Announcing the official Call for Ideas for BlogHer '08

BlogHer Original Post

BlogHer 08 Reach The BlogHer community has been submitting ideas for BlogHer '08 session since pretty much the day after BlogHer '07 ended. And you can rest assured that we have been saving all of the ideas, suggestion, speaker recommendations and "shameless plugs." But if you were waiting to hear just a little more about what we have on tap for BlogHer '08 before making your suggestions, then this post will be welcome.

I'm announcing the official "Call for Ideas" for BlogHer '08 this July 18-20 in San Francisco, CA.

Why a "Call for Ideas" and not a "Call for Speakers" or "Call for Proposals" or something like that? 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.

Our theme this year is Reach! This has different meanings to different bloggers, but we know that many of us have aspirations to reach more people with the ideas we're sharing and also to reach for more in our lives on and offline. This conference is all about helping you have more reach, and to reach for more.

This year we have two days of the traditional conference format and one day for the BlogHer Unconference on Sunday July 20th. If you want to remind yourself about how Unconferences work, check out Kaliya's explanatory post last year. If after everything shakes out you think something is missing from the conference schedule (and some of you will, since there are way more good ideas than there are time slots) then we suggest you come lead a session yourself at the Unconference!

BlogHer '08 Tracks

This year we're featuring four tracks, as follows:

Who We Are: Called the "Identity" track in the past, this is the track where you will find sessions dealing with the most personal blogging topics. In the past we've covered what it's really like to blog about our gender, our race, our sexual orientation, our children, our hopes and dreams, our privacy, our fears, our most sensitive issues...from addiction to abuse. Is there a blogging population you find intriguing, but haven't heard much from or about? This might be the track to get inside their heads!

What We Do: In the past we've had many sessions about both our vocations and our avocations...what we do with our lives, what we're passionate about. This is where you'll find sessions about blogging as your personal platform and potential business. This is also where you'll find sessions about how blogging can make us better at, or at least more informed about, just about anything we like to do.

What We Believe: Politics, activism, social causes. It's 2008, and the blogosphere seems to be more focused on not only talking about we believe in, but taking action about it. For U.S. folks it's a big election year, so politics will be on the agenda. We'll also review the inaugural BlogHers Act initiative, and line up next year's initiative. This is the track to talk about how individuals and online communities are making noise, making a difference, making change.

How We Communicate Who We Are, What We Do and What We Believe: The track whose title is a mouthful! Basically, this is the Technical track. What are the tools that can help you improve your blog. How it looks. How easy it is to use. How compelling it is. Sometimes that means diversifying your content itself by learning new formats and media. Sometimes that means improving your use of all the platforms, applications and tools that are available to us all as bloggers. Sessions here will not be focused on technology for its own sake, but on how it can enable you to spread your blogging mojo farther and wider!

Those are the tracks, so if that triggers some great ideas, then as always, email me and tell me:

- Who you are and why you want to speak
- Which of our tracks you'd like to participate in, and your experience/expertise/knowledge/perspective about that subject
- Specific links that highlight that experience/expertise/knowledge/perspective
- Your contact information and a link to your blog(s)
- Who else you think should be contributing

I hope to receive all ideas in the next four weeks (by March 10th) so that we can start publishing the schedule next month.

We look forward to seeing/hearing what you come up with, what you want and what you're dying to see on the schedule.

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