When you are completely spent and sated at the same time and can’t put a coherent thought together, you might as well use bullet points.
BlogHer12 was my favorite yet (also in the ring were BlogHer08 and BlogHer10). I focused not on the parties or the swag or the $$ contacts or even the host city (it was freaking New York!), but on the sessions and on my friends, silver and gold (♫Make new friends, but keep the old. ♫ One is silver and the other gold.) I spent time — daytime, evening and wee hours — with Melissa, Kathy, Justine, Pomegranate, Kir, Meg (Kathy’s lovely sister), Kristin, Nicole, Emily…and drank of our time thirstily as though it would have to last through a 11.9-month drought. Sucked the marrow out of our time together, as Mel says.
I owe my husband a huge thank you. He managed to entertain our children while I gallivanted. And he showed up with them for a portion of my session. Having both my loves and lives — my IRL and my URL (stealing this from Esperanza) in the same space was mind-blowing.
At my last two BlogHer conferences, I succumbed to the siren song of swag.
The song is so sweetly alluring. But, like a sugary candy bar, it doesn’t actually nourish, nor does it satisfy for long.
What was this swag that called to me in dulcet tones? A melange of tunes and harmonies: 10 minutes in front of an Xbox Kinect. Water bottles. Stuffed animals. Toys, alarm clocks, seeds, drinks, mugs, samples, deodorant, drink tickets, toothbrushes, thumb drives, water filters, knee braces, chances for this, drawings for that. Notepads and pen, trinkets and baubles.
Where did this swag come from? It was dangled by people who wanted my attention. Not specifically MY attention, but anyone’s attention who could bring the danglers MORE attention. People such as conference sponsors, brand reps and sponsored bloggers.
Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against danglers. Thanks to its sponsors, the BlogHer Conference exists as it is, the Grand Dame of female blogger gatherings. There is nothing quite like its festive and frenetic aura and its Las Vegas vibe (“what happens at BlogHer…”). Truly, BlogHer is an astounding phenomenon to experience.
I enjoyed the frenzy the first two times — mostly. It was difficult, though, in 2008 and 2010, for this introvert to have no recharging time, to feel pulled in a dozen directions at once and to know that for every experience I was having, I was missing out on twenty others.
Not this year. This time I aim to attend BlogHer in New York City with an intention to focus on what is important to me. Which would include (in no order): delivering value at the session on which I’m a panelist (it’s called My Blog No Longer Fits Me! and you are invited), meeting my bloggy friends from various tribes I am part of, meeting my agent for the first time, making genuine connections with new friends (not the looking-past-you-for-someone-more-important variety) and doing activities in NYC that make me feel good, grounded and centered. Not drained, weighted and regretful.
I have RSVPed for no parties. I may or may not get to the Expo Hall (if I do it will be to thank sponsors for keeping BlogHer affordable, and not to accumulate their stuff). There are no Big Bloggers or celebrities I feel the need to stalk “accidentally” share an elevator with (even Katie Couric, whom I would like to meet but not in a fawning-over way).
I shall try to remember I need nothing. Anything good that comes my way at BlogHer12 I will view as a gift, not a gimme. I have all my mug and toothbrush and thumb drive needs taken care of, and for what it would take to ship the swag home, I can buy the products myself. Nor do I “need” people. I want to meet interesting people, but not for what they can do for me. I am more starstruck by the people I already know, my ALI friends and my Colorado peeps, than I am by the celebrities and Big Bloggers who tend to get swarmed at the elevators.
So if you see me at BlogHer12, say hi. I should be even more able to hear you this year because I am not tuning in to the siren song of swag. I am simply tuning Inward.
This is my day at the 3SIX5 project. It’s kind of a year-long diary of humanity, in which one writer from around the globe is responsible for one day’s entry. 365 days, as told by 365 different people, according to the project’s creators. My post’s title, if the 3SIX5 had titles instead of simply the date, would be Spring Training.
I see that the fabulous JJ has the post after mine, so watch for that later this evening.
Aside: there are still spots left for 2012, should you wish to be part of the 3SIX5.
I’m very excited to announce that I’ll be speaking at BlogHer12 in New York City. I’ll be on a panel with Kathy, Kristin and Mel (as moderator). Our panel’s title is My Blog No Longer Fits Me! and we’ll be talking about what you can do when the issue your blog was originally about somehow gets resolved.
People often begin a blog around a problem that needs solving (and will eventually find resolution, one way or another) and to connect with others in the trenches. Maybe you started a blog about infertility and you’ve since become a parent or decided to live child-free. Maybe you were dealing with cancer and you’re now in remission. Maybe you blogged around unemployment and now you’ve found a decent job. Maybe you blogged about your weight-loss efforts and now you’ve accomplished your goals.
What now? How does your blog change with you, and what does this do to your circle of friends?
We hope you’ll join us either at the conference on August 4 or via liveblogging or video at a later date. We are open to your thoughts, so let us know what you would like to get out of this session.
There are just a few hours left to vote in Round 2 of the Limerick Chick contest. The winner of this flight will compete with Keiko for the championship, and that poll will open on Monday. The winner will be announced on — what else? — St Patrick’s Day!
My aims for the weekend are high. (1) No emergency medical personnel, and (2) No fire trucks. (reference)
Happy weekend, everyone! Don’t forget to spring forward.