Saturday, July 28, 2007

BlogHer07: I can't believe I wasted $200 on this. Updated.

OK, that's kind of a misleading headline, because that kind of behavior is exactly what I do best.

You know how social networking sites like MySpace and Friendster are always asking what your interests are? If I took them seriously, I'd type in different answers. I'd answer "blogging, deciding whether I have more of a crush on Jack Aubrey or Stephen Maturin, putting on makeup, and wasting money." Instead of that crap I'm always spouting about reading and listening to classical music.

So I'm actually not opposed to wasting money. Not on principal, anyway. It's something of a hobby of mine. But BlogHer07 was definitely a waste of money.

The best thing about it has been meeting and talking with other bloggers. Not the famous ones, so much, although I was introduced to a few famous ones by Blackbird and Schmoozie Sunshine,* and they were all very nice. And their business cards were so cool that I'd love to go back and get more. Talk about imaginative. These girls are business card geniuses. Some of them weren't even cards. Kristen at Mommy Needs a Cocktail was handing out shotglasses. The Sarcastic Journalist was handing out tampons. (All we needed was someone brilliant enough to give away chocolate. Or Brad Pitt.)

But the panels? Sucked. I sat through three, and came to the reluctant conclusion that the people leading them didn't know what they were talking about.

Or the "writers panel" one panelist wrote books first, and then took to blogging in order to promote her book. One blogger blogs short stories. One blogs every day. I am not impressed. BlogHer executives: this is not the equivalent of having Janet Evanovich, Anna Quindlan, and Norah Ephron up there. On the branding yourself panel (whose title had already set off a loud "WTF" response in my head) Penelope Trunk declared that there was no such thing as going from blogging to book-writing. (Jen Lancaster, anyone? Who's on book number three? Hello?)

No wonder we were all live-blogging or twittering or checking our email or web-surfing or checking out each others' blogs. Give us a place to plug in our laptops and free wireless and guess what happens? We tune out the stupid stuff and do what we want.

But I didn't need BlogHer to do that.

So the $200 I paid appears to have covered the meeting space, the hotel shuttle, breakfast and lunch the first day, the printed program, one cocktail at the first evening's cocktail party, free wireless, those dreary panels ... not much else.

Seems a bit steep.

* * * * *

Update: If you want to save $200 and maybe a bunch of travel costs, read Schmutzie's 769th post. You'll have to scroll down, but it's worth it.

To Schmutzie's advice, I will add that you should have clickable links to each post.

*hee hee hee.


  1. What does this have to do with Volunteer Bullshit?

    (I'm so glad I didn't array myself in drag, then.)


  2. Oh Poppy, that's too bad. I was hoping that you'd come back with a terrific review (since we seem to be of a like mind on conferences in general) and I'd be inspired to attend next year.

  3. Don't you wish you had spent $200 having a great dinner with bloggers you like instead? If you all paid $200 that would be a nice little bar and dinner tab!

  4. ohmigod, i am sorry you didn't have a fabulous time but i am so relieved now : )

  5. You didn't see my beating a path to the event.
    I keep saying it's a function of age - the older I get, the less I can tolerate herds of people on a Mission. It call bullshit. (I feel the same way about most business meeting, too. Waste of time.) Why not just go to Vegas, have a blow-out drinkfest and socialize? Why have the panels? Vegas has Great shows, food and shopping. Without the hassles of Big City.
    At least you didn't spend any money on hotels and transportation. And you got bb and ss all to yourself.

  6. woa...well at least it wasn't more

  7. I was envious.. and now I am not. Makes me think even more seriously about organizing a SOCIAL blogging event some time. No panels, no lectures, no anything boring and stupid.. just bloggers and food and drink. Lots of drink.

  8. PS: I had a BLAST reading y'alls *twits* all weekend!

  9. Yep, I was one of the envious before. Now I'm glad you have enlightened us. I can think of plenty of other things to spend $200 on.

  10. Wow, you sure have opened yourself up to blogher hatred and ridicule. Welcome to MY world! :-)

    I think the whole conference is for a different kind of person. It's sure not for me. If you check out a couple of blogs (I'll email you the links) you can imagine me hurling as I saw them. Way too much money wasted on stuff that isn't important. Everyone complains about the sessions. All they come for is the alcohol, food, shopping, and sqeeing at their blog idols. And since most of the blog idols didn't show up this year (lucky you!) there wasn't so much of the OOOO, I touched DOOOOOOCE! posting. Thank God.

    Next year, Blogathon? :-)

  11. Hmmm. I wanted to go to this, but reading this has made me have second thoughts. I would like to meet a lot of the bloggers that I regularly read, but I don't know if I want to spend all that money to do so.

  12. Poppy,

    If I ever have a blog idol, please shoot me.


  13. Joke:

    Silly person. I'm your blog idol.


    I think most people came to meet other bloggers, and that part was successful. I didn't see any standoffishness or snobbery, and I actually met a few people who read Mamarazzi.

    I thought the panels sucked, but I'm used to a more academic panel style, where actual information is imparted--information that involved research. In the academic style, three people will read twenty-minute papers, and then people ask questions.

    These panels were very question-heavy, and the panelists had a LOT of opinions--many ill-informed--and their evidence was all anecdotal.

    I won't go into the matter of corporate sponsors, except to ask: Butterball Turkey? Was that really necessary?

  14. You're my blog idol for spending the $200 so I didn't have to.

  15. Thanks for posting a link to my list! I've added your point to it, as well.

  16. ...


    Schmutzie commented on my blog!

    OK, this is where I faint.


  17. Well, thank you for making me no longer regret the fact that I didn't make it to BlogHer!

  18. Speaking as the BlogHer Conference organizer, I'm sorry you thought your money was wasted.

    We will take your panel-related feedback into consideration next year -- and even if you're not planning to return, if you have suggestions for different panels or panelists, please feel free to share them.

    The event is absolutely geared toward promoting networking as well. We know attendees will want to blog, IM, Twitter, surf at all times, and we worked hard to provide wi-fi everywhere so that this would be possible. We also provided at least three additional spaces for attendees to hang out outside of sessions, knowing that not everyone would be attending them. "Meeting other bloggers" is the number one reason people come to BlogHer.

    And we know that not all sponsors floated everyone's boat, but they are responsible for (heavily) subsidizing the ticket prices. I personally find it shocking -- but in a positive way -- that a company such as Butterball recognizes that female bloggers have a powerful voice and should be supported and listened to.

    So, again, I'm very sorry your experience was so negative. If you (or anyone) would like to share more of your feedback, please email me:


  19. Poppy,
    It was wonderful meeting you!!! You and your pals were hilarious :)!! Hope you enjoyed the blueberry pie recipe I sent over.

    Cheers, Felicia

  20. I absolutely loved three of the four panels I attended. I was live-blogging, so didn't get to choose everywhere I went, and one that left me cold was the "technical tools to build traffic." Boring. BUT, there were tons of women there who had not started blogging yet, so I know it was good info for them.

    Sponsors are just "commercials." Easy to tune out, if you're not interested. I really enjoyed the craftblogging panel, and learned things that I will absolutely use. And both the "more than words" session and the "small is beautiful" session opened my eyes to a different angle by which to view the blogs of myself and of others.

    I think you kind of get out of it what you put into it. I wasn't "into" the technical session, so I didn't get much out of it. OTOH, I was really invested in those last two sessions, so I left feeling really fulfilled.


Gentle Readers:

For the time being, I've turned off comment moderation. Please don't spam; it's not nice.

xxx, Poppy.