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Hey Lisa,

I didn't make it to BlogHer i or ii so I don't know how qualified I am to respond to this. But sometimes, as a non-mommy (parenting) blogger, I feel sort of like I don't fit in at BlogHer. Yes, there are women of every kind writing there--but (at least to me) it seems like most of the power-players are the women with parenting blogs. I've been struggling to figure out what to write there that would be relevant to the community. The only post that I've done that got a decent response was the one on the Abraham Cherrix case (which dealt with parental rights and the rights of a minor to make medical decisions). I feel sort of on the fringe sometimes because I'm a mid-twenties, decently successful woman and I'm not writing about my kid.

I'm not trying to excuse any of the anti-mommyblogging posts. They were uncalled for. But I think that there is a slant in the blogging world towards mommy-bloggers. Look at most of the most successful (in terms of traffic and ad revenue) female bloggers. A lot of them seem to have kids and make their kids a main point of the blog.

Amanda - thank you for writing. I'm so glad you've returned to BlogHer.org as a contributing editor for health and wellness.

You're right that parenting blogs are the focus of major attention from advertisers and mainstream media companies alike right now. I spy other hot-spots too: Dating blogs, sex blogs and blooks, articles and television shows about both. Check this out: The Greg Behrendt Show sent two producers to the conference to scout future guests as he takes his dating advice to the airwaves.

By offering up 20+ topics and working with 60 editors, BlogHer is focused on providing a broad cross-section of discussions about what women are blogging online. If we do our work right, we'll offer a greater variety of discussions over time.

There are many ways to gauge popularity on a post -- traffic, comments, links -- but I find that the posts on BlogHer.org that get the most attention (traffic, comments, links all) tend to be about issues that pertain to the entire community -- such as Are Online Friends Real Friends? -- and hard news, from your post about the Cherrix case to Marian Douglas' piece on Ethiopian women trapped in Lebanon.

I also think it's important to question our measurement of "popularity" and what is value. Your writing -- health and wellness, with a focus on cancer -- is one of the most important topics BlogHer can offer up. If we can point five people to bloggers who are doing fantastic work on these topics and help readers who are looking for a community online, we've done important work. According to this Pew study, women find the Web to be an extraordinary health resource.

So -- your insights can make a major difference. I'd love to brainstorm with you offline. And I encourage you to start by making your next post a shout-out to the community on BlogHer.org, asking their feedback and recommendations.

Big Picture Sue Richards Take Away from BlogHer 06.

1. Brilliant career development.
2. Outstanding networking opportunity.
3. Fun.
4. Leading edge exciting.
5. Thrilled to get on board so early in BlogHer History.
6. Well worth the $1500.00 plus canuck bucks I invested in the adventure.

Thank you for your tremendous work and ideas!

SUE! It was such a pleasure to meet you. I love your calendar -- and your writing. Your tagline/name combo among the cleverest I've seen:

My Menopause Blog: How to Punctuate Life Without a Period.

Funny thing, one of my other fave plays on words is ALSO Canadian: Laina Dawes' blog:

Writing is Fighting: "You've got to make your dreams come true / nobody else is gonna do it for you." DJ Spinna feat. Christian Ulrich

What is it with you all?

LOVE all of this information and recap. i've written, and written about blogher.. and well hell, i just wrote again today. LOl
i don't like the idea of having numerous hotels to choose from for future blogher's ONLY because i think part of the charm is knowing that everyone is in 1 place. i would hate to have everyone in different places (even though i'm sure there would be a common meeting place for all activities) it would still suck to "seperate" if you don't have too. know what i mean?
i would also encourage you to contact me for ANY help! since my wedding and honeymoon is next june and july- i'd do just about anything to get to blogher. i'll pack for you. clean your shoes? be your cabby? LOL.. seriously, let me know if you need any help, ideas, etc.. i'm your whore for the takin! :)

(howling) Okay, for those of you haven't read Jennster's blog, now is the time for me to tell you her tagline:

"Whorin' around for centuries"

Jennster, we would love your help. Thank you! Starting with a play-by-play of the nuptials, including any/all stories that don't get blogged...

*What is it with you all?*

I think there's something in the water!


Just wanted to say thanks for a great conference and for being so open and responsive to everyone's ideas. The world needs more leaders like you, Elisa, and Jory.

Sue: Send me some, STET!

Leah: Back at you woman. You set a new standard for open minds with this photo series. Thanks for your note.

it seems as if
everyones thinking blogher was all about the mommybloggers

yeah it might have appeared so
only maybe cuase they were the loudest drunkest and nakedest

shit how many times were you at a party
and your attention was directed towards the loud drunk naked chick?
dont lie!!

well it seems to me then in 2007
if you want some attention
get even more louder, drunker and nakeder

ill pay attention to you

i might even podcast you

Lisa you had me at "churn":

"In 2007, I'd like to see the same churn in panel subjects as we had churn in new speakers. I'm really excited that 85 percent of our speakers were BlogHer virgins."

Sold! Sign me up for '07.

This happened after BlogHer '05, which I did not attend either. Conference ends. I read about it online, say to self "holy crap! How could I have missed this? Next year I'm going fo sho." Then BlogHer '06 registration opens. I say to self "should I go? Eh, I can listen to the podcasts after the fact." Doh!

Thank you for taking the time and energy to share such an honest and thorough download.
You, Elisa, Jory, the speakers and volunteers did an incredible job. And thank you sponsors for making this such an affordable conference. Saturn, I love my jump drive.

There is so much negative energy in the world, it's a shame it's leaking into the blogosphere. A conference (insert: experience) is what you make of it. The light in my head is still glowing from the thoughtful conversations I shared with such a diverse group of women. Thank you for that. I'll be back.

I went to BlogHer, and I found it to be an invaluable experience. I loved meeting the people I've only known online. I loved hearing different people's insights as to why they do this activity that's so strange to so much of the world. I found the Outreach Blogging seminar to be particularly enlightening and well-run. I loved test-driving the Sky. :)

Thank you for putting on the conference. I want to make sure you know I'm grateful for it and the opportunity to go that is presented to all women (and men).

I've taken a few days to comment, as I didn't know if it was constructive to offer any negative feedback at this point. But I feel it's important to try to articulate why I think some of us walked away with the feeling that there was a focus on mothers when, as you've pointed out, there was only one seminar on mommy blogging. I agree that a contributing factor might be the fact that some of the women who are high profile also write about their children. It also just might be jealousy of the ClubMom, AlphaMom pay status/communities, wondering why there are not similar communities for women with different blogging focuses.

For me (and I know this is getting old and people think it's lame), it came down to the baby and child swag. I'm reiterating this BECAUSE this concern has been dismissed by so many bloggers who say that there's always something in every swag bag that you can't use. Those of us without children were told we could throw it away and ignore it, that there was so much more in the swag bags that was cool. I admit that there are moments when I think I'm being stupid and shouldn't be offended that I got a calendar and bib for my never-to-be children.

I guess the reason I can't let this go is because never before have I attended a conference (and I've been to more than a few), where I was given something that wasn't for me. Sure I have been given swag bags that have items for men OR women, but these are at conferences that are not focused on one gender. Whether a woman is a mother or not, a children's calendar and bib weren't for her, and that's a little aggravating. This was a conference for women...not for children.

For those who might argue that these things were for mothers, and that motherhood is the ultimate manifestation of being female or part of the female experience, I think I might scream a little, as a mother is not more of a woman than a non-mother. And if we're going to say that motherhood is a role that some women play, then I wonder why there wasn't anything in the swag bag that said, "World's Greatest Dad," as surely we all play the role of daughter. Why was there nothing for my cat, as women are pet-owners? Or my brother, as I am his sister?

First impressions do a lot, don't they? Maybe if I hadn't been greeted with a bib within five minutes of arrival, it would've been a different feeling. I don't know.

I understand, after reading the re-caps, that perhaps BlogHer didn't have the opportunity to turn away any money from sponsorship, and I think that's understandable. But for next year, and in the future, it would be nice to focus on sponsors for women, not for children.

Sponsor suggestions for companies who are making a concerted effort to focus on women, as long as I'm here: Tab Energy, Jane Magazine, MaxFactor, Dove Bath & Beauty (they have that whole women’s self-esteem campaign), SunSilk (has a major market in Mexico & Europe and is launching an American campaign), Kraft, eBay and Shutterfly (which is specifically designed for women).

Again, thank you for this conference. It clarified a lot for me as a writer, and I think it should be an experience that any female blogger should have.

Beth, with all due respect, you're implying that women only care about fashion, shopping and beauty with that list, with one exception.

There were women upset because the tees were too small. There were women upset because the sugar substitute was an affront to their self-esteem. There were lesbian women upset because the condom presumed heterosexuality.

I don't mean to be harsh but I think everyone should just get over it.

Do you think men would be taking the goodie bag so personally?

Mom101 - I appreciate the due respect, and give it back. I think you're an amazing writer.

And yes, men do take the goodie bag personally (at least at some of the tech conferences I've attended). They are offended when it is presumed they are nerds. Women do not have a monopoly on offense.

I realize that some of the items imply a love of fashion, a love of hetero sex (I'm a lesbian, but understood that a large percentage of the other women probably were not -- that didn't offend me), etc., but they were all at least for the woman who received the bag. That is my point.

I know you think I and others like me should get over it. I know I SHOULD get over it. But it rankles my core that women are automatically assumed to have other roles, y'know? It's not the freaking $2 bib. It's that I was given something that wasn't for me, whether I liked it or not.

And since you mention men, would a man have received items for children at a man's conference on the presumption that he was a daddy?

ok first lemme give you some of my backstory
1) i LOVE swag
2) i am an omnisexual
3) i dont have kids
4) i am a nerd
5) i make my own marketing swag
6) i usually abide by the 80/20 rule

when it comes to swag bags
EVERYONE ON THE PLANET (see #5 and #6)
keeps some shit and throws some other shit away

except my mom

she keeps some shit
and then gives the other shit away to her friends as gifts

i personally felt the calendar was real useful
and its up on my fridge prominently
(see #3)
my bird LOVES the bib as i knew she would
(again see #3)

i know and have experienced girl-on-girl sex
where we used condoms
(use your imagination if you cant figure it out -
or email me if you want details)
(see #2)

and when i was offered a second set of lotions
i was like no thanks even tho i LOVE swag
(see #1)

just because i dont have kids
doesnt mean i threw away the kid swag
and just becuase i havent had sex in um...
ok - lets just say gee - far too long
doesnt mean i threw the condom away
and just becuase im an adult female who likes to smell nice
doesnt mean i kept the lotions and soap

but saturn did win the prize for me
i loved the USB drive
(see #4)

hey saturn
can you put in one of those fancy cars in the bag next time?

Now Toy, you know those BlogHer editorial guidelines I yammer on about won't allow you to write for the site AND accept a free car. So...I'm just sayin'. :) Thanks for your comment.

Also, folks, check out Fatemeh over at Gastronomie - she has a really interesting conversation going on: Click here.

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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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    "The primary sex organ is the brain."