I’ve been a little bitter this past week. My complexion was radiating a mightily distinct shade of green. I knew it was coming, and that I had no intention of going. The chatter and excitement in the blogosphere that led up to the highly anticipated BlogHer ’09 conference in Chicago was making me itch with a desire to be a part of it. I simply had to take in every drop of enthusiasm brought to life in the form of posts and tweets from my fellow bloggers with tickets, drooling as they polished off their business cards and fretted over which strappy sandals to pack. “Damn”, I said as I imagined stuffing my favorite Bandolinos into a suitcase, “I don’t even have business cards. I’m SO not ready for this.”
I told myself I was too new at the whole blogging thing to warrant attendance to a conference. I didn’t feel as though I had quite earned my badge. I thought loftily that next year, next year I’d be ready. So I sat back and by the power of Twitter watched it all unfold from my laptop.
Stop by any of the popular parenting sites, and you’re bound to get a personal recap from those who attended…and some have painted none too pretty a picture. There are endless stories of women mobbing the marketing expo for free gifts, pushing and shoving their way with little concern for the safety of others, people whose only interest was to get free stuff; and others who simply acted unprofessional in general.
Those who have been writing blogs dating back to the times of online journals, and who have been attending the conference for years, saw their happy gathering of typing souls morphing before their eyes. They were embarrassed by what took place, and frustrated and torn by the desire to see their blogging community flourish, but not to change like this. They were concerned that the women who acted less than stellar clouded the reflection of bloggers in general. I think Mom-101 said it best that “our actions- for better of for worse…reflect on the entire community.”
I felt for these women who continue to see their world alter with the onslaught of new bloggers popping up everywhere; the face to the name blogger is changing daily, and not always for the better.
There were of course, others that had a wonderful time, enjoyed the seminars, and didn’t notice much of the drama that took place. That’s the kind of BlogHer I was expecting to hear about; the kind I want to see.
Regardless, where does this leave me? I am new to this world, this entity that is the blogosphere. I am fueled by the desire to write, to share, to experience, to read, to be read, to be understood, to entertain, to provoke thought, and to be a part of this vast community. I am one. I am one of oh, so many.
Registration for BlogHer ’10 is already underway. It is in New York, and as I picture myself, a brave solo traveler, bags packed, driving to the Big Apple with my cds blearing my favorite songs as I sing at the top of my lungs in total excitement of the days ahead; I stop and wonder.
Is this for me? Am I bold enough to go on my own, not knowing a single soul in person, and not having made enough personal connections to have my own BlogHer Buddies? Do I qualify in my own mind as worthy? Do I qualify yet in the minds of others? Does it matter?
But also, is it worth it? This is not a business venture for me. This is writing for the shear compulsion to write. I will not be sponsored, and the trip would be entirely out of my own pocket. Is it financially wise in these times to simply go for the desire of the experience, with hopes to learn ways to better this little hobby of mine?
These are the questions I am facing. The answers I had best decide upon soon…BlogHer ’10 will sell out in no time.