I'll start by saying that this may have been my favorite BlogHer Conference to date. The keynotes and sessions were amazing, I saw tons of friends and made some new ones, and the venue left absolutely nothing to be desired.
I'll be posting little tidbits until I run out of topics, but I wanted to start with what I considered the personal highlights for me. (Because it's all about ME, ME, ME!)
1. Speaking on the Little Fish in a Big Pond - Understanding, Accepting and Loving Your Small Blog panel with Nora and Catherine.
Photo by lizriz
When you're speaking on a panel, it can be difficult to judge whether or not the audience is digging what you have to say. I had an idea that it was going well because people laughed at all the right junctures and also because the room kept getting more and more full throughout the discussion, rather than emptying out as sessions sometimes do.
As it turned out, this topic hit a nerve with many bloggers who enjoy blogging for its own sake and don't have ambitions to build media empires. After the session and throughout the evening, people kept coming up to me and telling me how much they appreciated the discussion, so it felt like a major triumph.
In a nutshell, this program honored more than a hundred bloggers for their writing and design. Twelve bloggers presented their winning posts at the keynote and it was, as usual, one of my favorite parts of the conference. Ninety additional bloggers, including me, had posts selected as finalists. All of the honorees' posts were then divided up by visual artists who created artwork inspired by each post.
At first I didn't see "my" artwork because I didn't realize how many rooms there were in the exhibit. I walked around and enjoyed all of the other art and the ability to add little "thought balloon" stickers to the display to comment. Then my roommates found me and excitedly told me where I could find the photograph inspired by my post.
If you click through the link to the original post, I've added a close-up of the artwork, which is called "I'm A Regular Here," and was created by Megan Reardon.
Of course, I also had to take photos of my friends with "their" art:
Kelli with the artwork inspired by her post, "Pissing off people Left and Right."
Liz with the artwork based on "Phone Karma," which she read as a keynote presenter.
Kelly, photographing one of two pieces of artwork inspired by her powerful post, "I'm Black Irish and I'm Proud."
I have lots of other stuff to share, but those two events were definite high points for me and remind me why I keep coming to the conference year after year. Thanks so much to Elisa, Jory and Lisa for making each year better and better!