Back home from BlogHer'09 in Chicago. I had a fantastic time, both at the conference and around town afterwards (I added two days for sightseeing). The only downer was that my friend Colleen, who was going to meet up with me, couldn't make it because her car broke down. :-(
stop at Title Nine and see if they have one of those Henleys I liked in their catalog, and if I like what it looks like on me
catch up on the Tour de France coverage that's waiting on the DVR for me. I watched the highlights on versus.com, and know that Contador won, but I still want to watch the extended coverage and see how it unfolded
write up a blog post or two about my trip to Chicago, and about my reading and movie-watching
go through all the business cards I collected at BlogHer, and add everybody's blogs to my feedreader. Looking forward to read you all!
Monday Music for you: Max Raabe und das Palastorchester, singing "In einer kleinen Konditorei". Raabe is a recommendation from Heather Chapman The Mother Tongue, whom I met at BlogHer. Thanks for the tip, Heather! I had heard some of his music before, mostly the German songs from the Thirties, like this one.
Aaaaaah, BlogHer. I started meeting and connecting with people right at the airport yesterday. I was sitting at the gate and looked up from my magazine right at Liz Henry's purple shock of hair. She introduced me to Rick Bucich and Lea Armstrong from Tinyprints.com. We were all standing there talking and texting when Mary came over and said, "Are you bloggers?" So nice to meet another local blogger!
And this is exactly how it goes at BlogHer - people will come to you and introduce themselves and be friendly, and I make a point of doing the same thing. Even if I feel too tired or shy to talk, I'll still have a smile ready. Because for me, it's all about connecting. The panels and sessions are great, but I don't mind if I miss a few. There are three categories of people to meet:
People I already know, and am thrilled to see again
People whose names I've heard/blogs I've read, but whom I've never met in person.
Entirely new-to-me people and blogs.
Here are some more of the fine women (and men) I met:
my favorite food blogger and practically my personal chef, Kalyn
And I had no idea that my employer Motorola was one of the sponsors! I visited their booth in the exhibit hall, and shook hands with Becki the Techie, whose name I recognized from several email exchanges.
And I got some great swag - always great swag at BlogHer! Fun kids stuff (a Mr. Potato Head), fun tech stuff (a couple of USB sticks), fun girlie stuff (EOS lip balm), and fun health stuff (a DVD titled "Pain Free" from Andrea Metcalf, with Pilates and Yoga workouts for back and shoulder health - great for all us desk jockeys).
Have I told you I've been using tumblr for a couple of weeks now? No? I really like it. It does one thing really well: it lets you grab a snippet - a quote, a link, a photo, a video - from another web site or your own computer, and lets you republish it on your own online "scrapbook". Pretty nifty. But don't take my word for it. Check it out: tumblr.com
Bill Braine from Exurbitude (who introduced himself to me at BlogHer's Friday night reception, saying he'd recognized me from my picture - thanks for that, Bill!) points out something that I don't usually think much about, but it's true:
Of all the things I learned in San Francisco, the one that applies here is that blogging differs from writing, which I’ve been doing all along. Blogging demands more, and writing is just the centerpiece to a world of commenting, flickring, twittering, emailing…what we call building virtual community.
This goes with an insight I had when Sarah was speaking at a panel. She said, "my twitter community, my livejournal community, my blog community", and it gave me a new angle on my own communities: I'm not just a part of a vast community. I am the center of those communities that form around me. They're MINE. I OWN this. I've been blogging for seven years, and I only just got around to noticing this. Yeah, I'm a little slow sometimes.
At BlogHer - I walk towards three women talking in a hallway. Elisa reaches out her hand to squeeze mine hello and asks, "Were you here this morning?" I tell her I didn't get here until about 11, and she goes, "Oh, you missed it!" and explains that my quote from the registration survey was one of about fifteen that looped during the intro session. (Apparently, when asked for my blogging goals in the BlogHer registration survey, I wrote that I don't really have any, and that it is really liberating to realize that.)
So I missed my fifteen minutes of fame. But it was nice to hear about it. And can I just say that it never ceases to amaze me how all the BlogHer founders address me by name? They see me once a year, or once every other year, and they know thousands and thousands of bloggers, and still they remember who I am. These people are just incredible.
BlogHer is a thrill. Can you think of another semi-technical conference where you see women with sleeping babies slung over their shoulders? And where everybody is just friendly and supportive and complimenting each other and giving out hugs as freely as business cards?
There's just no vibe like this. Good times. Good times.