A small recap: my third BlogHer conference
I was telling someone recently that raising a third baby is quite different from a first. You don’t tend to listen to advice-givers. You let the messages around you about how you should be (feeding/putting to sleep/carrying/birthing/whatever) parenting just slide off your back without a care in the world. Most of the time, you feel fairly confident about your parenting decisions. Because they’re tried and tested, and the other two are still alive, so what’s the problem?
The only minor problem, of course, is that you might be missing out on a good new way to do things. Something that might actually make things better for you or your child.
I feel this way about blogging following my attendance at my third BlogHer conference last week.
At my first conference, in Chicago in 2009, I was a nervous Nellie, traveling on my own, going without knowing very many people in person. I got a lot out of the sessions and made some forever friends. I came home after my second conference, in New York in 2010, completely fired up and inspired about writing and the potential for making change even if you are (merely) writing a product review. I solidified my approach to this blog and any monetization that I partake in at that time. I also deepened friendships with local bloggers that weekend, mostly spending time with Canadians but also meeting new people that I still feel fondly towards today.
This time? I am very, very glad I went. I had a good time. But I am having a hard time articulating if I got anything out of it other than a good time. Am I too set in my ways now? Am I such a blogging dinosaur that you can’t really teach me anything, even if it might be useful to me? I have to think about this some more. While I recover (oh, I am so very very very tired).
I didn’t push myself out of my comfort zone. I stuck to people I know (whether my very close room mates, or fellow Canadians from all over, or bloggers I met at other conferences that I was so happy to see again). I didn’t come home with any business cards, really. I didn’t attend any sessions with topics out of the ordinary for me, except for the International Activists (I am surely not risking my life to write this, and I am so glad they do what they do).
I attended all the keynote sessions and I couldn’t miss President Obama speaking to the crowd – which really was quite remarkable. I missed half of Voices of the Year for the first time ever to attend a private party, out of obligation – I was so torn about that one. At least I can watch VOTY as soon as it’s posted online. I brought home some toys for the kids, and not much other swag. I ate some wonderful meals and some delicious appetizers and Momofuku crack pie and had many, many alcoholic beverages.
Two huge highlights from the last few days involve a bra fitting and the most talkative shuttle driver ever who took me back to the airport. Nothing to do with the conference at all.
If you saw me at Sparklecorn, I was probably grinning from the happy drunk. I was in a room with some of my favourite people with a champagne cocktail in my hand, while the music was loud, and no one had any cares in the world. And that may be all I am going to take away from this weekend. I’m mostly okay with that. But I wonder if there should have been more.