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?