BlogHer '07 - Day One Schedule (Friday July 27th)

BlogHer Conference '07
July 27-29, 2007 in Chicago, IL
Day Two's schedule is here. --> Register now.

A Note re: TracksThe BlogHer conference is organized into five different subject areas or "tracks". Feel free to stick with a single track, or to track-hop as the mood strikes you.This year's tracks are:

Art of Life: This track is devoted to the passions about which so many of us, art, photography, crafts, knitting, writing, music and more.


Business of You: This track is devoted to personal and business advancement. We will discuss speaker and media training, self-branding and promotion, mentoring, turning your blog into a book or a business, and even managing your time, your finances, your blogging policies and best practices...the business of you.


Community: This track is devoted to the care and feeding of communities. We'll discuss building bridges between different online communities, how to galvanize social change with your blogs, and how blogging is a voice for different communities around the world.


Identity: This track is about both the immutable and the dynamic aspects of our lives. Race, gender, age, sexuality, parenting, singledom...many of us blog about who we are, not what we do, and this track will explore your many facets.


Technical: Day One's technical track focuses on presentations that will help you decided how you want to get your geeky on, while Day Two will be more lab-oriented, so you can get your hands dirty.

Each track contains sessions you will notice are called Room of Your Own sessions. The original description of BlogHer's Room of Your Own concept can be found here.


Day One Schedule - Friday, July 27th, 2007




General Session: Welcome Who you say you are and why you're here - review of attendee survey, trends in the women's blogosphere. Elisa Camahort, Jory Des Jardins and Lisa Stone


General Session: Speed "Dating" for BlogHers Don't ask us exactly how, but we plan to create some awesome activity to help you meet new bloggers. Any favorite such ice-breaking activity in your repertoire? Let us know.

10:45-12:00: Breakout #1Click session name to jump to detailed descriptions and speakers.

Art of Life: Finding and Following Your Passion: A Room of Your Own session

Business of You: Self-branding and Self-promotion

Community: The Life Stages of Online Communities

Identity: Digital Exhibitionists or Chroniclers of their Time: Will Naked Bloggers Make History?: A Room of Your Own session

Technical: Getting Custom: What Web Designers Know



Birds of a Feather Lunch - Find other bloggers like you

1:30-2:45: Breakout #2Click session name to jump to detailed descriptions and speakers.

Art of Life: The Art of Storytelling

Business of You: Speaker Training

Community: Privacy, Exposure, Risk: Can you maintain safer spaces online?

Identity: Our Bodies, Our Blogs

Technical: Find Out Why Bloggers Care About Web Standards

2:45-4:00: Breakout #3Click session name to jump to detailed descriptions and speakers.

Art of Life: The Art of Writing Reviews

Business of You: Media Training

Community: Getting It On(line) for a Cause: Part 1 - Raising Money

Identity: Does the Blogosphere Need an Intolerance Intervention?


Technical: Technical Tools To Build Traffic



4:30-5:45: Breakout #4Click session name to jump to detailed descriptions and speakers.

Art of Life: Blogging is More Than Words

Business of You: Mentoring and Coaching: A Room of Your Own session

Community: Getting it On(line) for a Cause : Part 2 - Raising Consciousness: A Room of Your Own session

Identity: The State of the Momosphere, sponsored by Five Moms

Technical: Blogging Workflow Tools and Tricks


Welcome Cocktail Party on the Navy Pier Rooftop, sponsored by General Motors Featuring a performance by singer-songwriter-blogger Christine Kane, under the tent, starting at 6:30PM

Detailed Session Descriptions

Finding and Following Your Passion Many people define blogging as writing with passion. How do you define passion? Do you follow your passion when you write, when you work, when you go through your day? Could you? Is blogging the only way and time that you allow yourself the freedom to follow your passion? Join bloggers who are blogging about and with passion every day: Musician/Blogger Christine Kane, Sheila Scarborough (who blogs with both sides of her brain) and Carmen Staicer...who knows where good habits end and passion begins! A Room of Your Own session


Self-branding and Self-promotion Ask yourself this: if you re a blogger, do you consider yourself a writer? If you're submitting paid pieces, or running ads, or making money either directly or indirectly by being a blogger, do you consider yourself a professional writer? Do you call yourself that when people ask what you do? If The Business of You track called your name, then you should probably be answering "yes" to all of the above. And if You are the Business, then you might want to get comfortable with self-branding and self-promotion. This session will explore how to think of yourself in what might be a new way...and how to use both online and offline media to promote your work. Putting yourself out there isn't always comfortable, but it is good Business. Featuring Nina Burokas, "Brazen Careerist" Penelope Trunk and Stephanie Cockerl, who will coach you towards owning your own personal voice, your own personal brand.



The Life Stages of Online Communities

Communities have a lifecycle. What we do to nurture them depends on where a community is in its life. Talk with people at all stages of managing online communities as part of for-profit and non-profit endeavors. What are best practices, pitfalls and warning signs to look for at the birth, growth spurt or middle-age of your community? Jane Goldman, editor-in-chief for several cnet communities, moderates this discussion with managers of communities at various life stages, including Carol Lin. Carol is the former CNN anchor who left the network to care for her husband as he died from cancer. Carol is in the process of giving birth a new online community and social network deigned to support cancer families. Betsy Aoki from Microsoft has been community manager for multiple developer and end-user communities...and has watched them go through their difficult adolescent phase and come out, well-adjusted, on the other side. Lisa Reardon will represent what may be part of one of the most fascinating online community transitions ever...OurChart's transition from a fictional online community, used as a plot device in Showtime's The L Word, to a real one. And finally Aliza Sherman, aka CyberGrrl, has seen the birth...and death...of more than her fair share of online communities.


Digital Exhibitionists or Chroniclers of their Time: Will Naked Bloggers Make History?

Throughout history women have written about their worlds, with little public recognition; still they provided a vibrant portrait of history beyond the political battles and civil wars. Are modern-day diarists self-involved? Self-absorbed? Boring? Au contraire! They may be future historians' and anthropologists' best source for understanding 21st Century mores and culture. We'll discuss identity blogging and how the legacy of such bloggers might be what future generations learn from them a century down the road. Documentarian Laurie Kahn-Leavitt will talk with indiebloggers Heather Barmore, Stacy Campbell and Kris Likey and the anonymous, but ever-evolving alwaysarousedgirl.

A Room of Your Own session


Getting Custom: What Web Designers Know

A blog doesn't usually require quite the start-from-scratch web design work that a more traditional web site does, but every blogger could benefit from knowing what a good web designer does to launch a new site, including:

  • How to build a plan for your design and the elements of good design and usability, featuring Nelly Yusupova
  • The elements of screaming-fast web site performance (aka does your blog struggle to fully load because of all your blog bling?), led by Tenni Theurer


The Art of Storytelling

There have been many calls for a session about the art of writing to improve your writing, how to find your unique voice, etc. This session covers narrative prose, and the blog as a platform for narrative prose specifically. In a blogging world of 140 character posts on Twitter and link posts posing as "content", is there a place for stories? Author, blogger and screenwriter Claire Fontaine talks with other bloggers Birdie Jaworski and Ree from Confessions of a Pioneer Woman, about why they still find time to write intriguing beginnings, gripping middles and satisfying ends.


Speaker Training

Lots of BlogHers point out the lack of women on conference speaking rosters. We not only have to address the demand side, but we can each create the supply. Speaking publicly is an excellent way to make connections, enhance your personal brand and drive business. This session will be a crash course for all BlogHers on how to find gigs, how to submit for gigs, and how to do a good job once you get there. The session will be appropriate for people looking to break into speaking, and those looking to improve the quality of their speaking engagements and their speaking skills. Featuring frequent speakers and speaker trainers Susan Mernit and Mary Jo Manzanares.



Privacy, Exposure, Risk: Can you maintain safer spaces online?

When there are other people involved, blogging can be just like sex. You can never guarantee it’s 100% safe, but you can make it safer. And oh, by the way, “safe” can be in the eye of the beholder. Discuss where you draw the line to protect yourself, those close to you and your entire online community both around your individual blog, or in larger more structured online communities, from family friendly sites to sex sites. Lynne D. Johnson moderates what is sure to be a lively discussion with feminists erotica writer Susie Bright, Ann Crady, CEO of parenting site Maya's Mom, and Tara Hunt, who recently wrote "The insidious danger of danger".



Our Bodies, Our Blogs

There are weight-loss blogs, and there are healthy eating blogs, and there are fat acceptance blogs. The one thing they have in common: a lot of them are written by women. While a lot of them get support and positive reinforcement and encouragement from their readers, a lot of them also get some really strong reactions from people who don’t want to hear about women dealing with body image – and don’t want to worry about whether or not society is “responsible”, for everything from obesity to anorexia to the pressure to conform to some unattainable ideal. Can blogging be the perfect vehicle to expose and break unhealthy influences…and build a healthy identity that isn’t tied to how we look? Jenny Lauck moderates this conversation with Laurie Toby Edison, Wendy McClure and Yvonne Marie, who are tackling the touchy topic head-on.



Find Out Why Bloggers Care About Web Standards

Last year, many attendees' eyes were opened by a relatively brief presentation on making your blog more accessible for people with disabilities. This year we discuss how you can make your blog easier to find, easier to navigate, and easier to use for many visitors who aren't viewing your blog in a standard web browser on a computer screen. Find out how to use web standards and other tools to optimize your blog for mobile users, users with disabilities, and various applications that are just now starting to index content about people, events, and more based on microformats. Skye Kilaen revisits making your blog more accessible for users with disabilities, while Virginia DeBoltcovers how to check your site's readability on mobile platforms and introduces you to using microformats to organize your content.


The Art of Writing Reviews

Many, many bloggers write reviews for fun and for money. Some traditional journalists think the art of criticism is dying, and deplore its demise, but studies show that people put as much stock in what their neighbors think of a product, service or piece of entertainment as they do in what a "professional" thinks. Whether just-the-facts-ma'am new product reviews or more subjective and artful entertainment reviews, bloggers are telling you what they think. Moderator Maria Niles will talk to PopGadget's Mia Kim and L.A. Times TV reviewerClaire Zulkey, and Chicago literary maven Eugenia Williamson from Literago, all of who will share some practical know-how.


Media Training

You’ve gotten yourself out there and noticed. It happens to bloggers big and small with regularity now. You’re in the public eye, and you finally get a big chance to be on TV or quoted in a major magazine or any number of amazing opportunities. It’s not always as easy as it seems, and journalists often try to get you to say something off-the-cuff. We will take a look at a couple of recent case studies of bloggers in the media...what went right, and what went wrong. What are the tactics journalists learn when preparing and interviewing subjects? What are they trying to accomplish? How do you take your self-branding skills to the next level and stay on message? This session will give you basic skills to help you control how you are portrayed. Cynthia Samuels and The Sarcastic Journalistwill be the media training experts on hand to answer your questions. Stay tuned for our fascinating case studies.



Getting It On(line) for a Cause: Part 1 - Raising Money

Using technology as a distribution channel for the greater good. Fundraising for causes large and small. 3 case studies are presented and discussed. Britt Bravo will moderate, and we will hear from VITA, an Australian blogger who helps arts organizations raise money and sell tickets, Beth Kanter, who has raised thousands via her own personal blog and Pim from Chez Pim, whose Menu for Hope program has become an annual success story. Walk away with a fistful of practical ideas.


Does the Blogosphere Need an Intolerance Intervention?

What are the benefits and drawbacks of speaking across divides, and trying to be a "bridge"? What do we gain and lose when we assume we're blogging to people a lot like ourselves? Let's talk about insularity, authenticity, intolerance, and diplomacy. At times, bloggers can be like indie bands, risking having their original fans stop liking them the minute they start being appreciated by a more diverse audience, outside the original "club”. There's bloggers who cross all sorts of potential barriers...and bloggers who like it in their own neck of the woods just fine, thank you very much, go away if you disagree. Do Birds of a Feather groups encourage intolerance? Or are diplomats "sellouts"? Decide where you stand.Liz Henry moderates this discussion around a topic a lot of us observe, but few of us say anything about. Bloggers like Laina Dawes, Tish Grier and Kathryn Thompson have a few stories to tell!


Technical Tools To Build Traffic

Grabbing an audience and keeping them engaged is enhanced by technical know-how. We’re going to help you get some, including how to use syndication to your best advantage, and a little DIY search engine optimization. This is a reprise of what was one of our most popular sessions at BlogHer Business in March, featuring, once again, Elise Bauer and Vanessa Fox.



Blogging is More Than Words

Many bloggers actually consider their online space a visual medium. Can the online rendition of your visual output really do it justice? What do visual artists get out of showing their work online? What about virtual collaboration? Gayla Trail moderates a conversation with bloggers Tracey Clark, Renee Garner, Keri Smith and Zoe Strauss, who are making the most of technology to further their non-textual art.


Mentoring and Coaching

Last year during the BlogHer Getting Deeply Geeky session the subject of mentors came up. So few of the techie women in the session had had women mentors and role models, and many felt a sense of loss about that. How do you find a mentor or coach? How do deliver effective mentoring to someone who needs it? And what’s in it for the mentor and the mentee? We're bringing some mentors together to talk about their experiences and provide practical advice about how to create your own mentoring experience. Join coaching and mentoring expert Colette Ellis and blogger/educator Elizabeth Perry, along with Liz Strauss and Wendy Piersall who will talk about co-mentoring one another.

A Room of Your Own session


Getting it On(line) for a Cause : Part 2 - Raising Consciousness

Using technology as a distribution channel for the greater good. Galvanize personal action or bring awareness. Rochelle Robinson moderates the presentation and discussion of two case studies, including Green L.A. Girl (aka Siel)'s amazing Starbucks Challenge project. Walk away with a fistful of practical ideas. Then, with Cooper Munroe and Emily McKhann facilitating, we pick next year’s case study! Learn about how you can help choose the issue we rally around. Introducing a new BlogHer community activism initiative: BlogHers Act!

A Room of Your Own session


The State of the Momosphere

It’s no secret that MommyBlogging has changed a lot in the past two years. Sort of like actors who toil away for years before becoming overnight sensations, MommyBloggers are now seen as power influencers by marketers and the media. Whether managing what amounts to small publishing juggernauts, or cranking out posts mostly for family and friends in their not-so-copious spare time, MommyBloggers are getting a lot of attention...individually and as a "segment." Has the attention and opportunity affected the way you blog? Should it? What are some of the non-negotiable boundaries you have when you consider commercial relationships? Has all the attention and increasing opportunity also affected who you read? This panel will take a look at how MommyBloggers continue to express themselves, support one another and build their platforms under a microscope. It may also give those outside the Momosphere a better understanding of what MommyBloggers want, and how they want to be engaged, if at all. Come join the discussion and answer the questions above for yourself! Jory Des Jardins leads what is sure to be a lively discussion amongst the diverse community of MommyBloggers, including Catherine Connors, Lena Lotsey and Chris Jordan. This session is sponsored by Five Moms



Blogging Workflow Tools and Tricks

Are you inundated and overwhelmed? Do the words Information Overload particularly resonate? Did you know there are tools to facilitate working with feeds, hyperlinking, adding and re-sizing images, creating captioned cartoons, posting to multiple blogs simultaneously, creating those daily link posts and more? Improve your blogging efficiency processes with a handy look at these tools…most of which are free or open source. Barb Dybwad and Gina Trapaniwill lead you through the forest of blogging productivity tools to a clearing of zen-like organization and calm!



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