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July 29, 2009



Thanks for this post, Jory. As someone who has to be one of those vendors in the exhibit halls for my "real job", I was in awe of how much more was available this year over previous years. (And I too desperately needed a new stick of deodorant as mine died.) Thanks to everyone who did all the work to make that possible. Sponsorships are a Good Thing, both for the attendees and the sponsors.

I think it's great they were all there. I hope this was just a lot of hubbub over a big change this year, but that we'll keep it going in 2010.

This was my 4th BlogHer and I look forward to my 5th. Not for the swag (which a lot of it I passed over or gave away) but for the people, both engaged sponsors and attendees.

Although that green bag from 2007 kicks ass! Still use it to this day. :)

Rita Arens

Your sis and my sis had the time of their lives, then. I'll be more blunt than you were: Everyone needs to chill out. I've never seen so much complaining about people being nice to them. The end.

I think the sponsors have to be there to fund the experience, so we might as well say thank you and avoid any conversations or parties we don't want to be part of. I avoided quite a few, and I'm happy to say I got exactly what I wanted out of BlogHer.


Jory -- I loved reading your perspective and it was so great to finally meet you. Thank you for giving me an opportunity to take part in this experience and for being so honest. It was also a pleasure to meet your sister and chat with her about her book -- I'm looking forward to it and I've given my husband a heads up about its pub date for him and his book blogging friends. I hope she does start a blog because I bet it would be utterly fascinating. Keep on doing great work -- and thanks again.

Grace Davis

Jory, you may recall that I volunteered to handle part of our "Expo" at the inaugural BlogHer in 2005. Over several emails and a visit to the store, I convinced Books Inc in Mountain View to show up with a simple utility table laden with media and tech books. I asked them to throw in Anne Lamott's "Bird by Bird" for those of us who wrote in personal blogs. I had to explain to the bookstore owner what "blog" meant. The book table along with a small company's modest display of their tech wares were set up behind a banks of escalators, as this was the only space left at that small Santa Clara venue.

I have not attended BlogHer since 2006. When I walked into the Expo, I actually stopped breathing. Then, I cried. 'Had to go to a corner and allow myself to have a fairly substantial sobfest. Five years had passed, and there before me was an upbeat, colorful carnival, buzzing and busy, a hubub of activity in a dazzling ballroom. My tears welled up from a place of PRIDE. Pride that we have come such a long way, that we finally have the attention of major corporations who would lend their unflinching support to our gathering and that with this attention we have their respect.

For all of this, along with feeling so very proud, I am deeply grateful to be part of the BlogHer community.

Thank you for all that you have given to us, Jory..and Lisa and Elisa.


I use my green bag every day; it's perfect for one class's book and "stuff!"

I also use my navy GM BlogHer shoulder bag a LOT. I carried it over the weekend, in fact.

I am a person who doesn't care for icing on my cake at all, and when someone gives me something for freebers, the feelings that come to mind are simple things like "gratitude" and "WOW" and "Thank you!" Also, "Trick or Treat for Adults!"

But I have never approached the Exhibition Hall, or any booth or kiosk, with "entitlement" in mind. I view the kiosks in there as savvy businesses who are learning how to market to women, and who are - mostly - doing an excellent job of it. In fact, the lady at the Intel booth allowed me to take her picture and feature it on the Wireless Picture Frame blog for which I write. I mentioned BlogHer's name. Words were written about how BlogHer pretty much "teaches" businesses HOW to market to women.

I don't review anything on my personal blog, either, but I am opinionated. (news flash) My opinions are not always positive, but they are mine.

Finally, I have nothing but complete and total admiration and thanks to you, Elisa, and Lisa for creating BlogHer, this magical yearly weekend where women - and a few men with funny shirts - can gather and be silly and learn things and pretend to be young again. (Most of them ARE young, but some of us have to pretend.)

Oh, and the wedding night comment still stands.

Tell your mom I will DEFINITELY find her next time.

P.S. As for that very miniscule group of grabbers, shovers, whiners, blackmailers, Croc-lusters, and baby-elbowers who are getting a lot of press right now: They are NOT typical BlogHer women. They are the exception to the rule. They are not who WE are. They are in a class by itself, and I use the word "class" loosely, for they have no class. They are nothing but greedy baby-tantrum-throwing bitches with a very misplaced sense of entitlement and a tremendous need of a major attitude adjustment. Don't let them bring you down. No class. No class at all. THEY HAVE NO CLASS!

You do, though.

Average Jane

I agree with Rita. As someone who has also been to all of the BlogHer Conferences, each year I am awed and impressed by the way it has grown.

I certainly enjoy the little (and big) goodies we all get these days, but I'd be just as happy to go home with nothing more than a camera full of photos of my favorite bloggers.

Rebecca (Ramblings by Reba)

What an awesome post. Yay! (Never been to BlogHer, BTW.)


Remember those Butterball potholders in '06, we still use them. Brought them with us when we moved to Glenview. Wish we had more because they're old and tired now.

TW's relationship with Kaboodle started in '06 when we were all so bloody thrilled that anyone cared enough to come and talk to us. Today, well, they love her and she loves them. They have a relationship.

In 07, TW and Prince J got the green bags and still use them. I was lucky enough to get a blue one and yes, I use mine. Only laptop bag I will ever need. Prince J carried his GM/BlogHer bag all through the conference last weekend. He, a high schooler, has taken it to SCHOOL and on field trips.

And I'm with Grace - when I walked into the expo, even though I knew a bit about what to expect, I was just in shock and awe. A wonderful shock and awe.

This post, it's the companion piece to mine. A look at all of the things that have happened, all of the ways that we've grown. What's still most important is the connections we make with people (and the people behind brands) who have shared the BlogHer experience with us.


07 was Butterball AND green bags.

I can give the run down of the complete swag at 06--It still feels like I spoke for hours with everyone there.

As for Jory's post, I told you Denise it was a good one.

Tre ~

Thanks for this post Jory...and Rita, Grace, Denise and others for ya'll's comments...The tone of this piece and all ya'll's comments are what do it for me: the gathering of substantive thinkers who wanna share the experience of blogging their passions...we all remember how someone makes us feel. And we remember the first things someone says...BlogHer gave me permission to be me online. And that nudge has fueled all my online endeavors since...and what fuels me today to get other women defending their right to share their voice online. To me that will always be the whole point. Really missed hugging ya'll this year. Here's to keepin on bloggin our hearts out.:)Hugs...

Stephanie (Adventures in Babywearing)

Jory, as usual your perspective smacked me in the head and gave warm fuzzies all over. That is what it's all about and that is what the majority of attendees got out of it too. I don't think I will be able to go next year but only because of where I am at in life with babies and family- I look forward to attending again when I can take it all in and be in the right frame of mind and spirit. I appreciate all your crazy hard work and am thankful that who matters "gets" what is truly important.


Boston Mamas

Jory, this is awesome - I'm actually writing my happy shiny thoughts from BlogHer post right now and will link this up.

I know the negative stuff has a tendency to rise to the surface and get a lot of attention and overshadow the good. And I did write a post (at my personal, also sometimes neglected, blog popdiscourse.com) expressing my confusion about how people are losing sight of what's important in the face of free tokens.

This was my first big BlogHer as you know and I was riding that high you mentioned all weekend. Most of my friends and families at home don't get this space that I exist in and to be amidst my online peeps - to hug people who I had only been able to blow virtual kisses, to thank those in person who have provided so much support and camaraderie online ... well, the experience was remarkable and moved me to my core.

Thanks for all of the hard work that you, Lisa, and Elisa have done to create so much for so many women. I can't wait for next year!



This post certainly embodies the heart of BlogHer. Sure, it's fun to get goodies & massages, but I could get all of that and more for the $1,200 or so I spent to go. The point was to connect with people... the people I read & watch, the women whose kids I'm watching grow up. Thanks for putting together another fabulous event. My one complaint? I wish we had the unconference again this year - last year that was the highlight of my whole experience & was sad it wasn't an option. Perhaps next year. :)


Thanks for your perspective. I don't BlogHer was about the swag. I gave most of mine away. For me, it was about meeting my online bloggy crushes in real life. More than that, it was about talking to them. It was about relationships. I'l ble there in 2010 and would love to split the bill at a cheesy (literally and figuratively) Little Italy joint.

Drew G

This was my first time at BlogHer and I loved it. It was crazy, intimidating, and sensory overload but I can't wait to be a part of it next year. Every great experience always has ups and downs but you can dwell on the small petty things. The event was a huge hit, I had great fun and got to meet so many amazing bloggers. See you in 2010.

Jennifer James

This post brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for writing it.

This was my first year attending Blogher and when I left on Sunday I felt so overwhelmed from it all. Then I got home and read all of the negativity and it made me not want to attend next year at all. But after thinking for a few days, there is no way I would miss it!

I only went to one party, went to a few suites that I RSVP'd for, and never saw "swaghags" or drama. Now, I'm wondering if the heightened negativity just snowballed online for effect.

I really enjoyed my experience and continue to look forward to supporting the Blogher community in any way I can.

It was an amazing experience, in fact, one I've never had before. Thank you.



I literally got goosebumps reading this. From a personal perspective It was my first experience at BlogHer and I've been following the conference since it started. It was an amazing experience and although I'm a guy, it was great to be in the presence of so many empowered individuals that truly deserve recognition! Bloggers are writers and just like any other individual their opinions and thoughts are valued. I have been blogging since 1999 when I discovered LiveJournal and I'm so blessed to have entered this space and made connections with so many beautiful people. Although some I have never met IRL, I consider them true friends in every sense of the word. They've been with me through thick and thin... and dare I say I like some of them better than my real 'friends'? It's so great what you, Elisa and Lisa have accomplished with BlogHer. It was amazing to see so many people getting a chance to connect in REAL LIFE where they might have otherwise continued to be online friends. I felt a sense of validation being at BlogHer that I haven't felt since SXSWi in 2007 because I know that everyone who is a blogger or digital junkie can relate to that feeling of being some sort of alien when IRL friends make fun of the word blog, or Twitter and crack jokes about people who spend a lot of time online.

As for the sponsors, every conference I have ever been to has sponsors and swag... every sport and entertainment venue has sponsors, race cars have sponsors... and I'm appreciative of that because I realize that without those sponsors, the experience might not have been possible in the capacity it deserves. What a great experience it was. I plan on writing my post BlogHer entry as soon as I have the chance. See you in 2010! Thanks!



Every time we connect, you reassert why I remain in awe of you. This post does it in spades.

I just don't know what to say besides keep doing this with all your heart, the way you think it needs to be done. Keep leading by example. Keep encouraging us to be our best selves through and because of our blogging.

Eventually, I have to believe, more people will follow your lead than not.

Veep Veep

Hi Jory!!!

This year was my first Blogher. And I'll be back next year. (New York, stand up!)

I had a great time with friends, making friends, making fun of friends in funny hats. And that's what I'm taking from Blogher 09.

All the things that happened that weren't lovely were actually at non Blogher events or done by people who checked their common sense at the door. Oh well.

Can't wait til next year. :)


Reading this has inspired me to do everything in my power to attend NYC in 2010...I have read so many BlogHer posts/wrap-ups etc...and i admit I was staring to feel intimidated, like why would a lil D-list unknown blogger with bad grammar,no product reviews like myself even need to attend...

Now I get it...THANK YOU


Thank you for your perspective. This was my first BlogHer and I had so much fun. I know I benefited from the sponsors being there. I drank a lot of water from sponsors and I wouldn't have eaten breakfast on my way to the airport if it hadn't been for the snacks in my swag bag.

I went to BlogHer to meet people and network and I'm still (4 days later) feeling very overwhelmed from all the fantastic people I met. I signed up for 2010 before I even left 2009.

My only regret? That I didn't have more time to meet more people.

RookieMom Heather

Thank you for sharing your perspectives on this. As a BlogHer '06, '08, and now '09 attendee, I have been impressed with the way the conferences have handled growth. I actually thought the exp hall was pretty awesome this year (until I found out I wasn't supposed to like it) because of the variety of interesting things going on.

I'm bummed that I didn't walk up and introduce myself to you this year. But there's always next year.

Mamanista (Debbie)

2009 was my first BlogHer. In 2007, I was pregnant, and I was nursing in 2008. It was a wonderful experience. I really enjoyed meeting other bloggers-- including some people who had really moved and inspired me with their writing. I will be back in 2010!

While lots of people are writing about SWAG and crocs-blackmail attempt by unsubtle mom bloggers, this was a tiny part of BlogHer. The sessions and particularly the GeekLabs were helpful.

Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing]

This was my first BlogHer conference and I couldn't have walked away with a better experience. The posts women are putting up suggesting 'better' swag or 'cliques' having me wondering if they went to a different conference. I made it what I wanted - a chance to meet and catch up w/ friends and if I happened to get something out of it, that was great. If not, I didn't mind. It was more of the disorganization of some of the parties that was frustrating, but that's not BlogHer's problem at all.

Great job!

Don Mills Diva

Great post Jory - I agree with you and with Sweetney who just wrote something similar. The mad rush (which, truthfully I didn't really see) has more to do with bad manners than it has to blogging. Why should things change because a minority of people have bad manners?

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