BlogHer? I'm not sure if I'm convinced…

28 July 2009

This past weekend, as I’ve mentioned, I participated in BlogHer09.  Though I was only attending through LobbyCon — a cheaper pass that basically only allowed me into the expo hall and parties — I was excited about attending this event!

The 20sb meet up was amazing, and I assumed BlogHer would be at least just as awesome.  What made BlogHer so awesome for me? My 20sb friends who were also there.  Yes, I met new people.  But overall, I left feeling uneasy about BlogHer as an organization.

When people think about BlogHer or their conferences, they think MommyBloggers — and now I know why.  BlogHer seems to have a preference towards the mommies.  (Now, I’m going to note: there is a MAJOR difference between a mom who happens to blog and a MommyBlogger.)  I realize that yes, the mommies are a very large presence in the BlogHer community.  But maybe that’s because BlogHer is catering to them… Maybe.  Did I feel that there was really much for me as a 20-something?  No.

I don’t know how many times I was asked if I had children by various sponsors in the expo hall.  I mean, you have to expect it, but after the 5th time it became annoying.  BlogHer does not equal MommyBlogger.  But after the conference this past weekend, I could make that confusion too — which is a total shame.  I think people don’t realize how much of a huge demographic the 20-somethings are in the blogging community.  20sb alone has over 7,000 members.  We are a large voice on the internet.  We are an influential group.  I wish BlogHer would see that.

Am I going to go to BlogHer10 in New York?  Right now I’m saying no.  The only thing that would get me to go would be my friends.  I have no interest in being surrounded by MommyBloggers*.  I don’t want to deal with babies at cocktail parties — or the drama when they’re turned away (even other moms don’t want this either).  I don’t want to enter to win a car seat.  (I also don’t want to listen to keynotes that don’t have any representation for the 20-something women, or are all about getting blog sponsorships or how to make the text on my blog bold….)

I would love to have a dialogue with BlogHer about being more inclusive for people other than the Mommies.  As of now, I don’t feel that I have a voice in that community.

I’m a female, I blog, and I’m not a mommy.  I still matter.

*I realize there are MommyBlogger who are really cool people.  But as a mob, I’m not that fond of them.

I also want to say that I didn’t hate BlogHer09.  I did have fun.  But I still feel like they were catering primarily to the Mommies.

  • I kinda know how you feel. When ever I tell someone I am married they automatically ask if I have kids. I guess they figure the only way a 24 year old would be married is if they had a bun in the oven during the ceremony. Sooooo Stereotypical.

    Just keep your chin up….pretty soon the mommybloggers will have nothing to blog about cause their little ones will be out of that “OH I MUST TELL MY READERS WHAT LITTLE NANCY JUST DID!!!!!!!!”* stage. Of course we will also probably all be 30somethings by then…and a new crew of 20somethings may have taken over (OH NOES!!!!)

    *no offense to any mommybloggers*

  • I completely agree. By not catering to the 20sb they are missing an IMPORTANT group, mainly the one that knows about new things on the internet WAY before mommy bloggers. Trust me, the first Twitterers were not mommy bloggers

  • Well said, chica. I felt the same way when I went two years ago, although I think I’ve been in denial about it. I signed up to go this year, even though it directly followed my (exhausting, week-long) family reunion. When my alarm clock went off on Friday, I just couldn’t bring myself to go. I haven’t updated my own blog in over a month, I was wiped from the reunion, and — although I did know some wicked cool people this time around (both mommybloggers and 20-somethings) — many of my favorite bloggers were not going to be attending this year. I’m glad to hear your opinion on the matter, since it kinda confirms for me that the peeps at BlogHer have a bit of work left to do in making the non-moms (or at least the non-mommybloggers) feel included in the fun.

    • Justine from Brand About Town and I actually got to talk about this issue during the Nintendo Enthusiast dinner. It’s going to be a point at where the 20-somethings just stop coming out because what’s there for us? Yeah, I love my free play-doh… but still. Justine brought up a good point that the 20sb group should continue to keep going on our own thing. We’re a large enough group that we can continue organizing our own thing. And I agree with her. While I love, love, love our meetup, I’d love to see a bit more from it. (This is by no means a criticism of our meetup — it was awesome, I’m just looking forward to what else we can do.)

      So yeah. I’m not going to sit around and wait for BlogHer to get their act together on this one. I’m ready for 20sb to continue on our path and to start developing something of our own (something a bit more than “let’s get together and drink” — because we are more than that too.)

      So…

      Skirts, I’m sorry you didn’t come because it would have been awesome to see you!! But I totally don’t blame you.

      Rachel, people say that the older (60+) crowd and housewives are taking over the internet, but no. We still own. 😉 Also, I must say that I absolutely LOVE you for being exactly what I love about what “Mommy Bloggers” should be — moms who happen to blog and are so freaking cool, your phone explodes. 😉

      Minda, I agree, there’s nothing wrong with being a mom or any of that — but don’t assume because I’m at BlogHer that I’ve got kids. (Though yes, I’ll be the awesome, hot mom with pink hair. And yeah, I’ll probably still be blogging — but it’s about me, and what would be a part of me is my family… not the products I get because of my kids, or an update on everything they do… It’s still gonna be about me.) I love though, that even when we’re the 30SB, we’re still going to own and rock out and we’re going to love on the new 20sb because we’ve been there!

  • “I’m a female, I blog, and I’m not a mommy. I still matter.”

    LOVE it. Great post Erini.

  • Jamie and I have discussed making a big effort at making sure 20sb has a large presence at BlogHer10. This post reinforces that that’s a decent idea 🙂 Keep ya posted.

    • Thanks Jenn!! <3 you!

      Doni – I think if we have a big presence that could be great.. especially if we could have some sort of 20sb thing happening — whether it be a breakout session, an open initiation lunch, or even some sort of cocktail party… Or do what Brand About Town did, and have a Suite that we can host small numbers of people and sort of be a nice place for a break for people.

      I think though… as much as it'd be cool to do something with BlogHer10… I think I'd like to see some things happen with 20sb. I'd like to have a meetup that's more than just going out and drinking — 'cause we're more than just party-crazy kids. I talked to a few people about this, but I'd love to get involved in 20sb Offline Events… It's a passion of mine. So definitely keep me posted about BlogHer10 and let me know how I can help!

      So I think the question is, how do we start a dialogue with BlogHer — and what, essentially, do we want to say? Obviously we want representation… but what do we mean by this?

      Anyway. Yeah. I'm reading BlogHer's post about wanting feedback… And they mention that they don't like that BlogHer is confused with a Mommy Blogger conference… And so I'm hoping they'll really address this for the next year.

  • When I kept seeing the BlogHer ads on everyone’s blogs, I was quite interested. But once on their Web site, I realized just the same thing and wanted nothing to do with it. I simply felt as though I didn’t belong and quite possibly wouldn’t for quite some time, and I had no desire to force myself to become part of something I felt very far away from.

    Your feelings are totally understandable.

    • I’m actually torn about keeping the BlogHerAds on my site. At this point, I like them better than the idea of Google AdSense (but I haven’t used it, so if someone’s experienced with it, let me know)…. but yeah. I feel like there are far fewer ad campaigns in this system for non-Mommies.

      On the flip side, though… I sometimes wonder if I was taken off their waiting list for the ads so quickly because I wasn’t just another MommyBlogger looking to use my mommy status for money & free stuff.

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  • I also felt very uncomfortable when I first walked into the blog-her party sphere. I ended up meeting some great people…but for the most part it was either mommy bloggers or people I don’t feel I relate to at all. Rini maybe we should host our own blogger party. A blogger clothing swap maybe? Eh kinda sounds like too much work. But you should let me know next time you have cupcakes with other bloggers 🙂

    • I basically surrounded myself with 20sb ladies during BlogHer. I would have loved to have met more people, and I did meet a handful, but yeah you have to wade through a lot of women to get those gems.

      I definitely think 20sb should talk with some venue about hosting a cocktail party and also about maybe doing a 20sb suite if a group of us are going to BlogHer10.

      Blogger clothing swap…. I really love the idea of that, but I always tend to only bring two things (’cause I can’t get rid of anything!) and walk away with 15… Though the last time I got some awesome boots…

      I think there might be some cupcaking with @lovelyanomaly and maybe even @mrmcbastard when I return from Indiana next week. I’ll keep you posted!

  • i cannot relate to mommy bloggers at all. they can suck it. from what you describe i would probably hate blogher conference.. i don’t think i even like being surrounded by that many females at once. =/

    • HA!

      Floreta, I <3 You.

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