That Big Conference Thingy in Chicago

Wow. I mean wow, OMG, WFT and all those other silly little three letter texty comments designed to replace the English language, there is on hell of a lot of complaining going on around the Blogosphere lately. Don't get me wrong, a lot of people do seem to have some genuinely nice things to say about BlogHer, generally about the people they met there but from what I can gather 1400 people attended this year but based on the number of them who left disappointed for some reason or another it'll be a much smaller gathering next year.

Wait, you're telling me I'm not correct in assuming that. You're telling me that by hook or by crook all of the people who attended this year will do their level best to attend next year again and not only that but just as many others will be clamouring for planes and tickets also.

Hmm, can't have been that bad then, can it?

Now I fully welcome the obvious criticism that I wasn't in fact there. I didn't see it. I didn't go. I didn't get to experience the full unrated version. Well no, I didn't because I live in Northern Ireland and chances are the next time I pack a bag and prepare to jump on an eight our flight to the States you can bet I'm on my way to Disney and you can bet I have my family right there with me.

The way I see it (and please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong here) BlogHer is a conference. For women. But men go too. And it's about Blogging. Blogging. That huge great beast we're all trying to ride and tame. Trying to bend and mould it into something which suits each of us as individuals.

It's not a conference for writers, because that would be a writer's conference.

It's not a conference for mothers or fathers, because that would be a parenting conference.

It's not a conference about PR and marketing, because those would be PR and marketing conferences.

It's a conference about blogging which covers all of those things and much more besides, whether you like it or not.

But if you really can't stand it or think that none of the drivel discussed applies to you or that you are so far above and beyond all of this (with a nonchalant sweep of the arm for effect) then why did you bother going or why indeed have you already blocked off those dates in your calender for next year. It certainly can't be for the free stuff or the swag because you complained about that too.

It has all left me rather confused to be quite honest and one question keeps floating to the front of my mind;

When exactly did blogging become such a teeny little 'bloggy in my pocket' mini beast that you think there should only be room on the back for you and your kind of people?

Open your eyes, wake up and smell the coffee, ditch the blinkers or whatever. Blogging is huge and lots of people have their own individual reasons why they do it. Different reasons that motivate them. Different interests. Different styles.

I don't suppose there's any chance you could maybe be a little more accommodating and open minded next year and bear in mind that not everyone does this for the same reasons you do.

I guess you really can't please all of the people all of the time but certainly from what I can tell the organisers of BlogHer put a lot of time and effort into trying to ensure that a lot of the people are pleased at least some of the time. And honestly what more do you expect of them when we're talking about 1400 people? Did you really expect there to be 1400 guest speaker each at their own little table with a single solitary chair facing them just for you, ready, willing and waiting to answer all of your questions and have a little chat about whatever you like to talk about.

But then I guess that wouldn't have worked either considering so many attend for the community.

Hmm, I'll admit it I'm completely stumped. I certainly couldn't organise it, or make it better, or keep everyone happy all the time.

But by all means if you think that you could, please be my guest and we'll all wait here with bated breath, cash in hand ready to buy to tickets and book flights, dates blocked off in our calenders and next year blog posts will fill the blogosphere to its virtual rafters singing your praises and extolling the virtues of BlogForEveryone or BlogForMe or whatever you call it.

Well, maybe!


  1. It's the nature of the beast, unfortunately. (See Neil at Citizen of the Month's post - it's in my shared items - for a first-hand account of what you're saying.)

    The conference is more about socializing and marketing than writing. The writing workshops were the least popular.

    To use Neil's analogy, it was like going to a tv conference where 90% of it was about getting the best commercials on your network.

  2. We should have a norn iron blogging conference - you and me, coffee and cake, on the Lisburn Road!


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