Monday, August 16, 2010

This is not a BlogHer recap post

Even though I spent three days at BlogHer, I don't really have a BlogHer recap. For one thing, I actually spent very little time at the actual panels--two on Friday, and none on Saturday.

Nothing against the panels, really, it's just that it's my fifth blogging conference, and after a while, panels start to repeat themselves. And seem more trouble than they're worth.

One of the two panels I attended was Susan Wagner's Style Bloggers panel (if you missed the panel, there's a good write up here on Fashionista) and I left the panel with more questions than I'd come in with. Which is probably good, because it means the subject was much bigger than its time slot.

It's also good because it means the panel made me think.

In my last life, I spent a lot of time going to academic conferences, and I got used to the way they run panels. It's a big deal to get on an academic panel, and while it helps to be a big name in your field, you still really have to make a point. And it should be a good point--preferably something groundbreaking or paradigm shifting or as Faux Fuschia likes to say, visionary. You get 20 minutes to make your point. Then, if you're lucky, people ask questions.

There are fewer points and many more questions at BlogHer panels, which means the quality of the panel depends on the quality of the questions, which may explain why blackbird of Say La Vee and I escaped and went shopping at the Hermes store. Where I bought a scarf and two bracelets, but this is not a haul post.

No, this is a series of questions about fashion and style blogging.

(BTW, were you acquainted with "haul posts" and "haul videos?" The term was getting slung around a lot at the style panel, but I hadn't realized it had reached such a saturation level that no one felt the need to define it. So click on the links, if you're not aware of the phenomenon.)

Now that BlogHer is less about mommyblogging being a radical act and more about women-owned business blogging (because let's face it; monetizing your blog in any way is running a business) I'd really like to see some other people at blogging conferences. Because we are not all mommybloggers. Not even those of us who have kids.

I'd really like to see more style bloggers. I saw Susan Wagner of Friday Playdate and Kalisah of I'll Be the one in Heels. I met some new (to me) style bloggers, like the gorgeous Amber of Brown Bombshell Beauty, and Treacle of The Lingerie Addict, and Tracey of FashionForward40, who was everything good: smart, funny, curvy, and stylish.
Tracey in her wrap dress and double strand of faux gray
South-Sea-style pearls--me in Lilly

But seriously, the personal blog has been around for years. The monetized brand-crazy mommyblog has too. So enough already about privacy, the internet, and our kids. What about privacy, the internet, and What I Wore Today

And what's a design panel when nobody's addressing something that I've been wondering about for a while: why, with our eyes for design being so finely honed, do bloggers like Faux Fuchsia, LPC of A Midlife of Privilege, Alexis of J. Crew Aficionada and I still use the Blogger minima templates? Why don't style bloggers feel the same need to use huge splashy headers and custom-designed blogs?

How about a panel on fashion photography--specifically, on photographing yourself for your blog?

How about a panel on being an old broad? What about issues of aging in the blogosphere? After all, simply by virtue of being 53 years old, I'm way outside of the 35-year-old white, suburban mother-of-two stereotype. Even though I'm white and suburban and a mother of two, I feel distinctly ... other.

What fashion/style/design issues would you like to see covered at a blogging conference?


  1. Oh dear Lord I'm a freakin' stereotype. (Mom of 2, white, 32, technically a mommyblogger though the term makes me squirm and I prefer to think that I'm writing *real* content that's funny and just happens to include my kids...) But I felt much the same way about the sessions. I also went to only two...and didn't expect to get any big "AHA!" moment at either of them. I get that not every blogger has been doing this for years, and that a lot of those panels might be exactly what they need. But like the potential sessions you listed, I think there are many of us who would really love a session on a very specific topic (tips for photographing yourself is one I could see lots of people attending) and otherwise just enjoy the opportunity to meet up with other bloggers one-on-one.

  2. Well hello:). You are spot on. First of all, funny you should mention blog design. I will say only that I am currently working on just that. Second, there's a conference being planned, Lavish Unconference, that's at least about lifestyle, if not pure fashion.

    Finally, I'd love to see the tracks at a style conference with material for all types, i.e. "preppy" "classic" "punk" "fashion forward." And I'd like to hear from the design houses and retailers and magazines. How does the industry work now? It's always been very insiderish.

    Well, um, you did ask:).

  3. Gasp! Are you putting together your own style blogger conference, Poppy? Because I would TOTALLY come to that. And I could lead a panel on what it was like to be a beauty blogger back in the good old days, when beauty blogging was fresh and new and innocent and whatnot. Or I could just lead a panel on how to shave your own head. Or maybe I could just show up for the swag bags, because I bet those would be STELLAR.

  4. This was my first conference. And I'm still a blogger newbie. My fashion blog is just over 6 months old. So I attended a lot of sessions, cause I'm new and that is what my Mom taught me to do.

    I'm also a mom who blogs - Mom of 1 crazy toddler, white, 42. I have a personal blog, but my real passion is fashion. I would have loved to have heard more about how "inside" the business works. I'm slowly becoming known in my local town, but until I'm an insider I guess I'll just keep haul blogging. And trying to figure out how to take good pictures of myself.

    I think instead of another conference maybe I just need to spend a few days with Poppy and Blackbird. I think they'd probably teach me everything I need to know.

    Thanks for the lovely shoutout and the picture that hides the fact I was so hot and sweaty. And that my faux pearls were from the grocery store.

  5. I'm not into fashion or style (yeah I know, I have NONE at all).

    But I really do think that there needs to be more for those who don't blog about being a mommy - whether they are or not.

    Exploring why women aren't moms - by choice or circumstance - is one important topic. Or a return to patientblogging. Those were the two I presented in my feedback (and shouldn't have done it anonymously!)

  6. I'll have you know that when *I* go to these things, I make it a point of scrupulously attending EVERY panel available to me.

    Because I am the very soul of diligence, I am.

  7. I'm a little creeped out by the notion of haul videos; for some reason the concept reminds me of snuff films. I steer clear.

    And you can totally count me in when you plan your style blogger conference! You'll need at least a few non-moms there, after all.

  8. You are preaching to the choir...oh, and, all that time I thought they were saying Hall Posts. Doh.

  9. Great post, and I'm going to check out all the new (to me) bloggers you mention.

  10. And of course, some of us are moms, but no longer mommies. Because our kids are big. If I just blogged about my grown kids I'd either intrude on their existence, or write 18 different versions of "oh they are grown and gone." But they both like me writing about fashion/style. Even ask my advice. Now that's good for a mother's heart. Thanks also for mentioning Privilege.

  11. Old Bag Mothers on the Internets?

    I need that.

    You get that hooked up and I'll go to San Diego.


Gentle Readers:

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xxx, Poppy.