Maybe I Am Not The Joiner I Thought I Was?

Well, shit.

I’m gone a week and now find myself struggling with how to encapsulate seven days of awesomeness without boring you to death. I mean, to me it was far from boring but to you? It might be. And if I am gonna kill you I’m gonna do it swiftly not long and drawn out. I’d hate to see you suffer.

I am rather fatigued but in a really great way. Being back in California was fantastic. Seeing all my old friends was JUST what I needed. I will write more on that another day because my friends? They deserve their own post. They are THAT wonderful.

I’ve already been getting the email inquiries about BlogHer. I have to tell you upfront that there is NO WAY IN HELL for me to explain the experience. I’m very discombobulated about it. It was frenetic and fun while also a bit isolating and totally overwhelming. Picture 1,000 bloggers in a room and instead of typing their thoughts they are talking. It’s that loud. We have a lot to say, that’s why we have blogs, right? The only time I had any quiet was back in my hotel room which was in a different hotel from the conference. That was both a pro and a con. Stephanie Klein posted about a feeling I also had at the conference. There were definitely times where I felt left out of something that I couldn’t put my finger on.  It wasn’t the wild and crazy time I thought it would be and maybe that’s my own fault for not putting myself out there more. Oddly, I was completely worn out even though I went to bed around 11pm each night. Yeah, I know. I am a party animal. I think being “on” all that time just got to me.

I am thankful for Carrisa, Rhi, Aimee, Vanessa, Kerrianne, Jenny and Danielle who always made me feel welcome. I felt less lost at sea with them around. And at one point I asked Aimee, “Are you my PR agent?” because she was seriously talking me up to big name bloggers. Not that they will remember me but I am touched by Aimee’s sweetness all the same. One thing I was expecting more of was one-on-one time to really talk off-blog about stuff with people I knew on line. I got that a little but not nearly enough. I have only been to relatively small blogger gatherings before this so I was not prepared for the frenzied pace at which BlogHer ran.

I do have to give a shout out to the women behind the conference though. I worked with some of them months beforehand as the Volunteer Wrangler for the event and have a bit of insider’s knowledge about how EPIC an undertaking the conference is. BlogHer is not a big organization even if they seem like it. These women, and in particular, Kristy Sammis, work very, very hard to pull of what was overall a very well-run conference. When I told them I was writing up some notes for next year’s Volunteer Wrangler they asked, “Aren’t you going to do it again?” I think the look of shock and dismay that crossed my face said it all. But hell, I’ve been known to change my mind. . .

I could very easily make this post a link-fest but I am a) too tired and b) worried I will leave someone out so I am skipping it. You can, however, jump over to my Flickr page and see photos from BlogHer ’08. I took the time to link those in the pictures. It’s not everyone I met but it’s a good sampling.

Am I glad I went? Yes. Would I go again? Maybe. Ask me next year.

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57 thoughts on “Maybe I Am Not The Joiner I Thought I Was?

  1. Your post title (and stephanie’s post) are part of the reason I fear going to gatherings like BlogHer. That overwhelmingly isolated feeling in what one would think is a sea of commoness. There was a gathering a year or so ago that I went to and felt out of place and alone. Came back and read some other blog posts from people who had been there and it was the same type of feeling. I guess maybe the trick is to go with your own posse?
    But yeay you are back and posting again!!!

  2. One of these years I’ll get around to going to this.
    Maybe next year- depending where it is. I can’t go anywhere too hot- I’ll surely melt.
    😉
    It sounds like you think it is a worthwhile endeavor (obviously since you helped work on it), and I trust your judgment. maybe we can just go ahead and have it in St. Paul next time?

  3. I am glad you are back and you learned a lot. I can’t even imagine how overwhelming it must have been! I can’t wait to hear more about it.

  4. I think I know the feeling you are describing, and it is exactly why I have always been unsure about going. I mean I DO want to meet all the wonderful people, but I think all at once it would overwhelm me.

  5. I’m not a big fan of conferences in general, I’m not sure I get that much out of them being borderline anti-social at times. So I really respect people who go out there and do it.

    Sounds like you had fun though.

  6. I read Stephanie’s post the other day and was so sad that the whole isolation thing was going on. Everyone is so nice online – I thought it would be one big lovefest. Glad to hear the straight story from you, though. And glad you got to enjoy your CA friends. 🙂

  7. Don’t get me wrong- there was a LOT of love flowing. Bloggers were VERY VERY nice and welcoming, more so than at any other conference I attended. People were super friendly.

  8. I had challenges, too. I felt like an awkward ass most of the time. But, I LOVED it, though. LOVED IT.

    I WUVED MEETING YOU. You are wonderful and hilarious in person. I’m totally sad we didn’t get a photo in our matching outfits. I sucked at photo taking that weekend.

    The funny thing? My traffic and subscription rate has taken a nosedive since attending. Weird, huh? I wonder if I smelled or something. 😉

  9. I think you expressed why I don’t think I could ever attend something like that (besides the whole anonymous blogger thing) – I would be terrified to jump into a conference full of women I’ve never met in person.

  10. It was fabulous to finally meet you in person and you constantly made me feel welcome. I agree, there was not as much of the “let’s just talk” time like I was anticipating. So I guess I need to come to Seattle for that, huh? 😉 Overall, it was a fabulous experience and just what I needed at this point in my life. Thanks for all your hard work organizing the volunteers so it could be the amazing conference we all had the pleasure of experiencing.

  11. I’m still decompressing and mostly have no idea what happened at the conference.

    You were awesome, though! And I “get” your feelings, and Stephanie’s. It’s also maybe crazy to say I felt that way, too, but I did.

    There are not enough words in the English language to describe what being in a room with 1000 female bloggers is like.

  12. I’ve read other bloggers say similar things regarding Blogher (I think Whoorl?). It sounds like a lot of fun but I could see how it could get overwhelming. I’m glad you posted pictures though- I love putting faces to some of my favorite bloggers!

  13. Sizzle, great to meet you at the conference! Thanks for all your help in organizing and coordinating volunteer folks like me, it was outstanding to be part of the weekend!

    Cheers,

  14. I’d go next year if you were going. *evil grin*

    Seriously though, I MISSED YOUR PRESENCE. You are not allowed to go a week without blogging again. Seriously. I need to know what you are doing, eating, wearing, and if your crazy tenants are contacting you on vacay.

    PS. Most of all, I’m glad you are back home safe.

  15. I don’t think I could handle being in a room with 1000 people even if I did know them all! And my short attention span kind of kills the whole seminar concept for me. I do better at smaller blogger gatherings supplemented by alcohol. 😀

    Glad you had a (sort of) good time, though! Welcome back – I missed you!

  16. Oh, man, I hear you. I would have never survived those two cocktail parties w/o my best friend being there with me. 🙂 And I hated hearing about parties that I wasn’t invited to. I really did.

    But overall, it was great. Especially because I got to meet folks like you!

  17. I think your analysis of the event further sums up that for me, I’d much rather meet bloggers one on one. I much prefer the thought of you and I meeting for dinner and drinks one day than meeting amongst a sea of other people.

  18. SooooOOOooo … not TequilaCon kinda lovin’s huh? Sometimes too much is … too much. I’m pretty shy in groups myself, the TC thing was perfect for bodies so no one got left out.

    I betcha still had a good time though. ;o)

  19. I have heard that about BlogHer, which is why I never go. It’s very… uh… cliquey? And kind of high school? I know people who went and left feeling terrible for spending so much money and traveling so far (etc) because she wasn’t one of the “popular” kids, so she got left out. You meet a few great people – but it’s not the same as an ol’ fashioned blogger meetup at the bar! 🙂

    I’m glad you had some fun, though!!

  20. Yeah, Sizzle is back, I’m so glad and great that you got to meet some of your reads in person and hang out with out friends. Wish I could just meet of the internet gals I met in friendship groups while I lived in Germany. Maybe one day :0)

  21. Sounds like you had fun 🙂 Selfishly, I am going to say that it’s super great to have you back blogging tho 😉

  22. I’m going next year for sure. When are they posting the dates? ’cause i need to arrange my family vacation. Hope you change your mind and go next year…would love to meet you.

  23. You were delightful, warm, and exactly as I’d expected you to be in person from reading this site. I do hope the next time we’re in the same city we can find a way to connect one on one. It’s hard to get to any real girl talk with so many people around. I was glad to meet you.

  24. YAY! You’re back! Glad you had fun and I understand how you feel. Having all this excitement built up in your mind only to have it turn out different can be a little disappointing.

    I trust that they all loved ya and that you made some new friends. I hope to go someday.

    =)

  25. I never tried to join a sorority in college, I wasn’t big on cliques in high school, and can’t bring myself to join BlogHer, let alone go to their conference. I just recently started reading your blog (brought over from MoxieMamaKC) and I love your stories, your honesty, and your vulnerability. You are real. It is refreshing. And your landlord stories remind me of my former life in property mgmt. Keep up the great blog!

  26. One of the most down-to-earth BlogHer recaps I’ve read…no SQUEEEES and EEEEES about HOW AWESOME (all caps) everything and everyone was. Keepin’ it real Sizz…why I love you so!

    I think the whole overwhelming/left-out feeling is to be expected, by anyone there. I mean, it’s *that* many chicks! Chicks who all (pretty much) do the same thing! MEOWCH! You can’t possibly be pals with everyone.

    That said, I think if you accept beforehand what you’re going into, it is probably less painful. You can look at the whole thing with an objective and cultural perspective!

    BlogHer doesn’t scare me! I hope to be able to go some/next year 😉

  27. I didn’t go? But I think if I had? I’d have felt like this afterward. I love meeting bloggers I like, but I prefer it in much smaller groups, like two or three people. So many people in one place just leads to a bizarre marginalized feeling for a lot of people, I think.

  28. Yay! Glad you’re back – I’ve missed your posts. Hope you dont mind if i pick your brain about blogher (not now as i know you’re tired and probably sick of talking about it 😉 But i was debating going this year and im still unsure if im going to go next year.

  29. Hmmm…I was pretty overwhelmed when I went to see Sex and the City in a theater filled to the gills with women, so Blogher might be too much for me! I’m glad you’re back, and that you were able to have the experience, both good and not so good.

  30. “I felt less lost at sea with them around.”

    You did THE EXACT SAME THING for me, dollface. You lived up to every wonderful expectation I had. And then some.

    Plus you give the best squeezes EVAH. MUAH.

  31. I don’t think I could have gone. Too much pressure for me. But I’m a huge baby who doesn’t like to be challenged. But I would have gone if I got to finally meet you in person. Darn. Maybe next year?

  32. Well not to echo the rest of the crew…but that is exactly my fear. I don’t want to romantisize Blogher. There are definitely some women I want to meet but honestly, 95% of my readers I don’t know, nor do I read their blogs. I know that sounds awful and selfish…but I just don’t have time…so if you aren’t witty, interesting, or take great photos…mama doesn’t read. (of course I love you) but in some weird way, I just haven’t taken the time to post on lots of blogs that are well known…so I wouldn’t have a clue who people are…and i would hate to pay all that money and feel like I was either trying too hard or lonely. Truth be told, yeah I am funny and easy to be around, but I am very shy in new situations. If I knew you were going next year, maybe Whoorl, Kicky Boots and Dutch Blitz…I may do it. I think the key is to have a pretty decent crew to pal around with But like you, I need down time and quiet..too much talking makes my eyeballs ache. So glad you were honest, it is refreshing as usual!

  33. I got to hug you and that’s pretty much all I wanted. And you didn’t get all freaked out when I did so after a quick glimpse and a hi towards you. So the weekend was a success I would say.

    As an aside, the first BH anyone attends is usually hard. After my first BH my thoughts were “Eff this shit”. Obviously I went back again and again but still that first can be so overwhelming and difficult to find which way is up.

  34. Bed at 11, huh? That would be me, too. This (I think?) is the first time I”ve read your blog, but I already feel like we have something in common: we want to be joiners but really, we’re kinda not.

    I’ve enjoyed reading your blog so far!

  35. Great post, Sizzle! (As always.)

    I went to BlogHer 2007, and while I had a BLAST there I never even considered going this year. Sounds like maybe you understand why.

    Although, reading all about the fun all you all had..I might have to go in 2009-depending on where it’s at.

    (I’m voting for having in Seattle.)

  36. I am soooo happy we got a chance to hang. You seriously are the best.

    But I also know EXACTLY what you mean, and I was so thankful for you being there for those same reasons. Smooches.

  37. Welcome back hon, sorry I’m just now getting here. I saw all the pics of you guys having fun on Rhi’s page, and might I say again, really Siz, you are one hot chick.

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