I Didn't Find My Tribe at BlogHer '14
I found my village.
Seems that it has become pretty popular to write about, or talk about, finding one's "tribe." Finding a like-minded group to which to belong. A group that thinks in ways similar to you; or rallies around a cause or champions a segment of society. In the blogging world, seems a "tribe" can be expressed as "mom bloggers," or "food bloggers," "one-cause bloggers (i.e. breast cancer), or "women of ___" [certain ethnicity]. And there seems to be great value in this for those who belong to such.
At the BlogHer '14 conference in San Jose this past weekend there was a lot of talk about finding your tribe. There were speakers who reveled in the delight of having found their tribe and what it has meant to their lives. As I listened, I thought to myself, "That's cool."
But none of it seemed relevant to me.
I'm a "woman of a certain age" so I thought I'd take in the Boomer mini-con on the second day of the conference. As I stood outside the door I wondered, is this my tribe?
However, after only ten minutes it became clear that no, this was not my "tribe." In fact, it clarified for me the fact of this: I'm not looking for a tribe.
In reflecting on the conference, it occurs to me that I was always happiest in the grand ballroom during the meals and keynotes. I would sit in my spot and look around the large room at the couple thousand bloggers and writers. It was in this space, in this company that I felt included. That I felt I had a place. This indeed was a village of bloggers... writers, and it was here I felt at home.
To me, using the term "tribe," has within it an exclusivity feel. It also has a primitive societal feel to it. I don't see the 21st century blogosphere as being primitive. To the contrary I see it as being a template for future society: a place where everyone is invited to the table. This is true inclusiveness.
Seeing the BlogHer conference in terms of a "village" allowed me to take a deep breath and relax. I belong. It includes me, but doesn't label or pigeonhole me. I'm one of the houses [blogs] on a block in the village.
It also allowed me to relax about my own blog(s). I write about more than one thing. Maybe my words won't change the tide of foreign policy, but I do know that it has had positive impact on at least one person. And this is enough. By being a resident of the blogging village, I can pack up my pickup and move to a new block [topic] and still be part of the village.
Did I enjoy the BlogHer '14 conference? Immensely.
Linda C Smith, Artist and Writer