So, what's a Birds of a Feather session anyway?
On Saturday morning, immediately after we open the conference in rousing fashion, you'll note that we're sending you off to get caffeinated and meet your blog crushes during an informal Birds of a Feather hour. Or as I like to call it: BOF.
But what is this BOF I speak of?
Birds of a Feather is fairly common at some conferences...often done over lunch, where you group together based on some kind of shared interest...and then talk about it for a while, without a pre-planned agenda. You might think of the recent xxCamp movement (BarCamp, WineCamp, MashupCamp) as one big BOF event, since people are informally gathering around topics of shared interest all day.
Last year we found that doing our BOFs in the morning before the breakout sessions was good, because people got to mix it up a bit, break the ice, meet new people, get their vocal cords exercised...and that made for engaged, lively sessions for the rest of the day.
How it works is this:
On Saturday when you register or come back from Friday, there will be some wonderful BlogHers, led by Nancy White and Toby Bloomberg, sitting next to the registration table with a bunch of clipboards and lists. We'll suggest a few BOF groups to get people thinking, but there will also be entirely blank lists for you to start from scratch. As people check in they'll indicate which BOF they'd like to join.
When the Opening session ends Nancy and Toby will come back in and give each list to someone on that list and ask them to basically pull a Moses and lead their people to the coffee break area out by the pool (kindly and healthily sponsored by WeightWatchers Online.)
People will grab their coffee (or their yogurt and granola bars) and gather together at one of the many tables in the area...and have at it.
So what are some examples of BOF topics? Last year a popular one was Moms who use profanity in their blogs. And of course politically partisan BOFs are always good for getting the blood pumping!
This year we may have some of the following started for you on a clipboard:
Food and Wine Bloggers
Finance and Entrepreneurial Bloggers
I didn't even have to work to find five BOFs that started with 'F'...those are all taken from responses in the BlogHer Attendee Survey (thanks to those of you who actually took it, by the way!)
[PS-If BOFing sounds like it's not your speed, there are a couple of alternate activities going on too...GM will conducting test drives of its new vehicles (including their car of the future...a hydrogen fuel cell vehicle.) And Lisa Stone will linger a little longer in the Mediterranean Ballroom to answer questions for bloggers interested in joining our advertising network. I guess a BlogHer Business BOF.]
So, that's how to BOF...any questions?