August 9, 2012
The first part of our NYC trip was lovey-exploring-friendtown and the second part was blogher. Welcome to the blogher section of our programming, which might will be very different than fun vacation photos.
I flew back home with mixed feelings about this year's conference. To a certain extent that's normal, I had mixed feelings last year too, but the general state of humanity was really trampling all over my resilient human spirit this time. After some reflection I'm feeling much better, but let's talk about the minor disappointing part first and get it out of the way.
I only have last year in San Diego to compare to, so I can't speak for "all bloghers ever," but I got a completely different vibe from the general crowd this year, and I hesitate to say it was... aggressive? Cold? I've been having trouble putting my finger on what exactly felt different, so let me just share a brief example that might help.
Partway through the Spraklycorns dancy-party I excused myself to go use the ladies facilities, which were down the escalator a bit. As I walked by a group of faceless women said, "What was THAT?!" And then they all turned around and pointed at me and laughed while I walked to the bathroom in my I-only-bought-it-because-it-was-sparkly ridiculous $10 dress. They were either A) Not aware that it is sparkleparty, so we all wear horrible sparkly things that are not particularly flattering, B) uptight twatcicles, or C) all of the above. I'm going with C.
I mean look at that over there.
TOTALLY SICK, AMIRITE?
They weren't anyone I knew, or care to know. I tweeted once about it and went back to the party and cut loose with my friends in the goofiest way possible. It was fine! No drama. Everything was fine. But that's the general vibe I got from walking through the hallway this year. There were a lot fewer cards exchanged and a lot more packs of women swooping around in bubbles. The safe space to be a dork felt a too big to be so safe this year. I'm sorry to those that observation might offend, but that's how I experienced it.
It's no fault of blogher's, or the community at large, or even of women specifically. It's math. Out any group of humans 15% will probably be assholes. Out of 2,500 people, that's a little handful of winky-browns. Out of 5,000 people, well, that's a lot more unbleached winky-browns. It has nothing to do with the wonderful, welcoming, happy people I met or spent time with, it's just math, and math can be a real asshole.
All that is not to say I didn't have a great time. God - the people I DID see - they've rejuvenated me. They're so smart. And funny. And talented. It's amazing to sit in a group and talk about the ins and outs of blogging because it's something that most of us do day to day in isolation. Then when we all get tipsy we can lean on each other's shoulder's and cry about how much we miss our kids, and you don't have to explain because they understand perfectly. It's what we do in between laughing until you start to pee and OHGOD hold it in. It's bizarre and wonderful to pick up just where you left off with someone you've never "met."
I didn't get to see a quarter of the people I wanted to hug, but that's just life. It felt harder this year to "run into" people in the crowds, especially the hands I just wanted to shake once because they're a great read.
I've come home with a little bit to think about as a blogger/writer. Am I a blogger ...or a writer? Can they be the same thing? If I don't want a book deal or a column, am I still allowed to buckle down and take this seriously just because I love doing it? If I don't care about sponsorships or big numbers, can I still strive to do a little bit better every day, just for me?
it was blogher12
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