Laurie and Debbie say:
Beyond a doubt, Blogher ’06 was a superb event: well-run, attended by a wide variety of wonderful women from all walks of life, extremely informative, and really thought-provoking.
Friday was the tech day (which sold out before the “content day” did), and we learned more about what we should be doing, and how to interpret the results of what we are doing, than we have time to take in, let alone to act on. So we’ll be doing that in bits and pieces, and you’ll be seeing incremental improvements in the blog thanks to all the great presenters.
On Saturday, we went to an affinity group (“birds of a feather”) gathering on social change. Unfortunately, between having to get there and find each other and arrange our chairs, and how interesting everyone’s projects were, all we got to do was go around the circle and introduce ourselves, and talk just a little bit about how people felt about the sponsorship and the schwag.
After that, we went to a really excellent panel on identity and representation, which was as thoughtful and sophisticated as just about anything either of us have been to in the past–this was not your basic ethnicity 101 panel; instead it went much further down the road toward grappling with the big issues. The one thing it really needed was panelists whose issues included both gender/orientation and disability. Laurie spoke about aging, which seemed to mean a lot to other older bloggers in the audience (far too many of whom feel the need to keep their over-60 ages secret).
The other panel we went to was on “naked” blogging–in other words, the issues of how much of ourselves we reveal in our blogs and why or why not. Again, this was a superb panel, with lots of well-thought-out commentary from both panelists and audience.
Another truly fine thing about the convention was the fact that breakfast, lunch, and cocktail party snacks were provided both days. This not only helped with the convention expenses (which were high by our volunteer-run convention standards), it also provided many opportunities to get to know each other. What made this especially good was the wide variety of attendees: women from the corporate world, mommybloggers of all stripes, radical feminists, and many others (and, of course, lots of people who fit into more than one category). Groups of women this varied in background and experience are hard to find, and very exciting to be around.
The next day, badgerbag hosted an afterglow WoolfCamp in her living room, study, and front yard, with about twenty people, most (but not all) of whom had been at BlogHer. We debriefed the conference, ate lunch (another meal together!), did some tech refreshers, and then the two of us gave an impromptu body image workshop which was really fun (and well-received). We’re planning to do a weekend-long body-focused WoolfCamp in Santa Cruz sometime in the fall. Watch this space for details.
Then we fell asleep …