BlogHer is a site for women bloggers. It was started by three women to be a resource for women bloggers (a huge percentage are mommy bloggers). Blog Her 11 was held in San Diego, CA which was so close, I could not miss the opportunity to be a part of it. I was a speaker at the Geek bar and for those that know me, you know I can talk about gaming all day if anyone wants to listen.
The conference is two days of panels with a small expo floor. It’s extremely difficult to find time to hit the expo floor. While not huge, there is a lot to see and learn about. One thing that I found unique is the huge amount of swag that is given out at Blog Her. Even outside the convention, companies invited bloggers out to various events where they received many freebies. Which is a tribute to the marketing power these women have.
One of the great things about Blog Her is the openness or welcome feeling from the attendees. I exchanged cards with many women who immediately sent a tweet to me and we continued the discussion all weekend. I do hope to continue to talk to them throughout the year and then meetup again at Blog Her next year. Not everyone had the same open attitude. There are a few women who would just hand a card and then walk away. Odd.
Let’s talk social anxiety for a minute. At “geek” conventions, I have never felt anxious. I may be shy at times, but I always feel comfortable in my environment. If I’m being honest, I do have to say that I felt anxious at BlogHer. Many of these women know each other, follow each other already or came with many women from their site. I was nervous that I wouldn’t have anything in common or have the ability to relate to the other attendees, but they surprised me. The women I spoke to had an honest interest in what I had to say and I was very interested by their projects too. The social anxiety came into play at the night events. I ate alone, I sat at a table, smiling at people, but looking at my iPhone like it could bring me a friend to rescue me. It wasn’t until SparkleCorn (party Friday night) that I let go of all my anxiety and danced. I danced and danced. It felt amazing to completely let go. From there, the social anxiety left or rather, I stopped caring. I wish I could say that from there I was a social butterfly, but I did come home instead of attending the parties Saturday night.
I am so incredibly proud that Blog Her held a Geek Bar on both days of the conference. I hear last year the Geek Bar was in a basement that no one went to. The attendance was better this year, but it was highly unorganized. Visitors had no idea what to do or where to go. I jumped in to help and explain the area. I spoke to CEO and co-founder Lisa Stone after the closing keynote about how amazing the convention was and hopefully I can help with the Geek Bar for many years to come.
Before Blog Her, some women warned of cliques and feeling of not belonging. But even though I knew only one person at the convention, I did feel like part of an amazing event. The pure amount of inspiration in the form of storytelling was amazing. Sure the panels could be a bit more organized, but the advice came from experience and a want to help others to succeed. Sadly, in the geek community, women tend to find reasons to put each other down. The competition aspect is intense and I think it can turn people away from wanting to associate with others. A travesty really. Because one thing I hear over and over at every Women’s Convention I go to is the sheer amount of power women have when they collaborate. That was evident in my encounters at BlogHer. While Gaming and comics may be foreign subjects to some bloggers, many spoke to me about what their site could do for us and how I can help them.
I now have a huge to do list from all the things I learned from Blog Her. Stuff I want to try and relationships I want to maintain. Hopefully over the next year I can bring a little of Blog Her to the gaming community and bring what makes GamingAngels special to the Blog Her community. ^_^
So who’s going with me to Blog Her 2012?