My mind is finally processing everything from the BlogHer conference in San Francisco. I had a great time meeting and hanging out with some fun food bloggers: Claire, Lydia, Kalyn, Kathy, Sean, Shuna, Susan, Sara, Genie, Gudrun, Elise (thanks for the mug!), Amy, Jennifer. Then there was the all the fun catching up with my friends from DC Metro Moms Blog: Tech Savvy Mama, Jessica, Stimey, WhyMommy, Mama Bird, Sandie, Vickie, KC, Lawyer Mama, Pundit Mom, Kristin, Kimberly. Meeting the rest of the SV Moms at the party on Thursday was wonderful, and it was great to finally put a face to all the names I read on the blogs: Jill, Beth, Tekla, Linsey, Alix, Canape (I understand where you are coming from), Myrna, and many others.
There were about 1000 bloggers at the conference and many opportunities to meet people, and I have to say this shy woman started feeling a little overwhelmed, but I tried to step out of my normal wall-flower persona and enjoy all the hubbub, though for some strange reason I suddenly found myself very nervous when it came time to introduce my blog at the food bloggers meetup! So I must say a big thanks to all of you who came to me and introduced yourselves because you helped me come out of my shell. (Of course there’s a potential downside to that because I think I talked some people’s ears off once I got to know them, so if I did talk your ear off, thank you for being so gracious about it.)
The conference presented many learning opportunities, and I felt pulled in multiple directions. My favorite presentations were Elise’s session on building traffic (she is so honest and down-to-earth), Me Ra Koh’s session on photography (very inspiring), and the business of blogging session. Often there were concurrent presentations I was interested in, but I had to choose. The Business of Blogging session was very informative, but I had to exit in the middle of Tax Girl’s awesome presentation to go to the Birds of a Feather Meetup so I could join my fellow food bloggers. I appreciated Kalyn’s idea of introducing ourselves with just 10 words about our blogs (think really really short elevator speech), though some of the corporate reps in the room tried to do an end-run around that rule. Kalyn showed off her classroom management skills and kept everyone on track! My only complaint with the meetups is the lack of time and space. We had a lot of food bloggers or people interested in food blogging and such a short amount of time for even a 10-word introduction. We did set aside some tables for Saturday lunch so we could all sit together and have some more talking time, and the food bloggers all tried to get together for lunch on Sunday, but I had to miss that one to catch my flight home.
One interesting thing that came out of our discussions during and after BlogHer ’08 is the need for a food bloggers conference. This isn’t new; it has been discussed off and on for the last few years, and to those who had attended before as well as all of us newbies, the need for sessions specific to food bloggers was readily apparent. A bunch of us started Twittering and emailing and then putting our ideas together in the hope that next summer we can have a conference dedicated to food blogging. We think it’s something to get excited about! Maybe next year?