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Rolling out the Welcome Mat

July 21, 2008

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.

  1. July 21, 2008 12:43 PM

    It was lovely meeting you at the conference this weekend. I too was struck by the many parallel experiences, and thought it was really magical.

  2. July 21, 2008 4:54 PM

    We met during the Friday morning speed dating (I THINK–don’t hold me to that, it was a whirlwind). I wasn’t referring to you in that post, and it wasn’t that anyone was mean about it (just confused) but I did spend most of Friday feeling like I needed to nail down a focus for my blog.

  3. July 21, 2008 6:26 PM

    Allison- so beautifully put. It was great to see you again at the conference. Amazing that it was only a year ago we met waiting for the shuttle in Chicago. Much luck with your upcoming travels and do keep in touch!

  4. July 22, 2008 11:47 AM

    Great to meet you at BlogHer. It is truly a moving experience to connect with so many amazing and talented women in one place at one time. Beyond our interest in blogging and photography, I see we share something else in common. Despite my southern accent, I’ll always be a Jersey girl at heart.

  5. July 22, 2008 10:46 PM

    Hi Allison! It’s Jess, I met you at BlogHer in the 20-something group and at the Macy’s party. Hope you had a safe trip back! Just wanted to stop by and say hi!

  6. July 26, 2008 7:14 AM

    Allison: I read the BlogHer article in the NYT. Nice coverage although the focus of the article is a bit frustrating for women. I’m sorry I did not make the conference. It would have been nice to meet all the blogging ladies of the world.

    If anyone wants to do BlogHer type meetings/meetups in NYC or thereabouts, please let me know.

    I’m actually on a deadline to complete my manuscript for my book that sold because of my blog (self-help, getting over breakups). I would love to exchange ideas with women about blogging and new media etc. (as soon as I finish the manuscript…due Sept 1!)

  7. July 26, 2008 9:44 PM

    Miss Grace: I think I remember you. I agree – so many people! I need to take Polaroids and write down people’s names.

    Caroline: Thanks! Will do. 🙂

    Stephanie: I completely agree. Can’t wait to reconnect soon.

    Jessica: Thanks for popping by. Great to meet you too!

    Susan: A BlogHer meetup in NYC would be great. If you ever arrange one, just let me know. I’ll be there! Please e-mail me about your book. I would love to hear about it.

  8. July 27, 2008 1:32 PM

    It is so true! It was great meeting you.


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