I’m home again after BlogHer, but we’re moving on Monday and so the next days will be filled with boxes – I have a post I want to write about BlogHer but it will have to wait. Just so I don’t completely forget, though, there are a number of interesting comments on the conference out there. Ellen Gerstein wrote an interesting post criticising BlogHer Business. She has many of the same complaints as I had: not enough time, little opportunity for networking, too much speakertime to sponsors; but also has the advantage that she was at last year’s BlogHer Business, which she loved, and so she can compare.

At BlogHer itself, there was criticism of the way it (to some?) seemed to be primarily a mommyblogging conference, of how the free swag (possibly) dominated much of the conference, and the heavy sponsor visibility, even in panel sessions. Also some of the parties organised by sponsors rather than BlogHer itself had issues – like refusing to let babies attend when they’d invited mommybloggers to a party (that’s an interesting little case study in promo to bloggers gone wrong right there) or promising people freebies (like free $100 video cameras) that then ran out before the people who’d been promised them got theirs. The people who run the conference have written a blog post about a lot of the criticism asking for feedback and ideas for next time, and and there are already lots and lots of comments from participants.

While I didn’t much enjoy the first day, I had a lot of interesting conversations on the second day of the conference. One of the most interesting was with Jeremiah McNichols of ZRecommends, who had a lot of interesting thoughts about the complex relationship between sponsors and bloggers. While the first BlogHer conference, in 2005, seemed to be about empowering women bloggers, today, empowerment appears to be about “look how powerful we are, corporations take us seriously and want to give us free swag!” But of course, if blogging becomes mainly about accepting free swag and loving the corporations, well, that’s not empowerment, that’s more like oppression – a slightly more subtle form of oppression, perhaps, maybe willing oppression. It doesn’t bode well for the power of blogging to actually spread the voices of the people, though, if the people are happy to speak for the corporations.

I want to write (and think) more about those connections, and I’ll definitely try to post more about it – not until after we move, though!

2 thoughts on “so i don’t forget what i want to blog about blogher…

  1. Jeremiah

    It was lovely meeting and chatting with you, Jill. Looking forward to your post.

    We went ahead with the initiative I mentioned to you at BlogHer – we are now fully committed to keeping NO review products. We have written about it on our blog and I’d be happy to discuss our reasoning or the feedback we’ve received if it was of interest to you.

  2. Lisa

    But hasn’t BlogHer been criticized for being all about so called Mommybloggers before?
    I’ve always considered BlogHer to be a rather conservative force. A follower and definitely not a firestarter or even the companion you would wish for it to be.

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