the writing and photography of Neil Kramer

A Room of My Own?

I mentioned that I am attending BlogHer, the woman’s blogging conference, for the first time this year in July. It is in Chicago. As I was reading through the conference agenda on their website, I noticed that besides the scheduled seminars, they have a sideshow titled “A Room of Your Own,” where participants can present their own focused topic in special sessions.

“Since BlogHer programmed panels typically feature universal topics discussed by diverse voices, the Room of Your Own sessions are the perfect place to dig deeper into any one corner of the blogosphere…its particular challenges, triumphs, concerns, issues. You can lead a discussion alone, or bring a panel of interesting speakers. There will be two full tracks (or 12 individual sessions) reserved for Room of Your Own sessions.”

Several of my blogging friends have submitted a session proposal, so go vote for them if it sounds interesting. They are all cool, smart people —

When Your Family is Your Blogstalker/Troll — SueBob

The Men of BlogHer — Avitable

Women and Humor — The Bloggess

How Much Info is TMI? — Miss Britt

Women of Color and Marketing — Heather B, Chookooloonks, and Mocha Momma

Long time readers of this blog know that I am obsessed with one day being a blogging big shot, to have all eyes on me, much like Indiana Jones was gazed upon by all the college girls in the opening scene in “Raiders of the Lost Ark” (if you don’t know the scene, it is right after the big action sequence, when he returns to his job as college professor).

Maybe this is my shot. To create my room of my own. But WTF would I talk about? WTF do I know? WTF is my specialty? WTF room would I like to attend myself?

I haven’t submitted it yet, but I am playing with this idea:

Topic: “Why Going to Blogging Conferences Could Be Dangerous To Your Creativity”

Most blogging advice that is presented at blogging conferences is about solving common problems. However, if everyone follows the same solutions, all of our blogs will become exactly the same, and the only true winner is the one who presented the advice.

That is why Jane Austen or Dante never went to a blogging conference.

This room is not about answers, but questions. Questions only you can answer for yourself. The more you question everything you hear at Blogher, and what you believe about “blogging,” the richer your blog and writing will become. Questioning what you hear will also better equip you for learning at a blogging conference. Rather than just consuming information, you will asking questions.

“What is your agenda? Why are you equipped to advise me? Why do I need more readers? How does this type of blogging help or hurt the community at large? Is obsessing over monetizing my blog smart or selfish? Are there ways to make blogging “fairer” and more inclusive? Is blogging really writing? How can I be nicer to others? Should I be nicer to others? Are you nice to others? Wouldn’t I be happier if I quit blogging?”

This room will present no answers. It will help you clarify you questions, make you more neurotic, and make you feel uneasy about your role in the blogging community.

And because of that, you will become a better blogger.

What do you think? Would only crazy people attend this?


  1. moosh in indy.

    Or you could just go and get really drunk and end up in all sorts of incriminating photos all over the internets and you’ll be a big deal in no time.
    Way less thinking involved. 😉

  2. Memarie Lane

    “WTF is my specialty?” I think you answered your own question there. WTF is your specialty.

  3. Jennifer H

    I would totally go to that. Wait. Question format. Would I go to that? Would it convince me to keep blogging or to stop? Does it matter? Was I a better blogger with red hair? Worse?

    I can’t stop. I hope you’re happy now. (I suspect you are.)

    (Thanks for making me Blog Crush Of the Day.) 🙂

  4. AnnieH

    Say what???? Where’s the “Room of Your Own” for Talking Penises? Or is that a top secret, undisclosed location?

  5. Avitable

    Yeah, what Moosh said!

  6. tmc

    How about doing something on using multiple media formats (twitter, FB, blog proper, flickr, etc) in different ways to draw an audience?

  7. Neil

    TMC — so I guess that means a thumbs down on the idea.

    Your topic is a really good topic, and would be a popular one. I might even attend that one. But honestly, that’s not something I do, or can claim any expertise. I go on Twitter mostly to talk to girls, not promote my blog.

    If anything, I would rather talk about how Twitter and Facebook screw up your blog and take your attention away from your writing and your mind distracted with word games. People are now so bored of me from these other formats, that I get LESS people reading my blog than before.

    I’m also a pretty bad promoter. I was embarrassed plugging the Christmas-Hanukkah concert so much on Facebook.

    So, I guess the only aspect of my blogging that I do well is that I flirt with women enough to get them to read my blog. But I’m not sure how that translates into an effective topic to present to a group of women at Blogher.

    Maybe I can give advice on “how to get men to come and read blog without you having to post nude photos of yourself.”

  8. Maura

    Sorry, I think I’d stay in my room, drinking and asking those questions, instead of going somewhere else to ask them among a bunch of strangers. 🙂

  9. Neil

    So, basically, only Jennifer is coming to my room. And she isn’t even going to BlogHer. And the only reason she said she would come to my room is because she is the Blog Crush of the Day. Well, I don’t give a shit. I will be presenting this seminar, even if no one shows up. Even if I don’t get picked to have a room. I will bring a long a little music stand and set it up on street directly across from the hotel entrance, and present this seminar to anyone who happens to be passing – taking my message directly to the people and not a bunch of snooty ass-kissing bloggers. The people will care. I will be taking it to the STREETS!

  10. Chris

    I would attend your seminar, especially if you’ll be playing music. I really like your Blog Crush of the Day.

    Take it to the STREETS, Neil! Do it!

  11. Jennifer H

    Um, Neil…If you could just add “conference” in front of room, I’d be in way less trouble later. K, thanks. 🙂

    ‘Course, now that you’re taking it to the streets, hand me a megaphone. I’ll embarrass myself with stupid questions for the cause. Mostly because you promised me money, though.

  12. kimberlee

    like i said at the other place, it sounds neurotic indeed. and you should prepare to defend your theory that neuroses makes better bloggers. of course if jenny were attending, i’d go to yours … cos jenny the b was my blog crush way before she was yours.

  13. Deb on the Rocks

    I’ll attend if you are dressing up as Jane Austen. I love a period piece.

    You could always just go to other panel sessions and mike-hog. That’s a great way to gain exposure and make your points..

  14. baroness von bloggenschtern

    Color me crazy – I would go.

    Of course, merely to validate that I am indeed neurotic and constantly feel ill at ease within the blogging community.

  15. Kanani

    I think it’s a very good one. I remember just four years ago, blogging was looked down upon by academia. Most didn’t even know what place blogging might hold for writers.
    And yet, books have been launched, writers have found followings, and blogging in of itself is a valid form of writing.

    But really, Neil, I think a bigger draw would be: “Everything You Didn’t Want To Know About Neil.”

  16. Miss Grace

    I’d go. I’m also crazy, so it’s a tough call.

  17. sizzle

    I’m just excited I get to hang out with you again. 🙂

  18. Mik

    Don’t you have to be crazy to blog anyway? Go have fun, cause a riot, I’d caution about letting the penis out to talk though!

  19. Miss Britt

    I will show up at any room with a boombox.

  20. Jenny, bloggess

    I’d attend.

    PS. Dante would TOTALLY go to a blogging conference.

  21. Diane Mandy

    If this made it, I would attend. Hilarious!

  22. Jozet at Halushki

    I still like our idea of staging a fist fight, possibly with some sawed chairs to break and some sugar-glass bottle crack over each other’s heads.

    Also, you should wear a tux and I will have a 3-foot beehive hairdo.

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