Saturday, July 28, 2007

BlogHer '07: A Few Thoughts and Observations

I've been out here in Chicago since some time on Thursday(after a 2.45 hr. delay at the airport, but that's another story) I haven't seen much of Chicago, but the city has a mellow vibe. Different from San Francisco (cracklingly techy) and New York (like a beating heart) or Austin (relaxedly hipster.) I think I'd like to come back and see more of it at some point...but I digress...

Conferences are exhausting, and this one hasn't been any different. I'm sitting in the lounge right now, watching people at the espresso machine, listening to the nattering of two women who seem rather self-importantly white-bread. There is, though, more diversity here than at most conferences--probably because it is encompassing a demographic group, not a profession. Professions--journalism and marketing and tech and even politics--are encapsulated here, but there's not that single-mindedness of most conferences.

The conference also is not geared towards middle or C-level executives--where you're not likely to see people other than white guys.

Still, the white-bread-y conversation is a little annoying--and I think a bit about bell-jars....

It's been great to connect up with lots of women I know--Susan Mernit, Lisa Williams, Barb Dybwad, Celeste Liddel, Liza Sabater, Beth Kanter, Amy Gahran Renee Blodgett and others I've probably left out--who I met at the first BlogHer, and have run into at so many other conferences and and events over the past two years. I also met a bunch of new women--women with interesting blogs and careers. There are lots and lots of mommybloggers, as expected, but tere's a lot of things going on here.

Motherhood, though, I've come to except, is the defining life experience of most women. There are are few of us who opt out of that choice; and our reasons for doing so often revolve around dysfunctional families, peppered with a palpabe fear of a lack of familial support. We, then, do other things with our lives, but our experiences with other things sometimes seems diminished in the light of motherhod.

Or is it that our experiences are unexpected. Other women don't think we could, or perhaps should, be doing the things we do. But, we do them nonethheless. When you've got your own life, there's no reason not to *do* something out of the ordinary.

So far, here, I have learned a few things I didn't know about blog design--and a few other things I can't recall because I'm over-tired and the band downstairs outside at the Navy Pier are playingand the room is vibrating with sound. There's one more session I'm attending--on business aspects of blogging--and then a few minutes at the keynote before I catch the bus to the hotel and then the shuttle to the airport. I will be glad to go home. I have a wad of business cards big enough to choke a horse, which means hours of email. I like to follow up. even if people never read me, I like them to remember, a bit, who I am.

After all, meeting people is, for BlogHer, a lot of what it's about....

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