Belated Epilogue: Programming for BlogHer 2010
If you’ve read any of my previous posts about BlogHer 2009, you know that I’d like more awesomeness, less absurdness, tasteful implementation of blogger and sponsor relations, and more opportunity to convene with my women of color blogger peeps (please hold the Oriental salad). This final BlogHer 2009 post (rather belatedly) addresses future programming. For context: I’ve been blogging since July 2006, which means I’m neither a newbie nor a longstanding veteran. I blog in three voices: Boston Mamas is my resource blog (though with a personal voice), Posh Peacock is my design blog, and Pop Discourse is my personal blog. I’m a tech geek and design freak and code and design all of my sites (though admittedly, I tossed up the Pop Discourse banner in a hurry…it could use improvement). I’m not particularly obsessed with matters of metrics and SEO (e.g., I only bother to check my metrics when a potential advertiser requests them) or even monetization (re: starry eyed assumption that you can open a blogspot account and two weeks later be raking in the big bucks...instead, I make my real money via writing, editing, and design projects). I’ve trusted my instincts -- to good effect I believe -- on how to navigate blogger and brand relations and have developed a set of standards at Boston Mamas (no pay for play, full disclosure, etc.) that I feel good about.
As such, I didn’t come away with any hard skills per se from BlogHer 2009. I didn’t need tech tutorials, advice on figuring out voice, or introductory lessons on this whole business of brands and bloggers. Which is all fine. I knew the agenda from the outset and my main purpose for attending was to connect with people, which proved to be a tremendously moving experience. And I also know that some people simply attend for the parties, which is fine too. The parties were pretty damned rocking this year.
That said, I’m a think tank type person; I like to think forward on how to improve and shape events, to enhance the experiences of as many people as possible. Here are some thoughts on potential programming elements that might be compelling for both newbies and veterans. If you have other ideas, I’d love to hear them in the comments below, and will forward this post to the ladies over at BlogHer.
In no particular order:
1. Concrete tips for coping with writer’s block and finding new inspiration.
2. Creative and meaningful ways to expand one’s network of writers. And, what to make of all of these blog directories? Which ones provide the best means for true connection and community?
3. Becoming a better writer (e.g., tips to streamline writing, be funnier, etc.).
4. The power of images (e.g., how to shoot photos for your blog, what to do about images of your family, best sources for free stock imagery, etc.)
5. How to go about officially branding (e.g., trademark). Is it necessary? And how to handle creative theft and other people infringing on your brand.
6. Let’s talk metrics: What to do about stagnated traffic, how to build meaningful traffic (not just giveaway traffic), or are traditional metrics overrated?
7. Let’s talk Twitter: the good, bad, and the ugly.
8. When monetization doesn’t matter: what inspires your writing?
9. Bloggers & Brands: navigating the complicated waters and establishing your worth (inspired by this post from Liz Gumbinner).
10. Family matters: handling family fall out as it relates to your blog content, your presence in social media, and events that take you away from family.