BlogHer Session Discussion: Next Level Naked on Day Two
21st in our series introducing you to each of our BlogHer Conference '06 sessions and their speakers, and finding out what you would like to get from each session. Today, I bring you from Day Two:
Next Level Naked: Staying naked as your body (of work) changes. How do you give your audience what they don't want? How do you blog under the weight of reader expectations? Sometimes bloggers face this when they experience blogger burn-out. Sometimes they face this when they enter the blogosphere with good or bad baggage by their side. This year Jory Des Jardins gets Naked with bloggers who have faced these situations, like Lauren Bruce, Maryam Scoble, Kirsten Osolind and Mecca Ibrahim (aka Annie Mole.)
BlogHer has been examining what it means to get naked when blogging since last year when Jory moderated the "How to Get Naked" panel. At SXSW we produced the :How to Get Naked...at Work" panel, and now it's "Next Level Naked."
Naked is another word for transparent, for personal, for open. And we all have different comfort levels, as our survey results on the subject indicated. But what if you've established yourself, and find yourself starting to chafe under reader expectations? What if you've gotten all naked, and want to cover back up? What if you've been really naked in a certain way, and now feel like it's time to explore new ideas and new subjects? Lots of BlogHers, on their road to greater exposure and economic empowerment via blogging, are encountering these dilemmas. Hear from some who have chosen different ways to deal with them.
[img_assist|fid=294|thumb=1|alt=Founder thumbnails] Moderator Jory Des Jardins has blogged about career and the single girl for a long time now. Comparing bosses to boyfriends. Revealing bra size, but not blog traffic. Searching for the right relationship...to a job. Well, here she is: engaged to be married and a BlogHer co-founder and not really searching for a career path anymore. Her blog has helped her get to where she is today, wherever that may be on any given day, but her feelings for it might have changed...just a little. So what's she going to do? Break up with it? Get more serious? Or try to keep it at the same level of naked it's always been?
[img_assist|fid=971|thumb=1|alt=Lauren Bruce] You just have to hear Lauren's story to believe it. A founder of Feministe, she eventually quit regular blogging there, mostly because she was concerned about its impact on her career. She was about as out there as they come, and with some none-too-bland opinions. Then Lauren did something quite unexpected. She is blogging again. She is blogging about politics. But she is blogging anonymously. And she is letting readers assume she is someone quite different than she actually is. Personal ramifications? A lot more than she anticipated. What does she plan to do now? You'll never know if you don't go Next Level Naked!
[img_assist|fid=967|thumb=1|alt=Annie Mole] Mecca Ibrahim (aka Annie Mole) started her blog about the London Tube and didn't realize that it was going to become a lifetime obligation! I guess when you become a source people can turn to after terrorist bombings they look to you a little differently. They look to you for a little more. So, how do you blog about the London Underground day in and day out? More to the point: how does Annie fight blogger burnout? And how did her blogging change (if at all) when she joined a major tech/Internet heavyweight as a product manager? Is there tension between her professional persona and her pseudonymous personal persona? Can I fit any more 'p's in Annie's paragraph? Come to the session and find out!
Kirsten Osolind was a top business blogger. She focused on women in business, and she managed to be equal parts business and woman...featuring women entrepreneurs on Saturday and the Shoe of the Week too. She caught some flak for that, truth be told. She was catching flak about a lot of things...down to her hair color. And burnout hit, no question about it. Her success as a business blogger wasn't compensating for the blowback. So she quit. Cold turkey. For months. She left more than one faithful reader feeling hurt and abandoned (and curious.) Her moderator in this session is just one such faithful reader. Kirsten (and her blog) roared back to life on New Year's Day with a highly personal story. But her blogging had new focus and new resolve to be more vocal and out there about women in business than ever. Did her readers come back? Did they forgive? Did they like the reinvention of re:invention?
Imagine being Maryam Scoble. Your husband is pretty much the Webster's definition of A-List blogger. He proudly announces you're blogging on day one, and you've got an immediate audience...people you know and people you don't know. But a lot of people who know him. Perfect right? No need to attend Elise Bauer's Audience Building session, you're all set! Except for one tiny thing: you're really quite a naked blogger. Maryam doesn't blog much like Robert does. But she blogs a lot about what Robert does. As husband, as father, as the guys she loves, and the guy who sometimes drives her nuts. And her audience? Well, in the beginning, most of them were probably Scoble-lytes, not Maryam-igos. Could you be naked? Think about it before you answer that. And, while we're at it, perhaps we need to give Scoble some props for pointing people to Maryam's blog as he does, instead of begging her to blog anonymously!
There are some amazing stories to be told in this session. And if you have been to the other Naked sessions, you know there will be some amazing stories to be told from the rest of you too!
So, that's what we are envisioning for the session. But what do you think. What do you want to learn? What do you want to hear? What do you never want to hear again? What would make you attend this session?