Last year, I ranted about feeling overwhelmed at the BlogHer conference. In my post, Blogher ’09 and The Story of Stuff, I asked how BlogHer could move away from the commercialization of the conference and how we as bloggers could get back to our roots and avoid getting swept up in the barrage of swag and parties pushed by conference sponsors. I also revealed that I spent all of the first night drunk off my butt and that because I felt so overwhelmed and exhausted going in to the conference, I failed to make the most of the educational tracks offered.
BlogHer 2010 will be different from BlogHer 2009
I’m hoping this year will be different. But the difference will be inside of me… not the conference itself. From the program guide, it looks like there are even more sponsors this year — big companies like Procter and Gamble, Pepsico, Walmart, and McDonald’s. But BlogHer has made one important change, and that is that vendors and swag stay in the vendor hall. There will be no frenzied giveaways anywhere else in the hotel during the weekend. And any vendor parties will be held off the premises. We’ll see how it works out, but for now I feel hopeful that my experience will be calmer than last year.
I also will not be drinking. While there are cocktail parties every night, my drink of choice will be pineapple juice and seltzer. I stopped drinking for good in October of last year. And I intend to take responsibility for my own experience, regardless of what I encounter. Breathing will help. Taking moments throughout the long weekend to get grounded and remember who I am. And refusing to worry about how my toenails look and the fact that I don’t dye the gray out of my hair anymore.
Why I’m Going to BlogHer this year
Some green bloggers have decided to sit this one out. They are weary of the vendors and the bloggers who are more concerned with promoting products than writing about what they believe. But I am not quitting. I’m going to the conference to speak on using our blogs to motivate our readers to action. I’m going to learn to be more effective as a blogger. I’m going to connect with other women bloggers who share some of the same concerns as I do. And I’m going to bring my own green perspective to the event. I might be one small voice, but I feel that my voice and others like it are sorely needed.
My BlogHer 2010 Schedule
If you’re going to BlogHer, I’d love to meet you in person! Here’s my tentative schedule.
Session 1, 10:30 – 11:45 Geek Lab: Usability for Beginning Bloggers. While I am certainly not a beginning blogger, I have heard from several readers that Fake Plastic Fish has become difficult to load. I’m hoping to learn some tips about making my site more user-friendly.
I may also check out the session Writing Lab: Writing Inspiration: Stoke Your Creativity
Session 2, 1:15 – 2:30pm Change Agents: Creating Tangible Social Change: How to Move People to Action This is my session! I’m on a panel with several other change agents discussing how we get our readers to act rather than simply read our blogs. My focus will be on the Take Back The Filter Brita Campaign I spearheaded in 2008 to get Brita to take back and recycle their water filter cartridges. But I’m sure I’ll mention other ways you guys have participated, like doing the Show Us Your Plastic Trash Challenge!
Session 3, 2:45 – 4pm Writing Lab: Good Blog Design: The Role of Layout In an Online Medium
Session 1, 10:45 – 12pm Writing Lab: How to Use Your Blogging to Make You a Better Writer
Session 2, 1:30 – 2:45pm Professional: ROYO – The Mega “Mindful Monetization” Session! This one I’m really excited about! Many bloggers, including me, accept advertising on our blogs as well as free samples. But what standards have we created to make sure the products we promote are in line with our values? I have written up a very detailed description of my Advertising/Review/PR policy, and while I am not sitting on this panel, I feel I have a lot to contribute to it!
Session 3, 3-4:15pm Geek Lab: Creating (or Massively Altering) a WordPress Theme (Int. to Adv.)
Later that evening, I’ll be attending A Green Affair, a party for green bloggers.
Let me know if you want to hang out. And if you’re not going to BlogHer, why not leave a comment about how you have dealt with overwhelming events where you felt like a fish out of water?