In a couple of the sessions I attended, there was also a bit of barely suppressed venom and not a little bitterness about the perceived attention the Mommy Bloggers were receiving, not only from the vendors, but in the actual agenda, as well.
There were questions, occasionally in voices quavering with anger, about how and why the Mommy Bloggers were getting tons of ad revenue and requests for product reviews and so many dedicated BlogHer sessions, and even observations that the non-MBs felt left out, second-class citizens of the blogosphere, in fact.
Many of the vendors did cater more to the family-oriented blogger:
- Johnson & Johnson
- Jump Start
- Safe Kids
- Safety 1st
- Leap Frog
- Family Fun Night
- PBS Parents
- Liverty Mutual
- Microsoft Office
- Bill Me Later (a PayPal Company)
- Geek Squad
- she's geeky
- Engage Her
- NEWCOMM FORUM 2009
There were 24 sessions devoted to the "geek" aspects of blogging, everything from blogging 101 for newbies to using HTML to making your blog more accessible to how and why to use Twitter, to CSS, CMS tools and SEO. There were also sessions on using social media to promote your blog and video blogging tutorials.
So I'm not sure where the bile came from. In one instance it seemed to be solely for the amusement of one blogher's friends as they had to sit and listen as she bitched about the whole thing to someone on the other end of her phone call. All. The. Way. Through. Lunch. Trust me. I was sitting right next to them. She complained about the Mommy Bloggers. She complained about the swag (perhaps she missed the vibrators in room 704?). She said that no one came to BlogHer to learn anything--it was all about "Mom's gone wild in Chicago." (In her defense, there were a lot of cocktail parties.)
So for Whiny Phone Girl and all the others complaining about it, don't go to BlogHer in New York next summer. Don't worry about the fact that you can actually learn a few useful things. Skip the opportunity to make a few new connections and meet some of the women whose blogs you do read. BlogHer '09 sold out four months early. There was a waiting list. A lot of people who wanted to be there couldn't be there. So stay home. Let these other women come instead and have an opportunity to learn some of the things you mocked.
I didn't go to a lot of sessions this year. The geek stuff scares me (I know, it shouldn't), and some of the others just weren't up my alley--and yes, that includes some of the Mommy Blogger sessions. I had almost convinced myself that I wasn't going to go next year, until the last session I attended. And if BlogHer announces that Neil Kramer and Amy Turn Sharp are going to be on a panel again, I'll book the tickets just for that.