The report from BlogHer ’08

If you’ve been following my Twitter account over the past few days and weren’t a BlogHer ’08 attendee, you’re probably about ready to abandon me, either because you wanted to be there and are madly jealous, or because you couldn’t give a whit about the conference and you would prefer I stick to my regular Twitter diet of odd musings about my walking commute down Oakland’s mean streets.

Note to those of you in the former category: keep an eye on registration for next year, because the conference keeps getting better and better.

But, to appease those in the latter category, I promise that the BlogHer-related Tweets will careen to a halt, and that this will wrap up my formal coverage of BlogHer ’08 for the week. Or the month. Or some other time period as yet to be determined.

Regardless, the conference provided one of the best opportunities in women’s blogging to put faces with words, and to meet new bloggers who I had not yet stumbled across in my prodigious RSS feed reading. One can never have too many posts in one’s feed reader, I always say.

OK, I never say that. But this is the age of the Internet, so I’m at least trying to get that phrase into circulation. It’s better if you say it in a slightly snooty accent, by the way.

I did end up going with my tagline (“It’s amazing what I’ll do for a good tomato.”) for Kalyn’s Food Bloggers’ Birds of a Feather gathering. Others interpreted the 10-word assignment a little differently, either stringing together 10 random words or not following Kalyn’s guidelines at all, or, in the case of one hapless PR person, meandering through a pitch for whatever site she represented (it does not speak well of her pitch that I cannot remember what she was talking about…) until she got to about word 75 and Kalyn reminded her diplomatically and firmly of all the other people patiently waiting to speak.

Friday night featured a terrific dinner at R&G Lounge with a bevy of amazing food bloggers: Kathy of Panini Happy, Andrea of Andrea’s Recipes, Shuna of Eggbeater, Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen, Sean of Hedonia, Elise of Simply Recipes (Thanks for the mug, Elise!), Lydia of The Perfect Pantry, Sara of Ms. Adventures in Italy, Amy of Cooking with Amy, Claire of Cookthink (Thanks for the tea towel, Claire!), Jennifer Jeffrey and myself. If I forgot someone, which I hope I did not, bug me via comments and I’ll happily update.

On Saturday, I finally got to meet Deb Roby, who is a Home, Garden and DIY editor for BlogHer and who also blogs at A Stitch in Time and Weight for Deb. She hosted a Home, Garden and DIY Birds of a Feather gathering Saturday that ranged through a variety of topics from everyone’s secret resources to sustainable products for the home.

On Sunday, I hit the UnConference, which is a free-form event where the attendees determine the agenda and take the discussion in whatever direction works best for all the small groups of participants. The move to Oakland has spurred me on to taking a closer look at my blog and where it’s going in its next phase (It’s like a teenager, this blog, with its phases and its moodiness and its storming around from topic to topic…), and I just happened to stand up and call for a session on going through a blog brand transition at the same time that Diana, maven of Of The Princess And The Pea, stood up and requested the same thing. We combined forces and ran the session together, and for those of you who joined that discussion, I promise to have the notes up by the end of this coming weekend.

I wrapped up the UnConference by spending about 45 minutes chatting with the only other Genie I’ve ever met in person—Genie Alisa of In a Bottle. We started the conversation by talking about WordPress, but moved on to life, how we depict it on our respective blogs, and how that affects the people around us and our relationships with them.

It was just the kind of discussion that makes BlogHer so rewarding—from a common platform, women who didn’t even read each others’ work before the weekend began went home feeling that much more connected to a larger community of women trying to do just the same thing: Tell a story, raise a hand and ask a question that might change the way someone else thinks, and maybe even make the world—online and offline—a little more beautiful.

13 Responses to “The report from BlogHer ’08”

  1. 1 Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) July 21, 2008 at 11:36 pm

    Meeting you and so many wonderful food blogger friends at BlogHer was one of the highlights of the conference — I hope we’ll get many more food and gardening bloggers to join us there in 2009.

  2. 2 inadvertentgardener July 22, 2008 at 5:49 am

    Lydia, it was such a pleasure finally meeting you in person! I agree — I’m hoping for an even bigger, better gathering next year, wherever the conference lands.

  3. 3 ourfriendben July 22, 2008 at 6:35 am

    This is great, Genie—thanks for sharing the virtual BlogHer experience with us! I encounter BlogHer stuff every once in awhile—chiefly on the Future House Farm site—and have been curious. This helps!!!

  4. 4 inadvertentgardener July 22, 2008 at 7:13 am

    Ourfriendben, glad you enjoyed the report! It’s a great organization, and it’s amazing how much they pull off in a short conference — it’s intense!

  5. 5 Jennifer Jeffrey July 22, 2008 at 7:23 am

    Lovely meeting you over the weekend!

    Sounds like the UnConference was great – I simply had to get some downtime Sunday before a super busy week, so I didn’t make it.

    Fun to read about events of the weekend through different eyes.

    Keep up the great work.

  6. 6 inadvertentgardener July 22, 2008 at 7:33 am

    Jennifer! I knew if I was making a list I would inevitably leave someone off it — I’m incorrigible about that — so my apologies for not including you in the first pass. I chalk it up to posting while fighting a post-BlogHer cold…I probably should have taken a page from your book and spent Sunday chilling out rather than continuing to conference, but such is life. Thanks for stopping by, and I hope we’ll meet up in SF again soon!

  7. 7 PaniniKathy July 22, 2008 at 11:16 am

    It was so great to meet you, Genie! I’m definitely going to have to get to know this blog well…my gardening skills (if you can call them at) could stand to use a good amount of improvement :-)

  8. 8 inadvertentgardener July 23, 2008 at 7:57 am

    PaniniKathy, it was great to meet you, too — I look forward to getting to know paninis all that much better through your blog!

  9. 9 Tara Anderson July 24, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    Genie, it was wonderful meeting you at the Unconference on Sunday and talking blog transitions. I think I may have sold you on Lijit without realizing that you had a blog. Sorry about that, but as you probably already know, doesn’t allow you to install third-party javascript widgets, so using Lijit is not a possibility at this time. I’ll be sure to ping you when we have a workaround.

    Also, just wanted to share the good news that I’ll be moving soon into a place with a community garden and am hoping to improve my green thumb. Perhaps reading your blog more will help with that!

  10. 10 inadvertentgardener July 25, 2008 at 7:23 am

    Tara, no worries — we talked about my current blog host…and my potential upcoming transition. Keep an eye out! And keep me posted on how that community gardening is going. I’d love to hear about it.

  11. 11 Sara, Ms. Adventures in Italy July 25, 2008 at 7:31 am

    It was so nice to finally meet the face I see on Twitter every day! :)

  12. 12 inadvertentgardener July 25, 2008 at 8:20 am

    Sara, same here! I was so psyched to finally get to meet you. :-)

  1. 1 Notes from the UnConference « The Inadvertent Gardener Trackback on July 27, 2008 at 10:11 pm

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