Rolling out the Welcome Mat
To all the people who received my business card at BlogHer this past weekend and have decided to check out the URL scribbled at the bottom of my business cards, I say “thank you and welcome.” Pull up a chair, grab a cup of coffee and enjoy the ride.
Conferences are a whirlwind of activity because people try to fit in so much learning and socialization into just a few hours. Like my upcoming CWD Friends for Life conference, BlogHer conferences is the once-a-year opportunity when most of these bloggers are able to interact with their online friends face-to-face instead of monitor-to-monitor. While most bloggers, including myself, are fairly comfortable talking about intimate feelings and personal life stories in front of an entire audience, there is no replacing having a personal conversation, just the two of you.
One thing I found interesting were the similarities in opinions surrounding communities, language and the age old question of how to get more traffic that affect every blogger, no matter which niche they are in. It was also interesting to hear how blogging has helped people in almost identical ways – there really is something to this whole “baring your soul on the Internet” thing that has a way of changing someone’s life for the better, whether they are a mother, a tech geek or someone with a chronic illness like me.
It also reminded me once again that not everyone who reads my blog has diabetes. Whoops. Sorry about that, folks.
There were a few sessions that I plan on elaborating later, but unfortunately I have a mountain of work to attend to. That’s what happens when you leave the office for two days and are about to leave for another three days.
One thing I will say before I go:
Throughout the conference, several women shared some very personal, intimate stories from their life and how blogging helped save them and keep them from giving up on their life. While it was amazing to recognize the sheer good that can come from a complete stranger, it also made me appreciate even more the lasting friendships that I have made through my own blogging community. Although many of you I have not met and some that I don’t even know about, the power of blogging was tangible at this conference. Everyone at the conference was connected to someone else. No one was alone. Anyone who has ever been cynical about bloggers only being obnoxious, self-centered ranters standing on their soapboxes have obviously never been to BlogHer or met anyone who truly uses their blog as a gateway to support and friendship.