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July 21, 2008

BlogHer 08 by the Numbers (then the names)


This is BlogHer recap week. I want to do it justice, so each post will capture one topic. Today's focus is on the community at large and sponsorship. Later this week, I'll cover the wonderful individual community members which I met. I've tried to live blog in the past, but it cut into my face-to-face time. That's why I attend each year. I want to TALK without my fingers moving for just a few days.

  • Over 1000 women bloggers and babies
  • 50 biz cards, that's about how many I have to help me remember the faces and places.
  • 69 sponsors from food to electronics to software and .orgs. (yes, I tried to visit them all)
  • 3 days (if you count the night before and the morning after)
  • 1 very tired, talked out blogger who enjoyed the 7 hour quiet drive home.

The best part of BlogHer is meeting women outside of my normal interest zone. The blogosphere allows me to talk with others "like me" which locks me into same/same mode.  These conferences force me to considering other options. One thing no one lacks is passion; it's the #1 vibe in the room. The #2 vibe is community. Even with our differences, our ability to express those differences in such an open and uncensored way is what joins us together. 

Blogher08_3I've been to five of these events so far (3 regular, 2 for business) In the early days, co-founders: Elisa, Jory and Lisa, (the three dots on the stage left) were running it on their charge cards. Since then BlogHer has grown to 13,000 listed bloggers, 2200 in their ad network and sold out conferences like this one.

Social media, of which blogging is part of the mix, is finally taking hold in the market. Why advertise a 30 second spot on TV that's gone after 30 seconds if you can engage a blogger to write about you on the Internet cave wall where it will be read forever. Those of us who blog, "get it" and those who don't (most companies) want to "get it" or more accurately, get the written endorsements and word of mouth.

This year that was made very clear as BlogHer has joined in a partnership with iVillage, Bravo TV and the Oxygen. NBC (the umbrella company) wants to help those business units get a handle on what women bloggers can and can't do for their various properties. I understand that venture capital was extended to BlogHer which allowed them to hire a staff of 22 and expand their reach.

Blogher_08_button Back at the conference, I has fascinated at the inventive ways companies used this past weekend to engage the group. There were electronic makeovers per se by HP, Intuit, Norton, Picnik, sanpfish, T-mobile, Microsoft, Nintendo. We worked out to Wii and had our floors cleaned by iRobot. We were well wined by Oops and dined by Boca, Bertrolli, and of course Starbucks. Cafe Press offered us ways to monitize our blogs and many more offered content and software to make everything run more smoothly.

In a terrific example of "experience" marketing, Macy's corded off floors in their store for a progressive party of appetizers and more wine by Oops. We started in the purse department, moved to shoes and ended up with tiny ice cream cones in the furniture department. What a fun way to get 1000 women to walk your store. It gave new meaning to shop/talk. NEXT - personal video highlights.


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Enjoyed meeting you this past weekend and really look forward to exploring your site. Looks like you have some really fantastic tools to share!

Ahh... the woman with THE best business card :) Good to meet you as well. Thanks for stopping by.

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