In Summary

On August 2, 2006 by Eden M. Kennedy

The first day of the conference was good, even though I didn’t choose my panels wisely, nor did I pay enough attention to them when I got there. Whoever thought that bringing a laptop with wireless Internet capability to a conference was a good idea, you were wrong, wrong, wrong. The temptation to ignore the people in front of you in favor of the ones showing up on your computer is harrowing. I blogged through the first session so I can’t tell you a single thing about it except that I kept IMing with Melissa, who was four inches away from me.

At some point during a break I was astonished to meet Lori.

(Photo by Suebob.)

Earlier in the year Lori and I had swapped books, but I had no idea she was going to be in San Jose, or that I would like her so much. After lunch we decided to go to the podcasting panel together, where it soon became apparent that I was more interested in hearing about her co-ed hocky league than learning to use an application that neither of us could open with a Mac operating system.

I’m still kicking myself for missing Heather Champ‘s digital photography session, I heard it was fantastic. (The podcast will be up on the BlogHer site soon.) But I chose to spend those precious moments going to Safeway to buy beer with Alice.

The $$$ Generation panel was good, I paid attention for once and learned everything I was doing wrong with my text ads and how to make it all right. (Text ads are just like makeup! You have to make them blend, blend, blend.)

Then later I was back in Melissa and Alice’s room trying to get through to my husband on my cell when I happened to glance through the window and saw Angela strolling through the parking lot wearing espadrilles and a charmingly appliqued skirt. I shoved the phone under my chin and nearly broke my painted fingernails trying to slide open the hotel window. Then I stuck out my head and shouted, “Angela! Angela!” And then, to put a finer point on it, I bellowed, “FLUID PUDDING!”

That got her attention. I mean, I know everyone has different boundaries about publishing photos on their web sites, but your chances of having me scream your name at the top of my lungs increase sharply if I know what you look like.

The second morning I slept through yoga, ate some breakfast with my pod, and got pumped for the Mommyblogger panel.

I’m not sure what exactly happened with this session but instead of letting the woman with the cordless microphone walk through the crowd, people spontaneously started lining up down the side of the room and handing off the microphone to each other. So instead of a free-flowing conversation, the panel started with one question — how does everyone feel about the term “mommyblogger”? — and never got much beyond that.

And since this had conflicted with Maggie’s panel, which I had also wanted to see, podcast, podcast, podcast.

After lunch with jenB and the ladies from Stylehive I caught some of the From Here to Autonomy session, which was packed, and in which Heather in particular had some interesting things to say, but then I bugged out to go change for my panel and see if I could do something with my hair.

Turns out I couldn’t:

(Photo by Karianna)

Flickr is bursting with evidence of the embarrassing turns my hair took that day so I won’t belabor the point. I was happy, however, with how the panel discussion turned out. Our topic was a little vague to begin with, and my opening salvo was a little shaky (“So! Jen, Elizabeth, you both use images AND text on your blogs! Isn’t that interesting!”). Jen and Elizabeth took my rather underinflated ball and ran for the endzone. Again, I’ll link to the podcast when it goes up, in case you’re interested in hearing the point about ten minutes in when a bright red caterpillar fell onto the table in front of us. That bug was photographed, podcast, and turned into a watercolor sketch. We made that bug into art! So there.

After that we all headed over to hear the final keynote. I liked Arianna Huffington more than I thought I would. (There’s a funny story about her meeting Alice, which I won’t tell because it’s Alice’s story, but you should ask her about it. It involves punctuation.)

I was absolutely wiped after that, but the siren call of commerce held me fast, and I got Heather and Alice to help me haul three bags of t-shirts over to a place by the pool they were calling the Swap Meet. I stood there for three hours and got rid of nearly every t-shirt I had in stock. I was so high on retail that I barely noticed that I hadn’t had anything to eat for eight hours, but Jenny, god bless her for all eternity, stood in line for half an hour and returned with a Yahootini for me.

My pockets overflowing with twenties, I then went and stuffed myself with the most expensive thing on the menu while jenB, Angela, and Laid-off Dad averted their eyes from the hideous vacuum that had once been my mouth.

By the way, it was great that LOD showed up and I hope we made him feel like one of the girls. The few men who came to the conference were good about participating in discussions and drinking their fair share, and so I salute them and call out for more of the same next year in Chicago.

That was about it. Apart from driving the wrong way to the airport and making Alice almost miss her flight, and stopping for gas in Soledad, home of that famously fucked-up facility where Robert Downey, Jr. was incarcerated a few years back, I made it back home in four and a half hours, kissed my husband, collapsed into bed, wrapped my arms around my boy and watched the end of Doctor Doolittle 2 with him, ate a pile of take-out sushi, and slept for fourty-eight hours straight.

Here is my post from last year’s conference.



25 Responses to “In Summary”

  • Okay Ms. K. I must ask you these questions because, well, I like your blog a lot. I’ve been reading BlogHer updates all over the internet — on your links and on other blogs I read. It seems like this whole BlogHer deal is a sorority. Enough preface. Here are my questions:

    You all seem to know each other…but HOW???

    Is it weird to go to a conference and see all these people who know intimate details of your life through reading your blog but you’ve never laid eyes on them before??

    When you went to one of these for the first time, did you know anybody else at first?

    Just curious to try to understand this whole BlogHer thing. I didn’t know that it will be in Chicago next year. I live here. Maybe I will go. Hopefully I’ll know someone by then! It would seem weird to go just by yourself and not know anyone.

    Okay. I will shut up now. Thanks!!

  • We all know each other from the internet, simple as that. I met several people at last year’s conference and now consider them to be solid friends, and we made plans to be together at this year’s conference. But that didn’t stop me from meeting lots of new people this year and looking forward to seeing them at the next conference.

  • Dude! I love your hair. I actually had to resist touching it.

    And I’m loving my t-shirt. I wore it earlier. It’s like “Hey, how are you? Please check out my chest will ya.” ;-)

  • Thanks for the scoop. All the other stuff i’ve read has been concerned about catfights.

    Wearing my Fussy T-shirt today and looking boobtastic.

  • fussy shirts defy all laws of physics and geometry and make everyone’s tits look fabulous.

    i might just link to this post and say ditto except for the hair issues and t-shirts.

    and yes, we all met the old fashioned way, through the internet. and darnit all if i didn’t make even more friends this year. i encourage one and all to come next year. the sour grapes are but a few.

  • But…but…the hair products. I thought they helped.

  • Wooo! Thanks for posting my picture.

    Loved the hair then, love the hair now. It is all good.

  • I think this is the best wrap-up/summary post yet.

    The red caterpillar was awesome. Don’t forget your fussy shirt from 60bugs. It’s a bug theme.

    God, i sound pathetic. Anyway. Short (hair) is good. So is AG “welding” – it’s a product, not sure if you have AG, but i’ve seen your hair (and i have short hair too) and it would be swell for you.

  • Oddly enough, I nodded my head through your entire post because I had spoken to one Fluid Pudding who related the window-yelling story, I hung out with JenB (new friend, great gal, love and mushiness abound with us) and I stayed in that fucked-up facility for the SAME THING as RDJ.

    The coincidences. They are freaky.

    The coolest part, and one which I hope to parlay into another online mutual admiration society (err… sorority) is when I saw your comment about me on Belinda’s site. I didn’t breathe in for a full 20 seconds.

  • Hey, I stood with jenny for an hour in that line to get the Yahootini for you.

    And I had to convince her not to drink it herself on the long walk back to your table. I was all, “Think of Mrs Kennedy. It is so hot in the sun.”


  • Looks like a great time. I can’t wait until next year in Chicago. Since it’s closer to home I may actually be able to convince my husband to let me attend. I wouldn’t want to miss out on the wonderful debauchery yet another time.

  • *pout* I missed all the fun. Maybe next year…

  • Hey, thanks for the shout-out. :) It was such a pleasure to meet you in person and find you are just and funny and charming — and, more importantly, easy to be around — as I thought you’d be.

    I’m with you re: Arianna Huffington. I liked her more than I thought I would. (Though from my spot in the back of the room I kept standing up slightly to make sure that was indeed Arianna Huffington speaking. That accent = Zsa Zsa Gabor for me.)

  • Still not sure why a bunch of people who want to be obscure go to a conference to be photographed…..

  • Who said we wanted to be obscure? I don’t blog anonymously and obviously have no problem putting photos of myself on my site, so it didn’t bother me to have my photo taken at BlogHer. (Well, except for that time when Guy Kawasaki wanted asked for a picture right after I’d taken a humongous bite of veggie burger.)

  • Hairdos (or don’ts) notwithstanding, it sounds like being there was better than not being there. I’m happy to hear that Laid-off Dad wasn’t ridiculted and dissed. Great recap.

    Personally, I’m still holding out for BlogHe.

  • A hair tragedy, perhaps…but your wardrobe looks divine.

  • I was one of those who mistakenly thought that the better-known bloggers such as yourself would be unapproachable, and I’m happy to say I was wrong. I came up to you at lunch on Saturday and introduced myself, and you were very nice. My kids loved seeing your business card with the face of The Hulk on it.

    Everyone should come to Blogher if they are interested, whether they “know” any other bloggers or not. You’ll make friends, I promise.

  • I worked through most of the panels, but I heard (from many sources) that yours was by far the best. Can’t wait to hear the podcast, see the video, rent the dvd. . .

  • I love your hair, and am very jealous of it! No worries in that regard.

  • Sounds like a wonderful experience. And I like your hair too!

  • You’re not allowed to be so modest because, well, some of us were there (at least until the low blood sugar forced us to leave and forage for nuts and berries in the woods). And some of us will attest to the fact that it was a good panel, you were very sharp with the segueways, and that your hair was just smashing in spite of the humidity.

  • You are charming and gracious and quite unassuming. And thank god for Jen who has the cojones to yell up table questions about “scraping RSS feeds” as the whole table pretend to know what the hell that means…

    Next year, I am plopping my ass down and TALKING with you, instead of simply stealing sidelong admiration glances.

  • I like the pic. I think it makes you resemble Sadie Frost a little.

  • About the shirt…I know I said I was going to give it to a friend who won a Pulitzer. But I tried it on…and now it is mine!