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Lisa, I think this is an outstanding idea! I'm going to publicize it on my blog.

Lisa: Thanks for getting the word out. My own inaugural Bloghercon post is now online:

We've just agreed to shoot for JUNE, so that should get the adrenaline pumping right?

Elisa, (clutching heart..), yes indeedy!

Elaine, I'm so glad to hear it!

YES, I'd love to see/support/be part of a BlogHerCon!!!! (And when I get a breather, I'll blog on it too)

Let's define ourselves!

What an absolutely great idea. Blogs are all about developing a distinctive voice and audience, and Bloghercon could be a great way to support -- and publicize -- those great voices.

I'd love to support Bloghercon in any way that I can. You go girl!

Charlene, Nancy - thank you so much for your offer of help! Here's what you--and everyone else who's interested--can do for starters:

- As you said, blog it! :)

- Help make the idea smarter. What would you like to take away from such an event? As Elisa writes here, alongside her other excellent questions, "What would be measurable success? If we had a Bloghercon again in a year what would cause us to pat ourselves on the back and say "job well done"?"

First, let's start tagging this baby so we can find each other in the ether (Bloghercon on delicious, technoratic, etc.)

1. What would be measurable success?
* we each hatch plans to support/mentor other women who want to blog (but not guilt them into it. We have enough guilt, eh?) We have a way to share what we learn/do in the process.
* We tell the stories of women bloggers in all their diversity, richness, and messiness - and hopefully we unearth stories that fall on the long tail, not just the spike
* we identify and point to blogging resources that are useful to us - no matter our technological savvy. We celebrate what we know and learn what we don't.
* we identify strategies for second wave adoption (which follows on that last point.)

Dang, that's too many already

Oh, we have FUN!

Here's my response from blog to your questions:

I've been a bit dazed and confused this week so I don't know how coherent or useful I'm going to be on this. What appeals to me about any gathering of bloggers is the chance to meet other bloggers and hear their stories, see how the real life person compares to the person on the blog.

As to childcare, how long are we talking? It would help if a time of year where we don't have to worry about kids missing school if we bring them along would be good. Older kids, say teenagers (with a bit of adult supervision), could help keep an eye on the youngest ones. I'm also thinking we could keep kids occupied by having them interview bloggers.

Cabin Master

This whole idea sounds great! You might want to think about holding it right before or after a related conference to make travel easier. For example the Personal Democracy Forum.

And why *not* offer childcare? If it makes more women come, that's a good thing.

Where are you planning to hold Bloghercon?

I had a middle-length talk with Mary Hodder here at South by Southwest Interactive this week about the Bloghercon idea. I completely support it. One of the things she and I discussed was the fact that when I was building conferences in the late 90s on Web design, marketing, and advertising for Thunder Lizard Productions, I would often get tons of calls and emails from men who wanted to speak, and only a handful of women. I would seek out both men and women to speak, but it was harder to find subject experts who weren't also great at active self-promotion.

Mary said that she'd actually never called anyone to speak at a conference--I don't think I'm revealing privileged information here--but had relied on being asked.

Now I don't posit that as a male/female difference, but it may be a useful data point.

From a personal standpoint, I have a 7-month-old baby. My wife was fully involved in my decision to be 2,500 miles from home for five days leaving her with the wonderful little boy we have, and her brother was there for three of those five days.

How many men would be willing to support their wives in that way? I'll step forward and say, I would have been freaked out about it but totally supportive. The flip side: our baby doesn't have separation anxiety yet (it's starting to show), but that might also have made it more difficult for her to take that kind of time when a family trip for the three of us with her attending and me doing baby care would be easier.

Then there's Jeffrey Zeldman's story: he and his wife couldn't get the child seat safely attached to the cab that was to take them and their baby to the airport to fly from New York to Austin. His wife stayed behind with the baby; Jeffrey, who was keynoting and speaking, came.

There are plenty of women with no children or children who are above baby status--not including their husbands, naturally.

I had never thought about scheduling and distance as being a gender selection issue, but after talking to Mary, I realize how much it can be.

I'm dreaming of renting a bigass sports team van and driving from Boston to SF, picking up people who want to go along the way.

I'm thinking we have a theme song and play it at top volume every time we pick up a new participant.

Can we pretty please have it in Seattle?

Or better yet, have it in three or four or five or six places across the world and set up live streaming video conferences. This is about the internet and not just writing blogs, isn't it? The folks at SpeakEasy have been in the far ago past very willing to contribute technical assets to set up just that sort of thing. If the project's cool (and this one is), they want to be a part of it, or at least they used to.

If not them, then someone else. Why make this a distance issue when blogging is what brings us together across wide distances? Otherwise there's a big class issue that leaves those with money and time (and time is money) able to show up while the rest of us who can't afford to travel (and those of us who are disabled where travel is an almost unbearable burden) become more and more marginalized.

Shouldn't be that way.

We can do better.



I have to be honest and say I am much less interested in attending a bloghercon if it's full of kids.

Time is going to be precious and if it gets wasted due to the inevitable squabbles, emergencies, and general need for care and attention that kids have, we have that much less time to focus on anything else.

I am a brand new blogger, trained by some great guys in our weekly Chapel Hill blogging group. I don't see any reason to exclude men from a gathering like this, but given that our weekly meet-ups are more men than women, it makes me wonder if bloghercon would encourage more women to take up blogging.

I'm a little late in responding here, but count me in as a big supporter of the idea. Don't be framed by Trey's rules, either. Sometimes the response does not seem to be there, when it really is. And sometimes a whimper of a response can mean just that the word hasn't gotten out effectively.

Sometimes people don't know a great idea until they experience it.

Judging by the responses here, there's no danger of all that, thank goodness!

The thing now is to pick a date, form a group to make it happen, find sponsors (which is not impossible), and do it. Where? When? I have no idea. But I'll help however I can. And I'll attend if I can at all break away.

Keep the idea alive. This could be the best event ever!

These comments have been invaluable to me as is this whole site. I thank you for your comment.

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  • Gail Sheehy
    "Women's liberation is not the end...it is the beginning of a lot of work. There is a whole world out there that needs to be totally transformed so that women and men can create, desire, build and play..."
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