blogher: on the people I met (or didn't)
[note: here are links to all my BlogHer posts]
I had a very short list of MUST SEE people at BlogHer, because I knew I'd run into a gazillion other folks and just wanted to spend my time kicking it with whomever walked by—not so much staring intently at people's nametags. Also, I'm the antithesis of a fangirl, and not just with bloggers but with everyone. I don't care if you're an Olympic athlete or a PE teacher or a famous musician or a coffeehouse singer-songerwiter or a CEO or a worker on the line or Dooce
or Joan No-Name Blogger or a department chair or a lecturer or whatever
—makes no nevermind to me, because I've known people in every category listed above and here's what I've learned: just people. [insert your preferred line here about putting pants on, or farting, or whatever]
Anyway, so my very short list of MUST SEE people at BlogHer numbered exactly four. These were people I wanted to be able to look in the eyes and say something, rather than send a random e-mail (news flash: e-mail? not the same as face-to-face communication).- Geeky Mom, who is awesome and has a great fellow and cool kids. Plus, edublogger panelist and English lit person. Hooray! We had plans to have sushi with the absent, "sorry, but presenting at the Biennial Conference on Chemical Education takes precedence over BlogHer," Dr. Free-Ride, so I had to make a point to meet Geeky Mom because I was driving.
- trillwing, because she does a great job with the Research & Academia posts at BlogHer and I wanted to say so in person, she goes to the school I seriously want to attend, her son is adorable, and (although she doesn't know this because I forgot to tell her) I also collected model horses in my youth and probably would now except I tend to go to the extreme with any hobby and therefore try not to have any.
- Liz Henry, of her many blogs, because I wanted to say I was glad her boy was out of the hospital (nasty appendicitis) and also for the love of all things holy please try to have two thoughts on all the brilliant things for which she has one thought and then moves on to something else. One thought == one thought. Two thoughts == a path toward something!
- supa, aka Mary Beth of Supafine!, because I contributed to her BlogHer trip fund and wanted to make sure she got here (kidding! you could have bought beer with the money, I wouldn't have cared). Also, she's a talented artist (templates! photos! makes movies with playdoh characters!) and her son? adorable.
Several days later, I realized I should have put Lauren formerly-of-Feministe on my list, because I contributed to her travel fund as well, but I really didn't have anything to say besides "hey, glad you made it."
Then we have people with whom I chatted for a bit or just said "howdy!":
- pseudonymous blogger in academia (yay!)
- two lovely women whose names/blogs I never did write down, despite the fact that they were part of conversations for at least an hour (I suck)
- tree fitzpatrick (she has a blog now, I heard...what's the URL?)
- Elisa Camahort, even if it was just to say "hi" at the registration table in the morning, before I had much coffee, and thus appeared as if I didn't give a crap, which I DID!
- Nancy White, milling around the registration table, made sure I got all the goodies. I believe I said "yes, ma'am" to her. I spent five-ish years in the south and it just comes out sometimes!
- Mary Tsao, who was one of the first person to say "that's cool!" when I posted the hyatt-to-starbucks directions.
- Barbara Sawhill, edublogger panelist and all-around lovely person
- Barbara Ganley, also an edublogger panelist and all-around lovely person
- TW, in the edublogger session and later in tabletalk at the end
- Liz Ditz, in the edublogger session but also throughout the day. I would have put her on my "must meet" list but I was 100% sure I'd run into her and chatter away, which we did.
- Professor Kim, in the edublogger session—she liveblogged it and contributed to the discussion, which isn't easy to do!
- I sat behind Steve Sloan and Cynthia McCune from SJSU, in the edublogging session. You'd think that in the year since BlogHer05, when Cynthia McCune was also in the edublogging session, I'd walk to the hundred feet or so from the Faculty Office building (home of English Dept, and others) to Dwight Bentel Hall (home of Journalism & Mass Communications Dept, and others) and say hello. But no. I suck.
- squid, although I think I momentarily freaked her out when I said, "hey! love your kids" and she looked at me like "the hell?" and then I thought "oh crap, is that not squid?" and then had to look at her nametag to ensure that indeed she was squid. Thankfully, Liz Ditz was there and said something to assuage her fear that I was some random internet weirdo. If you follow squid's blog and the stories of her kids and her family's trials, tribulations, and successes in working with austism, behavioral therapy, and educational endeavors, you can't help but become attached to all them them and truly care how they're doing.
- Lisa V and Amy who I know only from Phantom Scribbler's commenting pixie party.
- IdentityWoman, who randomly sat with us and chatted away for a bit
- Sarah Dopp, although it wasn't so much "hi" as it was "you have to fight me to pass." It was funny. Had to be there.
- Denise, who still scares me a little. That woman can rant, let me tell you. But totally a good egg.
In a category all their own, people I read regularly but didn't talk to for some reason or another:
- Jo Spanglemonkey, who is a great writer and visual artist. She was always surrounded by people and I didn't tap on the shoulder and say "hi!" because I'm shy. Given the chance, I would have said, "I love your stuff, I'm sorry you're going through all this crappity crap, and I'm really glad you're here." Emphasis on the here—not only at BlogHer but on the earth.
- Grace Davis, rockstar. No reason I didn't say hi to Grace besides the fact that she was either speaking to or surrounded by throngs of people. I would have said "hey, thumbs up for what you do" or some shit.
The last category of people are those blogs I didn't really read before but now I do, because I learned of them at blogher or afterwards in post-blogher commentary:
- Dogged Blog
- Gastronomie, via a comment on Scoble's BlogHer post
- Melissa Gira
- Sour Duck (I read her BlogHer posts, but never read her actual blog, for some reason.
- Shuna Fish Lydon of eggbeater. I saved this mention for last because I will bet that her comments in various sessions were super huge takeaways for a lot of people. Way to fly under the blogospheric radar and make a big splash!
It's a little-known fact about me that I totally dig pastry chefs. Or maybe it isn't, I dunno. But that's completely secondary to the reason I perked up my ears when Shuna spoke, which is because of what she had to say. I'm quoting from SocalMom's liveblog of the opening discussion on Day 2:
[context: in a discussion about "how are your blogs changing your world," the question to the audience is 'who's done something that was a risk and has paid off?"]Talk about "getting it"...sheesh.
Food blogger - but I'm a professional chef and what's really interesting about blogging is that in my profession, people don't know how to use computers at all and if you send in a resume it can't even be an attachment because they don't know how to open them. So when I became a blogger, I consider food really political. I think it has to do with class and culture and race and history and no one wants to talk about that, especially in the fine dining world.
But I recently posted a very emotional post about the May 1 protest, even though it was a long time ago. Because my industry is supported by people who are not documented, and it gets bigger and bigger because culinary schools are expensive. I feel like - when I started blogging - I didn't get that it was that big. People would write to me about how to make piecrust and I would say come to my class and then they would say I'm in Indonesia. I really feel like it has gotten me out of the kitchen and I've gotten to meet people.
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