I was reminded of why I enjoy blogging so much after spending two full days and evenings in what truly felt like the blogosphere in real life at the 2009 BlogHer conference in Chicago this weekend. There were 1400 female bloggers (I didn’t meet all 1400, but I wish I had had more time to meet them all). Of the many women I did meet – all were talented, liberated, creative, curious, fabulous, smart women.
There was a certain blogalicious bond among us.(Don’t you just love this word? According to the Blogalicious 2009 founders, the word is an adjective and means “the state of being in which one finds joy in updating one’s blog or a blog or blog entry that one finds highly enjoyable.”
I felt like we were an extended family of diverse sisters. Some tall and some short. Some heavier and some thinner. White women and women of color. Straight women and gay women. Lots of mommies. Lots and lots of mommies with lots and lots of babies. (I did want to hold and hug some of the babies – they were all soooooo cute and actually very quiet. I think these mommy bloggers must have a special touch. I wish mommy bloggers were around when my kids were growing up, I could have used all the advice they dish out on their blogs every day.) Young single women and more mature women (like me). All blogalicious women (ooh, I just love that word!)
What did I learn at BlogHer?
- I learned about leadership from Kathie Orenstein, who heads up the OpEd project. Kathie explained how important it is for women to speak up about their expertise. We each had to say the following, filling in each part of the sentence:
“Hello my name is…”
“I’m an expert in…”
It was a tough exercise. Kathie says “women have to move from a position of fear of self to a position of social responsibility and think about the potential of positive impact we can have on others based on our experiences.” According to Kathie, the experiences I share on my little blog can make a big difference, whether it impacts one person or many. In fact, Kathie says if I don’t share my experiences I am selfish because no one will get to benefit from my knowledge. (I liked Kathie. She was one of the smart women I met.)
- I learned some tips from fellow bloggers that were featured on The Juice video. The theme was ‘how to get more of what you want and less of what you don’t want.’ I liked the blogger who provided the 10 Minute Dance Party tip. She said that “when you are stressed or tired you should put on loud music and boogie for 10 minutes to get your energy up.” I also liked the tip from one of the mommy bloggers who said you should ‘sleep in your running clothes so that you will be ready to exercise in the morning.’ (I may have to try this tip, although I doubt sleeping in my running clothes will incentivize me to go running more in the morning. If I really want to do more morning exercise, I could just clean off all the stuff on my stationery bicycle in my bedroom and ride a few miles in my pyjamas.)
- I learned how to use an HP Photosmart A636 Touch Screen printer to print my photos. This was a BIG deal for a novice techno like me. It was so easy to use. However, now I really want to buy one of these printers. The HP guy said it only costs about $100. However, the printer paper and ink jet are likely the more expensive part of this purchase. (How can I rationalize this purchase? Ah yes, if I buy this printer I will not have to go to Target to print my photos. I’ll save gas because I won’t have to drive to Target. I’ll save time because I won’t have to wait for the pictures to be developed. I’ll save money because usually while I wait at Target for my pictures I always walk around the store and I end up purchasing a minimum of $70 worth of items I don’t really need, but that I really like. Plus, I’ll be able to send more timely pictures to my mom in Flo-ree-da. I knew I could make this purchase appear priceless.)
- I learned from Ree Drummond, The Pioneering Woman, that everybody has a story to tell. And I truly enjoyed hearing each woman’s story that I met, especially the stories from several of my fellow female boomer bloggers:
Debba Haupert from Girlfriendology – where you can find inspiration, appreciation & celebration
FreshWidow.blogspot.com – a fellow widow who was so open to sharing and supporting other widows
Jill Gilbert, who started the Gilbert Guide to Senior Care, a wonderful resource for those who are caregivers to their elderly parents and relatives
Beth Rosen, who blogs at The Mid Life Wife
Myrna Cook Lantzsch, from Tangerine Times, if you still have teens in the house you should check out Myrna’s site.
Lisa Honig Buksbaum, CEO and Founder of Soaringwords. As Linda Lowen of About.com said “Lisa created SoaringWords.org to empower communities to embrace ill children and families and inspire them to never give up.” I encourage you to check out SoaringWords.org and you will be inspired too.
While I was less rested after my two days in the bloghersphere, I definitely was more invigorated and very blogalicious. In addition, I was very happy because I was able to fit the Mr. Potato Head (remember Mr. Potato Head, I always loved Mr. Potato Head when my kids were little)that Hasbro had so graciously given us, in my suitcase. It was a tight fit, but I was not going to leave my shiny new Mr. Potato Head with ‘lots of pieces to create funny faces’ in the bloghersphere. Nope, I wanted to take him home so that during my childish moments of emptynesterness I can always pull him out for lots of laughs. Or as they say in the blogosphere ‘lol.’