I’m baaack. In case you don’t know (and why would you since I didn’t say anything) I was one of 4490 women and 10 men who attended Blogher12. I was what was called a newbie, which means I’d never attended Blogher before. I have so many anecdotes and stories to share. I’m having trouble organizing my thoughts while there is one week’s worth of conference and New York related detritus spilling out all over my front hall. However, since I really enjoy blogging and I dis-enjoy cleaning up, I’ll do my best.
Blogher was pretty great if you like people, laughing, wine, vibrators, solutions for the menopausal woman, parties, stick-on fancy nails, reusable shopping bags, endless waits, and disposable penis rings. I like some of those things. Guess which ones. (Hint: I work from home and am by myself 90% of the day.)
I went with my momfaze partner and fellow mom of teens Randi Chapnik Myers. I’m not sure if she was appalled or mesmerized by my endless energy and ability to have fun wherever I am. I don’t really care because I love her and she says I smile all the time and that I look thin and that I am pretty. She’s my best friend.
I met tons of people, some I set out to meet, and some that I met accidentally (really, there are no accidents). I introduced myself everywhere-in the bathroom lineups, in the elevator lineups, in the food lineups, in the party lineups, in the taxi lineups. The lineups provided me endless opportunities for networking. I’m an optimist. Some people might have been pissed off by all of the queuing. Me? Thankful.
I always say a conference is successful if I learn three new things. Which I did. In fact, I learned more than three things.
I learned that when President Obama addresses me via a live video feed, I giggle in my Canuck red and white boots. That President knows how to talk to a woman (or 4500 of them).
I learned that Martha Stewart might possibly be as great as she thinks she is. Thoughts of stalking Martha after her lunch hour chat spun through my head, although since I didn’t have cupcakes like Two Broke Girls did, I restrained myself.
I learned that Katie Couric is one hot menopausal woman. She likes to spin and wear incredible shoes. The momfaze me was saddened when she mentioned raising teenagers and slitting her throat in one breath. But, other than that, she was pretty great. You can tweet her at @katieCouric. Tell her I sent you.
I learned from Pathfinder Keynote speaker Amy Jo Martin that to be great, I need to go rogue. Tweet her at @AmyJoMartin #TeamRenegade.
I learned all about SEO and how not to piss google off and which of my shoes do NOT give me blisters. I learned that to make your blog successful you need to have multiple channels (video, video, video, video), a clear vision for your brand, a knack for not pissing google off (see SEO), and a lot of chutzpah.
Since I was a newbie, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Now, since I’m an oldie, I have some tips for future attendees:
- Travel with a buddy. It goes unsaid that your buddy should be someone you like to spend time with, get along with, and who won’t care if you go shake your money maker all night when she doesn’t want to but who will be ready to order french fries and a fruit cup at 2 am when you come back to the room. If you go with a buddy, you’ll never feel alone. Which you can. Even in a crowd. Especially in a crowd.
- Mama plans, and Blogher laughs. Don’t make yourself crazy trying to live up to some schedule. Everything takes a while at Blogher, and if you get into a great convo with someone new, that’s time well spent. On the other hand, when you remember that you have headshots booked at 3:00 and it’s 2:55, don’t be surprised if your formerly best friend (see above) is irritated with you. I know, I know, not everyone blows like a gypsy (I think that came out wrong.)
- Don’t be shy. Everyone wants to meet you. At least, I do. Don’t be creeped out by overly friendly people who accost you in the bathroom and insist you’ll like their blog. It’s totally normal. At least that’s what I told security.
- Glitter, unicorns, glow necklaces, mini (albeit raw) hamburgers, music, wine. They bring people together. Even in the elevator, and especially when they slurringly tell you their life story and their bra size.
- If you’re not invited to a party, who cares. There’s always another party. And if there isn’t another party, then make one. There are endless opportunities to act silly at a blogging conference, but if you do let go, remember that it’s social media. Someone will make a video.
- Remember, when you travel, you run the risk of having your bags searched. Think carefully before taking three vibrators and a light purple cock ring.
I have so many more stories. Stay tuned tomorrow. And the next tomorrow. And, possibly, the tomorrow after that.
If you want to see the rest of my pics (because I’m too lazy to resize then insert into post), check me out on Facebook (you can add me as a friend. I’ll probably accept) or follow me on Instagram @chickymara.