Last weekend, 2,500 bloggers gathered at the Hilton New York for BlogHer '10. I was one of them. As a food blogger, I knew I'd be in the minority at this general conference, so I wasn't really sure what to expect. Would the breakout sessions be useful for what I do? Would I be the only non-mommy blogger there? Would I do a better job taking photos and documenting this experience than I did at BlogHer Food?
In short: Yes, No, and No.
In general, I tend to find the conference experience somewhat overwhelming - and BlogHer '10 was no exception. So much to see, so much to do, so many people to meet; it all becomes a blur for me at some point. Hence, my continued inability to capture the experience in photos! I will, however, try to capture a bit of it in words.
Below, the highlights ...
The Top 6 Things I Learned at BlogHer '10:
- Community Counts. Meeting and connecting with other bloggers continues to be the highlight of any conference experience for me. I met Lindsey who writes about interior design; and Erica who writes about modern day manners. I met women who write about writing; and women who write about their daily lives. I met still others who blog for corporations, or private industry, and, naturally, those who write about their children. I met women who tell their stories in words, and those who speak through pictures. And most of all, I met my friend Mo Diva, whom I've been meaning to meet for ages now! We had a blast together! Yay!
- Writer's Block is Writer's Block, Across the Board. It doesn't matter if you're a food blogger or a free-verse poet, writer's block sucks. Shaking out of it can be difficult, and the session on Writing Inspiration: Stoking Your Creativity offered several good and useful suggestions for doing just that. Hit up the link for the live-blog transcript of the discussion.
- I Need a Better Camera ... And to Pay Attention While Taking My Pictures! And I'm working on that. I attended a really great photography session on day one, and have decided to bite the bullet and buy a DSLR and learn how to use it ... despite the fact that they terrify me. I've also learned that I need to do a better job of thinking before I snap the shot. It sounds silly when I read that back, but nevertheless, its true.
- Its OK to Love Your Small Blog. Blogging is work; hard work, sometimes. The bigger the blog, the more the work. I'm a small fish in a HUGE pond and I'm OK with that. Why? Because I sat in a room with hundreds of others like me and connected to what they said. You can read about it here.
- Never Underestimate the Power of Advil and a Really Comfy Pair of Flip-Flops. Dude, by the end of day one I was sore all over. Every part of me hurt. Hurt! The fact that I was laden with bags and bags of swag may have had something to do with it, or it could just be my age. I walked billions of miles in cute silver sandals on day one. Day two? Soft cushy flip-flops and Advil every 4 hours. Really. I mean it. I still haven't recovered.
Of course there's more, much more, but the hour grows late and this post grows long. I went, I saw, I learned, I connected ... and that's what conferences are all about - for me, at least. If you're reading this and you're a food blogger, I strongly suggest you make plans to attend BlogHer Food '10. I'll be there, and I can tell you from experience - its not to be missed. You might also choose to attend the Foodbuzz Blogger Festival. And, if you're lucky enough to have the time and the resources, by all means do both.
If you're reading this and you're a blogger of a different feather, make plans for BlogHer '11 in San Diego ... oh, and don't wear heels!