BlogHer09 is over. The conference weekend (was it only a weekend?) has come and gone, and now we’re each left to sift through the conference detrius that remains: programs, business cards, ads, coupons, swag, more swag, ads that came with swag, and memories. We’re each alone with our thoughts as the mania subsides. The “we” is over, at least for a time, and we must sit with the “I,” forming our afterthoughts, asking questions like, “What did I think of BlogHer? What did I get out of it, and who did I meet that I want to see/read/tweet with again?”
This is not that post for me. It’s still bouncing around inside, and I’m conflicted on so many topics. It was … different this year. It wasn’t the bigger expo hall, the sponsored lunches (complete with a giant pasta jar made out of vegetables), more company mascots (Ms. Potato Head, the SoBe lizard, and not one, but TWO All laundry fairies), the costumes (at BowlHer and SparkleCorn), the private swag parties (I didn’t go to any), or the mania that ensued.
The difference was twitter.
Last year, I was a laptop girl, dutifully setting it up in each conference panel, taking notes, bookmarking sites, contributing to wikis, and otherwise taking action on ideas real-time. This year, I left it at home (too heavy!) and brought my new iPhone. It changed things completely. Even thought I went to the same number of sessions (all of them), the same number of parties (the ones open to all), and met many of the same people (hello, you!), it was … different.
Here’s my top 5 list of how Twitter changed BlogHer, in no particular order (aside from the order I tweeted as I thought of them):
1. Tweeting key points made sessions more interactive.
2. By listening to #blogher09 backchannel, I could hear the best of other sessions too.
3. Party prep excitement was shared with everyone with Internet.
4. People heard exactly what they were being left out of … While it was happening.
5. What may have been intended as a whisper was broadcast worldwide.
Twitter enabled me to meet people I wouldn’t have found organically (by saying, hi! where are you standing? when shall we meet up?), but it also enabled a whole new level of disenchantment and rumors. Overall, I’d use a conference backchannel again — but I’d take it with many more grains of salt — and I’d force myself to wait longer before reacting or retweeting.
How did Twitter change your conference experience?