My BlogHer '12 Recap

8/15/12

It's been a little over a week since I came home from BlogHer '12, a conference for (mostly) women bloggers, which was held in New York this year. I wanted to go to learn more about blogging and social media and to meet other bloggers like me. This was the first non-academic conference that I've ever attended and I didn't know anyone else that was going, but I thought it might be good for my personal and professional development.

I really wanted to say that I had an amazing experience at the conference and that I learned a lot, but I guess I didn't take as much away from it as other bloggers did. Don't get me wrong: I had a fun time (it didn't hurt that the conference was in New York, which I love) and met a few bloggers and social media folks, but I left the conference feeling underwhelmed and kind of disappointed. 
Martha Stewart speaking at BlogHer '12 to 5,000 of us attendees.
Part of the draw for me was being able to attend sessions held during the day on blogging and social media-related topics. However, the sessions I attended were mostly about things I already knew. I wish these sessions could have been broken down into skill levels, such as "newbie," "intermediate," and "advanced." I'm not some super talented blogger or anything, but I think the sessions were really watered down for the most novice of bloggers. The only session that I felt I had learned something new and exciting at was the Media Training for Bloggers one by Elaine Wu and Julie Crabill. 

Other than this one session, I'd say the conference was not really for me. I'm not a mommy blogger, I don't really work with brands on my blog (I've done a few sponsored posts, but it's not something I actively pursue), and I didn't care for the expo hall full of BlogHer sponsors giving out free stuff. Not that there's anything wrong with being or doing any of the above. I also got the feeling that a lot of people there were looking for ways to make money off their blogs, and this is something I don't put much a lot of thought into.

On the plus side, the lack of engaging sessions at BlogHer '12 made me realize that I need to find some other way to challenge myself and to improve my technical skills. I used my blog in Singapore to make friends and connections; I need to figure out how to do that again and to do it better, but this time in San Jose. 

And here are some conference-related links I think are worth sharing:
  • I sat next to Sally McGraw from the blog Already Pretty. I wonder if I chose to sit next to her because I subconsciously recognized her from her blog. She was one of the nicest people I met all weekend. 
  • Have you ever really wanted to see where people are reading and clicking on your blog? Crazy Egg has a heat map that tells you exactly that. 
  • Rachel from Rachel & The City sums up the BlogHer '12 experience and I loved it because I can relate. 
Did you attend BlogHer '12? What'd you think? Are you thinking of going to BlogHer '13 in Chicago? 

8 comments:

  1. I am sorry your experience wasn't a great one. This was my 2nd year attending BlogHer, and each time I come in with a plan. Some of my goals were to further push my brand by hosting events, meet new Bloggers, and meet with a few new brands. I accomplished all of that and more.

    I see BlogHer as this raw energy that you have to take and shape into something great. Although, I wasn't a fan of having the conference in New York... I definitely will be there next year in Chicago.

    Note: This comment has inspired me to do a Twitter Blogger Workshop, I am going to use points from it and expound on it on my timeline, lolll.

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    1. Thank you for your thoughtful response and glad it has inspired you.

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    1. Elaine, I actually saw you a few times but didn't have a chance to say hi because I was either running to another session or you were talking to someone else. Did you have a good time?

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  4. I don't usually end up going for blogger events, not because they aren't great or helpful, but, as you mentioned, they are often directed towards people who are trying to do things with their blogs (get sponsors, make money, etc.) that I'm just not really that interested about doing.

    In the end I just find it more useful to try to seek out other blogs or sites that do something similar to what I'm doing and see what ideas I can emulate or adapt for my own purposes.

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    1. I had an idea there would be some of these sponsored/sponsor-seeking bloggers there, but had no idea that there would be so many. I guess I will be more selective about the conferences and events I attend in the future.

      I agree with you about finding other blogs and sites that are similar and/or inspiring. In fact, it's from these sites I find that I have learned more than I did at BlogHer.

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  5. Oh Flora, I'm so woefully behind in my follow-ups. Thank you for your kind words, lady! I had a great time chatting with you, too, and am so glad to have connected.

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