For me, BlogHer was all about meeting amazing women and making connections. There are so many of us out here in the blogosphere (What, are there 60,000 blogging women out there? 600,000? Nope 36 million women read and/or write blogs today) — BlogHer reports that, across the country, about 12% of all adults blog, 13% of women blog, and 15% of moms blog — that the sheer numbers out there can be overwhelming.
Collecting 1000 of us into one hotel conference center was quite a feat.
I feel so lucky to have met so very many amazing women this weekend, and I want to introduce you to them all. I’ll never remember everyone, but here’s my best shot at it. It was a fabulous weekend.
First, my DC Metro Moms peeps. Stimey (the most awesomest roommate ever), Jessica (who is a big ball of sunshine and a great friend), Tech Savvy Mama (oh, so savvy), Kristin (my co-conspirator), Sandie (who has a baby that I just adored so much I almost walked away with him), Amie (you almost made me cry!), Kimberly (who totally made me feel welcome at the party), Devra (WHAT were you taking video for again?), PunditMom (who represents us well), Lawyer Mama (who took care of my best friend before the conference even began), Sarah (who always makes me laugh), and Andrea (what floor was that party on again?). You all are AWESOME, and I could spend the weekend with you anytime. Like, say, on THIS coast next time. Then, the ladies down the street who I had to travel to San Francisco to meet and/or eat with: Mel (our BlogHer hero!), KC (who writes a new blog called MothersInMedicine, so you know we’re kindred spirits), Jeannine from PBS (who hooked me — and everyone else — up with a thumb drive with kid games on it), Jen Lemen (I can’t say enough good things about her and Odette)…
The women I traveled with on the bus to Guy’s party included Jess, Kristin, Aimee Greeblemonkey, Nancy (a travel writer), Nancy from Marie Millard, Jennster, Average Jane, Bossy, and Dana from The Dana Files; women I met there included Her Bad Mother (with baby), Mothergoosemouse (ditto) Kristen from Motherhood Uncensored (thankfully not quite with baby yet), The Blogess (with wine), Kari from the Karianna Spectrum (with toys), Sarcastic Journalist/Simple Family (with wisecracks), Gwen Bell (with shoes, oh, with shoes), Elizabeth from Table for Five (with smiles and laughter), Erin, Queen of Spain, who helped me enjoy Blogher in Second Life last year, … and of course I brought our friend Kelley with me.
The SVMoms crowd, which was awesome and lovely and huggy and happy to party at a nightclub/playground, complete with slide, and can be found here with something new every single day of the week. I was happy to meet Beth B, Jill Asher, tons of new bloggers from NY, NJ, and LA, cool chicks from Chicago and Silicon Valley, and some great friends from the DC Moms crowd. It was my first time meeting most of these women in person, but it felt like a great big reunion. I may have hugged Kim. And Linsey. Actually, I know I hugged them. I may have hugged the slide.
At the People’s Party, I met ever so many more women who I’ve read and loved reading for years, and it was absolutely amazing, but it was also dark and I don’t think we exchanged cards. I was all ready for a video shout-out to my blog-friends-at-home Robin, Bon, Kelley, and the Mothers with Cancer, but the video didn’t work. Instead, I met people from the hallways to the lobby and back up the elevators, and had an absolutely fantastic time.
Somewhere in all of this we had a speakers’ session, where we all introduced ourselves and asked questions about the agenda and the approach that the organizers would like us to take (hint: interactive was a MUST; panelists were instructed to keep their comments short and sweet and to maximize participation from the audience). This was my first brush with the other speakers, and it was absolutely incredible. In one session, I met the enthusiastic Mel from Stirrup Queens, Lindsay from Suburban Turmoil, the incredible Polly Pagenhart and her kid, Mocha Momma, Nicole Simon from Germany, Adrienne George who blogs from Sweeden, Tracee Sioux (Empowering Girls!), inspiring Shannon from Rocks In My Dryer, and my fellow panelists, Flutter, LoveBabz, Laurie Kingston, not to mention Elise, Jory, and Lisa.
And that was before the conference began.
There’s a video up of the first panel I attended, Mommyblogging as a Radical act. Yes, the whole session WAS that exciting. I quickly lost track of who I met when, but here’s a list of so many others who I met over the next couple days, talked with, exchanged cards, and truly enjoyed meeting. Welcome home, ladies, and I look forward to talking with you more over the coming months. In no particular order, and in addition to those I mentioned here and in the other BlogHer post, here is a list of the women I spent last weekend talking, eating, drinking, and hatching plans with.
Amy Mueller, Shallow Gal, Nina, Kate from Ahead of the Wave, Kimberly Schrock (“Professional Mom and Blogger” says her card — how cool is that?), Momocrats Glennia and Jaelithe, Nonlinear Girl (I finally heard WHY!), Shannon Renee, Debbie from Delicious Baby (“making travel with kids fun”), Dawn, mod*mom, Lori, A Cowboy’s Wife, Julie Pippert (who writes the beautiful Using My Words), Amber from Capessa, Parentopia‘s Aviva, Susan from Friday Playdate (who totally complimented me on my outfit — twice!), Meagan Francis, Michelle from Scribbit, Janice Bossex, who cooks and writes about it, Kellan from On the Upside, Susan Etlinger, Ellen Gerstein and her colleagues, Shmutzie, who is a blast on Twitter, Mindi Lawrence from Quiddities, Li from Search Marketing Gurus, Mrs. Flinger, Workout Mommy, Denise from BlogHer and Flamingo House Happenings, Jeremy from Boingo, Momomatic, Rose, Karen, Autism Vox, Andrea Scher from Superhero Designs, Stephanie Klein, Heather Jacobson, Don Mills Diva (love her!), Bobbie Sue from Blooming YaYa, the Weird Girl (who looks just like her caricature), Mom 101 (who doesn’t), Janice from Cooking with the Moms (I’m so sorry, but I just wouldn’t know what to do with a cookbook), cookthink (ditto, but the tea towel was a fun idea), PastaQueen Jeanette (who is wonderfully gentle and funny and has a new book out), Nina Stern, Sonja Thompson, Corinna from A Celebration of Curves (gutsy and inspiring, that one!), Julio Vasconcellos from the Experience Project (okay, not a woman, but he gets points for outreach), Tina Tran and Linda Sherman from Empowher, Amanda from Scholastic (she chose the books I won from Tech Savvy Mama’s blog last week — and they were perfect!), Paul Young and his mum Cate, Lindsay Lebresco from Graco (who is always sincere), Kyran from Notes to Self (who blogs and moderates with poise) … Sweetney, Rita from Surrender Dorothy, Stefania from Citimama, Doug, the Laid Off Dad, Fussy, Finslippy, Amalah, Not Calm Jennifer, Mommy Needs Coffee, and Jenny from Three Kid Circus, if you count meeting them while standing in line for a book signing … and the list goes on and on.
I fell in love with Christina from A Mommy Story, Victoria from Vdog and Little Man, JCK, Karen from Chookooloonks (but who didn’t?), Plain Jane Mom, and Liz Henry. Liz is amazing and fun, and we had a great time at the cocktail party at Ruby Skye. I totally didn’t want to stop talking with her and her mom (my kingdom for a link! Sorry, Liz’s mom.).
And of course I loved meeting my old and treasured friends Maggie from Magpie Musing, Nancy from Marie Millard, Slouching Mom, Mary from Owlhaven (I may have squealed in joy), Lori from Spinning Yellow, and my bestest friend in the whole wide world, Canape from Don’t Take the Repeats, Canape’s mom, and baby Bird.
The post just wouldn’t be complete, long though it is, without a list of my unconference peeps, who inspired me at the Using our Powers for Good and Group Blogging sessions: Julia and Joanna from Idealist, Janice from 5 Minutes for Mom, Marnie Webb from NetSquared, Sarah at Findable Blogs, Katelin who writes Gorgeous Footprints in the Sand, thoughtful Tre, giggly Ayelet, inspiring Beth Kantor, Leslie Bradshaw and friends, who I ate lunch with, and more.
I think I hugged fully half of them.
(And you know what else? Each one — and each exhibitor — walked away with a Mothers With Cancer business card. I hope they’ll never need it, but you never know who’s got a friend who needs one…. )
Not sick of reading about BlogHer yet? Check out this article in Sunday’s New York Times (that’s me, Tech Savvy Mama, Stimey, and Jessica in the background!), and my review post on the swag, much of which got recycled at the Zwaggle suite, and the rest of which is strewn about the playroom floor. Ahem.