Saturday, I managed to wake up in time for breakfast and went to the opening session, which included a cooking demo using all Wal-Mart ingredients. Helpful, sure, but it’s all Wal-Mart all the time at my house and sometimes I can use a break from the endless parade of Great Value products (Dana commented on one of the unnamed-sponsor lunches, “I don’t want to eat the shit I make at home!”).
There was also an interview with Tina Brown and Ilene Chaiken and another Important Woman who I’ve totally forgotten. I was barely paying attention because I didn’t grab enough coffee. I know that they talked about various forms of media migrating to the internet…which was basically saying, “Print and TV and film are going to take over…soooo bloggers better recognize.” Well, not exactly, but that’s kind of what I read into it. But maybe displaced bloggers can take over TV and movie studios and newspapers? And those will become these retro media giants? And we’ll go back and forth with this power struggle like the Star-Bellied Sneetches? Who have blogs upon thars?
I went to a panel about blogging identity that was pretty interesting. I’m not uncomfortable wearing the title of “mommyblogger,” though it sounds a tad precious. I’m a mother and I write about parenting sometimes and I’m proud of that, but actually the only time that someone has called me a mommyblogger is as an insult. But they were tiny people with the acuity of applesauce anyway so it’s not really even worth considering.
I don’t think the panel touched on the use of the term “mommyblogger” as a pejorative, because that wasn’t the focus. But I guess I was assuming that they were going to talk about how to focus your blog if you’re a parent but write about other stuff, too, but it was more for people who have very topical blogs that aren’t about parenting. Not totally relevant for me but it was interesting.
Things did take a weird turn when there was some vaguely anti-parentblog sentiments thrown around. Well, maybe they weren’t anti, per se, but there was some level of irritation over the fact that mommybloggers receive the most attention from marketers and whatnot. I can imagine that if you’re building a blog audience about a topic and your audience is sizable, it can be very frustrating to be passed over. But things change and, seriously, blogging as a serious industry is still very, very young. I wouldn’t be surprised to see the balance shift in the next year or so.
But I did think about this site and how I kind of just write about whatever. If I wanted to, I could probably build a larger audience by focusing solely on one thing.
The husband’s blog really took off because he has a super-specific topic and there just aren’t many people writing about what he does. (I call him Dooce sometimes because he gets all gushy about his huge readership, which makes me wonder if this just all relates to penis size, and then I threaten to shut his site down because I run things.) But that’s not me and that’s not this site. I’m a human being and therefore multi-faceted. And I’m not sure that the world needs another memoirist so I’ll just plop shit here like so much slop in a trough with the occasional complete steak and let you guys come to it. And I think I just called my readers pigs. I didn’t mean it. I just…I missed the panel on storytelling and metaphor and that was obviously a big mistake.
I can’t remember if I went to another panel on Saturday, besides the MamaPop session. I don’t think I did. I’ll do better next year. But the MamaPop session was REALLY good. There was lots of interesting discussion and debate about pop culture and if there’s a feminist way to gossip. And I’m pretty sure that we won the Big Word competition for “schadenfreude” and “Aristotelian” being dropped.
With a few hours to kill, Dana and I ventured about 20 feet outside of the hotel and went to Niu for dinner. We had, no lie, the best sushi either of us had ever tasted and incredible mojitos.
I hit up the CheeseburgHerz party for a little bit but it became extremely crowded and I had to roll out. In the morning, Dana and Tracey and I went to the recovery breakfast and said some goodbyes before heading to the airport.
My only regrets were not seeing more of the city and not meeting more people. Obviously, I met a lot of people that I’ve known online for awhile in real life for the first time, and that’s always fun. But as far as people that, for whatever reason, I just didn’t know about until bumping into them at BlogHer, I can only say that I met a small handful. So, if I go next year, my mission will be to just branch out.
My only criticisms were that the wi-fi issue was just kind of ridiculous, considering it was a blogging conference, and that the expo booths were a little too girly. More nerdy tech stuff!
The last matter I want to address about BlogHer is the people that I met and hung out with. There is absolutely no way that I can make a complete list (see also: drunk on Thursday; 1,500 attendees). But I do want to touch on a few key encounters:
– Receiving a huge hug from Tanis within minutes of arriving at the hotel and later laughing with her about trying to fit into college writing desks while pregnant
– Receiving a huge hug from Grace after randomly bumping into her in the lobby
– Doing a slow-motion run
through a field of daisies on a sidewalk when we first spotted Amber and Miss Banshee and Lena
– Discussing existential crises with Katie
– Flopping around on the Chi Bar couch with Miss Grace (both of us only vaguely recall this, but I’m pretty sure it happened…unless that wasn’t her tattoo but, in fact, Where the Wild Things Are coming to life before my eyes)
– Grinding to Ludacris with Y
– Trying to convince Amy to pull the bottom of her dress up between her legs, diaper-style
– Forgetting that I had gum in my mouth and nearly choking when I ate a piece of unicorn cake, and, though I didn’t introduce myself formally, having Bossy exclaim to me that she had just done the exact same thing.
– Finally succeeding in meeting Kristabella and Izzy
– The MamaPop group hug at the end of Sparklecorn, during which Heather gave me a gigantic kiss on the cheek, complete with, “MmmmmWAH!”
– Reintroducing myself to the lovely Kate, another casualty of Thursday’s beverage-induced amnesia
– Creepily lurking outside of Erin’s door looking for stickers that she placed there for me (feel better soon, lady!)
– Teasing Neil with his cattiness comments
– Just getting to hang out and giggle with Dana
– Just getting to pinch the cheeks of Schmutzie and Palinode, both of whom I love and want to put in my pocket
– Sleeping with Tracey every night (boom chick a bow wow) in the amazing beds at the Sheraton
– Anyone that I didn’t mention here that I even brushed up against that weekend
I also need to send a special thank you to Kim, who sold me her ticket to the conference after she realized that she couldn’t attend. I know that she was extremely sad that she couldn’t go, but she promises to be there next year. Go Kim!
I’m headed to Baltimore this weekend to visit Tracey (she can’t get enough of me) and Angela and some other assorted Baltimore characters. Note to would-be burglars: my very ferocious husband and my very ferocious cat will be home so BACK OFF.