BlogHer Pity Parties: The Next Best Thing to Being There

BlogHer Original Post

Can’t get to BlogHer Food this year? Haven’t been able to make it to a BlogHer annual conference? There are plenty of us out there who were late to the game (like I was last year) or had a scheduling conflict of some sort. But there’s no need to feel sorry for yourself ... not alone, anyway.

Bloggers Chris and Karen Thornton of ThePeche.com found a way to turn something negative into a positive community-building experience, which is exactly what BlogHer’s conferences are about anyway.

BlogHer Food 2010 Pity Party

They started the BlogHer Food 2010 Pity Party. To join, you sign up on the event’s website and follow along online by using the hashtag #bhf10pp on Twitter. You can take part in presentations which will be streamed live online -- along with approximately 150 other BlogHer Food 2010 non-attendees -- and be eligible to win a bunch of great, generously donated prizes. (The big prize is, of course, a ticket to BlogHer Food 2011. Nice.)

Chris says, “I threw up the site as a joke. It started when I attended another food conference and a friend said, ‘I wish I was going to BlogHer Food. I think I’m gonna throw myself a pity party.’ And someone else said, ‘I’d go to that party!’ People really want to follow along and it’s inspiring. Let’s all be alone, together!”

Why this obsession with a food conference? Chris says, “When we plan what we’re gonna do for a weekend or a vacation, we always talk first about what we want to eat. It’s because we’re looking for joy and an experience. It really unites people.”

Of course, events created by bloggers unable to get to a BlogHer conference aren't new. The first reported one was in 2008, organized by blogger Kelby Carr. Another was started by Shawn Burns of BackpackingDad.com.

Shawn’s Twitter party, #HomeHer10, was less about pity and more about party. “I really, really wanted to go to BlogHer. The fact that I couldn’t made me want to fill the space in my head with my own noise so I wouldn’t feel so bad about missing out on seeing friends again. There has never been a Twitter party as funny as #HomeHer10."

Before he knew it, the online event had grown to over 700 “attendees” -- and came complete with videos, photos, swag and giveaways.

As they say, misery loves company.

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