The events at yesterday’s BlogHer were every bit as good as the day before, and I was spoiled for choice as to what sessions I wanted to participate in. I particularly enjoyed three sessions:
BlogHer ’11 was such a rich source of information, contacts, encouragement and inspiration, I really cannot recommend it highly enough.
The closing keynote was a real highlight as well. Lisa Stone moderated a discussion betweenCarol Jenkins, Fatemeh Fakhraie and Ricki Lake. It was incredibly inspiring. The theme was Women in the Media, but what I took away from it was the idea of Using Our Voices for Good. One of the first things I wrote when I started The 21st Century Housewife back in 2002 was that housewives were a powerful voice in society, and that they needed to have the confidence to make themselves heard. In the same vein, so are bloggers. We have much more influence than we could possibly imagine. Did you know a survey shows that 80% of people who read a blog purchase things based on recommendations from that blog? That shows trust. Seriously, real people read and are affected by blogs. The 21st Century Housewife on its own, without the 21st Century Housewife’s Kitchen or the blogspot site, gets over 180,000 hits every single month. Many blogs get so much more than that. We have a platform, and we have influence, and we need to use it, not just commercially, but socially, ethically and politically as voices for good. It was definitely an ‘aha moment’ for me.
And most of all, BlogHer was fun. After the keynote, we all met in the Tequila Bar at the Marriott San Diego for margaritas, and a chance to chat with Ricki Lake. And this was no dry celebrity meet and greet. Ricki talked to so many women, and really listened to them. She spent ages sitting in the bar, literally amongst everyone (at one point sitting right next to my husband), and smiling for what must have been hundreds of photographs. She is so passionate about herMy Best Birth project, it is wonderful to see. You would not believe the number of women who I heard telling her that she had profoundly affected their birth experience through it.
As someone who had an experience giving birth that so terrified and dis-empowered me that it caused my husband and I to chose to have only one child, I felt real joy to see the work being done to encourage and help women to make their own choices, and to have a profoundly different experience than I did.
For me, BlogHer was life-changing, a real chance to regroup and remember that being a writer is about more than being popular, it is about being brave, speaking your mind, and opening yourself to the ideas that what you write stimulate in others. I am so excited about moving forward with the new things I have learned, and I look forward to attending BlogHer ’12 in New York next year.