Do you know the way to San Jose?...
Right about now thousands of bloggers are pondering that exact question. Well, that, and also what to wear. It's time for the 10th annual BlogHer Conference, this year being held in the techie heart of Silicon Valley.
It's a circling of the laptops, a pilgrimage of the tribe, a search for shared truths, knowledge...and just maybe commercial sponsorship and book deals. Fingers crossed.
Personally, for my own maiden voyage to the blogging center of the universe, I am hoping to learn how to make my "share" buttons bigger and enjoy what I am sure will be a hilarious and insightful keynote address by blogger and author, Jenny Lawson (pictured here) AKA, The Bloggess. No pressure, Jenny.
In preparation, I have uploaded this year's BlogHer app on my phone, perused the Blogher Guide, confirmed reservations and read reviews of previous conferences by bloggers who have been there, done that. From what I can surmise, it appears what was once a cozy get together of like-minded cyber souls has morphed into something bigger, shinier and arguably more powerful. Since none of us really hanker for sweeping change of any sort, reviews of the upgraded event are mixed.
To combat the clique-ishness and sense of overwhelm that invades most established conferences, BlogHer has ramped up opportunities for Skype meet-and-greets with other attendees in advance, and initiated a BlogHer Buddy System -designed to pair up new initiates with veteran conference goers.
Since my natural tendency veers toward introvert, I initially thought I would adopt a default, lone wolf approach -until I read the bios of a few of the volunteer Buddies: Patricia A. Patton is the blogger behind Boomer Wizdom, a trained linguist who once sold wild salmon burgers on the Jersey Shore and recently launched the website OnlineGrannies.com for "modern grandmothers"; Mona Darling from Darling Propaganda spent 20 years as a dominatrix before become a mommy blogger and life coach; Ananda Leek of Digital Sisterhood is a former lawyer who now describes her mission as, "Empowering U2BU through creativity coaching, Reiki, self-care, social media, volunteerism, and yoga.” And Alexandra Rosas of Good Day Regular People, is a first generation American who has performed as a national storyteller with TheMoth, and is the Grand StorySLAM champion for Milwaukee.
Who wouldn't want to meet these people?
I immediately checked out their blogs, signed up for their Twitter feeds -and plan on stalking them, seeking them out, at "chat groups" on site at the conference. Watch for selfies here...
Bottom line, it should be interesting. Do I know the way to San Jose? Yes. The question I most look forward to answering, however, is where will I go from there?
Stay tuned -and follow my progress on Twitter @ThsAmericanHome. Wish me luck peeps! Bigger buttons here I come!