On Saturday morning, I woke up a few minutes before 7 a.m. and decided there way no way I was in any shape to do yoga. Thus, I dragged my mat and yoga clothing all the way to San Jose for nothing.
I did get up in time to have breakfast and make it to that day's opening session. It started with a PowerPoint presentation about the conference and its participants, but for some reason the sound didn't work. That was okay, because the crowd launched into "All You Need is Love" and sang until the visuals ended.
That day's primary sponsor was Microsoft, plugging a remedial blogging product called Windows Live Spaces. They launched into the most tone-deaf, off-base sales pitch I have ever witnessed. Two "bloggers" from a home improvement site on Live Spaces came up on stage, and one look at their excessively teased hair, matching t-shirts and skinny jeans caused a look of extreme wariness to wash across every face in the audience. The women did a chirpy, rehearsed spiel about how blogging and home improvement are, like, awesome, and not scary at all!
Keep in mind that almost everyone in the audience already blogs and some have online writing and community experience dating back to Usenet. The people at my table listened politely for about a minute, then resumed their conversations until it was over.
Fortunately, the following segment featured great stories by real bloggers talking about how their blogs are changing their world.
I attended a good session about using blogs to help commercial ventures, then spent most of the lunch break chatting with Jaime Minturn from Blog Talk Radio. After that, it was on to the Business Blog Case Studies session, where I was one of the presenters on the "unpanel." I'm looking forward to seeing the report that Susan Getgood is putting together from the results of the session.
The final session I attended was Next Level Naked, which was a discussion about how much of yourself you reveal on your blog and when it's necessary or appropriate to alter what you're willing to discuss. During this session, I learned that the tall guy in the Gaping Void t-shirt that I'd been seeing around the conference toting a video camera was Robert Scoble. If his wife hadn't been on the panel, I might never have known.
The closing keynote was good, but I got there just as it was starting and was thus seated really far away from the speakers. After that ended, I went to the cocktail party, had one round of appetizers before they ran out, and drank water all evening, foregoing the Yahootinis.
I met lots of fascinating people, many of whom I didn't manage to work into my narrative at the proper points. Here are some of the stragglers: Lisa Brewer Canter, Sarah of Sarah and the Goon Squad, Nancy from Mom Ma'am Me, Kalyn Denny, Kristin from Crib Ceiling, Jenn from Mommy Needs Coffee, Jenny from Three Kid Circus, Ken Kato, Grace Davis, Shawn from Imperfect Magic, and Debra from A Stitch in Time. I also got a chance to chat with Lakshmi Pratury from Tamarind Grove twice on Saturday.
At the end of the evening, as things were wrapping up, I talked briefly with all three Blogher founders. Lisa Stone liked my new blog idea and urged me to join the Blogher Ad Network. She also remembered that my blog and quote were among those featured in the opening presentation for last year's conference. Heck, I barely remembered that! Jory Des Jardins revealed that next year's conference will be in Chicago, much to my delight. I saw Elisa Camahort for just a moment, but had the chance to touch base about her Rockstar: Supernova recaps that I'm enjoying so much.
All in all, it was a great experience and I'll definitely plan to go to next year's conference in Chicago (and possibly to the Blogher Business conference in New York).
Okay, that's enough name dropping and Blogher blather for this year. As of Monday, I will resume the usual pedestrian descriptions of my non-work life. Have a great weekend!