after BlogHer ‘09, my blogging conference pledge

Although I think of myself as a veteran blogger I have to confess
that I have never attended any blogging conference ever. Yes, I made
plans to attend BlogHer ‘06, ‘07 and ‘08. I sulked just a little when I
had to suck it up over the realization that with hubs out of work, my
work hours drastically reduced, bad timing and no corporate sponsors
beating down the Big Top door that I was not going to BlogHer 09
either. Because I wasn’t always in the know in social network land, I
missed out on opportunities like BlissDom as well.  Still I lurked and
reached out to those lucky ones attending living vicareously through
their live tweets and blogs of the fun and lessons learned as well as
their post-mortem thoughts and observations on the good, inspiring,
funny, bad and OMG-that-is-fugly that is blogging conferences.

Having said all that can I just say that based on the tweeting and
blogging during and after BlogHer 09 makes me genuinely afarid to
attend any blogging conference out there. Of course I must disclose
that I made good on my promise that I would attend a blogging
conference soon and FINALLY, hopefully, meet face to face  bloggers who
I have become acquainted with over the years and those whom I admire
and am a huge fan of. I bought my ticket to SITScation 09 and booked my room and then this weekend I took a gulp, dug into my personal savings and bought me a BlogHer ‘10 ticket.

Yup! I’m going to not one but two blog conferences in the next year
and at this moment I have to confess I a little worried and a little
scared. What the hell did I sign up for, I wonder? Are these
conferences only about the crazy-assed,  claustrophobia-inducing
parties where one must be willing to knock over anyone and anything
just to get a bag of swag? Is it all about acquiring so much stuff
(whether you have an actual use for it or not) that you have no clue
how you’re going to get it home? Is it all about corporate sponsorships
and how much crap you can sweet talk, bribe them to throw your way with
the promise that you will only say nice things about them on your blog?
Is it all really about a sense of entitlement that I deserve all of
this and mnore offered at this blogging conference because I am a
blogger dammit?

Is this how it is really?

One might think so searching through blogs and other media today that are discussing BlogHer 09.

Regardless, I’m still going, albeit with a little trepidation. Yes,
I know these blogging conferences are what I choose to make out of them
and I do agree with that generalization. Having said that I am making a
statement of how I hope to behave at SITScation ‘09 and BlogHer 10.
From my perspective the key to making these blogging conferences a
positive, community-building and learning experience can be found in
everything that I learned in kindergarten. With a nod of respect to
Robert Fulghum here is my pledge  to you all.

All I really need to know about blogging conferences I learned in Kindergarten:

All I really need to know, how to act, what to do and how to be at a
blogging conference I learned in kindergarten. Wisdom, it seems, can
not be found at the top of the mountain of the blogging community, but
there is in the sand pile at school.

These are the things I believe I should apply when I go.

  • share everything
  • play fair
  • don’t hit (elbow) people
  • put things back where you found them
  • clean up your own mess
  • don’t take things that aren’t yours
  • say you’re sorry when you hurt someone
  • wash your hands before you eat
  • flush
  • warm cookies and cold milk are good for you
  • live a balanced life- learn some, and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some
  • take a nap every afternoon
  • when you go out watch out for traffic, hold hands and stick together
  • be aware of wonder. remember the little seed in the styrofoam cup?
    the roots go down and the plant goes up and no one really knows how or
    why. but we are all like that.
  • goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the little seed in the styrofoam cup- they all die. so do we.
  • andd then remember the Dick and Jane books and the first word you learned- the biggest word of all- LOOK

Everything you need to know about how to behave at a blogging
conference is in there somewhere. The Golden Rule and love and basic
sanitation. Ecology and politics and equality and sane living.

Take any one of those items and extrapolate it into blogger terms
and apply it to your your life, your work, government or your world and
it holds true and clear and firm. Think about what a better blogging
conference and community it would be if we all, the entire blogging
community, had cookies and milk in ther afternoon and then lay down
with our blanket for a nap. Or if all blogger attendees had as a basic
policy to always put things back where they found them and to clean up
their own mess.

And it is still true, no matter how long you have been blogging or
how many blogging conferences you may have attended or how many
corporate sponsors beg to give you a free ride sponsorship to these blogging conferences, it is best to hold hands and stick together.


[Source: "ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED IN KINDERGARTEN" by Robert Fulghum.  See his web site at http://www.robertfulghum.com/ ]

If you see me at SITScation ‘09 or BlogHer 10
or, if I am lucky, any other future blogging conferences that I might
be so fortunate to attend, please say hello to me and by all means,
feel free to remind me of my pledge here.

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