I woke up ridiculously early on Friday morning, so I found the conference center, got my badge and goodie bag, and hung around the food and drinks table until it was properly loaded with caffeine, pastries and fruit. Once I was fortified with Starbucks and blueberry Danish, I went back to my room and dropped off about ten pounds of schwag so that the bag wouldn't eventually kill me as I carried it around all day.
Before the opening session, I ran into Liz Rizzo from Everyday Goddess, who happens to be the first person I met at Blogher last year. She immediately had someone take a picture of us, which turned out to be the most flattering photo of me that I've seen from the whole conference.
After the introduction, I stayed where I was for the Primp Your Blog workshop. It wasn't quite as technically detailed as I'd hoped (there were too many different blog platforms to cover), but it gave me a lot of good ideas for checking out Typepad and Blogger's latest widgets and add-ons.
By this time, I'd already started nurturing an idea for a new blog that came to me the previous day. I'll not share the details now, but suffice to say it involves food. I was excited to hear about blog microformats at the end of the workshop and I'll definitely be seeking out recipe microformat templates for the new project.
After lunch, I test drove a Saturn Sky. GM was a major sponsor of the conference and they really did a great job of making information about their cars available without being pushy. Their gift bag contained a pair of Crabtree & Evelyn body products and they also gave away a thumb drive in the main goodie bag. A Saturn test drive scored you an additional bag containing a leather CD holder, the latest Bon Jovi CD and a t-shirt.
I started out in the Audience Building workshop, but stepped away when Rita from Surrender, Dorothy called to say that she'd arrived. I ended up missing the next half of the workshop session, so I spent time checking out the other sponsors' displays.
I was particularly taken with Kaboodle, a bookmarking site that's sort of a cross between del.icio.us and Flickr. Below you'll see the Kaboodle "badge" I made out of all my favorite t-shirt site links. Click through it, hit "I like this page" on the upper right and you'll be giving me a chance to win their Blogher giveway.
After the break, I went to the Tagging, Tracking & Structured Blogging workshop. In case you're wondering how tag-compliant Blogher attendees are, just check the "Blogher06" tag on Flickr and Technorati. I think we get it.
After the last workshop, I met up with Rita, and Cagey from Rancid Raves. Cagey brought her son, Arun, and her mom, and we all went to the hotel's restaurant for dinner. After that, it was on to the Blogher cocktail party by the pool, which prominently featured complimentary wine from Folie a Deux winery.
It didn't take long before everyone was in a festive mood. My evening went like this: drink wine, talk to people, repeat. I suspected it was time to switch to soft drinks when I found myself chatting with Karl and cussing like a sailor for no particular reason.
I didn't cut back quite soon enough, though. Later, I was sitting on the edge of the pool talking to Rita with my jeans rolled up and my feet in the water. At some point, I decided there was no reason I shouldn't just jump in. Let me point out that I wasn't being completely reckless: I took off my conference badge and emptied my pockets first. Then I dove in, jeans, long-sleeved t-shirt and all.
The water was delightfully warm compared to the chilly evening air, so I stayed in the pool for quite some time while maintaining conversations with the many people poolside who declined to follow my lead. Eventually, I climbed out and squish, squish, squished my way back to my room to go to sleep.