July 31, 2009

BlogHer '09: My Takeaway

Soooo....last weekend, I was in Chicago at this little get-together known as BlogHer; I wrote a bit about my decision to go and my experience there here at my personal blog.

I was fortunate enough to have a great group of in real life blogging friends to travel with up to Chicago, to room with, and to hang out with on and off during the daily sessions and nightly events. When a conference has 1400 attendees, it's good to already know a bunch of people before you go.

I attended five sessions, leaving some sooner than others because they simply didn't hold my attention; however, the first session I attended struck a deep chord with me and I found myself very focused on the topic and the conversation. (Sessions are like mini-lectures/very targeted panelist conversations.)

The session was titled, "The Brand of You," or something similar; it was part of the Business Track sessions. What hit me and what is still resonating with me is the discussion about how we as women sometimes don't value our time or value our abilities the way we should. When we don't value our time (by giving it away for free, like volunteering - see me, waving my hand furiously?) and don't value our abilities, particularly within this realm of social media, we cut our own legs out from under ourselves.

I've never really thought of myself as influential (I mean, I have a hard time influencing my kiddos to pick up their rooms regularly) or as powerful, but the simple truth is that because of the growth of social media and my passion for it, I am both.

And here's another eye-opener: if you're a blogger, if you're on Twitter, if you're engaged in social media, you are both influential and powerful as well.

Brands and companies, PR and journalists, all are looking to the rise of our voices in social media and trying to figure out just how they can build relationships with us that can be healthy and beneficial to both parties and to the consumer/reader at-large.

We're still in the beginning of this information revolution and what social media is today isn't what it will be in a year or even in six months. It is an quickly evolving media and we as it's early-adopters and enthusiastic users must be willing to evolve as well.

So my takeaway, my one thing I'm carrying with me from BlogHer '09?

Social media has changed the way brands engage with their customers and we, we women who blog for a myriad of reasons from family to business, are ourselves agents of that change.

Embrace it!

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  1. I totally agree ... except, whenever I start to feel like "oh, I've made it" (to the very bottom rung of the ladder), I write a post or something that gets no comments.

    That feeling of empowerment and motivation is doubly precious, because (for me), it can be easily drowned by other voices in my head.

  2. Jane: LOL! I think I live on that bottom ladder rung as well; my personal blog is so tiny and I know how it feels to get no comments on posts.

    What it's sometimes hard to see (and I did see this first hand in Chicago) is how small this blogging world is --- there were many people I met at the hotel (other guests) or who saw us at other events (parties) who literally had no clue about blogging.

    To be blogging now makes us all pioneers.

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