A report from BlogHer

We came, we spoke, we found an audience at BlogHer…although to be honest we weren’t if we would have any audience at all given the range and the variety of topics that the women here blog about. Some thought we were the anti-bloggers, others thought we were the edgy-bloggers… how interesting to be in a world of bloggers who had not heard the term “edublogging” and if they did…manydid not know what that might mean.

We were the 11 oclock “Edublogging” session in the Woodside Room, which was followed after lunch by the 1:30 session called “Let’s Talk About Sex.” Hmmmm, Toto, somehow I don’t think we are at Educause….

It was refeshing in many ways to NOT be surrounded by academics (although there were a few of them here, interspersed amongst the mommybloggers and the foodbloggers and the catbloggers and even the knittingbloggers). In fact, by Day 2 there were well over 700 people here. GeekyMom seemed to know who all of the celebs were, I just marvelled at being at a conference with 700 people. Sorry, but I do not think there are that many language lab directors on the planet.

A couple of thoughts as i get ready for the long plane ride home:

–it is really strange to be in an environment where the corporations are pitching their wares at you. Blogging has been picked up by corporate america’s radar (check out the sponsors that made BlogHer possible.. and yes, I know you wanted to ask this: we all received free condoms thanks to Trojan)

–it is also really pathetic to watch corporate america try and woo women bloggers, without really knowing what the heck these women bloggers (or men bloggers for that matter) actually did with these tools.

For example:

—->Johnson and Johnson is launching its own mommy blogging site to connect women. Er, 5 minutes with any one of the mommy bloggers that attended would tell you they have their connections, thank you, and don’t need J&J for this.

—–>Microsoft has a new blogging tool (Live Spaces) and has launched the interactive blog called Be Jane: the blog for women who are not afraid to take on home improvement. Check out their spokesmodels and tell me if you would trust either one of them with a circular saw in your living room. While they were doing their schtick in front of the audience, with matching outfits and, I believe, $200 suede pointy-toe boots, the live bloggers were tapping away furiously on their keyboards… a sure sign of controversy in the making. Same for the static bloggers too…For example: check out geekymom’s post entitled “Stab My Eyes Out With a Fork” 🙂

–blogging is an income stream for many of the bloggers that attended. There were many sessions on how to “monetize” your blog and how to make connections in order to get more traffic which in turn would produce more revenue. Fascinating stuff, when you think about it, but then when you see these women pouring out their souls about their lives and their hardships, I kinda wonder if the google ad in the sidebar is perhaps a bit misplaced. Social networking, creating communities, and revenue stream…hmmm…something is not quite right about this in my mind and I need to think about that a bit and blog about it later.

I have yet another long plane ride ahead of me (back to Maine I go!) but I wanted to get these thoughts out there before I go. Wish me luck on the redeye back home!

More later…

Barbara is a Lecturer in Hispanic Studies at a small liberal arts college in Maine. Rumor has it this was also her alma mater. She used to work for a small liberal arts college in the cornfields of Ohio for almost 20 years as a teacher and language center director. Prior to these adventures in higher ed she taught high school Spanish and loved it. She wishes she had more time in her life to play with her dogs, write, read, swim, do yoga things and making stuff out of clay. To see her online portfolio please click here!

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  1. Laura · July 31, 2006 Reply

    I think you captured the conference quite well. There’s the good, there’s the bad, and then there’s the downright creepy. Hope you made it home okay.

  2. Barbara · July 31, 2006 Reply

    Thanks Laura… am boarding the plane for Maine right now…Yeeha!


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