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Where I recap blogher far too quickly

by John on August 6th, 2012

After this weekend, my mind is one crazy maze of post ideas . . . but before I can start converting those ideas from a random firing synapses to words, I wanted to give a quick run-down of my time this weekend (note that I’m saying “quick run down,” but I’ll probably have written several thousand words by the time I’m done) in the best way that I know how . . . bullet points!

Before I start, though, it was awesome. Truly, I had a great time. Not perfect, but it was wonderful.

  • I cannot believe that I didn’t recognize Jessica at first sight. She looks just like her avatar (which is gorgeous, as is she). I’m blaming the fact that I had just gotten to the conference and my mind was all a jumble from trying to get myself situated.
  • Duffy and I arrived earlier than expected, but after registration had closed for Friday. I was afraid, at first, that we would have trouble getting into the events, but my willingness to show the receipt on my phone was all the people checking the badges needed. And, I managed to steal drink tickets from some of the more popular bloggers about.
  • That Kit was giving out her own swag was amazeballs. Also, her and Jen‘s suggestion (which was made to me, and therefore has little chance on making this a reality, but I’m posting it here, just to get more people to see it) that there be quiet places to get together (breakout rooms, possibly?), if turned into reality, would make the conference far better.
  • Trying to meet up with people during an open mic performance wasn’t a great idea, especially when one of the people was, to that point, anonymous. But round after round of text messages paid off, and I got to meet The Suniverse. You bloggers who couldn’t be at the conference need to be very, very jealous.
  • About the Listen to Your Mother open mic, well . . . it was an open mic, so you really don’t know what you’re going to get. Blogher, for the most part, is an incredibly supportive environment. I can imagine that standing up in a roomful of people and telling your story is empowering. But, well, when you have an open mic, sometimes you’ll end up with a professional-quality entertainer who is just looking to get in front of a crowd, and sometimes you’ll end up with someone who is still figuring out their act. The latter is, sometimes, a bit different to sit through (but it really is remarkable to watch someone “get it” as they go along.)
  • There are some bloggers that you read and you just know that you’d have a great time, in person, with them, and then you meet someone like Megan and you realize that you like them even more in person than you do on their blog. Only, until that very moment, the thought that liking them more than you already liked them was an impossible thought.
  • The Empress and Tracy are the benchmark for how I shall define elegant from this point forward.
  • I’m still catching my breath just trying to wrap my mind around the force of nature that is Vicki. The girl can party. And party. And party. And still come back for more. I’d be half dead and cranky and bitching that I needed sleep, all of the time, if I had attempted one-tenth of what she did this past weekend.
  • I’m horrible at remembering who I’ve met while I’m drinking . . . yet, my brain manages to process that I’ve met such and such a person . . . it just sucks to say “you look familiar” to someone and then be informed that I had spent an hour, the previous night, discussing how unicorn imagery has shaped children’s literature with that person who now only “looked familiar.” I felt like a douchebag on more than a few occasions because communications between drunken memories & sober consciousness aren’t always clear.
  • While I loved the parties, and I truly did, my favorite moments were sneaking away to the bar, outside of the conference-proper, and actually having conversations. The problem here was that you had to completely remove yourself from the conference to do this, so a chance “oh, hey I know you” moment was minimized (again, maybe breakout rooms?). Some of my biggest smiles were smiled (aside from the look of comprehension on Megan‘s face when she realized that Sparklecorn was a combination of sparkle & unicorn) during quiet group conversations where we weren’t forced to yell at each other over a heavy bass beat (though, Vicki‘s voice was a wonderful shade of lusty at the end of the conference because of the yelling and drinking).
  • I feel like I should have known this beforehand (especially since the home page of her blog mentions it), but I was completely knocked off-center by Nicole‘s accent. When you add the accent to her looks — well By Word of Mouth Musings should include a lot more vlogs. Many more vlogs.
  • I would have said a blogging fashion show wasn’t really my cup of tea, but I was really, really impressed with the BlogHer fashion show — just women being awesome, some dogs being just as awesome (there were actual canines, wearing costumes, in the show, not that I would call any blogger a dog . . . well, I might call a blogger a bitch, and that’s a female dog, but I’m going off on a huge tangent that I don’t know where it will lead, so I’ll just stop myself now) was a spectacle worth seeing. Seriously, I went into the fashion show because it was a convenient way to pass the time between two parties where I could rest my ankle, and it ended up being one of the highlights of the weekend.
  • Speaking of my ankle, walking miles on a bum wheel sucked — but it’s amazing just how motivated I am to walk, when ever step hurts, when there are bloggers I love at the end of the journey.
  • Despite having numerous methods of contact, texting was the easiest way to keep in touch . . . meaning that it sucked to not be able to text the Canadian contingent. But getting a chance to hug (and steal drink tickets) from Kristin and Brandy sure was epic.
  • It should come as a surprise to no one that Kelly is an absolute sweetheart who blushes when she speaks and is absolutely adorable.
  • I was pleasantly surprised by the vendor expo. Perhaps I was a bit jaded by IT vendor exhibitions, but I wasn’t expecting much, so I was very glad when things turned out to be quite fun. With rare exception, the vendors manning the booths were able to just let me browse about, all aloof-like, only pressing me when they saw curiosity on my face. Though I feel gypped that there were no flash drives1.
  • I’m giving the best swag award (aside from Kit’s wine glasses) to Eden’s Fantasy. Everybody seemed to be talking about the Trojan vibrators, but Eden’s Fantasy gave out bullet vibes, a tote bag (though tote bags were everywhere), and a cock ring. And, really, can one ever have enough cock rings in their life? Plus, the Eden’s Fantasy girls were talking about public nudity and body art and accidental cootie flashes while the Trojan girls were keeping the party line of discussing the fact that women masturbate. However, I think the Trojan vibrators deserve another mention. I think it’s a very, very good step that it’s becoming acceptable to state that women have clitorises (clitorii?) and might enjoy sex. I mean, fuck, the new Trojan vibrator is sold at drug stores – and I think that is a very, very good thing.
  • I only went to one session (see, I had purchased the expo & party pass, so I wasn’t actually invited to any sessions, but I found a way around that), to visit the lovely Kir. And, while I’d like to head to BlogHers in the future, I’m not sure I’d change my approach, and only buy the expo pass in future years. From talking to other people, it seemed that the technical talk was on the basic side — basically, to show the people that have only ever written content for their blog that stuff on the design side doesn’t have to be scary. While this blog is nowhere near where I want it to be (be it visually or from a content-delivery perspective), that’s from lack of effort on my part, not lack of know-how. I have zero intention of ever monetizing this blog (in a perfect world, I’d sell an ad or two that would recoup my costs, but my costs are pretty minimal). The sex blog discussion might have held my attention (just because I’m really giving serious thought to attempting to publish some of my erotic fiction), but I already know the pratfalls of being labeled as a smut dealer, and the next steps require effort on my part, not education. In short, many of the things that you’d go to a blog conference for, at least at present, I feel that I already know. But, I don’t know – maybe I should resurrect #TechieTuesday and see if I can get invited to be a panelist at a future convention.
  • Speaking of my sex blog, I was all drunk when I finally got to meet Rachel and realized that, even when drunk, it’s quite awkward to say “I write the sexy3” to a person you’re seeing face-to-face for the first time (though, thanks to her and Jessica, I can’t shake the thought that every California blogger is blond, collected, and drop dead gorgeous . . . and yes, I know that I spoke to other California bloggers who were brunette & drop-dead-gorgeous, but see previous comments about drunk me not speaking to sober me, thus turning me into a douchebag).
  • I did not take enough pictures, at all. See, I spent most of my time searching out conversation. I wanted to meet the people whose voices I had known and actually chat with them. I wanted to meet new people that I had not known existed. In short, I wanted to network — to make the ties that I already had stronger, and to make my net bigger. And I think I did that, quite well. Taking pictures would have taken time away from that . . . but, that would have been a minimal loss, and I’d have had pictures at the end! But, I did stop to have my picture taken with an unusually large spoon at the Dannon yogurt booth (I needed the Dannon yogurt booth, as they were located right next to the Kikkoman Soy Sauce booth, and the Kikkoman Soy Sauce booth gave out soy sauce ice cream samples . . . so I needed a new taste in my mouth, quickly, because the ice cream? it was not very good)
  • Me, holding a gigantic spoon

  • I was very, very glad that I went out at the last minute and had business cards made. I still have a 2″ stack of cards to go through.
  • I admit that it really feels good when someone says they like your blog, especially when you didn’t know they were a reader. So when Kate came out of the blue & said just that, well, I might have blushed a bit.
  • There is absolutely no difference between the way the Librarians (Bitchy & Wine) are on twitter and in real life. The amount of sexually infused snark was wonderfully refreshing to experience in real life.
  • I did not feel weird being a man, at all. At least, no more than I do in the blogging world — and I’m well used to being thought of as a “mommy blogger.” Well, wait, once or twice someone asked me about another man they had seen – but here’s the thing, contrary to popular belief, not all penised-humans know one another, even when we’re at a conference where the vast majority of attendees are women. I’d guess somewhere between one-in-twenty and one-in-ten attendees were male. But, again, I never felt out of place.

So #TLDR2: time was wonderful, but would have loved more quiet time with blogging friends (both new & old). I need to rest my liver. Yay for female orgasms. Next time, I’ll take more pictures.

1 I’m actually kind of bummed that “gypped” is in my computer’s dictionary . . . I used the word there because that’s what I would have said, but I’d have felt guilty immediately after saying the word aloud. And, of course, I’m leaving the word in because of this footnote, but, seriously, let’s all start using a word other than “gypped,” because I’m pretty sure it qualifies as a racial slur.
2 TLDR = Too long, didn’t read . . . which, well, I’m ok with because I’m quite wordy.
3 “the sexy” (noun) is property of The Homance Diaries and used entirely without permission, though I doubt either of the librarians will mind.
  1. Tracy permalink

    I wanted to go home with you and Duffy. Would that have been awkward to ask?

  2. Tracy stole my comment.



  3. Glad you had a good time. Next time I would suggest the Serenity Suite for you and your friends who were talking about a quieter place to convene. It’s a space that is set aside for folks who, for whatever reason, need to be somewhere more chill and quiet for a while. (It’s also a no-alcohol zone, though, just FYI.) See you next year ๐Ÿ™‚

    • You know, I don’t know if I had heard about the Serenity Suite until now – but, yeah, it likely would have been exactly what I was looking for.

      So, if Chicago is in the cards for me, I’ll look for it there.

  4. Great recap. And great meeting you. I am proudly one of the “I feel like we’ve met before” contingency.

    Drunk or sober – rock on ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Not only are you one of the “I met you before” contingency, but you’re also in the “brunette & gorgeous & from California” crowd.

      It was wonderful meeting you – I’m already enjoying the adventures of Search & Destroy.

  5. It was fun to see everyone’s pics on instagram. It looks like it was such fun!

    • It really was — I knew it would be fun, but it actually exceeded my expectations.

  6. It was so great to meet you and I’m sort of impressed with myself that I actually recognized you first. I never recognize anyone but you look just like your photos and are as nice in person as you are online.

    • Awww, thank you. I do try to be kind, always – I’m glad that comes across.

  7. BUT…did anyone hump your leg? I bet they did. You’re just not admitting it.

    Even though I wasn’t there, I hope my advice was useful to you.

    And I would give you the ridiculous number of flash drives I came home with last year, but csluiter confiscated them all.

    Because he is a nerd.

    • There was no leg humping.

      But, if I’m being honest (and I seldom am, in this context), there was a shitton of eye fucking, so there was that.

      And I love Cort and his nerdiness.

  8. The serenity suite was the place for no distractions to just talk to people. i was glad i met you and your wife and that you didn’t go your hair is cute green because well ya know.

    • I guess I should have asked around, because I didn’t hear about the serenity suite until after all was said & done.

      It was truly wonderful meeting you ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Gypped is totally a slur. I didn’t know that until I was like 2b.c. I always thought it was jipped. And now I feel guilty if I say it.

    Half of what you said may be lost on me since I am not quite sure people do at blogher (and I don’t mean that negatively). But it seems like just the, place for a social guy like yourself. Glad you guys had fun.

    Not blonde or hot in California!

    • Lisa? We’ve seen pictures — I’ll buy “not blonde,” but I ain’t buying “not hot.”

      I really, really need to remove gypped from my vocabulary — it entered innocently enough, out of ignorance. But now, well, it’s bad.

      Most of BlogHer is what I didn’t go to — basically, from morning to afternoon, there is a series of classes, you choose the ones that would might like to go to. These classes can range anywhere from the technical (how HTML works, or how to set up a podcast) or the strategic (how to better build an audience) or the empowering (why you’re an awesome blogger). It’s really not all that far off from most any conference I’ve been to . . . only there’s a lot more hugging and face squishing.

  10. Also auto correct changed my 26 to some time before Christ. Whatevs.

  11. SIGH… yes, yes, yes.
    Last year the times when I just got to sit and visit with my favorite people was so much better than any party or session.
    I’m so glad to read you had a good time…. and yeah, just a wee bit jealous.

    • I will admit that Rachel’s tweet to you made me laugh out loud.

      Some day, our paths will cross. And a good time will be had.

  12. Dammit.

    WoE contingent in Chicago?

    • You know, I was trying to think of just what I might do to justify my going to Chicago, and a WoE contingent would do just that – especially if we could get our own panel (What to write when you’ve got nothing? Why quality is better than quantity? The importance of brevity? Self-publishing for the incredibly intelligent?)

      Of course, this would just be a stepping stone to WoECon.

  13. I’m commenting through envy-colored glasses so all I can think to say is that I agree that “gypped” needs to come off the list of acceptable words. And I’m sorry about your ankle.
    Now, about the Dinosaur Park…..

    • The ankle will get better . . . but it’s certainly not fun right now. And, while I hate to admit it, I probably should have done less on it this weekend. But, when there is fun to be had, I’ll have fun.

      We’ll figure out schedules and go dinosaur hunting in the near future ๐Ÿ™‚

  14. See, there’s no way I could go to one of these. Everyone would figure out how lame I was, and love my wife. I’ll probably lose her.

    I would love to meet suniverse, empress, tracy, and of course you and your wife.

    sounds awesome, john. one day…….

  15. Yay! So glad it was a good time.

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