Betty on the Scene
Betty Goes to BlogHer DC
What an incredible community!
-April Daniels Hussar
BlogHer DC – what a fabulous experience it was to share a day with hundreds of intelligent, vibrant women all with one shared passion - communicating with one another over the Web. To see in person the way blogs and Web sites have impacted and improved women’s lives, given them newfound voices and connected them to people they otherwise would have never met is truly amazing … and why we do what we do at Betty. Of course an excuse to visit the beautiful capital was more than welcomed – what an exciting time to be there!
Julie Ryan Evans (Betty’s editor-at-large) and I met up with our one and only Career Coach Michele Woodward this Monday for a truly inspiring and educational day (not to mention fattening – I feel like we spent the whole day snacking!)
The word of the day: TWITTER. No kidding – it was just about every 10th word we heard (ok, maybe 20th). Interestingly, there was a lot of talk about FACEBOOK – but not once did either of us hear anyone mention MySpace. Is MySpace soooo five minutes ago? I personally am a Crackbook addict, so it was interesting to see I’m not alone. We made a bunch of new Twitter friends – and if YOU happen to TWEET (if you’re not already we predict you will be very soon) we’d love to see you in Twitterland (we’re @BringingUpBetty).
HIGHLIGHTS OF THE DAY:
The surprise blogger speed dating session.
Yes, you heard correctly - Lisa Stone, Jory Des Jardins (who incidentally was rocking some killer boots) and Elisa Camahort Page, the BlogHer mavens, managed to whip us all into two U-shaped lines facing each other and set us off on 10 rapid fire “get to know you” sessions in a row. Thank goodness this happened post-coffee! They were serious about making us move when our minute was up – these ladies know how to work a crowd! Good thing we came armed with tons of business cards. (Side note: I could never go on a real speed dating event – way too exhausting – thank goodness I met my husband before all these newfangled singles activities!) And it was wonderful to meet some great bloggers who plan on contributing to Betty!
The EXCELLENT panel sessions.
It was truly an education; jam packed with resources and advice on everything from driving traffic to blogging for a cause to monetizing your blog. Hey, we may not all be able to be Dooce or Perez Hilton, but blogging is a viable way to earn money, promote a business, launch a writing career and so much more.
Three little words: COMMUNITY, VOICE and POWER.
Blogging (as we already knew but were excited to hear reconfirmed) is about so much more than just spilling your guts in a virtual diary. It’s about building a community, it’s about having a voice, and – as BlogHer pointed out – it’s about POWER. Not like Dr. Evil power – but the power that comes with being heard, building your OWN PLAYING FIELD, using blogging as a platform to launch other endeavors, and to participate in and, yes, even CHANGE THE WORLD.
The TRULY AWESOME closing panel session: “Social Media – Changing the Political Process; Changing the World.”
Moderated by the charming and smart-as-a-whip Lisa Stone (journalist and founder of BlogHer), the panel included The Washington Post‘s Mary Ann Akers, The Women’s Media Center’s Carol Jenkins, the RNC’s Online Community Dir. Liz Mair and CBS’ Lesley Stahl. Though it was the end of a long day I honestly wished the session lasted at least twice as long – so fascinating to hear these women’s thoughts on how the Web has revolutionized the political process, women in politics, the power of bloggers, and so much more. Food for thought: Did you know women hold only THREE PERCENT of the “clout” positions in mainstream media? What’s up with that, ladies?!
The loot – er – SPONSOR tables.
I’m wearing my cozy Shine slippers as I type, and we had a great chat with their super smart and super sweet Parenting Editor Charlene Prince Birkland (who also blogs at crazedparent.com). Julie scored a baby bottle for her bambina (due in January!) from Playtex, and we both snagged goodies from commissionvideos.com, BillMeLater, LG (love the James Bond style jump drive/pen/laser pointer!), Leap Frog and Hooked on Phonics. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to test drive the Saturn convertible – next time!
THE BEST PART … MEETING SO MANY FABULOUS WOMEN BLOGGERS! Here’s just a partial list of the women we met: (and we are so looking forward to working with these tremendous women and more members of the BlogHer community):
Kathy Korman Frey of the HotMamasProject and VisionForward.com
Bridget Hanahan of Yellaphant.com
“Nerdette” of NotMyGal
Karen Batchelor of MidlifesaTrip
Laure White of LaurieWrites
Debbie Weil of DebbieWeil.com (and author of The Corporate Blogging Book)
Joanne Bamberger (aka PunditMom) of punditmom1.blogspot.com
CV Harqualil of AuthenticOrganizations.com
Colleen Levine of foodbuzz.com
Claudia Broome of ClaudiaBroome.com
Good Squad Sarah at sarahandthegoonsquad.com
Kate Doneland of winningfriendswithsalad.com
Peggie Arvidsonof awakenyoursoul.wordpress.com
Lynee Anne Miller of organicmania.com