The lure of the keyboard. The excitement of communicating with thousands, perhaps millions, of readers from all over the world. The delight at knowing some of them -- of having attended Blogher and meeting the best women bloggers in the world! There is little to compare last Saturday's conference with. Jane will attempt to relate some of the more fabulous moments...but, we will, no doubt, miss something -- hopefully, not SOMEONE -- but be kind, dear readers, and bear with us.
We'd been lusting after the Blogher conference for weeks. Our dear, dear delightful friend Jory was (is) a co-founder, and along with her, Elisa of Worker Bees, whom we've admired since meeting her last January.
With these two young, fantastic, smart and friendly, ladies working with the ever dynamic and clever Lisa Stone, how...we asked ourselves...could this fail to be anything less than THE place for Jane, and Maryanne (Jane's little sister, as she so aptly informed the group by writing said phrase on her nametag!). The luck of the draw is the only reason we actually got to be part of this groundbreaking group of gifted, talkative women...our little sister won her place, forcing Jane to scramble and make arrangements to accompany her to San Jose. There were a few tense moments, but...we made it! As you well know from teasers posted all last week. (much thanks to all who wished us a happy birthday!)
Here is the low-down on Blogher...
In answer to Jane's begging the question (What do women do online?), many attendees admitted that: "Women like talking." The roar of the group paid testament to that statment, we can assure you!
And, "Women are the ones who share, women are more apt to exchange opinions on products and services," and, "It's so neat to actually meet in person so many of the people you've been reading... and put a face to a name."
Perhaps the best part of the conference was the true, honest, open, and yes, TRANSPARENT way everyone spoke his or her mind. We say 'his or her' because there were a number of good men there. We mentioned that in an earilier post -- complimenting our good friends of that other gender for braving the storm. What storm? The storm of 300 women hugging and laughing and arguing (oh no, dear reader, we were anything but in agreement on the issues), from sun up till sun down. Jane missed the Saturday night dinner -- we drooped by 7 pm and had to return to our room -- but we have heard glowing reports about it.
Now, for the record, here are the women Jane met, hugged, laughed and cried with, women we have either interviewed or hope to interview, women who were looking at the BIG picture -- at the goals of Blogher to unite voices, to give a platform to some who feel marginalized, and to bring together women and men of the blogoshpere, but mostly, women. Because, the truth is -- women are underserved here, as well as almost everywhere else. This conference did not strive to exclude anyone, male or female. Rather, in the bringing together of all who attended, and encouraging all others to begin thinking about NEXT YEAR's BLOGHER, this conference succeeded in giving us, the women of the blogosphere, a spotlight, one that will continue to shine brighter and brighter, with each passing year. Because the co-founders and the live bloggers and the vast wave of attendees will keep lighting candles until that spotlight shines as bright as an Olympic torch.
Toby Bloomberg: Diva Marketing. Toby, we LOVE you! Nothing feels quite so good as a hug from someone you've admired for so long...more hugs straight atcha! If only there had been more time... Your panel discussion was the best. We're embarrassed to say we did not know about the character blog issue...and we don't know why? But, we think character blogs have their place. Anyone who says different can just ask Jane...
Jory Dejardins: Pause. Where would Jane be without Jory? Oh, right here...wondering why the world was so gray! Jory, you light up my life. Your smile, your beautiful eyes, but most of all...your writing. The world is waiting for more! More! More!
Elisa Camahort: Worker Bees Blog. Elisa, we are in awe! As the grandest of the grand, you rate top billing...so why are you listed #3? Well, you're not. It's just the way the text flows online. And you, more than anyone, would hasten to say, we're all one. Accept my thanks for a truly thought-provoking conference full of the best minds on the net.
Evelyn Rodriguez: Crossroads Dispatches. I pale in comparison to Evelyn, when writing anything. This young woman, who so graciously carted us to dinner the evening before the conference, does her generation proud. It's such a pleasure knowing we know her...no, really knowing we know her. We think YOU, dear reader, should get to know her, too.
Jill Fallon: Business of Life. If we get gushy, it's only because...Jill is such a dear. Next to our very own sisters, Jill is a favorite from -- a previous existence, we're sure! Jill is, as are so, so many of the women bloggers we've met over this past year, intelligent to a fault. As a fellow poster at ThirdAge, Jill provides some truly thought-provoking posts. She may be a strong feminist (not one of THOSE! but one of these -- women who feel strongly about other women being treated right), but beneath that strength is a heart of gold.
Maryanne: Maryanne's Powdering Our Noses. Jane's younger sister. A gorgeous, blue-eyed blonde. Smarter than she has a right to be -- she puts Jane to shame, over and over again! We're not sure how we got so lucky -- to have such a great sister, but to have her working with us! We have two other sisters, who are just as dear, but Maryanne...she's talented beyond anything we ever expected. No doubt, she left her mark on Blogher. We can't wait to read her thoughts.
Charlene Li: Insights on technology developments in media and marketing. Can you say WOW! dear readers? This spunky little woman has it all together, but we knew that. We're faithful readers of her blog, which is sponsored by Forrester Research. She was on the opening panel with A-list blogger Halley Suitt, thrashing out the answer to the on-going question, "Is being on the A-list (at Tecnorati or anywhere else) necessary?" We are part of the long-tail group: we think the A-list is overrated.
Halley Suitt: Halley's Comment. So clever. So outspoken. So -- female. She played devil's advocate on the panel with Charlene; Charlene said the A-list counts -- after all, those of us who write religiously, who have a blogging purpose, a STRATEGY to get noticed, have a right to BE NOTICED, to which Halley replied, "The A-list is crap." Those are not Halley's exact words, but...that was the point. However, her comment that, "If you ask A-list bloggers to link to you, they will. Just do it," was heartening. Halley, are you listening? We can't trackback to you because...you don't have trackbacks!
Elana Centor. Funny Business. Another long, lost friend. She didn't know we were there. We are still, disappointingly, absent from the Blogher blogroll (we shall fix that; tis our own fault, after all). But, what fun surprising her and then standing outside the restaurant on Friday night, escaping the ear-splitting cacophony of almost 100 women all talking at once, inside, enjoying the cool air. Funny Business is a blog worth your time, dear reader. Elana has so much to offer...
Celeste...aka Average Jane. We admit it, Celeste -- we didn't recognize you at first. (blush, blush). After all, you did not have your Average Jane shirt on. :-( But, what excitement when, at least, we realized who you were! Another so delightful friend from this blog. A writer after our own heart. The musings on Average Jane are just what we need, now and then. A touch of real life. Keep them coming!
Ronni Bennet: As Time Goes By. Meeting Ronnie was -- perhaps -- one of the highlights of the conference. Another ThirdAge blogger, Ronnie captures the best of the 20th century in her writings. Not all of it was bad, though Jane often speaks as if it was. Meeting this delightful woman, learning about her blog, sitting at the same table with her -- felt like chitchatting with a friend from the old days. From days of yore -- when life was easier and...hogwash. Life is never easy, and Ronni is one who tells it like it is. We absolutely adore her blog header!
Liza Sabater: Culture Kitchens. Strong, opinionated, not apologetic, full of life and feminism, and all things good. For all those who mock Dickless Marketing, we say, "Get some Culture." Liza wins the all around, I am who I am so shut up, award. Jane wishes we had her nerve, her ability to get out there and kick ass. Alas, we are small potatoes compared to Liza. We happily stand in her shadow. And hope, as she does, that Blogher comes to the East Coast next year.
We're almost done. Are you still with us?
Renee Blodgett: Blodgett Communications. If ever there was a woman who lives to make things happen, it's Renee. She helped make Blogher happen and then, helped make it a success by attending and not keeping quiet. Jane wishes we'd had more time to chat with this smart woman online. Perhaps, we will. Stay tuned.
Sally Falkow: Making the Most of Your Online Branding. Here's the scoop on Halley Suitt and Charlene Li and whether or not being on the A-list counts. Sally has her say...blogging on an issue that has no right answer but that needs to be written about. Just another chance meeting at Blogher that shows how powerful a small gathering of women can be, together and individually.
Karen Luk: MSN Spaces. So, Karen SAYS she's been blogging for 6 years!! Jane is amazed! We think she just, maybe, graduated high school. Sorry, Karen. No insult intended. You know you look young, very young. But, obviously, from our discussion, smart, smart, smart!! Young women today make us proud. We did not get to attend Karen's design session, more's the pity, but perhaps she will do another, next year! One can hope.
Susannah Gardner: Buzz Marketing with Blogs from someone in the know. Susannah and Jane got to shake hands...and that was all! We are sooooo devastated that we did not get to talk with Susannah. We read her blog, we know many of her friends, and we are sooooo jealous that she is going to China with Paul Chaney! But, truly, though we lament over the fact that time did not allow us to chat with Susannah, we recommend her book, and wish her Godspeed on her trip. And, we will NOT let this happen next year...
Susan Getgood: Marketing Roadmaps. See Susan write on Character blogs. Great insight. Some of the best advice we got at Blogher. But, better yet -- Susan drove Jane and little sister Maryanne around on Sunday, to the scary -- sort of -- Winchester Mansion (where Jane would like all to know, Mrs. Winchester still lives, though she is buried in Connecticut), and to lunch and to the airport. We had the most delightful time with Susan. Not only does she believe in the "good to give" principle (that what good you do will come back to you triple) but she practices it well. She was far more familiar with San Jose than we...hence, we put ourselves in her hands and we were mighty glad we did. We had such a super time! Susan, we can't wait to do it again! Only, here on the East Coast...maybe Boston? Thank you, thank you, for your kindness, for the fun, and for becoming a friend.
Blogher left us with the desire to have a T-shirt that says, "I think...therefore, I blog." Probably not original but...
What's not to like about that?