My Last BlogHer09 Post

I see most of you as writers.   Good writers.   But few of you are as good as Tolstoy.  The main difference between you and Tolstoy is that Tolstoy would not dance with me at a party, or even return my email.   Blogging is writing + the addition of you returning my email.   I lose interest in blogs where I don’t have some sort of interaction with the author at least once a year.   BlogHer was special to me because it gave me an opportunity to do regular shit with other writers:  talk, drink, make fun of people, gossip — as well as discuss common writing and blogging issues.   For one weekend, you get the opportunity to break bread and eat Ragu-sponsored spaghetti with people you have never met in real life, but know so much about, from their marital issues, children’s quirks, and what type of vibrator they enjoy.

I was pretty impressed with the conference.  The organizers work their asses off trying to make this chaos work.  Every year, there are new dramas.  If you do some searching, you’ll find a lot of commentary about all the infamous swag bags and Nikon hating babies of BlogHer09. You’ll also see a lot of finger-pointing.   The influential PR bloggers will blame the greedy mommybloggers.   The mommybloggers will blame the party organizers.  The feminists will blame the homeschoolers.  Badges will now go up announcing a blogger’s integrity and kindness and allegiance.  None of this is surprising to me.  Everyone wants to transform the organization into their own image, like God did with Adam.

Can you see the real problem?  There is no one “woman blogger.”  Some are college professors.  Some are truckdrivers.  How do you get them all to feel happy at the same table?  It is impossible.

My friend became a rabbi after college.  He was always into spirituality.  He is now a rabbi at a synagogue in New Hampshire.  He tells me that his job deals less with religion than personal politics.  He has to please the Board of Directors who run the ship.  He has to juggle which wedding to attend when two congregants have an event on the same day.  He has to say nice things at the funeral of the town jerk.  If a congregation of 300 Jews have 300 views at one synagogue, imagine how hard it is to please so many women, black and white, rich and poor, at BlogHer.

If politics is an inevitable part of any organization, with different “tribes” fighting for their role at the table, I would like to push the writer-types to speak up a little more.  You shouldn’t let the others steal the blogging thunder away from your blogging world.  Writers should be center stage at a blogger’s conference, not those using blogging to sell things, or for self-promotion.   Creative female writers should try to force the organization to fit their own image… just like everyone else.   The personal is political.

Amy and I enjoyed doing our Storytelling Session (link to live-blogging of session), but I was surprised that the bulk of the sessions had little to do with writing.   Where is the writing at BlogHer?   Isn’t that what blogging is all about?  Writing?

Imagine a conference on the television industry.  All the writers and producers of all the network shows come together, from Judge Judy to The Simpsons to Entourage, to meet, network, and learn from each other.  Now imagine that 90% of the discussion is about the COMMERCIALS!  Advertisers are walking around, trying to interest you in product placement.  The most popular sessions are about getting corporate sponsors for you TV show.  When there are sessions about the TV shows, it is usually of the practical matter — “How will this show affect the children?”  “Should I include my real name on the credits or should I use a pseudonym?”

These are all interesting subjects, but this stuff should be the sideshow.  The WRITING should NOT be the sideshow at a blogging conference.  That’s why the community keynote is always the highlight of the event.  It is about the CONTENT… the bloggers…. the writing… about the reason we are blogging.

The other aspects of blogging are important, but they should accept their place as second class citizens in a writer’s medium.  Once you let the sponsors run the show, you get crappy TV shows.  That’s why we all watch HBO.

I’m not really complaining.  I had a great time.  I was honored to be allowed to do a room with Amy.  It was fun.   But when I read the fingerpointing about the swag bags and the greed and the sponsors, I shake my head and laugh, because no one seems to be looking at the big picture.  You get the conference you deserve.   If all the conference talk is about PR and marketing, or how to sell your book, etc. then that is what the conference is going to be about — PR and marketing.   Even the blog business cards were out of control.   The parties were too loud and focused on selling something.   I love commercials on TV, but I’m not sure that is what I want to talk about when I go to a television conference.  I want to talk about the creative content with the creative people.

And to do some dancing.

I hope this post doesn’t scare anyone off from going.  This weekend was one of the most interesting in my blogging career.  I would definitely go again.  In fact, I insist that all of you go to some sort of blogging conference at least once while blogging, just to jar you from the comfort of your living room.

I did a lot of running around, following people here and there, and I was exhausted by the end.  Next time, I would take things a little slower, trying to make more time with certain people, and creating an experience that is more suitable for my personality.  I was too much of a “Citizen of the Month” on my first trip, following all the rules, going to all the sessions and parties, and forgetting to make my own agenda.

Thanks for a great time.   It makes me want to eventually meet all of my blogging friends.

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77 Responses to My Last BlogHer09 Post

  1. abdpbt says:

    I totally agree, Neil. We need to have lots more about just plain old making your writing better, the craft of writing, genre issues, etc. etc. because that is really all we have in common. We all write. The rest of it is chaos.

  2. jess says:

    neil, your panel was amazing and really inspired me – so thanks for that.

  3. Stefanie says:

    I scanned through but there was absolutely no mention of my name. Something about commercials…blah blah blah…when are you going to realize it’s all about me? Neil? Neil? Are you still there?

  4. Kerry says:

    I would have been more likely to have gone if there was more about writing. That’s the area where I probably need the most help.

    I can figure out the ad stuff, but it’s a lot harder to figure out how to be a good writer.

  5. I agree… both about writing being center-stage and about every blogger going to a blogging conference once. Great post!

  6. Very sensible post.

  7. I would really like to go next year–I have had a blog at xanga for years and have added one at blogspot–but I am leery after reading some of the stuff posted on tweets. Thanks for your input.

  8. The best session I went to about writing? The humor panel. Yeah. It was hilarious, yes, but it also had the best actual writing technique.

    I don’t generally go to conferences to learn anything. I do all of my learning in the hallways when I learn about the people I spend so much time with online.

    For instance, I learned that you won’t talk to me as much in real life as you will online. (grumble grumble shin-kicking grumble)

  9. Marie says:

    Neil, it’s the same thing at other conferences like SXSWi & SXSWmusic. There’s little about the creative aspects that actually bring us there.

    Maybe that’s the agenda we should push. ;-)

    Nevertheless, enjoyed your posts & Tweets (speaking of which, please don’t leave Twitter).

  10. I loved your session, Neil. Even if it was the only one I managed to sneak into. ;) Still, it was a little frustrating how it seemed many people wanted to talk more about themselves and how to attract readers than about writing.. to me, if you write well, then your writing will do the job for you. It will bring you readers, it will bring you all that other hoopla that people seem to be after with their blogging.. whatever it is.

    I don’t know what it is.

    I blog so I can share my writing and get feedback and improve it. I figure that if my writing sucks, my readership will reflect that. And if it’s awesome? then my readership will reflect that! Right now? I’m somewhere along the lines of mediocre. So yeah, I’d rather go to a session on improving my writing rather than on.. whatever it was those other people were talking about… LOL.

    It was a pleasure meeting you and spending time with you last weekend. Dinner with you and Suzanne was definitely a highlight for my husband and I.

  11. witchypoo says:

    I believe there is a place for everyone at a conference. I tell stories, but don’t consider myself much of a writer. I hope I wouldn’t be excluded because of it. So far, I have never met another blogger in person, with the exception of those I knew before they began blogging. I think I would be as weirded out as you were.

  12. sizzle says:

    I felt similarly at my first BlogHer and was exhausted from being Sizzle Says and following all the “Rules.” I think that is why this time I had such a better experience. I just did what I wanted and hung out with the people I wanted to so I could have some quality time.

    I’m glad you went. It was good to hang out even if you did fall asleep on me and skip out on the party on Sunday. ;-)

    “Once you let the sponsors run the show, you get crappy TV shows. That’s why we all watch HBO.” = EXACTLY

  13. Heather says:

    You know what Neil? Even though I didn’t go to the conference, this SUMS. IT. UP. perfectly for me. I wanted to hear what people took away from it, in a blogging/writing sense.

    I am still up in the air about NYC. I will think about it. Truly think about it.

    I am VERY sad I didn’t get to meet you, honestly, it really bums me out.

  14. deb says:

    interesting… you and i had similar thoughts today. your post on the matter ended up better than mine. crap.

  15. Kerri Anne says:

    I like you.

    A hearty amen! to more about good, honest, solid writing, and less about who knows whom, and who’s starting drama, and who got the best, or most, free shit.

    I vote for three community keynotes next year.

  16. I was wondering what you experience was. You make an excellent point, and may have just verbalized why I’ve never been all that keen on going (except to meet bloggers. But now there are SO MANY…it seems overwhelming.)

    Anyway, great post.

  17. momtrolfreak says:

    Neil, you are the best. Totally agree with you. As I was sitting in the Storytelling session with you and Amy and BlackHockyJesus and Schmutzie, and was totally thrilled to be sitting with all these amazing writers in one room, I looked around and realized the room was only half full. I took a moment to tweet: “storytelling session is smallest at blogher by longshot. What, does writing well not get you free shit?” I coudln’t believe how few sessions there were on the CRAFT. Even the Blog to Book one (which I attended and enjoyed and found useful, I’m not dissing it, but) was more about marketing and getting discovered than about craft. There’s a “MommyBlogging” track and a “Business of You” track and a “Geek Lab” track–we need a WRITING/CRAFT track. Like, bad.

  18. Paris Parfait says:

    Oh you are so right about the focus not being on writing. I wasn’t at this conf, but I was at last year’s in San Francisco. And even the so-called writing sessions seemed geared to selling one’s work, not writing. The one writer who spoke had only compiled a group of other people’s writing; she hadn’t actually done any writing of her own. Yet she went on and on about herself, as though she were JK Rowling, leaving others on the panel – who actually had something to say, i.e. a literary agent and a published author – basically voiceless. I also noticed way too many people at sessions paying absolutely no attention – Twittering away – and it did seem many people were there either for the social aspects or the swag. Frankly, I was disappointed in the lack of focus and the whole conference seemed geared either towards Mommy bloggers or people who were just beginning blogging. And yes, advertisers were everywhere; tt was over-the-top! To me, it was the sidebar aspects – like-minded friends forming groups, having lunch and brunch outside BlogHer – that made it worthwhile. Otherwise, the event was a big disappointment and waste of time and money. Perhaps they improved this year; from your reports it sounds like it, a little bit. Still, I think they struggle with finding a common ground with so many different types of bloggers – many with short attention spans, who can’t or won’t sit through an entire session.

  19. ByJane says:

    “Now imagine that 90% of the discussion is about the COMMERCIALS!”

    I think that is what most of the discussion at those network meetings is about. This is capitalism, baby; the bottom line rules. All of which is to say that though I agree with you, I think you’re swimming against the Niagra here.

  20. Miss Grace says:

    They’re talking about doing a writing track next year, which would be very cool.

  21. sarawr says:

    I think this is the best post I’ve read about BlogHer’09. I didn’t go, but reading the tweets and entries during and after made it seem kind of like… not a blogging conference at all, but a marketing conference. And I’m not much interested in that, so I was wondering if trying to go next year would be worth it. You’ve given me a bit to think about.

  22. Poppy Buxom says:

    Word.

    See that? I can write. Sometimes I’m even Hemingway-esque.

    Do you think we’d get more respect if we pretended to be photobloggers?

  23. The pic of you at Sizzle’s is my favorite pic anywhere in the world. :) Cute, cute, cute.

    And also, I wish I could have heard your panel.

  24. Nope not much about writing. But I did learn how to pimp my blog until I am blue in the face, and something about optimization and making myself a media advocate….whatever. I was there to get my drink on and take a 3 day break from laundry anyway. So in that respect? It was a total success. I mean who the hell wants to LEARN and IMPROVE oneself when there is a BAR so near? Jeez………

    :)

  25. annettek says:

    I am so mad at myself for not making it to your session. I wanted to but in the back of my head was this doubt about being a good enough writer to even think about going to a session on storytelling. I swore I wouldn’t have angst at BlogHer and yet there it is.

  26. Angella says:

    It was great to finally meet you, Neil.

    Last year I went to every session and every event and was completely burnt out. That is why this year, I wandered outside a lot.

    (Which is probably why I didn’t chat with you more.)

    See you next year. xoxo

  27. alejna says:

    It was great to read this. I haven’t yet been to a BlogHer conference, but I hope to one of these days. It’s been really interesting to read the reports. I like your perspective on it. I hadn’t realized how much of the conference was so focused on the commercials, and not the actual blogging.

    Hope to meet you next year!

  28. Momsdaily says:

    Neil, I enjoyed reading your summary. I did not attend Blogher ’09, though I desperately wanted to if for no other reason than to catch up with Steph before she left for Africa- I have heard all the horror stories and was left wondering just what you questioned- shouldn’t the focus be on the writing? Don’t you think when the focus shifts from wanting to provide quality content that is authentic to wanting to grab sponsors and getting wrapped around stats that the focus and premise of blogging is lost? I am fairly new to blogging and have questioned if the arena is appropriate for me, then I realized that ofcourse it is- I enjoy writing- I am blessed to have a small and loyal following of readers and this is what it is about for me. See ya on twitter!
    Amelia

  29. Becky says:

    Very smart, Neil. I like the Big Picture View. The comedy panel did discuss the craft of writing. I forgot about that because I was laughing so damn hard. But, yes. I would love to see a “writing track” at the next conference. Yep … the first one didn’t scare me off. Hope to see you next time.

  30. Cara says:

    My favorite two sessions: daddyblogging and humor. (I’m sorry, I missed the storytelling one because of the Mamapop panel.) All of the other ones left me cold and bored. As did the keynotes other than the community one.

    So hear hear, MORE WRITING!

  31. sarah says:

    thank you, thank you, thank you!

    It was my first time at BlogHer and I think I was really expecting more of a writer’s conference than a business/marketing conference. Your session on blogging as storytelling was the most refreshing part of the entire weekend for me.

    I’m over my disappointment at all the how-to’s on pimping the blog and realized that perhaps my own expectations were askew. I’m choosing to focus on the positive. But I really hope that BlogHer10 hears this and gives writers more of a chance to share their thoughts and techniques on the craft of actually writing.

  32. flutter says:

    After talking to you, I wish I could have been in Chicago to meet you

  33. I wish I had made it to your storytelling session. My sister did and she loved it.

    I love your TV/commercial analogy. I so appreciate great writing and for me those are the blogs/posts that will get my attention over a give away any day. I agree. More focus on the craft of writing.

    I enjoyed meeting you, even if just briefly. Next year I’d love to chat more.

  34. Miguelina says:

    Yes! To a writing track! I have a lot to learn.

  35. Avitable says:

    I agree with you to some degree. But writing without the audience is a diary or a journal. The blog is a mesh between the writing and the audience, and while amazing writing with zero audience will never be a blog, shitty writing with a huge audience will be. It’s unfortunate, but it’s true.

  36. Finn says:

    *stands up and applauds* Yay for the writing!

    In a blog, that’s what will get me interested every time. If the writing sucks, I won’t be back to form the relationship.

  37. Kim says:

    Oh, this is a terrific post! It helps clarify some of the weird conflicting emotions I was having in the aftermath of the conference. Yes – I do want people to look at my blog, to read my writing. But what good is that if I can’t raise the level of my writing to be worth reading? So, I am just chiming in to the choir here.

    I admit that it feels bad to want so badly for people to read and feel like I have to sell myself, so I left feeling a little gross, but still overall happy to be given all this food for thought.

    And if I can come next year, you bet I will pace myself with the rapid-fire meet and greet and try to have longer, more substantive conversations with people.

    Loved your panel, thanks so much for having it.

  38. anymommy says:

    Me too on that last thought. I missed sitting down to chat with you and many others and I regret it. Otherwise, I had a great time. And in the few minutes we did talk, you made my day.

    I agree 1000%, if it’s not about meeting writers you love and writing better, it’s not about much.

  39. Briar says:

    I am so sad I missed your panel but had a hard time choosing between it and humor and found that room first. It was satisfyingly about craft and I read the liveblog of yours right away and saw how great it was, too. It does seem like the crowd is clamoring for the writing track so I am hopeful. Just for the record, I am fairly sure it was my idea first. I had it on Saturday night at 6:47. You?

    It was great to meet you very briefly. I was also being a good rule-follower and attending absolutely everything and I feel like I therefore missed… pretty much everything. Like making friends.

  40. Sounds interesting.

    It’s funny – when I started blogging I had absolutely NO IDEA of the kind of communities there were out there. And now that I do, it’s even more interesting to me to read about the politics and other things that seem to go along with it.

    All in all, I’m happy to be a part of this whole thing, even if it is as a small-time mommyblogger out there just looking to meet people and make connections.

  41. Teresa says:

    Good commentary. I talked about going to BlogHer with another blogger [we’re both writers] and we thought it might be too much. Like when we go to AWP and there is a three-floor book fair, and we feel like the entire 4 days could be spent there.

    Maybe there are other writers who feel similarly, and don’t tend to wade into big crowds.

    We do however enjoy reading the blogs of everybody we know who went.

    T.

  42. Kari says:

    You are one of the first people that I met in the lobby of the hotel after arriving at BlogHer. I thoroughly enjoyed your storytelling panel. I wanted to say thanks when I saw you at the Hamburger party, but you were talking to some other people at the time. Now I wish I had just stepped in for a moment.

    I like point you make in this post about writer-types speaking up and making the conference what we want.

  43. Gwen says:

    Hmmm. I’m not sure what I think about having the writers take back the night (and, uh, the days). Because the sad truth, as much as we are loathe to admit it, is that in blogland, good writing does not trump all. This isn’t to say that the most widely read blogs are not well written. But they are not the most widely read blogs because they are the best written blogs. They just aren’t. Other factors are at play–topic, the ability of the blogger to network and use social media, longevity, commitment, and good old fashioned luck.

    So the question is: what do the 1400 bloggers who come to BlogHer want? Do they want a wider readership? To improve their writing? To foster a community?

    My sense, from the last 2 conferences I’ve been at, is that the majority of bloggers want more readers and community. And I think both of those desires fed into the PR problems that some experienced this year. Because how can you feel like you belong? How can you get that sense of community?

    The obvious answer might be that you achieve that by finding a group of peeps you feel comfortable with and going from there. Except that bloggers seem, by nature, to be not the most socially adept creatures around. And they’re often painfully self-conscious, working in their heads so often. So perhaps making friends isn’t as easy for most attendees as it could be. And perhaps there’s always a question about how much and who is enough.

    How else, then, do you get that sense that you matter, that you are important? Perhaps by making sure you have all the things that the people whose blog lives you want have: like the invitations to the private parties; and the pretty bags; and the photos of you tongue kissing other bloggers on the dance floor.

    I guess I sort of think that people who really truly want to be better writers would do well to attend writing workshops and conferences, rather than BlogHer.

    But that’s just me. What do I know?

  44. Neil says:

    Gwen – I’m no saint. I am not calling for a more writer-oriented BlogHer because I am noble or an English major. I do it because I see how political everything has become, with different “tribes” wanting to control the agenda. I am being as selfish as everyone else. The marketers want the conference to be about marketing. The African-Americans want more attention on the women of color. The lesbian community wants to be heard. The mothers want to keep everything mother-related. Those who are interested in writing should speak up like everyone else. Why shouldn’t blogging be more about writing than selling? The more writer-focused blogging becomes, the MORE READERS come to me. It is in my own self-interest to promote this. If people become more interested in this stuff, they will be searching for “decent blog posts” in Google rather than “SEO.” And we win! I’ve completely lost any sense of the blogosphere being one unit, joined together in an online adventure. It is over. It has become like real life, or cable TV, with different sectors all fighting for attention and a piece of the pie. So why not? Who says that moms and PR people run the ship?

  45. 180/360 says:

    Blogging should be more about anything other than selling and advertising.

    Great post, Neil!

  46. Denise says:

    It’s funny to think Blogher was more of a trade show than a professional conference.

    With that said, if I attend Blogher, I would want to be a part of meaningful sessions to inspire me, inspire my creativity. The biggest impression that was left on me (from an outsiders perspective) after the smoke settled was definitely the power of the Keynote speakers. That makes me happy!

    Do you meet up regularly with bloggers in NYC, just out of curiosity? Because there is a ton of opportunity to do that where I live. Obviously it’s limited, but I do enjoy it.

  47. Kellyology says:

    I’m wit you. Though I’m chocking up a lot of my experience as “first-timer” experience. Next time I know what types of sessions I want to go to, and I think instead of trying to hit every party, I’ll hit only one or two and set up dinners or drinks ahead of time with people I really want to see. I don’t really care so much about the swag. Though the “Born to Blog” t-shirt has provided me with a lot of entertainment at home.

  48. SciFi Dad says:

    This is, without a doubt, the most believable account of BlogHer I have read, this year or any year. (See why I said in my last comment about that Wizard shit that I hoped you wrote another one? THIS is what I was waiting for, Neil.)

  49. 3boys1mommy says:

    I would have expected you writer types to be VIP, blowing past the velvet ropes, air kissing Tim Gunn with a Cosmo in hand. That would have been the correct thing, but know that I know that the numb nut mommies who tell stories with pictures get the special treatment I WILL SO BE THERE NEXT YEAR! ;-)

  50. Caitlinator says:

    I was just about to insist we get together immediately to ensure you continue reading my blog, and then I remembered that I haven’t written in it for like a month. I hope that doesn’t dissuade you from getting together eventually, though.

  51. Danny says:

    Fascinating and I loved the liveblogging of your session which sounded great. I think “blogging” has become an umbrella term for lots of different kinds of writing. I am so turned off by the idea of most of those BlogHer sessions that I can’t imagine attending a whole conference like that. On the other hand, I think you’d be very disappointed in any television conference which I’m sure would be all about the money angle, NOT the creative side of the business.

  52. Maria says:

    Hear hear. You said it all, Neil.

  53. I’m kicking myself for missing your session, just as I was kicking myself THAT DAY because I was lost and literally couldn’t find your session.

    Anyway, I love this post and would really have loved to hear more about WRITING.

    It was great meeting you, even briefly, minutes after I arrived, and still smelling of car funk.

  54. Chris says:

    What you described doesn’t appeal to me. I live close to Sundance and I enjoy walking around the grounds when workshops are taking place. Writers, directors, camera people, designers… they’re all so dedicated to their craft. Nothing false or commercial takes place.

    I think I’d be disappointed if I spent the money and took the time to attend BlogHer. I need help and mentoring with my writing. I also need time to talk, drink and dance with friends — a smaller more intimate group appeals to me for socializing. I would feel stressed trying to befriend hundreds of people in a short period of time. In the same breath, there are a few bloggers I would sincerely enjoy meeting in person. You’re one of them. :-)

    Maybe if BlogHer comes to Salt Lake City, I’ll lurk.

  55. Neil, I love this. I had some thoughts knocking around in my head about how people keep talking about the “mommybloggers”, while if one were to reference “The Indians” or “Those Catholics” with the same broad brush, there would be indignance. (Just making an analogy, not implying that Mommybloggers are “persecuted”.:)

    Your image of tribes at the table is apt, when the reasons for starting and goals for having a blog are as diverse as the people who start them, sometimes we are bound to be at odds. But I would hope that in the end, the common love of the written word would bind us.

    It was so amazing to look out at you and Maggie and Jon as I was mic wrangling my first session. You are some of the first voices I conected with through blogging, and it was amazing to see you all lined up, writers of thoughtful posts come to life before my eyes. I’m glad you came.:)

  56. muskrat says:

    Hi Neil- I enjoyed meeting you and “got” some good information from a couple of the sessions while not getting much usable information from others. I’m glad to see you offer your opinion and criticism, however, as I’m sure some of your readers have the influence to change future sessions’ content and focus.

  57. Karl says:

    This is my favorite BlogHer recap post thus far, dude. You’re spot on, particularly about getting the conference experience you deserve.

    Finally wrote my major recap here, and I apologize in advance.

    http://secondhandkarl.com/2009/07/paula-deen-bought-me-freaking-drinks-yawll-bitches/

  58. Headless Mom says:

    Gah! Just the conversation that I’ve been having with other bloggers! Let’s learn more!

    (Please put all of this in your survey that they send out to all the attendees! They really do look at the surveys to make up next year’s sessions and agenda. The more of us that do this the better.)

    And also? Sorry for scaring the shit out of you on Thursday afternoon. I really didn’t mean to pounce, I was just thrilled to finally meet you.

  59. Neil says:

    Headless — the founders of BlogHer are amazing women. I even include Elisa as my friend. But it is a business, and they adjust their focus depending on what their audience wants, just like a movie studio. If their audience wants action movies, they give it to ‘em. When women started going to to chick flicks, they started to make more. So, this is not to say BlogHer gets it wrong. They are a cool organization. But they are like that movie studio adjusting to their audience. And up until now, it is the PR and SEO people who have spoken louder.

  60. come to the beach for a vacation and spend some time at the piano bar with me. :) forget all those other women. of course, you have to put up with my piano player.

  61. Sugar Jones says:

    It’s great to get your perspective on this. You’re right… there’s always something. I think we all played a part in whatever experience we had.

    And who does one blame if they are both a feminist AND a homeschooler?

  62. Astacia says:

    next year, I’m just buying the party pass. I am going to sit in the lobby and talk to people all day.

  63. Okay, I am still reeling with the shock of discovering that one of my favorite bloggers—YOU—was on the elevator and I didn’t know. I didn’t have my name tag on and neither did you. *Sigh* Now that your profile pic has changed, prepare for a stalker (ME) at Blogher 2010, if you go.

  64. Momo Fali says:

    I just loved connecting with the people I have “known” for so long, but never met in person. I wish I had got a chance to sit down with you, but damn…it was a whirlwind!

  65. I’ve heard a ton of great things about the session you did. Did anyone videotape it by chance?

  66. brandon says:

    you know, you asked me a question and reading this may have helped me understand why it is that i keep disappearing. the sponsors and advertisements have never bothered me. large readerships, however, make me uncomfortable. and it’s not a social phobia. i LOVELOVE people in small portions. if there is a session next year on how to reduce traffic to your blog without appearing snobbish, i will show up and leave a tip.

  67. Loukia says:

    I hope you go next year, ’cause I want to meet you.

  68. Jen Lee says:

    Neil, The only sessions I attended were the Community Keynote and the session you & Amy did. I couldn’t figure out why so few of the offerings appealed to me, but you just put your finger on it. There was a surprising lack of conversation about writing. And honestly, I can do without the rest.

    Thank you for doing your part to make writing a part of the conversation this year, and for this urging to grow its roll in future events. Us writing folk too often are content to hang out in the back and watch. Now you have me thinking of ways I can do my part in the future…

  69. Diana Lee says:

    TPTB seem to have received the message about many of us wanting more discussion of writing & the craft of blogging. I’m hopeful we’ll see that in BlogHer 10.

  70. Aunt Becky says:

    This was precisely how I felt about BlogHer.

  71. Heather says:

    as someone who can’t get to bloging conferences this made good reading & it made me think about my own practices on both bloging and tweeting So, thanks from down under and the kiwitravelwriter

  72. kelly says:

    Change is in the air, my friend. I can feel it. I think you will definitely see more focus on writing at next year’s conference.

    I just write for me, do little networking, read what I want, and stay out of the mess that can be blogging. And people still find me, still read me. I still have community. And I’m happy. There is a better way to blog, I believe.

    Blogher was so amazing because I saw so many others who “get” it, you, Kate, Schmutzie, Maggie-just fine writers who I think elevate the whole notion of blog.

  73. mrsmogul says:

    Thanks for the update. I plan to go next year. My agenda is to have a good time so I hope it’ll be a nice city!

  74. Roflol
    There is no one “woman blogger.” Some are college professors. Some are truckdrivers…..:
    And they allowed you there?

  75. Mindy Harris says:

    Neil,
    Thanks for your insight and for recognizing the “meat” of why we’re here: to write. I aim to inspire and create humor for my readers. My blog is still young but I continue to write and to learn. I am debating going to the 2010 conference. If I go, I’d like to meet you.
    ~M

  76. kgirl says:

    Reading this two weeks before Blogher ’10, which I am attending and presenting at, is perfect. I loved your Wizard of Oz recap as much as the 101 people that commented and the 1000 more that didn’t, but this is the one that will centre me and help me take a deep breath and focus on why I really wanted to be there. And I promise you, I’ll be out on the dancefloor. Any dancefloor.

  77. Pingback: The End of the BlogHer 09 Recap Lists

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