Monday, August 6, 2012

My BlogHer12 Report

I was one of 5,000+ people who just attended BlogHer12, August 3-4 in New York City.

For those of you who do not know what BlogHer is, it is an annual conference for women (and men) bloggers to meet in person to strengthen on-line friendships, as well as discuss common issues and challenges in the blogosphere. Additionally, it is an opportunity to make connections with PR and Brand representatives with an eye towards making money by blogging.

My purpose for attending the conference has been simply to meet bloggers like me (mid-life, childless, etc.) and pick up a few technical or creative tips for my very small blog. I haven't made money by blogging (much to The Husband's chagrin), mainly because I'm really not sure how to and because I don't want my blog to be one long commercial.

I attended BlogHer11 and was a bit disappointed by the results. But, I was determined to attend BlogHer12 with a different approach. However, as the conference date neared I thought seriously about giving away or selling my pass. Let's just say, when it was announced Katie Couric would be at the conference, it was the tipping point for me. I have a major girl crush on Katie!

Following was my schedule.
  • If the session name is in bold, click on it and you will be taken to the "live blogged" information from the session.
  • If you are on Twitter, search for the hashtag to see the conversation during the session.
Friday, August 3
Saturday, August 4
Note: All virtual conference posts can be found HERE.

Let me just say that I am not a rabid fan of Martha Stewart. I've never subscribed to her magazines, nor have I religiously watched her television shows. However, if I have had a random opportunity to read a magazine or watch a show, I will do so. Given this, please know that I thoroughly enjoyed her during the lunch keynote interview. She is obviously a very smart woman, and she came across as warm and funny. She's also very driven to learn new things and there seems to be nothing she won't try. She gifted all BlogHer12 attendees with free one year digital subscriptions to her four magazines. Looks like I'll be reading her now!

I also thoroughly enjoyed Katie's lunch keynote interview. She's warm, funny, gracious, hard working, smart and much more. I am looking forward to her new television show, where she wants to have "smart conversations" about important topics. We absolutely need more "smart conversations" that result in solutions for today's problems.

I left the conference with a different attitude about trying to make money on this blog. I think there are ways for me to stay true to myself and what I believe, while selectively taking advantage of opportunities to discuss products I may already use or begin to use. I came to this conclusion after listening to the discussions in the "Table for One" and "Blogging into MidLife" sessions. I may be older and I may be childless, but brands should be interested in me because I have more disposable income to spend and perhaps my blog readers are in the same situation.

I don't know if this will work out, but I'm going to explore the possibility. What do you think? Will you be turned off if I speak to you about products occasionally? (I will always tell you if it is a sponsored post.)

Lest you think I was all conference and no play in NYC, my next post will detail the fun I had with my sister. She is not a blogger and didn't attend the conference, but played in the streets of Manhattan by day until I was able to join her for evening fun!

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