Announcing the official BlogHer Food '09 Call for Ideas

BlogHer Original Post

BlogHer Food 09 Last week we were thrilled to announce the first ever BlogHer Food 09, this September 26th in San Francisco. Today I am announcing our Call for Ideas for programming for that conference. For those of you who are not that familiar with BlogHer, we call our events the "conference the community built", and getting your input on the programming is one of the most important steps.

BlogHer's conference programming manager, Jes Ferris, and I will be ably assisted by:

The BlogHer Food Conference Advisory Committee:
Karina Allrich from Gluten-free Goddess
Matt Armendariz from Matt Bites
Elise Bauer from Simply Recipes
Kalyn Denny from Kalyn's Kitchen
Jaden Hair from Steamy Kitchen
Alanna Kellog from A Veggie Venture
Heidi Swanson from 101 Cookbooks
Sean Timberlake from Hedonia

Note: Not all Advisory Committee members are guaranteed to appear at BlogHer Food '09.

Why a "Call for Ideas"

So, why do we call it a "Call for Ideas" and not a "Call for Speakers" or "Call for Proposals" or something like that?

Answer: Because BlogHers are a generous bunch, and there are plenty of you who like to recommend other people to speak and want to suggest panels you'd like to attend, not personally speak on. And we're are all for that...any idea is welcomed, collected and reviewed by humans.

What will the Conference tracks be?

Actually, that is one of the first orders of business. There will be two tracks, and we could go a lot of different ways with them:

Beginner and Advanced?
Technical Skills and Editorial Skills?
Food blog as business and Food blog as avocation?
Food blog: how to do them well and Food blogs: Why we do them

As you can see, lots to talk about, and lots of potential themes. We'd love your feedback on sessions and tracks.

How to submit

If all of the above triggers some great ideas, then please email both me ( and Jes Ferris ( and tell us as much of the following as is applicable. (If you're submitting someone else as a speaker you'd like to see, then tell us what you think we should know about them):

- Who you are and why you want to speak
- What two tracks you'd like to see
- Which track you'd like to participate in, and your experience/expertise/knowledge/perspective about that subject
- Any specific session ideas you have
- Specific links that highlight your experience/expertise/knowledge/perspective
- Your contact information and a link to your blog(s)
- Who else you think should be contributing and why

What's the timeline?

Because the planning schedule for this conference is so compressed, so too is our call for ideas schedule:

June 7th, Midnight (PT) is the deadline to submit your ideas. That's just under 3 weeks, so please spread the word!!

Taking your pulse on BlogHer's speaking policy

[UPDATE 05/27/09]: Thanks for taking the poll everyone. As we announced in this post, the results of the below poll were clear. The BlogHer food blogging community wants to invite men to speak on panels! Submit away!

As you may or may not know, every year BlogHer polls its community after the annual conference to see how they feel about our policy to have 100% women speaking on BlogHer-programmed panels. [We can have and have had men speak in community-programmed sessions, such as the Community Keynote and the Room of Your Own sessions.] Each year, so far, the community has continued to feel strongly about this policy, so each year we have made the decision that the following year's conference will adhere to it. It's a year-by-year policy, which we are ready to adapt when the community is ready to adapt.

We have never, however, done a food conference before. And the feedback we're getting on this is that food blogging is already a female-dominated segment of the blogosphere, or seems so. That it is, in fact, the male food bloggers' lights that sometimes get hidden under a bushel. So, we thought it was appropriate to ask you, our food blogging community, what you thought should happen for this BlogHer Food '09 Conference. We're asking you, because that's what we have always done, and it's what we will always do, and it seems like this conference and this part of the larger blogging community deserves to have a decision made specifically for it!

We appreciate you taking the poll. We will run it for just about a week or so and then make the call. In the meantime, we encourage everyone to submit their ideas, but we certainly understand if you prefer to wait for the update before doing so.

Please feel free to leave us your comments on programming, tracks, sessions and the speaking issue below.


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