Friday, July 29, 2005

Yes, BlogHer is here.

Although the official BlogHer Conference '05 starts tomorrow, BlogHer the social event, really starts today.

It starts at 3PM with a training/meet-up session with our speakers, moderators, audio and live-blogging volunteers. Actually we said anyone could come if they really wanted to, if they were curious about how were going to try to foster more open, conversational sessions, rather than talking head panels.

Then tonight dinner at Andiamo Cafe in Alviso. I chose the venues for today, but my trust volunteer Maria Niles has been an absolute animal about taking the whole thing on and organizing it.

There are 170 people signed up for tonight, just about the restaurant's max capacity. Pray for us!

It has been a crazy time. Lisa, Jory and I have each taken on different tasks to bring this together. After working together closely on getting the word out, soliciting community feedback, building the agenda and preparing panels and sessions, we started focusing on the financials, the registration and waitlist, and the facility-wrangling; Jory on the sponsors and the huge amount of signage and conference materials (along with team members Purvi and Katrin) and Lisa on some amazing geeky stuff she picked up just for the conference...from learning podcasting, to Drupal programming to Flash programming, and then leveraging her non-geek real-life experience to work with Renee on press-wrangling. I bow to her amazing ability to take on just one more task...milions of times.

We each checked in with the other two on everything. And we were all busy being BlogHer ambassadors...keeping track of who was talking about BlogHer and just inserting ourselves right into the conversations. We got interviewed for podcasts, submitted articles to blogzines and web publishers. And just commented on about every blog out there that talked about BlogHer.

I have had trouble envisioning the actual day unfolding. I have this fantasy that it will all magically fall into place, because that's what we worked our butts off to enable. but I know nothing in life actually goes like that, so I'm expecting tears, tirades and tantrums. (Expect the worst and you can only be pleasantly surprised??)

Sorry for this rather sentimental rambling, but you can't imagine how rewarding and how consuming planning BlogHer has been. It wasn't quite a 9-month process, but we're birthing something today!

If you were unable to get in, and many many people were, then I hope you will follow along with BlogHer in one of two ways:

1. We have given blogherships to almost 20 bloggers...we pay their conference fee, and in return they are our reporters...attending sessions and recapping them as they go along. AT 6AM tomorrow morning, a post will go up at BlogHer with links to every session and its text and photo/video-bloggers.

2. We will have a dedicated chat room for BlogHer discussions. It will be monitored to keep out trolls, but otherwise free-wheeling. You can find info at our Chat Partner, PingVision.

As shocking as it may be, I actually do not own a laptop. And I prefer to take notes on paper anyway. I don't like to scribe. I like to marinate on what i've heard and learned and comment on it later. Sometimes I miss the "timely" boat, it's true.

But I hope next week I have a lot to reflect back on about BlogHer.

And I hope to meet some of you, my 2.5 faithful readers, there.

Elisa! Thank you thank you thank you. BlogHer was a smashing success. You deserve the highest praise. It was amazing to be a part of this. I look forward to next year! Thanks again!
Yay! Thanks. But you know it wouldn't have been too much fun if only Jory, Lisa and I had showed up to talk about blogging, now would it?

Thanks for coming; thanks for taking on the MommyBlogging session; thanks for being part of it!
next week I have a lot to reflect back on about BlogHer. what happen elisa. still now didn't update this?
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