The BlogHer ’12 Agenda: Preliminary Session Schedule & ROYO Launch

BlogHer Original Post

Update as of March 31, 2012: We expect to announce Room of Your Own panels this coming week! Stay tuned!


Today, we are thrilled to announce that our online agenda for BlogHer ’12 now shows our preliminary session schedule! Where once there were names of tracks in the various time slots, there now are names of actual panels! With descriptions and speakers soon to follow!

Today, we will also launch the Room of Your Own submission phase of conference programming.



As we laid out in our initial Call for Ideas, we program our annual conference in several sweeps:

Round One: BlogHer-programmed sessions are created from your submissions to our Call for Ideas. We received all of your session and speaker ideas and synthesized them into panels, often combining similar submissions. Check these sessions out here.

Round Two: Room of Your Own sessions are designed to enable registered conference attendees to make a direct impact on their experience. We select panels that have a powerful combination of community interest, as voiced in the “thumbs up” the panels receive, and the diversity they bring to the programming schedule. (See below for more.)

For those already familiar with the Room of Your Own (or ROYO) process, here’s what you need:

There’s more to come after Round Two programming: we’ll be rolling out offerings in our Geek Bar, Writing Lab, and the Sponsored track, announcing Birds of a Feather meet-ups, and more. But all in due time! Today, it’s all about the BlogHer-programmed sessions, and the launch of the Room of Your Own process.

Round One: Preliminary Sessions

This year we received a record number of submissions from an incredible array of voices, both familiar and new. With great effort, we’ve boiled those down into 37 different panels. As ever, what you’ll see is a blend of many voices and many minds, a weave of the best of your ideas and ours. The intent has been to bring together a program of fresh, actionable, intriguing material, with ample offerings for rookie bloggers and seasoned vets alike.

  • The Personal track is where we explore identity and community. This year, conversations in the Personal track kick off with a look at blogging purely for blogging’s sake. Other panels will explore writing at the crossroads of personal identity and partisan belief, and sharing both our culture and our commonality. Sex bloggers and midlife bloggers will expand your understanding of each, and ALI (adoption, loss, and infertility) bloggers will talk about what it’s like to transform your blog as your purpose and life stage changes.
  • The Political track takes a topic of perpetual interest -- how we use our voices online to effect change in the public sphere -- and gives special emphasis, in this big election year, to effecting change through the electoral process: we take a careful look at how legislation works, how we can get women into office, and what women who are in office now are doing. We’re also teaming up with LATISM on two panels, celebrating the recipients of this year’s International Activist Blogger Scholarships (nominations still open here!), and looking at how women have founded online organizations to make change they want to see.
  • The Professional track splits in two for 2012, to accommodate the need to provide appropriate content both to bloggers newer to monetizing, and to those who are veterans looking to take their game to the next level. Find out what you can do to maximize your social media expertise, protect your legal rights (and those of others), deliver content across multiple formats, expand your income streams, invest in promoting your blog, and make the most of media opportunities. These tracks begin and end with all-level sessions that you won’t want to miss, answering critical questions like “what do brands want?” and “how do I price and value my services?”
  • The Technical track presents conversations about how things work (or how you can work smarter, using tech tools): from HTML, to podcasting, to SEO and Google Analytics mastery, to app-making. This track will be complemented this year by two full days of hands-on work in the Geek Lab, because we learned last year that one day of small-group Geek knowledge-dropping was just not enough.
  • The Writing track explores writing craft on day one, while addressing how to polish your work and get it to a wider audience on day two. Day one's craft work will take place in the Writing Lab. Like the Geek Bar, it will provide small group work in half-hour sessions throughout the day Friday. As with the Geek Bar, these offerings will be rolled out in the weeks to come. On Saturday, we return to regular panels and focus on the profession, with topics including how to take a blog post and make it into a publishable essay; how to pitch your work to media for pay, and more.
  • The Visual track makes its debut this year as a discrete element of programming. Panels address everything from iPhoneography to high-grade post-production photo retouching; trade secrets from style and design bloggers, graphic artists, and cartoonists; and a double-wide session on video blogging. Come for the inspiration, leave with a tool bag jam-packed with tricks and tips you can put to use immediately. 

Again, you can look over the various panel titles and scheduled times for them here.

Round Two: Room of Your Own Programming

From the first BlogHer, we’ve designed your input into the process both at the outset, in the crowd-sourced initial Call for Ideas, and again from within the community of folks who’ve committed to attend.

You can read our original definition of the Room of Your Own concept here. Most important to note is that the Room of Your Own proposals should be made by registered attendees of the conference. That’s because the purpose of the Room of Your Own sessions is to provide an opportunity for attendees to:

  • fill in the programming holes that you think we left in the basic schedule;
  • volunteer to contribute to the conference in a very active way; and
  • make the conference experience your own.

Coming to BlogHer ’12? Go to this form to let us know what you’d like to bring to the conference! (Remember, you need to log in to first.)

We want to know which sessions most resonate with would-be attendees. Go to this page of proposed Room of Your Own sessions and let us know which you would be interested in attending. You can only give the “thumbs-up” on a panel once, but you can cruise around and say “hey! I’d go to this!” to as many panels as you’d want to see offered in the ROYO track.

  • Deadline for ROYO submissions: 5pm Pacific, March 15, 2012

Again, on behalf of all of us here on the Programming team, I want to thank all of you who threw your ideas into the pot. In so many different ways, this is your conference: inspired by what inspires you, built to give you what you enough of what you want, enough of what you need, and a little bit of what you didn’t see coming (but now can’t wait to see)! Let us know what you think, ask us questions, and for those of you planning to come to New York this August, tell us what we missed!



for Elisa, Jory, Lisa, and the entire Conference Programming Team 


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