FAQ: What's a BlogHership, and how can you get one?
When the first BlogHer conference was launched in 2005 we introduced something called a BlogHership. And we still list BlogHerships as one of the ways everyone can participate in BlogHer events.
But what is it, and how do you get one?
The inquiries are already pouring in, so I thought it was well past time for me to spell it out.
BlogHerships are a way for people who cannot afford the conference pass to a BlogHer event to still attend. BlogHerships are always volunteer positions at the conferences. If we are asking for a significant amount of your time, effort or elbow grease to get something done at the conference, then we will compensate you with a full conference pass. Below is a list of some of the volunteer positions that can earn a BlogHership, and therefore a full conference pass.
One of the most common kinds of BlogHerships is a live-blogging BlogHerships. Sure, everyone at BlogHer is a blogger, so there is always a ton of live-blogging going on. But we want to make sure that every single session has at least one official, assigned live-blogger...and sometimes an audio-recorder too.
Here are the BlogHership opportunities that only require work at the actual conference itself:
Live-blogging is not a walk in the park, as any of our many former live-bloggers can tell you. You'll be assigned two to three sessions per day to cover, and your job is to scribe what happens, so that folks who couldn't attend feel like they're there. If you mostly want to do your own opinion and commentary on the sessions you attend, then live-blogging actually isn't for you...we're looking for reporting. We do our very best to collect live-blogger session preferences pre-conference and get them into sessions they would have attended anyway, but we can't guarantee it. In 2007 I had at least one live-blogger who ended up live-blogging a session she never would have attended on her own...and deciding it was her favorite session of the conference! We also like to drive traffic to our live-bloggers, so we have you live-blog on your own sites and create a link-post with all the links to all our live-bloggers. now that we've enabled blogging right on BlogHer, we can also accommodate live-bloggers who don't have their own blog.
You must have a laptop with wireless and be willing to attend for the entire conference in question, and to live-blog where assigned, even if you end up with a session on your list that wouldn't have been your first choice. Fast typing skills and ability to concentrate are big plusses.
Very similar to live-blogging, except you're recording session audio for podcast posting, as opposed to text blogging. Same level of assignment...two to three sessions per day. And we would give priority to folks who have their own digital audio recorders and know how to use 'em!
At BlogHer '08 the sessions will be so big that we will probably require microphone wranglers, even in the break-outs. Your job is to be aware of who amongst the attendees has something they want to share, and to get them the mic. Moderators will typically give guidance to the wrangler about the order to get to questions from the attendees, but sometimes a moderator may miss someone who isn't in their line of vision, so the wrangler can make sure to let the moderator know of that person who has been in the back corner with a question they're dying to ask for the last 10 minutes. Wranglers also watch the time, so the moderator can be alerted when it's time to wrap up. Like the live-bloggers and audio-recorders, you will be assigned to several sessions per day, and unlike those positions, the Wrangler ends up on their feet a great deal of the time.
Just like what it sounds: Help check people in, get their tote bags and find their way around. You'll likely miss some segments of the conference, but we try to schedule it so everyone can make it to some sessions they really care about.
Here are the BlogHership opportunities that require work both at and before the actual conference:
If it sounds complicated to line up all the above volunteers and get them assigned and trained...it is. So, we need a Volunteer Wrangler who can manage creating that work schedule and being the point of contact for volunteers. Some organizational work gets done upfront before the conference, but you'd also be the contact person on site too. It's helpful if you've volunteered at a BlogHer before.
Similar to the Volunteer Wrangler, but for the audio team. Some organizational work gets done upfront before the conference, but you'd also be the contact person on site too. Must be proficient with audio work and it's also helpful if you've volunteered at a BlogHer before. Last year we didn't have a full audio presence at BlogHer '07 because we could not line up the resources to support it. We'd love to rectify that this year.
As we did last year, we will have Queen Tureaud masterminding BlogHer '08 in Second Life this year. And she could use some help. We're introducing newcomers to Second life pre-conference, so they'll have a smoother time participating during the conference. We'll also probably need some in world assistance during the Second Life conference. If you're a BlogHer who has gotten into Second Life and think you could help others do so too, you're perfect for this BlogHership.
Finally, I should say: Other than the criteria listed above about what kind of experience is helpful for what kind of BlogHerships we don't have a lot of other rules...men or women can apply. BlogHer members or non-members can apply. And now that you can blog right on BlogHer even folks without their own outside blogs can apply.
If you're interested in any of the above BlogHerships, please email Jes and let her know which position(s) you're interested in for which conference, and please confirm your availability status for the conference about which you're inquiring. Right now we're mostly collecting the names of people, so if you've already emailed, don't despair if we haven't gotten back to you yet!
Every year BlogHer events are made possible by a lot of effort on a lot of peoples' parts. We couldn't do it without you all, so thanks in advance for your spirit of participation!