10 More Bloggers Share their BlogHer '13 Moments
What's the one thing I've been seeing time and time again in the recap posts from our BlogHer '13 attendees? Mention of connection in one way or another. Sometimes it's hard won. Sometimes it's a reminder that good people still exist. Sometimes it's about our readers, or our own family members, or ourselves and our writing. But connections were made this year.
Credit: BlogHer '13
Let's look at 10 more, shall we?
Elizabeth at E, Myself, and I learned about her writing, her blog and, yes, herself at the conference, writing what I have dubbed a "thank you note of love to her readers." (I think we should all do the same, really.)
Yes, I learned a lot about the blogging industry and felt both challenged and inspired by some of the "experts" in the field; but, more than anything else, I realized while I was there that I care a lot more about connecting with YOU than I do about connecting with big brands or big bloggers...
I know absolutely nothing about search engine optimization (and I really have no interest in learning it), I don't have an email newsletter for my blog (nor do I plan on starting one), and I'm pretty much doing Twitter and Facebook totally wrong.
BUT, despite all that (and maybe partly because of it), we've got a good thing going here.
Cecily Kellogg at Uppercase Woman got back to the heart of the matter this year: the storytelling. She shared her journey not only with years of conferences but also with blogging and life so that she could talk about why she's still writing.
Every blogger is a story teller. We might not share it all – trust me, as open as I can be online there is much I keep to myself – but whether you write about products, fashion, politics, feminism, sex, or like me, just your one small and beautiful life, you are a storyteller.
And BlogHer 13 reminded me, once again, about the power of story. Our stories as women bloggers are powerful, and I plan to keep on sharing mine here.
This year I was inspired. The International Activist winners talked about how they overcome some incredible challenges, and they do it with a smile on their faces. I hope that this blog sometimes makes a difference in someone's life, but I'm incredibly grateful it doesn't come at a high price. Hearing what those women do in the face of adversity made me want to do more. Far more.
For me, these stolen moments are the heart of the conference experience. I can plan anything. I’ll miss half of it. I always do. But the paths I’m meant to cross and the connections waiting to be made if I’m open to the opportunities as they present themselves? That’s why I go.
If it seemed like Heather St. Clair at Desperately Seeking Sanity was writing a lot while at the conference, you should know that it was her 16-year-old son, blogging for her! As if that's not cool enough on its own, they shared a moment in which he asked for her help. Collective "aww" now.
My heart sinks to my chest and I silence the call. He never calls. Ever.
So clearly, he must’ve wrecked the car and since he was taking all the kids out, they must all be dead and he can’t get ahold of the hunky hubs and how ironic will it be to get a call in the middle of the HUMOR session letting me know that my children are no more?
“Are you okay?” I text. Because clearly it wasn’t that important to excuse myself and answer the call that might change my life forever.
“Yea just need help blogging,” he replied.
"That's it?" my son asked, while stifling a yawn? "Bad photos, lousy Chinese food and hair sniffing a celebrity? That's what you do when you go away?"
"Well when you put it like that, Nash, sure. But it's more than that. It's about the connections I make with people. Meeting new faces, celebrating old friendships, making new ones. Learning and relating and having new experiences. That's what makes these trips so wonderful. Well that, and I won't lie, Queen Latifah's hair is worth sniffing."
I crossed the paths of thousands of bloggers in the last four days. I learned, I laughed, I felt like a tiny speck on the blogger spectrum and simultaneously empowered.
As women, as storytellers, as bloggers we are a tribe in ourselves creating a movement in society that reaches so much further than our little spaces of the interwebs.
Jasmine at Just Jasmine came to Chicago after a tragic loss. She almost didn't come. In coming, she was surrounded by love and held together by a larger community. (Trigger Warning: Suicide.)
Whatever I thought I knew about bloggers has transformed. There are so many narratives about bloggers. I’ve been guilty of painting bloggers, even identifying as one myself, with a broad brush. All that crumbled away in Chicago during Blogher 13. The bloggers of Blogher13 are a deeply human and loving collective, or maybe I just kept running into the right people.
Woman after woman healed me.
RoiAnn at Are You the Babysitter shared some honest moments on how the connection with other bloggers is sometimes a miss. It can feel lonely, defeating. But then she had that one moment that makes up for the rest.
"You know who we are?” She turns her chair towards me, eyes hot, and this is the most present I’ve been since I arrived. She is from the Bay Area, blogging for social change, and she wants to have a conversation.
“I DO know!” I tell her. With every fiber of my being, I feel it’s true. And we talk honestly, for a long time.
Katia at I Am the Milk went on to share about the connections, the tribes, and the support in the conference space.
Forget the female cattiness clichés. When there’s 5000 of us sharing a space, including so many newbies, so many introverts stepping outside of their keyboard comfort zone we get our shit together and shape up and all of a sudden you see support, everywhere you look. It seeps through the words of the presenters sharing their knowledge, tips and personal stories of success during sessions. Support bumps into you unexpectedly and punches you in the throat when you ask someone you meet in the hallway to take a picture of you with your tribe and they sure do, but they also tell you everything you needed to know about self publishing and setting up Google alerts and you realize that it’s actually Kim and Jen whom you’ve been reading! Support radiates from newly created and web-generated friendships, when women you’ve been blog friends with perform little acts of kindness, like waiting for you at the door to a large conference hall so you don’t get lost, like taking your photos during a special moment, tagging and posting them, like sharing their own private experiences and a bag of snacks to soothe your tummy and soul, like telling you about the swag you can get for your kids and leading you to the exact stand where you’d find it, losing their cell phone in the process, like talking you up to another blogger, like telling you you look nice at a time when it’s really REALLY crucial to look nice.
Now I want to write a letter to my readers to thank them... for everything.
We still have one more round-up post of your written recaps coming. We chose to postpone this one due to the massive blog host outage on Friday. We already shared 10 other bloggers and their experiences. We're still reading all of what you've written, so feel free to leave a link to your recap post below!
Also, if you haven't done so already, check out the liveblog transcripts of our sessions or the sneak peek of our official photos. We'll be adding more photos soon! We will also be featuring member posts of conference posts here on site through this week; don't forget that you can always post on BlogHer.com! All this is to say that we're working to bring you the best post-conference experience ever, so keep tuning in and engaging!