Announcing the BlogHer Buddy System, Brought to You by BlogHer's Official Communications Sponsor, Skype
At four weeks out from BlogHer '14, we know a lot of folks are just beginning to realize how close it is … and the usual conference-induced panic begins: Which sessions will I take? What will I pack? And, of course: Who will I know there?
Well, today we are launching an awesome way for you to know a lot more people! It's called the BlogHer Buddy System, and it is brought to you with the assistance and technology of our Official Communications Sponsor for BlogHer '14: Skype. We just announced their sponsorship today, and they have a lot of fun stuff planned, starting with this.
Why a BlogHer Buddy System?
The BlogHer Buddy System is designed to help attendees connect with one another before the conference and during the conference, and even stay in touch after the conference. It's meant to give you a lot more answers to that question: Who will I know there? We're connecting people based on identity and interests—even pop culture obsessions!
What is the BlogHer Buddy System?
The BlogHer Buddy System has two main components:
1. Chat Groups
Chat Groups connect you with other attendees who share your interests or life situations. You can use these Chat Groups for pre-conference chatter, to arrange to meet up in person at the conference, and to stay in touch post-conference. It's easy to shift from text-based chat to a voice or video call with a click. Sign up for as many Buddy System Chat Groups as you like.
2. Veteran-to-Newbie Mentorship
Sign up if this is your first BlogHer, and you have questions. Sign up if you're a veteran who knows the ropes and wants to help a newbie. We'll connect you into one-to-one pairs, so our first-timers can get their questions answered, and have a friendly face looking out for them at the conference.
How will the BlogHer Buddy System work?
Skype Chat will be the foundational tool we'll use to stay connected. It's a great fit, because you can stay in easy text-based chat, or shift to a voice or video call if desired. It works via laptop or mobile app. And your chat groups can live forever, so you can revive communicating with your groups any time (or drop out of groups, if that's what you prefer).
Another foundational element of the BlogHer Buddy System is a committee made up of volunteer veterans, who have advised us as we decided to grow the Buddy System out of all the various activities we've had for conference newbies over the years—from mixers to breakfasts. They will be present in the Group Chats and available as mentors, and will be helping out onsite as well. I can truly say that the Buddy System is enabled not only by our partner Skype, but by this committee of amazing volunteers, who will help us make sure all BlogHer Buddies are taken care of.
The Committee of Veteran Mentors:
- A'Driane Nieves from Butterfly Confessions
- Alexandra Rosas from Good Day Regular People
- Ananda Leeke from Digital Sisterhood
- Cecily Kellogg from Uppercase Woman
- Deb Rox from Deb on the Rocks
- Dresden Shumaker from Creating Motherhood
- Lizz Porter from Am I a Funny Girl
- Lauren Fleming from Queerie Bradshaw
- Mona Darling from Darling Propaganda
- Patricia Patton from Boomer Wizdom
- Pauline Campos from Aspiring Mama
- Sharon Greenthal from Empty House Full Mind
- Stacey Ferguson from Blogalicious
Thanks to every one of you!!
Sounds awesome. How do I start playing?
1. Sign up for Skype, if you're one of the few who haven't already!
2. Fill out this BlogHer Buddy System sign-up form. Tell us a bit about yourself, sign up for groups, volunteer to be a mentor, or raise your hand to be assigned a mentor. You'll need to share your Skype ID and accept an invite from a group master to be added to a group. (We'll identify ourselves, don't worry.)
Please note: You will get a Skype contact request from either me or another BlogHer staff member indicating we're from BlogHer. You have to accept the request for us to add you to Groups!! Thanks :)
3. We'll add you as quickly as we can, and you can start chatting! (And scheming for on-site shenanigans, if I'm not mistaken.)
What will happen on site at the conference?
We will once again do a Newbie Breakfast on Friday morning, and we will once again have a team of veterans who will attend. We will also ask our veterans to wear a sticker on their badges to indicate that they are there to help. Other than that, what happens on site is up to you, and what you cook up in the Group Chats!
That's the BlogHer Buddy System. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions.