Next week, I will be heading to the BlogHer’14 Conference in San Jose, California. This year BlogHer is celebrating its 10th anniversary. My first conference was in 2007, the year I started blogging my countdown to 50. I remember it well.

The two-day event was in Chicago. I was a newbie. I was blown away by the community spirit among the 400+ bloggers in the room. There were only a few midlife bloggers back then, most were mommy bloggers, as was the trend in the early days of blogging.

No longer a fresh face, I am still ever excited and enthused about networking and mingling with my virtual friends. It’s such fun to meet face-to-face with fellow bloggers.

More Midlife Bloggers In The Blogosphere
Almost 2500 are registered for BlogHer’14. Today, blogging is big business and top bloggers are like celebrities. Many more midlife bloggers attend the conference because there are many more of us in the blogosphere. We’re a proud and properous group and marketers are starting to take notice.

You can sample the writing of a variety of midlife bloggers at several collaborative sites, including:

♥ Midlife Boulevard developed by Sharon Hodor Greenthal from Empty Nest, Full Mind, and Anne Parris from Not A Super Mom. This boulevard is blossoming and growing its niche. Sharon and Anne also run a midlife group on Facebook which includes 800+ bloggers.

 The Huffington Post Huff/Post50, a site that promotes the theme ‘life begins at 50.’, for women who want to stay vibrant during their second act., hosts a Midlife Matters blog with helpful information.

This year at BlogHer there is going to be a midlife mini-con led by Patricia Patton from Boomerwizdom and Darryle Pollack from I Never Signed Up For This and a co-founder of the WHOA! Network. Can’t wait to hear the dialogue. I’ll share feedback when I return.

Free To Be Me
I looked back at a post I wrote when I returned from Chicago in July 2007. Here’s an excerpt:

Who would have thought that at 49 years old I would be meeting so many new friends as a result of a virtual community I created? Who would have thought that I would have the opportunity to meet hundreds of “blogging sisters” and form a bond with so many fellow female bloggers during an exhilarating Blogher conference?

For two glorious days in Chicago, two fabulous days in Chicago, I was free to be me: Judi with an i. Or should I say JudI with a capital I. I was strong. I was authentic. I was a blogger. I was 49 approaching 50 and I was free. Not a wife who has a sick husband. Not a mother who is trying to be strong for her kids. Not a full-time corporate executive. I was free. No housework. No homework. No shopping. No cooking. I was free to be whoever I wanted to be and free to say whatever I wanted to say.”

It was amazing. When I arrived I only knew one person but by the time I left on Sunday morning, I had met so many extraordinary women, each unique in their own way. Each making a difference, whether they are blogging about: post-partum depression, cars, mommyisms, politics, fashion, beauty, food, divorce, and a whole lot more.

Do You Know The Way To San Jose?
So you can see how I got the BlogHer bug back in 2007. My feelings about this conference haven’t changed. There is real authenticity, individualism, and diversity in the air at BlogHer. The sharing and acceptance among the women (and a few men) who participate are contagious.

I’m off to the blogosphere in San Jose for a few days. Look forward to catching up with all the new news when I return. Meantime, if you want live updates, follow me on Twitter @judiboomergirl for up-to-date #BlogHer14 happenings.


AARP Life Reimagined, life after 50, over 50, retirement

If you are looking to “discover your new life possibilities,” come join the Life Reimagined book club chat on Facebook next Monday, July 21, at noon. You don’t have to read the book to join the conversation I’ll be there. It’s free and it’s fun. You can jump in on last Monday’s discussion from July 14 — when you get to the page scroll down to the date.