I was going to break everything up and do posts on each day of the conference, but since the baby has been sick with a massive ear infection and I have needed to hold him all the time to keep him from screaming, my posting time has been cut to almost nil, so the short version will have to suffice.
I had three goals from this conference:
- Meet several women who I consider my friends who I have only met in the computer (until now)
- Network with other bloggers, not necessarily parent bloggers, who I may not otherwise come across in my limited surfing time, and experience the "sisterhood of blogging"
- Learn how to single space on this blog so that I can inflict some of my wretched poetry on you, and learn a little more about the technical aspects of blogging, since that really isn't my thing
I did all of those things, and more. I attended sessions on Finding and Following Your Passion; Our Bodies, Our Blogs; Technical Tools to Build Traffic; The State of the Momosphere; Taking Your Blog to the Next Level; The Art of Crafts; and It's Your Passion, Not Size, That Matters. Since these sessions have been live-blogged I won't go over them in detail, except to highlight a few things that I thought were noteworthy or had meaning to me.
- In the first session, one of the presenters was Sheila Scarborough, who is both a travel blogger and blogs about motorsports. Only some of you know this, but I am a huge NASCAR fan and have been since I was a wee child. In the DC area, if you are a NASCAR fan, particularly if you are a woman, you don't admit this - there is a huge amount of elitism associated with motorsports in general, although that is starting to change. In any event, it was delightful to meet a woman who I could talk to and say "I am concerned about how the merger of DEI and Ginn motorsports is going to affect Mark Martin's career" and "I have always felt that Teresa Earnhardt was in the wrong to not cede control of DEI over to Dale Jr." and have her understand what I'm saying and have an intelligent, if brief, conversation about it.
- Carmen is strong and beautiful and warm and caring and I'm delighted that I got to meet her in real life and that she doesn't live so far away that we can't meet up again fairly easily.
- Redneck Mommy is absolutely fucking gorgeous. Not to mention tall.
- Her Bad Mother is bloody brilliant; being in the room during the panel she headed was an awesome experience.
- Izzy is tall and beautiful and smart and kind, just like I imagined her to be.
- Kristen is tall and ballsy and kind and pretty and smart, and Drew is just delicious.
I met so many other wonderful women and can't possibly link to all of them, but I will say to look for a new blogroll in the future, when I can get around to it.
One of the things that struck me was how all of the "Blog Celebrities" that I met were such nice people, kind and open and warm. Since the blogosphere can sometimes be a harsh place, and it is so easy to hide behind a persona that is created for the screen, it was with some trepidation that I approached some of those who I know have lots of blog traffic, since I don't. I was so afraid I'd say something stupid or have lettuce in my teeth or some other bumbling thing and embarrass myself, and I did end up saying stupid stuff and mentally smacking myself, but none of the women who I approached ever made me feel stupid.
I was a bit torn through the whole thing - with Nemo being in the child care and having to run up and nurse him several times a day, with the family being around wanting to spend time with me, and me wanting to eat with and spend time with fellow BlogHers. In the future, I think it would have worked better to just keep the baby with me (I did spring him early the second day - he really didn't like the child care, and now I know he was getting sick) and have the rest of the family fly out on my last day and stay a few extra days to do stuff with them.
Overall, I am delighted that I got to go. Chicago is a wonderful city. The energy at the conference was palpable; it was such an amazing experience to be able to be in the room with so many wonderful women. I tend to intellectualize as my primary coping mechanism, and it was a tremendous boost to my mood and ability to handle life to have the opportunity to examine motherhood and blogging from an intellectual perspective with people who get it.
Any idea how I can get that on a, say, bi-weekly basis?