I'm on my way out the door for a flight, and I simply don't have time for a full BlogHer conference report. But it was a lot of fun. It was well-organized, with interesting sessions, and tons and tons of time for informal network and more structured conversations between participants. I made many great women, and I look forward to following up with them, and visiting their blogs.
What really struck me about this conference, coming from a semiconductor industry background was the difference in the feel of the conference, and how people related to one another relative to tech conferences. First of all, of course, the gender breakdown was reversed. Usually I'm one of a handful of women. Here there were a handful of men. Then there was the energy level at the conference. People were very friendly and outgoing, and really looking to connect with one another. I think that some of this was a gender thing, and that some of it was a blogger thing. I mean, people who choose to blog, and care about it enough to go to a conference about it, are by definition people who are trying to put themselves out there, and connect with other people. I had been a bit intimidated to go to this conference, where I didn't know anyone, but it really turned out to be fine. I met a lot of great people. it would have been nice if there were more bloggers from the kidlitosphere there, of course, but you can't have everything.
In terms of content, I personally got the most out of today's opening session, in which various attendees talked about how blogging has changed their worlds, and in some cases the world as a whole. The women who started a Katrina relief agency overnight were particularly inspirational. I also enjoyed the "Is the Next Martha Stewart a Blogger?" session (about using blogs to help with commercial ventures, with an emphasis on craft blogs), and the "From Here to Autonomy session" (about making a living from blogging).
After I get back from my trip, I'll have more time to visit the new blogs that I learned about this weekend. I'll definitely keep you posted.