Friday, August 12, 2011

11 Highlights from BlogHer '11

Last week I spoke at BlogHer '11, a gathering of over 3,000 women bloggers.  Below are some of the ideas, events and people that have stayed with me this week:

1. Puppies!  

One of the conference sponsors had an exhibit area with 10+ puppies running around.  I held one little dachshund, Paprika, till my arms hurt. (Photo by Green LA Girl)

2. Teaching The Essential Blog Content Development Workshop

I loved co-facilitating the Essential Blog Content Development Workshop with Elizabeth Soutter of Da Momma: Motherhood is Not for Wimps, and Julie Weckerlein of Julie and Martin.  Even though we'd never met before, we made a good team.

You can read a liveblogged transcript of the session on  I'm pretty sure an audio recording will be available eventually.  Julie has some good photos from the session in her post, And My Water Didn't Break at All.

Photo of Gwen Bell by Joel Longtine
3. Unplug, Unfriend, Unfollow, Unwind: Is That Sacrilege? with Gwen Bell

As I mentioned in my post, Taking Back Your Time: Is Unplugging the New Green? I think that unplugging and limiting internet and tech use is an upcoming cultural trend, so I was thrilled to see that one of the sessions was Unplug, Unfriend, Unfollow, Unwind: Is That Sacrilege? with Gwen Bell.  You can read a liveblogged transcript of the session on

My 5 takeaways were:

  • Checking email, Twitter and Facebook constantly can be "insecurity work."
  • What are you giving up by being online so much?
  • What needs are you trying to fulfill for yourself online that could be better met offline?
  • Having a ritual, practice, or totem can help you be more conscious about your online time.
  • Handwritten letters are magical (I discovered this during my Daily Have Fun Do Good Practice: Move, Play, Reflect, Connect). 

    4. Leveraging Your Blog to Build E-Products for Sale

    Tara Mohr, Megan Auman, and Tara Gentile led a fabulous session about Leveraging Your Blog to Build E-Products for Sale.  I took pages and pages of notes, but I particularly liked their words of wisdom for people (like me!) who sometimes have trouble asking for money in exchange for their products and services:
    • The more money you make, the more good you can do.
    • You can serve more people if you are fueling your work with funds.
    • Charging properly for your work gives you a sustainable way to work on your passion.

    5. Connecting with friends

    Hanging out with Siel/Green LA Girl
    One of the main reasons I go to BlogHer is to connect with old friends and to make new ones like:

    6. Together Counts' BlogHer 5K

    I ran the BlogHer 5K with Siel/Green LA Girl, which was a real milestone for me, since I've been Embracing Resting this year after injuring my toe.

    7. Book Recommendations

    I jotted down lots of ideas for books to read. Have you read any of these?

    8.  Being in one space with over 3,000 women writers

    Many of the women I talked with found the size of the conference overwhelming, but I found it inspiring to be in one space with over 3,000 women writers who have found a medium that lets them express themselves and connect with others.  Pretty awesome.

    9. Plane ride with Julie Daley

    Julie Daley of Unabashedly Female and I shared a lovely non-stop 90-minute conversation during our flight to San Diego. A real treat.

    10. San Diego

    It wasn't until I stepped off the plane into sunshine, soft winds and palm trees that I realized, "This isn't just a conference, this is a vacation!"

    It was my fifth, and favorite BlogHer conference, largely because of the location.  The San Diego Convention Center was light and airy.  You could even see the sky and trees from the dining area.  Because the Marriott (where most of the attendees stayed) was close by, people could escape from the conference hubbub, and chat with people by the pool.  Lovely!

    11. Vegan food options

    Every meal and break had a vegan option and a gluten free option.  Maybe this is normal for conferences nowadays, but I thought it was pretty special.

    If you'd like to check out a BlogHer Conference, I've listed a few below, and I'm sure that there will be more (e.g. BlogHer Food, BlogHer Business) scheduled for 2012:
    Full disclosure: I was a Contributing Editor for BlogHer from January 2006-May 2010. Sometimes BlogHer syndicates posts from Have Fun, Do Good.

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    1. Reading everyone's highlights from BlogHer has been nothing short of inspiring. Thank you for sharing your insights from it -- I really want to attend next year!

    2. Thanks for your helpful session at BlogHer 2011 on "Ideation." Your session was a great mix of tips, self-reflection and team activity. My table included folks who had been blogging for several years, someone who has blogged for two weeks and someone who is getting ready to start a blog. Your session worked for all of us.

    3. Hooray! I was really inspired and -at the risk of sounding like your mom- PROUD of you when reading this post and checking out the pics of you presenting. To think that this was a "new field" for you in the not-so-distant past, and look at you now.

    4. Britt, so glad for this post. The sad truth is that I get to actually attend so few of the panels since I'm "working" and need outstanding write-ups like this one to know what I missed!

    5. Roxanne ~ It's a pretty amazing event. As a blogger you definitely need to go to at least one BlogHer.

      Julie ~ You're so welcome. I'm really glad to hear that the activities were helpful for all levels of experience.

      Lisa ~ Aw, thanks, Lisa (:

      Jory ~ Thanks for creating this amazing event and community!

    6. So great to see you, Britt! Thanks for being my running buddy :)

    7. Siel ~ Thanks for inspiring me!


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