People were blogging about BlogHer yesterday. People were blogging about BlogHer AT BLOGHER! If I went with my instincts, I would be blogging about BlogHer a week from next Thursday at the earliest. I am WIPED. I keep waking up at 4 a.m. and wondering where the hell I am. I nearly started sobbing in the grocery store today when I couldn't find the plantains. I beam loonily at everyone I see and wonder why they don't seem to find me delightful like everyone in New York did.
There are a lot of reasons to go to BlogHer. Improving or Tightening-the-focus-of or Monetizing or Branding your blog are certainly among them, but they weren't among mine. I bought my ticket on a whim last summer when Marilyn said I didn't have to be 'more serious' about blogging to go to BlogHer, I could just go and hang out in New York with some girlfriends (and that she would room with me), and I consulted my husband and he was for it. After buying the ticket and booking the flight, I went into a kind of denial about the whole thing.
When I got to the conference and looked at the list of sessions, I felt a bit like I had missed the boat in a way. I wasn't sure if I should have done a little more research or thought a little more about what I could get out of the sessions. Some of them were pretty far beyond me. I decided not to sweat it and went to the two that really appealed to me, on the grounds of subject matter and people leading the discussion: Blogging for the Love of it with Bon Stewart, Alexandra Rosas and Dorothy Snarker; and Room of Your Own/ Blog2012 A Conversation with Schmutzie, Laurie White and Neil Kramer. Both sessions were wonderful - inspiring, moving, funny and completely enjoyable. I also went to all the keynotes and the opening and closing. I don't have a lot of experience with conferences and a lot of it was quite overwhelming, but also great, and new, and utterly different from my everyday life, and fabulous.
At the end of the conference, Marilyn and Amber asked if I felt like it was worth it and if I would go again. I was spacy and tired and we were in a loud room and I was rambling and she was squinting at me uncomprehendingly and finally I said I was trying to ask if they thought it was legitimate to go to BlogHer just because it's fun. I don't feel like my blogging life is revitalized now or anything, but the warmth and energy of that many people who are passionate about the same thing being in the same place is really quite something. Being able to meet and squish people I've only known online for months or years was fantastic. It turns out that people who are awesome on the internet tend to be awesome in real life - I like that this is something that I know now. So yes, I think even if I never got anything more out of future BlogHers than I got out of this one, I would go again. Because it was big glittery buckets of fun.
I loved the Katie Couric and Martha Stewart interviews, even though I've long had a faint knee-jerk dislike of Martha Stewart. Voices of the Year was amazing. I know what The Suniverse and Aurelia Cotta look like now. The Empress recognized me! (well, she said 'Biblio.....something, right? and that's GOOD ENOUGH, PEOPLE, it's the GODDAMNED EMPRESS!). I drank fabulous drinks on a Manhattan rooftop. I danced my ass off with Beach Mama (although it's somehow managed to find its way home, dammit). A gay man in Central Park said my hair was fabulous and he'd turned straight for the thirty seconds it took him to walk up to me (yes, he was collecting money for charity, but I'd only given him two dollars, so...)
It was great. I'm still processing. I'm so tired.