So yesterday I told you about the 7 Random Things I Learned at BlogHer ’10. All kidding aside, here’s what I really learned at BlogHer ’10.
First, I need to write more. I need to write about what I’m passionate about. I need to write every day or most days whether it is blogging, journaling or creative writing of some sort. I need to just write and not worry about my own internal critic or what others will think of my writing. I need to believe that what I have to say is of value, that is important.
Second, I really want to use this blog to create a disability rights movement within mainstream feminism and there are a plethora of ways to start to do this.
- Ask people to share their personal stories
- Start petitions in support/protest of an issue
- Use polls or surveys to gain or share information
- Create a newsletter
- Reach out to politicians and like-minded organizations
- Document and research your issue. For example, Melissa Silverstein of Women and Hollywood documented and wrote about the lack of women in documentaries. The foreign press, especially in the UK, took notice and the issue started to get some attention.
- Create relationships with other bloggers who care about your cause. The importance of this cannot be overstated.
Third, BlogHer attendees are very concerned about comments on their blogs. Several of the breakout sessions I attended on blogging and activism quickly turned into “How to Manage Negative Comments” sessions. Best advice: Remember that “people have issues” and
- Have a comments policy and stick to it
- No personal attacks
- Decide how you want to deal with inappropriate comments
Above all, I need to decide what my mission is as a blogger and stick to it. Do I want to my blog to be about disability rights and feminism or am I happy with the current mix of feminism, politics, disability rights and random other things? BlogHer showed me that if I really want to become a better blogger, writer and activist, I need to focus on the former, not the latter.
So this is what I learned at BlogHer ’10. Hopefully, you can take some of these lessons and apply them to your own blog. If you went to BlogHer, I’d love to hear what you took away from the conference. Please feel free to leave a comment below!
I’m back from my ten day trip to Washington D.C. and New York City, the highlights of which were hanging out with friends and, of course, attending the BlogHer ’10 conference in NYC. BlogHer was an amazing experience, which can’t be summed up in just one post, so I’m going to spread it out over the next three days. Today, a quirky list of random things I learned while at the conference. Tomorrow I’ll write a more serious post about the breakout sessions I attended and what I took away from the conference. Finally, on Saturday, no vacation would be complete without pictures so it will be a Photo Blog Day.
So, without further adieu…
7 Random Things I Learned at BlogHer ’10
1. The Hilton New York Hotel does dessert really well: cookies, brownies, petit fours, tiramisu and Italian pastries…. Oh. My. Gawd.
2. BlogHer is a strange and wonderful place where best-selling authors (like Gretchen Rubin, who wrote the New York Times bestselling book The Happiness Project sit two rows behind you in a breakout session on publishing and you get to meet some of your idols. For me, this was people like Gloria Feldt, former president of Planned Parenthood of America and author of the upcoming book No Excuses: 9 Ways Women Can Change How We Think About Power. I was also super-psyched to meet and hang out with Jenn Pozner, founder and executive director of Women in Media and News (WIMN) and author of Reality Bites Back, slated to be released in November.
3. Bruce Jenner, formerly of Olympic fame and now best-known as the nerdy step-dad on the reality show The Kardashians, is a man-whore. Apparently, part of how he helps support not-so-little Kylie and Kendall is by showing up at conventions and conferences like BlogHer where his adoring public can get their picture taken with him or even, if they’re very lucky, an autograph(!). Think Mickey Rourke in “The Wrestler,” only this event was corporate-sponsored and the fallen idol wore chinos and had a bowl-cut.
4. BlogHer isn’t very diverse. While attempts were made at diversity, such as token women of color in many panels, the conference was still really targeted towards mommy bloggers. The token lesbian in the Voices of the Year even wrote about motherhood. I’m not saying that mommy bloggers don’t deserve a voice at Blogher. They do: a large one. By the same token, we need to realize not every women blogger talks about politics, sexuality, race, books, health care, pop culture, technology and everything else under the sun as it relates to motherhood.
5. “Legally Blonde” was originally a self-published book that, as we all know, has gone on to spawn two major motion pictures and a smash Broadway play. Take heart, self-published authors, it could happen for you, too.
6. Not enough people hate me. No, for realz, people. During a breakout session on “Creating Tangible Social Change”, Melissa Silverstein of Women and Hollywood explained that having naysayers and negative comments on your blog is a good thing. “If you don’t have haters, you’re not doing it right”.
7. The rumors are true. New York really is hotter than you-know-where in August. Good grief.
And there you have it, folks. Just a few of the notable tidbits I picked up while taking a bite out of the Big Apple. Be sure to check back tomorrow and Saturday for more posts on my time at BlogHer ’10!
Just a quick update on my pledge to walk twenty miles in the “20 Days to BlogHer” that I started a week ago Saturday. Over the last ten days, I have walked four times for a total of 5.1 miles and rode the stationary bike once for thirty minutes.
Considering I haven’t gotten any physical activity over much of the winter, I’m very happy with this progress. It also helps that my goal is primarily to increase my endurance and mileage rather than “I have to lose weight or I’m a big fat cow” as The Beauty Myth would have me believe.
I know I won’t reach my “20 miles in 20 Days” goal but thinking about physical activity (I refuse to call it exercise) in this manner makes it much more pleasurable and even, dare I say it, fun.
How do you approach physical activity without being sucked into the Beauty Myth that says you have to lose weight in order to be beautiful?
I think I broke my toe. I stubbed it this morning on a chair and it hurts when I put weight on it. I can bend it so it’s probably not broken, but it’s sprained at the very least.
This was the last thing I needed right now. Forget the pain, which is minimal. A broken or sprained toe, particularly the one right next to the pinkie, is going to wreak havoc on my balance and coordination for a while and make me even more wobbly and accident-prone than I already am.
I had this grand plan that I would walk 20 miles in the “20 days to BlogHer” countdown that I started on Saturday. Putting aside the fact that this scheme has already been slightly derailed due to ginormous bumper crop of mosquitoes we’ve got this year. I swear to Goddess, it’s like a reenactment of Tippi Hedren and “The Birds” in Skeeterville every time I step out the door. Last night, I had to forego the walk for a 30-spin on the stationary bike instead. While I got a good workout and use different muscles than I would normally, I want to walk.
Walking makes me feel powerful. It makes me feel ‘normal’ or that I can pass as ‘normal’. Part of why I am pushing myself so much harder to be physically active than I usually am is because I want to be able to keep up with everyone at BlogHer and participate in as much as possible without embarrassing myself. Of course, I have to do all of this without getting so tired that I don’t trip and fall so if someone could please point out the Diet Coke vendor, that would be terrific, thanks. I also have to worry about my feet swelling to three times their normal size. In addition to looking gross, it’s not great for my foot health. But the orthopedic stockings are hot and ugly so don’t be surprised my feet are bare.
On a happier note, I don’t think they have mosquitoes in Manhattan. Cockroaches, I hear that’s a different story….
Good grief, it’s been way too long since I’ve blogged. Sorry guys. I’ve been trying to recover from a neck injury and get myself physically and emotionally ready for a long trip to the East Coast at the end of the month. I’ll be flying out to DC at the end of July to spend a few days with my best friend and then taking the train up to NYC for BlogHer ’10, the mega-bloggers’ conference that’ll be taking over the Big Apple on August 7-8.
August 7th is 20 days from now and I have been in major training for it. And I do mean physically training. I haven’t gotten much physical activity since my two falls on Dec. 21st and Jan. 21st (yes, they happened exactly a month apart) and I really need to build up my physical stamina, as I know I’ll be doing a lot of walking, both in DC and New York. So, I’ve been trying to get some walking in each day. My house is 0.3 miles off of the main road so walking to the highway and back is 0.6 miles. I’ve been trying to walk at least that much most days. I’ve gotten to the point where that is pretty easy and am now struggling with two laps (1.2 miles). I am hoping that by the time I leave for DC on July 30th, I will be comfortably walking 3 laps (1.8 miles) and approaching 4 laps (2.4 miles).
Now that you know how incredibly out of shape I am, I’m hoping that if I post an update each day, along with some random musings about feminism and disability as well as a few pics from along the trail, maybe you could cheer me on as I train for BlogHer?