the amazing women I met at BlogHer (more to come): califmom,Lucretia, ShannonRenee,Tara, Lara, Stephanie, Jennifer, Angela D, akaMonty, Sarah, weirdgirl,Kristina,To Think Is To Create, Crummy Cupcake, Susan, The Karianna Spectrum, Missy, Squid, Lori,Jean

20 sent chocolate:

Unknown said...

Very well said. :o)

moosh in indy. said...

Dude? Is chocolate in your blog name? Well then consider yourself unforgettable. :)

OhTheJoys said...

I think you've nailed it in that it's not a clique - it's just a matter of who one has had the opportunity to develop relationships with. I'm always open and interested in meeting new bloggers, though timing can be a problem - sometimes my real life offline is busier than others.

Jenny, the Bloggess said...

Well written, my friend. And I'm so glad I got to meet you finally!

A Mom Two Boys said...

Right ON! Well said!

And I had a GREAT time hanging out with you at BlogHer. Although, I wish you'd felt better at the Rocco lunch! :0)

Backpacking Dad said...


You are unforgettable.

Unknown said...

@sendchocolate: I'm w/ ya on the drama. Well stated. Get over it, raise each other up or zip your lid and move on.

MarĂ­a said...

Holy hell did you put me up there with Amalah & Sweetney? Nooooo - I am no where near as whatever they are as they are! LOL

But I completely agree with all that you said. If BlogHer wasn't fun for you it was because your priorities were not right, or you didn't try hard enough. Seriously.

I was happy to meet you: you were awesome! And I looked through your photostream but couldn't find the pics of my shirt. :( Maybe it's because I'm so so sick. :(

SUEB0B said...

I can't believe you didn't mention me in your post. What a bitch. I'm never talking to you again, and I am telling all my friends to never talk to you again, either. And you had better watch your back in the lunchroom.


Little ol' Me said...

I figure people are exactly as happy as they allow themselves to be.

Didn't have fun? That's all on you...nobody forced you to play pity party and be a poop.

I'm happy, and I'm fun, because that's how I choose to approach life.

Mary Beth said...

I didn't go this year but I'm planning to go next year and I'm gonna be looking for you! You can be my mentor:)

Issa said...

I came over here after reading your comment at Backpacking Dad's place. I'm glad I did, because I needed to read this. Thank you.

Gayle said...

Ack! I'm so "new" at all this. I don't do all the fancy ads and I'm not "in the know" on any of this BlogHer stuff, but geez, people are complaining about it? They spent considerable money on a vacation to meet a bunch of fun people and they are complaining? If I never left my room I would have something great to write about! :) I've only read two blogs from BlogHer...it would be interesting to stumble across some of the grumpy gus' you are talking about. Glad you made the best of it!

Antonette said...

I'm having a brain fart on how I actually found your blog a few minutes ago.

I didn't go to BlogHer. Maybe I will in the future. And all I keep hearing is "blah blah blah whine" and I'm with you on the whole "it ain't high school" point.

I just went to my 20th reunion, and, like you, was a late bloomer, et. al.

So you can be sure that HAD I gone to BlogHer, I probably would have made it a point to introduce myself.

For now, I will just visit your blog. Or maybe Twitter.


Nauntie Lush said...

It is what you make of it! I am so glad that you said it out loud! You are unforgettable, and I can't wait until next year when I get to come and play with everyone in real time! I might faint, or act all goofy, but that will be okay, because that is who I am. If someone doesn't like it too bad for them!

califmom said...

Well said, my dear. Well said.

We made BlogHer what we wanted it to be...fun, exhausting, educational, entertaining, fun, yummy, exciting, moving, and fun.

As I've said before, I knew absolutely NO ONE before attending BlogHer. None. Not one person had I met in person.

I came home with friendships that will last a lifetime, I hope.

Am I BFFs with Dooce? No. Didn't plan to be. Didn't need to be.

BTW, thanks for all the photo love. I feel a little bit famous, even though I have a sticker in my mouth.

Mrs. Flinger said...

I'll lick you again! Meeting you at The People's Party was totally a highlight and no, I wouldn't forget YOU. I just wanted to make sure I didn't forget to lick you. ;-)

Anonymous said...

It was a joyous occasion for me, to be able to meet not only old friends, but to meet new bloggers who will become my friends.

Such as yourself.

I'm so glad you enjoyed yourself.

And thanks for writing what so many of us are thinking.

Her Bad Mother said...

BRAVO for this. REALLY.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to come by and say how wonderful it was to meet you at BlogHer this year. Even if we only spoke a few moments (because I seriously suffered from BlogHer induced ADD), I was so happy to see you.

Your post is dead-on about how some bloggers reacted to the conference. I truly believe that blogging isn't about popularity, it's about finding the niche of bloggers you love and get along with. The rest isn't important.

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