August 4, 2014
Here Is What I Learned at BlogHer '14
BlogHer '1 was a little over a week ago and it was an amazing experience, and I am so mad at myself for not getting this post up sooner -- life (and a crashed hard drive) got in the way. I have so much I want to share, but I can't seem to find a way to sum it all up into words that wouldn't equal a novel in length. So instead of showing you all of the pictures of the things I experienced (a cocktail demonstration done by Alie and Georgia, a meet & greet with Khloe Kardashian, an incredible keynote interview of Arianna Huffington to name a few) I'd like to tell you about some of the things I learned.
When you put a bunch of women (with not all that much in common) together in a room they'll befriend each other. I have never in my life met and had great conversations with more nice people than I did at BlogHer. Going into the conference I was worried I would have a hard time stepping outside my comfort zone and making connections, but it was a whole lot easier than I expected. All of the people were so nice and everyone wants to hear your story. I lost and was reunited with my phone by a group of fellow bloggers who had been tweeting about it in hopes of finding its owner (me!!). I think only a fellow blogger / social media addict would understand the seriousness of needing your wireless device at a conference like this.
Size Isn't Everything, Community IS. When you're at a conference as big as BlogHer you're meeting all sorts of new people at every turn. It is only natural that people want to gauge each other's following and size each other up, so people will ask, "Do you have a lot of followers?" This question makes me really uncomfortable, because I never know how to answer it. To me I have a lot, because four years ago I started with only my husband reading my blog and now there are people who come here each day to read and then comment on what I have to say -- that's huge to me!
I was so happy to sit in on the breakout session Blogging Fundamentals | Size Isn't Always Everything: The difference Between Page Views and Community and hear seasoned bloggers tell us to "Invest in the people who invest in you", which I think I already do. I'm not here just for the numbers, I'm here for connections, and now I can feel a little better about it. I've got something fun coming up that will help me get to know you better, too!
Sleep, The More The Better. Duh, right? I would totally love to sleep more, but I don't because I always feel like I have to get things done before the day is over. Hearing Arianna Huffington tell a room packed with women that her number one key to success is more sleep and that even God took the seventh day off was like getting the "okay" to let some things slide until tomorrow. Like this blog post, for example, that I have been meaning to write for days. I was sick with a bad cold / flu earlier last week and chose sleep (sleeping in when I could, napping when O naps and going to bed early) over writing -- and now I'm back to normal.
Someday People Will Search My Son's Name On the Internet. The subject of sharing our children's lives on the Internet and how it will impact them was a huge theme in the Deep Blogging | Mom Blogging: The Next 10 Years breakout session. They brought up how we decide just how much we want to share, and where to draw the line. How do you judge what is okay and what is not? I also met a very kind and talented woman, Amy, who writes Using Our Words. She explained to me why she doesn't use her childrens' full names on her blog and I've decided to start just referring to our little guy as O. You all already know his name, and people could easily find out his name with a little digging. My hope is that with a little editing and commitment I will be able to keep search engines from bringing people here who are looking for him in the future.
There is a whole bunch of other stuff I learned about some neat services that can be of use to bloggers (like the amazingly simple graphic design site Canva) and some wonderful tips from the speakers on the panel. I'm interested to see where BlogHer will be taking their conference next year and at this moment I think I may attend again if the location is right. It was really a great experience!