If you're not a blogger, you may not have heard of Blogher, which has been a website, an organization and best of all, a series of conferences that have been held around the country for the last five years. (This was my first Blogher, so I'm new to them, too.)
Although you will see in this slideshow pictures of Mrs Potato Head, Marmaduke the actor and Great Dane (or was it his stunt double?), a fabulous closeup magician and his equally fabulous embroidered jacket and even a tarot card reader (the parties were fun!), it is the more serious pix of crowds of some of the 2400 attendees of Blogher '10, and of the panels and seminar leaders which represent what were the most memorable parts of the event for me.
If you are a blogger, and that would be male or female (yes, there were some guys), this conference (and from what I hear, past ones and most likely upcoming ones) was an incredible resource for what we do. Meeting fellow bloggers initially didn't seem as if it would be as moving to me as it turned out to be. Simply sitting in a seminar with people faced with the same questions and helpful ones you'd never have thought to ask, turned the sometimes all-too-solitary pursuit of blogging into a wonderful shared experience, at least for a weekend.
The crafting of words and images, the process of letting the world know about yourself and your work, and the technical underpinnings of all this were each covered in several sessions. In addition, there were opportunities to meet with bloggers who shared your content area: parenting, food, fashion or sports, and time to hang with your fellow Latinas, LGBTs,or Blogalicious women of color. And if you're not a blogger, but are thinking of becoming one, this is definitely the place to start because everyone is there to learn and so helpful to those who know less. No knowledge snobs!
Just a gluten-free vegetarian note on the gathering: there were many vegetarian options, and not enough gluten-free ones, I thought, but hopefully that will change in the future since many of us were fairly vocal about the problem. It was, however, possible at the AOL Party, to enjoy one dish from Chef Marcus Samuelsson's demo, a wonderful fresh corn, sweet red pepper and smoked paprika relish.
I'm hoping to snag a ticket to Blogher Food in October, which will be held in San Francisco, butat the very least I am currently booked for the International Food Blogger Conference to be held at the end of this month in Seattle. If you're a food blogger, I hope I'll see you there! And if you're not attending, rest assured I'll report back at the end of August on the gluten-free vegetarian state of things in Rain City.