As an academic, I have been to my fair share of conferences, and BlogHer was sort of like those-- lots of people with name tags and free tote bags, swag from vendors hanging out in an exhibit hall, lots of hotel coffee, panels to attend during the day. But the people were mostly women and lots of them wore babies and almost none of them were wearing suits. The free tote bags came with Anne Taylor USB drives (ha!), and my vendor swag included play-doh and a vibrator.
The panels were different, too. Not so much on the expert presentations-- more like conversations privileging experiential knowledge and revolving around audience Q&A. This was one part refreshing and one part excruciatingly annoying because it was sort of like following a mess of Twitter feeds only in person and with someone slightly too self-important wielding a mic.
Even though this blog is totally about me and my kids I had to opt out of the Strawberry-Shortcake-sponsored "mommyblogging" track after just one panel (although I did get Strawberry dolls for the kids and she totally smells the same way she did in 1983 which was almost strong enough to cover the smell of Jack's poop in the car on the way home but not quite and we had to change him at an oasis. Yuck) because it was just, um, not for me. And then I felt like a total asshole for not wanting to identify with the mommy bloggers until I noticed that all the big important mommy bloggers I read were participating in other panels on other tracks and were not caught up in the strawberry scented mommy track, either.
I really came to BlogHer because I wanted to meet my blog friends in real life, and I had so much fun with Becca, Sarah, and Amy.
It was great to room with other bloggers who were happy to spend a little quiet time with our laptops after fun nights of parties. I didn't have to hide the amount of time I spend online, and we could all geek out together.
It was also really fun to just gawk at the whole mess-- the velvet rope party to which my RSVP was lost (I pouted while my friends went in and then went to the bar for a ginormous bloody mary and had a great time at the party next door which had free booze, cookies, and a chocolate fountain), the super famous bloggers (some drunk on their own notoriety, the rest just drunk), all the preshus little babies in slings, the fashion choices, and a shirtless Carson Kressly.
I was a little surprised to see this asshole, though
We went out to dinner with Amy's super cool friends on Thursday and it was so fun to be able to cuss a lot and not have to cut up anybody's meat but my own-- also to have a cheese platter that did not include anything made by Kraft.
Sarah, Becca, and I were so jazzed to see Thomas
Not only did we go back to our room to upload and tag Facebook pictures after the parties (zOMG we are awesome),
we also took 8th grade slumber party-esque pictures of each other
and ordered room service dessert that we photographed before eating.
And then the next day, we went to panels and exchanged bogger business cards, and walked around the city and got dressed to go to MORE PARTIES (including the one that I couldn't get into).
WTF is up with my face here? How awesomely coordinated are we, by the way? I also had on turquoise shoes, just to complete the tableau.
Love this. Moments after these pictures, we entered a twitter-run best legs contest. Vodka lemonade, anyone?
A super fun weekend all around. Not sure about the actual conference or the pretty nasty politics of the blogosphere, but meeting these fabulous women I have been reading for years? Worth it a million times over!
And now my carriage is a pumpkin and I am elbow deep in someone's else's crap again, but it was a lovely 48 hours in fantasy land.