So, you want to talk about something at BlogHer's Conference '05 that isn't on the schedule? Do it! As I wrote on April 8, you can lead your own meetings in the "Room of your Own" sessions, which are a testament to BlogHer's commitment to community-based education and exposure. (More on my philosophy here.)
Here's how it works: Come to this post on the new community network developed for BlogSheroes|BlogHer. You'll have to create an account if you don't have one already, so that you can post -- it's easy and fast.
I'm excited to raise the profile of a new community network by and for women bloggers that's almost ready to bust out of beta: www.blogsheroes.com.
BlogSheroes.com is the happy outcome of BlogHer's partnership with BlogSheroes Liza Sabater and Nichelle Stephens. The BlogHer.org blog isn't going anywhere before the conference on July 30. But as I hope you'll agree, this site, powered by Civic Space|Drupal, delivers the powerful combination of tools we need to begin writing together as a community about many events by and for women bloggers--and BlogHer Conference '05 is on that list.
Thanks to the expertise of mini-media-mogul Liza, who has been a terrific coach as I joined her in my own virgin foray into the world of coding, Blogsheroes.com is a place where you can each sign up for free and get the use of tools to create blogs, forums, polls, community books you can co-author and co-edit (that's Drupal-talk for wiki-like pages), event calendars and private and mass emails. At this point I should add a huge thank-you to the many of you who suggested YahooGroups and various wikis and other tools, but were willing to wait until we got this robust platform going. We really appreciate it.
Here's how to get started:
Go to BlogSheroes.com. If you click on "BlogHer Conference '05" in the right-hand margin, you'll see links to the forums and "books" we've begun to invite you to help answer popular questions about the conference...
- BlogHerShips: Volunteer Miriam Verburg has posted a list of people who have volunteered to live-blog the conference in exchange for a pass to the conference. We might have room for a few more, so get your name in here. Or, if you can, please donate a BlogHerShip, money or miles to support women who want to attend the conference.
Let us know what you think! Comment here or, if you like, Liza's hosting a design rant-a-thon here on Blogsheroes.com. Thanks.
- Coming soon: Do-ocracy or Room of Your Own Sessions thread. Tomorrow, May 24, at 3 p.m. PST, I'll add a taxonomy link on Blogsheroes.com where interested parties can schedule Room of Your Own sessions on a first-come, first-served basis. Updated: Do-ocracy is open for business! More here.
We've been asked (in so many words), "If I'm not trying to take over the Blogosphere, should I come to BlogHer?" We don't care if you are building an evil media empire or a yurt, business blogger or personal blogger, we want you there. Don't make us comb the malls, sussing you out. It hasn't been working for the military and it probably wouldn't work for us. We need beginners and personal bloggers as much as you need us.
Who's coming to BlogHer (we know that's what you're really asking)? Our current attendee base includes a range of bloggers:
More than 50% of the registrants are from outside Silicon Valley.
Over 10% are students.
About 10% are male.
The Rooms of Your Own sessions cover Personal (MommyBlogging), technical (MoBlogging) and cultural (Hip-HopBlogging) topics that were decided on by YOU and your fellow attendees.
BlogHer has instituted what we call Foundation Sponsorships, allowing individuals and companies to sponsor individual attendees to come to BlogHer by paying their conference registration fee.
You can meet our current Foundation Sponsors here.
There are two ways to be a Foundation Sponsor: sponsoring specific attendees or donating a number of registration fees without specifying intended recipients.
Either type of Sponsorship can be donated here at the regular Acteva registration site.
If you would like to be a Foundation Sponsor who sponsors specific attendees, simply purchase any quantity of General Registrations...you will be allowed to enter your payment information, but their attendee names. Obviously, you should have connected with your chosen sponsees before signing them up :)
If you would like to be a Foundation Sponsor who simply wants to enable attendees, without having specific attendees in mind, also go to the Acteva registration site but instead purchase any quantity of Foundation Sponsors you prefer.
BlogHer will distribute such unspecified sponsorships to our BlogHership recipients and others requesting assistance.
We already have both individuals and companies springing to send people to BlogHer who might otherwise be unable to attend. We hope you'll consider becoming such a Sponsor.
UPDATE: Now that we have all the panelists secured for this session, I thought I'd list them, and their blogs, and how they're leveraging those blogs. Should get the juices flowing. Check it out in the extended body of this post.
Despite the horrified response from some blogging circles there are plenty of bloggers who dare to think, "is there a way for me to monetize this?" Hey, that book claims you can do what you love, and the money will follow, right? A girl can dream.
Now lest you think we're envisioning a session on how to put ads on your blog, never fear...there's a lot more to it than that.
We already have a lively thread going discussing the BlogHer Session topic of $$ and Sense, which is focusing on how bloggers can leverage and monetize their blogging...and not just with AdSense!
But there's another session on the schedule that we haven't started a thread for yet: Blogging for Business. Now that we finalized the Blogging for Business line-up, I thought I'd introduce the panel and start the conversation going.
This session is about how blogging can be used by organizations to further business goals. Sure Marketing & PR are a big part of it, but one of our panelists is also using blogs internally to manage programs. One thing we wanted to do a little differently was to get both blogger and company points of view represented. I've attended several panels where the perspective was consistently from the side of the blogger or blogging consultant. But what motivates a businessperson or executive to take the blogging plunge? And what have they learned...best practices (and not-so-great)?
Meet the panel and find out they're using blogs in their organizations (for-profit and non-profit) when you read on...
Here's what I'm on about: Earlier this evening, while I was out watching nine-year-olds pelt each other with baseballs, Lawley and Mernit blogged a piece of their minds about the Open Media 100, a new joint initiative by Always On and Technorati.
Can you guess the first category for these new awards, "honoring those individuals who are driving the proliferation of Open Media and leveraging the power of community, not an individual or a corporation"?
Answer: The "Founding Fathers: Industry luminaries who created the vision of open media and continue to shape it." (Hat-tip: Liz Lawley)
"<sigh> No founding mothers could even be imagined, apparently. Meg Hourihan, Caterina Fake, Mena Trott, Esther Dyson, Xeni Jardin...guess y'all are all just one of the guys. I don't know why this kind of cultural boneheadedness continues to surprise and depress me, but it does."
Mernit took the conversation an important step further--and you know something's bad when Susan Mernit, a professional journalist and strategist, and an evenhanded moderator even when bad tempered famous folks with large wallets are in the room, writes a rare post like this one...(continued)