BlogHer: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

by Jodifur on July 26, 2009

(subtitle: I am remarkably un-photogenic, no one could take a good picture of me all weekend.)

The Good

Let me start off by saying I loved and adored BlogHer.  I had a fabulous time.  I hung out with old friends and made new friends.  The writers on the internet are amazing, as evidenced by the community keynote.  Anyone who thinks bloggers can't write should have been in that room Friday night.  The emotion was palpable.

Some of my favorite memories include:

Flying out on Thursday with Amy and Ezra, who fell in love with my vitamin water.  Has there ever been a more yummy baby?

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Meeting and hugging some of my favorite rock stars from the internet: redneck mommy, motherhood uncencensored, miss grace, mrs flinger, and pretty much everyone who was there and on my blogroll. (This list is not exclusive, I met 8 hundred million people and my brain is fried!)

I had a 45 minute conversation with Jen Lancaster, who knew who I was (!) and could not have been more lovely.

I got to hang out with my favorite ladies, the DC Metro Moms

I met some of the nicest, coolest women.  I made sure to step out of my comfort zone and just walk up and introduce myself to people I did not know every day, at every session, and it was amazing.

I met Mrs. Potato-head (photo by Wife and Mommy).

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A quote from me was scrolling on the big screen at the keynotes.  Which was so awesome.  I missed it the first time because I was in the registration line from hell.  But I managed to catch it at the community keynote. I was so, so, honored.  And floored.

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2 words, SPARKLECORN BABY.  More pictures, here.

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And hanging out with the MamaPop writers and holding baby Ezra as he fell asleep in my arms during our panel.

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The Bad

Before you read me, read this.  My friend Vicki said it so much better that I can.  

It is not okay to steal.  And yes, if you took 2 swag bags, or lied about being on a list, you stole.  How would you feel if your child behaved in the manner YOU OR SOMEONE ELSE behaved this weekend?  Pushing, shoving, lying, stealing, FOR SWAG?  For something you could buy at CVS?  The behavior was deplorable and despicable and disgusting and I am ashamed for you.

If your child went to a birthday party and said, where is my goodie bag?  What, there is no goodie bag?  I'm blogging and twittering and TELLING EVERYONE I KNOW!  You would put them in time out, right?  Or at the very least you would give them a stern talking too.  You are not entitled to FREE STUFF.  You are not.  You elbowed a baby.  People have bruises.  I did not get one swag bag from a party.  And you know what, I DIDN'T COMPLAIN ABOUT IT.  I survived.  I'm even still breathing.  It's possible.

(This is not directed at all of the Blog Her attendees.  The people this is directed at know who they are.)

The Ugly

Just because I blog and are very open, does not give you full access to my life.  It is not okay to ask me, or anyone else, if I am "an established blogger."  Or what my stats are.  Or complain that I think "I'm too big to talk to you."  Trust me, I don't, I'm not, I just had to pee.  I don't think I'm bigger than ANYONE.  Don't start every conversation with who you are sponsored by, because I don't care.  I really, really don't.

Some of the things that were said to me, and to me people I know, were ASTONISHING.  I'm shell shocked by what came out of people's mouth.  No, you cannot ask someone to introduce you to A DIFFERENT BLOGGER they do not know.  No, it is not all-right to insult people TO THEIR FACE.  And if you have been friends with someone for a year, it is not okay to suddenly ignore them because they are not as cool as the other people you know at Blog Her.  That is just mean.

Okay, my little ranty tirade is over.  I did honestly have a fantastic time.  I just think that the next time, some manners might be nice.  And also, some water.  I have no idea why they could not serve water.  And not flavored water, just plain, water.

Oh, and go say two words to Sarah.  Money Lawyer.  Ask her to tell you why.

I will end on a positive story, because I think it is important to to say that I truly did enjoy myself.  Friday night before Sparklecorn, all the MamaPop writers met for a drink.  And these where the people I have been writing with and conversing with and joking with and sharing stories with for years.  And as I hugged each of them, it was like hugging family.

That's what the internet should be.  We don't have to all get a long.  We don't even have to all like each other.  But we can all be nice.

***This is my opinion.  I am sure there will be intelligent thoughtful discourse in the comments.  But please be respectful.

{ 49 comments }

kris July 26, 2009 at 9:20 pm

So glad you had a good time! And glad you had the balls to call out questionable blogger behavior. There’s too little of that these days, and sometimes people need to be reminded that this isn’t high school.
Welcome back!

Christine July 26, 2009 at 9:24 pm

Very well said! I couldn’t believe the mob scene at some of those parties. Over stuff you could buy with a handful of dollar bills. And you’d probably have to pay to ship home anyway. Ridiculous.
And I couldn’t agree more on the water thing. Tons and tons of soda. But no water. Why?

Melissa Multitasking Mama July 26, 2009 at 9:28 pm

I wish I had run into you at somepoint but am glad we both had a good time. That being said, I completely agree and was also appalled at the juvenile behavior of supposedly grown women. Hope they don’t give us all a bad name!

CT Mom July 26, 2009 at 9:35 pm

So interesting reading the tweets and post BlogHer posts. When I heard that next year’s conference will be in NYC, my first thought was “sign me up!” I’d go to meet folks IRL that I know virtually, learn more, meet some new people, but I had no idea about the parties and giveaways, and I have to say I’m a bit put off by some of the behavior I’m reading about. I’m still considering attending (it’s literally a train ride away) but I may think twice about the parties.
You are very photogenic, btw – love the pic in your post. Maybe to use as your new Twitter avatar?

She Likes Purple July 26, 2009 at 9:47 pm

Not meeting the MamaPop writers is such a regret for me. Hopefully I’ll have another chance next year.
Sounds like the goods were great and the bads were awful. People shoving babies?! My god!

Emma July 26, 2009 at 9:55 pm

You are adorable and were gracious when I accosted you and I’m a total stranger, and whatever about the rest – I didn’t see the craziness but the good outweighs the bad for me.
Oh and also my ovaries exploded when Ez fell asleep in your arms in the Mamapop panel.

Stacy July 26, 2009 at 10:06 pm

Wow. Very interesting. You’ll have to tell me all about the weekend in person, SOON. Maybe dinner next week when I get home? Also, I’m glad you pointed out the good, bad and ugly … makes me realize that I wasn’t a loser for not going, that what seems golden, isn’t always perfect.
Glad you had a good weekend.

Danielle-Lee July 26, 2009 at 10:10 pm

Wow. I knew there had to be shitty sides to this thing, although I have to say I am still jealous. :)
I love the pic of you and the potato head. :)

Cara July 26, 2009 at 10:18 pm

Amen on the no water thing. I mean, they were trying to be green by not having bottled water but there was bottled and canned soda EVERYWHERE and like one water dispenser thingy. Major FAIL.
PS – I had the blogger “friend” ignore me all weekend. It was an eyeopener.

workout mommy July 26, 2009 at 10:19 pm

i wish i had a chance to meet/find you in person.
I couldn’t agree more—I really was saddened by this Blogher compared to last. The whole atmosphere was different and like you said—all over stuff that wasn’t worth more than $20 anyway! Even though next year will be in NYC, I’m not sure I even want to go.
and yes, where the hell was the water?!

Andrea July 26, 2009 at 10:24 pm

Wow, the Good is great (yay!), and Bad and the Ugly is just horrible. I don’t remember this kind of behavior at the 08 conference, or maybe I just didn’t witness it. What a shame that grown adults can’t behave in a civilized fashion.

Julie @ The Mom Slant July 26, 2009 at 10:46 pm

Now I’m sadder than ever that I wasn’t there and didn’t get to finally meet you.

Mrs. Wilson July 26, 2009 at 10:49 pm

My only complaint about this post? THERE’S ONLY ONE PHOTO OF YOU!!!
I’m glad that you wrote the good, the bad, AND the ugly. I’ve never been to BlogHer, but I AM going to BlogHer NYC in 2010. (I’ve already registered!) It’s nice to know what to look out for and what to make sure not to do.
Thanks :)

JavaMom July 26, 2009 at 10:55 pm

This is an excellent post!

pgoodness July 26, 2009 at 10:57 pm

Sad about the bad and ugly, but glad you went and had a good time! Maybe next year I’ll get to meet you!! =)

Elizabeth July 26, 2009 at 11:06 pm

Agggh, it’s stuff like this that makes me not want to go to Blogher. It sounds crazy making.

cindy w July 27, 2009 at 12:06 am

First: so glad I got to meet you! Yay! Also: the picture of you & Mrs. Potato Head is cute, I don’t know what you’re talking about.
I’m so glad I didn’t witness any of the swag whore drama, I just heard about it afterward. That’s insane. I thought the point was to learn and to meet people, not acquire free crap. Sure, I took some swag home with me, but I didn’t push or shove anyone to get it. Nuts.
But seriously: water. OMG yes please.

Gina July 27, 2009 at 2:02 am

Wow…it just amazes me how supposedly civilized people stop being so at these sorts of things…
You + sleeping Ezra = adorable! Maybe when I’m not in Italy, I can get to one of these things…

Musings of a Housewife July 27, 2009 at 8:30 am

Reading about these mob scenes makes me wonder if I even want to go next year. It sounds atrocious. I’m glad you had fun. But wow.

Pocklock July 27, 2009 at 8:58 am

Jodi – It was so awesome to finally meet you in person. I’m bummed we didn’t get to have a Bloody Mary together (or even some water – yeesh!). I’m still in the process of editing all my pictures, but I did show you THE most adorable and sweet picture of you and Ez. So there does exist a perfect, beautiful picture of you from this weekend. (More than one, I’m sure)
The rest of the stuff… well. I knew it was happening and it made me kind of want to hurl. There are many awesome women bloggers who didn’t go this year and when they read about the negative stuff like that, I feel like it’s going to validate the whole, “It’s clique-y and high school and sorority like” opinion.
And then I get all defensive because while that’s true (as evidenced by the behavior we witnessed), it’s so not ALL there is. The experience is what you make it – truly one’s own.
I felt a lot more positive energy than I did negative, but perhaps that’s just all I allowed near me. I wasn’t about to let some elbow pusher ruin my weekend. I was there for me.
(Oh crud. Sorry for the blog entry length comment!)

Lady M July 27, 2009 at 9:22 am

It was great to get to meet you in person!
I enjoyed the MamaPop Room of One’s Own, and seeing Ezra steal the show by cutely falling asleep.

Vicky July 27, 2009 at 9:30 am

It was so good to hang out with you more than once this weekend! It was a fabulous time despite the bad and ugly! Let’s catch up again soon – local.
Thanks so much for linking to me too!

Darcey July 27, 2009 at 10:27 am

I think you covered the bases… and it was wonderful to meet you in person!

Kristabella July 27, 2009 at 10:36 am

I’m so glad I finally got to meet you! I wish we could have spent more time together!
I didn’t witness any of the swag drama, but heard about it and shame on all those people.
This year’s BlogHer was bigger and I had less fun this year than I did last year. It seemed to be too much this year and not what blogging and bloggers are about.

The Glamorous Life Association July 27, 2009 at 11:34 am

Oh my dear….YOUR post is so much nicer than MY re-cap post. I may have used the words ‘SWAG WHORES’ :)…but then again I have a huge gash on my leg from one of the MANY swag brawls. So I might be a little bitter. (ha ha ha I said MIGHT)
You can read it here…if ya wanna…
http://marcywrites.com/2009/07/blogher-i-dont-even-know-her/

amy @teachmama July 27, 2009 at 1:13 pm

Oh my gosh–so true. I love how you hit on each element of the conference–the good, bad, and ugly. Seriously? Someone handed me a bag with a hamburger warmer in it. A huge, yellow plastic HAMBURGER warmer. Ick. I left the bag in the hallway, and it disappeared before I blinked.
As a first-timer, I was taken by the rush for swag and constant talk about evening parties and events; I was exhausted before I even began and wish the sessions I attended were stronger. Hopefully next year will be different. The potential is there.
I did meet some really cool people but wish I personally knew to set aside more time to hang with my own ‘birds of a feather’. And I wish you and I could finish a conversation at some point in the times we’ve gotten together. Hope to catch you at a dcmm event soon. You totally rock, Jodi. Glad we’re pals. Soorry so long–

sarah July 27, 2009 at 2:14 pm

could not agree more. I had to escape a potential crushing incident at one of the parties (apparently a LOT of women needed a vibrator) and was really put off by the parties in general.
It was my first BlogHer and I am already registered for BlogHer10, but I think next time, I will avoid all attempts at getting swag–now that I’m home, it seems utterly pointless, and really detracted from what I felt was the heart of the conference, the bloggers.
It was nice meeting you and hearing your Money Lawyer story. :-)

Redneck Mommy July 27, 2009 at 2:19 pm

God I love you.
I think you may be my new girl crush.
Rawr.

Stimey July 27, 2009 at 3:16 pm

This is a great post. I agree with it. I had a little talk with myself before I got on the plane to go to BlogHer. That talk was all about not getting caught up in swag fever, because it’s so easy. And I’m not saying I came home without swag, because oh my god, did I. But that’s not what BlogHer is about. Nor is about being nasty or rude or dismissive of friendly women.
For me, the good outweighed the bad and the ugly by so much that it’s not even a contest. There are some amazing people that attend that conference.

Mir July 27, 2009 at 3:24 pm

I’m so glad we got to meet and chat a little bit, even if you were too big to talk to me for longer.
(Kidding! I’m kidding! I probably had to pee, too!) ;)

Miss Grace July 27, 2009 at 3:42 pm

I love you.

Mom101 July 27, 2009 at 3:58 pm

How did I not get to meet you? Damn. I guess I was too busy asking for the stats of everyone I did hang out with. Next time I’ll limit it to just their Alexa rank and not ask for written proof before engaging with them, which will definitely safe time.
(And loved this post.)

Lynnae July 27, 2009 at 6:17 pm

Well said. And you already know I agree.
Love the pics, too!

Barb July 27, 2009 at 7:18 pm

Very nicely written. I was shocked when I saw the person with the bruised arm. Scary! How can people act like this over a goodie bag? Great analogy to the kids party!
@chaotic_barb

Sandy July 27, 2009 at 8:56 pm

This is beautifully written and full of truth. I’m glad you shared your feelings. I hope to meet you someday, despite the craziness of these conferences.

Scary Mommy July 27, 2009 at 9:22 pm

I cannot believe our paths never crossed!!! And this post was spot on.

Motherhood Uncensored July 28, 2009 at 10:30 am

It was fantastic meeting you in person. You’re just as I imagined – smart, lovely, and full of energy.

pseudostoops July 28, 2009 at 10:40 am

I’m with Kristen- It was great meeting you in person, and you were just like I imagined, except possibly even more vibrant and hand-talky. (Those are good things.)

Lena July 28, 2009 at 12:47 pm

Our pre-SparkleCorn meetup was probably my favorite memory. I just love you.

Frema July 28, 2009 at 12:51 pm

Bree here, the gal who identified herself as a fellow Beth fan. It was great to meet you during the speed-dating session. I’m in the middle of sorting out all my thoughts on the conference. I love reading what everyone had to say.

Julie @ Angry Julie Monday July 28, 2009 at 4:05 pm

Are you an established blogger? And I forgot my Mama Pop necklace in my hotel room…were my favorite quotations from Friday night.
In all my drunkedness (is that a word), I remembered that! You rock!!!! I’m shall stalk you now…
I’m still trying to write my post…

FishyGirl July 28, 2009 at 6:56 pm

Yikes! It certainly wasn’t like that in 07 when I went last. The fighters should certainly be ashamed of themselves. Urgh.
But everyone is right, you ARE lovely. I’m glad I didn’t have to go to BlogHer to know that.

jennster July 28, 2009 at 9:00 pm

glad you had a good time.. for people like you (and me) it’s about the connections and who we spend time with when we’re there. and for the bloggers who started their blog TO GET FREE STUFF, it’s about the swag and the free things. it’s sad that it happened, but it’s sad to me that people have blogs solely to get free shit. wtf?! when did we turn into that?

Rock and Roll Mama July 29, 2009 at 4:11 am

Mwah! I’m pretty much just going to kiss my fingers and say “What she said.” I love how you led with the positive, but the negative- it needs to be said. It really, really does.
So, since we didn’t get to hang in Chi-town, let’s have coffee soon! (WHAT? My stats too low for you?):) Great post.

Grace July 29, 2009 at 4:59 pm

Spot on. The swag fighting stuff was just…bizarre. I can’t figure out where that behavior even comes from. And the celebrity blogger stuff is pretty damn odd too.

emma July 29, 2009 at 11:42 pm

It was so great to meet you at BlogHer, though I realize I may have actually prevented you from eating your lunch (eek! sorry:)) as I was asking so many questions… oops! And thank you (and everyone else) who has been speaking up about the swag hounds. This was my first BlogHer. And, to be honest, I’m not sure I’ll go again. I met such amazing people, but the bad apples were hell o’ rotten.

Allison Worthington July 30, 2009 at 9:29 am

(belly bumps)
awesomeness

Jeanette Henderson September 5, 2009 at 11:57 am

Hi stumbled upon your blog post from… oh, I can’t remember! But being fairly new to “blogdom” I’ve only heard bits and pieces of BlogHer, I thought your post was great, and handled excellently (is that a word?!?) Saying what should be said, and I commend you.
Maybe one day I’ll be able to attend (I wonder if it will come to Tampa, FL???) and hopefully will meet you.
Hey! come see me sometime!
sweetjeanette.blogspot.com

Alexandra July 18, 2012 at 1:25 pm

I was so hurt with my very first encounter at the convention. I came out of my shell and handed a BIG BLOGGER my card, told her I read her and enjoyed her tweets. She looked at my card and threw it back in my lap saying, Never heard of you.

Then she looked away.

The tears priced my eyes. And I almost ran and hid in my hotel room.

BUt I paid too much in airfare and hotel room to do that.

So I just kept trying.

But that woman hurt me.

I wonder if she knows that.

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