This was written yesterday:
As I sit on the plane flying home from this amazing conference, there are so many thoughts running through my head.
First and foremost, I loved being with bloggers all weekend. These are ALL women who understand. They understand why writing every day is so important. They understand how important the Internet is to community. They understand how blogs can transform our lives.
Second, I got such joy from meeting women in person who I had previously only known online. Liz from Mom-101 gave everyone buttons that read, "I'm funnier on my blog." And, I think most of us believe that about ourselves. But, I have to say, I have not laughed so hard, and so frequently, in a very long time. I took such pleasure from being around these women.
Third, I guess I am thinking about all of the controversies that were swirling about the Hyatt San Jose over the past couple of days. There were some negative posts* and commentary about MommyBloggers (Can't we write about anything beyond our kids? Why yes, we can. And WE ALL DO!). There was discussion about the appropriateness of men belonging at this conference (It was, indeed, a bit strange, but I can't blame them for wanting to be a part of this.). And, finally, there was a lot of discussion about the large number of sponsors, the type of sponsors we had, and how the sponsors were treating us.
I'm stuck in a window seat with no where to go and no books left to read, so I've been thinking a bit about this last one. As you know, Michael (well, GM Blogs) was one of the sponsors. And, my full time job is for a web development agency that does quite a bit of work for manufacturers. Manufacturers who want to get involved in the Web 2.0 space and become a part of the blogosphere. So, this topic kind of resonates with me.
I read a post yesterday that expressed dismay that the sponsors were treating us like consumers, and not like players. I disagree. I talk to manufacturers all the time. I know why GM Blogs was at BlogHer, and if one of my clients was a sponsor, I know why they would choose to be at BlogHer. It's not because they want us to be consumers. It's because they want us to be influencers. If we like a product, we might buy it, sure. But that's just one purchase. That doesn't matter to the manufacturer. What matters is that we influence our readers. If we like something? If we recommend it to our readers? They will buy it. And that is where the power lies.
* I'm not going to link to the post in question. It doesn't deserve any further traffic.