Good-bye BlogHer 09, I miss you already

BlogHer Original Post

I've attended four of the five BlogHer conferences. I stayed home for the first one and was just about as jealous and miserable as a woman blogger can be.

I've spoken at two BlogHer conferences.

I've officially live-blogged four BlogHer conferences.

I've been drunk at BlogHer Con (which is frightening since I don't drink.)

I've cried at BlogHer Con.

I've gotten angry at BlogHer Con.

I've been the life of the party.

I've been the blogger hiding in a corner because she just can't handle the people.

My heart has hurt over the sessions I wasn't able to attend.

My feet have hurt because I've tried to attend every session I possibly could attend.

I've been inspired.

I've been bored.

I'm an old timer.

I know what to expect but every year I'm thrown for a loop by the expected and the unexpected.

This year, I found myself looking at all of the ways BlogHer Con has grown and changed. That was unexpected.

Let me show you some of the changes I've seen.

In '06, there were cries of heteronormitivity, (unfounded in my personal opinion.) In '09, the LGBT acronym and the words gay, lesbian, and queer were used more during he opening keynote with Ilene Chaiken, Donna Byrd, and Tina Brown then I believe they have been used in all of the conferences put together.

In '06, I had the good fortune to meet danah boyd because she moderated the Outreach blogging is not for the faint of heart session and I was a speaker. Around the pool that weekend, I said over and over again that I wanted my kids to grow up to be like danah boyd. Watching her in the '09 Keynote, I was in awe all over again.

danah boyd at BlogHer 06 and here is danah boyd in the BlogHer 09 Keynote with Raney Aronson-Rath and Eszter Hargatti.

In 2006, Arianna Huffington, Mena Trott, Carolyn Little, and Grace Davis and were our Keynoters with barely a mention of politics.

In 2009, the White House sent Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett to talk to BlogHers about Health Care Reform - and she really listened to what we had to say.

In 2006, one geeky panel experienced some uncomfortable moments when a man attempted to monopolize the discussion. In 2009, the Vaginally Challenged session was well attended and two men spoke in the Community Keynote, (one man spoke in the community keynote in 08.)

I could go on and on about the changes but I don't want to lose sight of the things that are always the same.

At BlogHer, we develop and expand relationships with people who aren't like us, and walk away believing in something bigger and better than what we have now.

"I've decided world domination plan must include @veronicaeye @emzanotti & @fausta.We may disagree some,but think it could work! #blogher09" -- @punditmom

BlogHer 09 speaker ByJane and BlogHer Contributing Editor Gena Haskett coming together, from different places, to discuss race and words. Yes, they are smiling. And no, there was no blood drawn.

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BlogHer brings old friends together. Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought this would happen. (I'm sporting the old logo, and the iVillage Community Producer Caryn Dubelko is sporting the new.)

Past & Present

There are sisters (Jory & Julie Des Jardins) at BlogHer.

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Moms and daughters (BlogHer CE Moonfever01 from mommybytes and her mom. Seeing Angela's mom smile and say "I'm Angela's mom!" was priceless.)

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Co-founders attending CheeseburgHER parties.

Another co-founder sings a song, just because you ask her to. Without a Karaoke machine.

New on the scene were Pokens - some worked, some did not. Business cards still rule. There are always women with purple hair and women with white hair. You always find yourself in the elevator with all sorts of... things.

We all have unforgettable conference moments. Sometimes we have shared unforgettable moments. Other times our moments make sense only to us.

Here are some of mine from BlogHer 09.

...Coming out of the closet about my love for a vlogger and being terrified that she was going to think I was insane or just the average stalker.

...There's nothing more awesome than hearing your 13 year old daughter clutching a 6" tall stack of business cards that she was given and saying "These make me so happy!" in that enthusiastic Rebecca way.

...Unless it's hearing that your 15 year old son feels comfortable enough at BlogHer Con to stand up in a food panel and talk about sushi rice.

...Or hearing your partner read a love letter to you, on the stage, in front of 1500 people and watching people you love (and who love you) crying as she reads.

...Disclosing something in a panel that you hadn't intended to disclose and maybe didn't realize you believed until you said it.

This has been my BlogHer '09 recap. These are my observations, reflections, memories and experiences. Surf the photo gallery, photo stream, video gallery, and video streams and share your observations, reflections, memories and experiences in comments or add yours to Mr Linky.

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