BlogHer’s Bright, Shiny Secret

by cv harquail on August 3, 2010

Many conferences have a quiet, dark secret. The folks attending share some longing yet to be fulfilled, some disappointments buried deep, some ideas that will never become actions. Many professional conferences (like the one I’m skipping this weekend) are marked by a faint whisper of “you’re not good enough” to be here, giving a presentation, chairing a symposium, or holding forth in the hallway chitchat.

But not BlogHer.

BlogHer has something else– a bight shiny secret. It’s so bright and so shiny you can hardly imagine it’s a secret, except it is a secret, until we are all together.

What is BlogHer’s secret?

201008031714.jpgI was trying to explain what was so unique about BlogHer to my friend LW, who will be at BlogHer for the first time this weekend. We were at a preBlogHer meet up, surrounded by these interesting women who blog about things the two of us don’t know anything about (e.g., single parenting, Celiac disease, Nia).

Many of these women are domestic bloggers (“domestic” being my word for all things home, mommy & parenting), while others blog for specific causes. These women each participate their own communities, communities LW and I aren’t familiar with. These women share insights we can’t quite appreciate, because each of us is quite different from the other.

Except at BlogHer, where we are all alike.

At BlogHer, we’re alike, because we each have the same bright shiny thing.

We each have a voice and we each use that voice.

When we come together at the conference, our bright shiny things create BlogHer’s secret:

BlogHer is a conference about women’s empowerment.

Every single woman (and man) there, has a voice, and she is using that voice. She is using her voice on her blog, in her network, on Twitter, and with her Flickr stream. She’s using it to show us how to change the world at work and at home. She’s using it to add her support to MomsRising. She’s using it to move towards the White House. She’s using her voice to do whatever the heck is important to her.

Each woman at BlogHer has claimed her own power in a domain that matters to her.

She has taken charge of a key element of her life, and she’s letting us know about it.

What makes BlogHer kind of crazy, and absolutely special, is that for many of us BlogHer is one of the few places we can be surrounded by women like us, women with voices that we are using. Women who have given themselves and keep giving themselves the power to speak out.

At BlogHer, everyone else assumes that you have a voice. Everyone assumes there is something you care about. At BlogHer we jump over that part. BlogHer is all about the next step— taking that voice, honing it, directing it, and making it more influential.

At BlogHer, you can be confident that whoever you talk to “gets it”. She knows what it’s like to have a voice and use it, in a world where we are still expected to be quiet.

So if you’re at BlogHer for the first time this weekend, and you feel overwhelmed by the noise, take heart. It’s 2,500 women and 2,500 voices. It’s 2,500 women who know how to speak up, who have things to say, and who are ready to listen– to you.

I'll Talk to You

See also:
Find Your Tribe at BlogHer: MeetUp for Leadership, Business & Organization Change Bloggers

BlogHer 09: Does Swag Pervert the Purpose?
Image:  I hold disco in the palm of my hand, from bookgrl on Flickr


geekbabe August 3, 2010 at 8:30 pm

I needed these words, this is my very 1st conference, my 1st time at BlogHer and I must confess to feeling overwhelmed by all the brilliant,successful women who are going to be attending. Thank you so much for reminding me that my voice is welcome and will become a part of the chorus of beautiful voices from women all around the globe.

cv harquail August 3, 2010 at 9:21 pm

ggekbabe– it’s all true ! i love the image of a chorus of voices– it takes it past noise and cacaphony to capture the feelings of harmony, resonance, rhythm …
I’ll admit, it’s easy to feel a little out of it if you don’t know who the QueenOfSpain is, or Pundit mom– but hey, you’re *geekbabe*! Can’t wait to meet you. cv

Anne Perschel August 4, 2010 at 9:39 am

CV – I feel the excitement and the power while reading your post. Blog on to BlogHer.

cv harquail August 4, 2010 at 9:45 am

Hi Anne-
I am hoping to find a good bunch of women blogging about leadership, org’l change, inclusion, etc… and gather them up in a great network. Moving closer towards out own NorthEast meet-up… cv

Susan Mazza August 4, 2010 at 9:54 am

This experience sounds fabulous. While I won’t be at Blogher this year (although you cetrainly have me intrigued for next) you have illuminated that through twitter I have experienced a similar Bright Shiny Secret – now I have a name for it!

Enjoy! Look forward to reading the posts that will undoubtedly be generated from your experience.

cv harquail August 4, 2010 at 12:32 pm

Hi Susan,

I think you’ve just captured what I also see on Twitter– people with voices, that they are actively using, to move towards (usually a) greater objective. Now, I know my Twitter world is biased, and I really only follow interesting people, but this selection does in fact create that same sense of excitement and presumed support for each other. I’ve certainly found that to be true as I’ve met people from Twitter IRL (as you know, wink).

I’ve mentioned above that one thing BlogHer doesn’t have is many women writing about organizations, leadership, strategy, and business… which makes the conference somewhat less appealing than something with a similar vibe but more focused on business, like SOBCon. But who knows who I’ll find this year?

Judy Martin August 4, 2010 at 11:24 am

Sadly, I’ll miss out this year. But the alternative is not bad. I’ve made a commitment to follow the tweets and glean as much wisdom as I can from the sidelines.
I see BlogHer as a consciousness raising movement. One that points to the issues, allows the freedom to dish on them and provides a venue for innovation.

cv harquail August 4, 2010 at 12:34 pm

Judy, it is BLogHer that will miss out, without you. Thinking about the consciousness raising angle, I’m wondering if you could get a press pass and come & interview founders Lisa, Jory & Elisa …?

Miri August 4, 2010 at 4:04 pm

Wow. Sounds amazing. I blog but never really felt like I was “BlogHer” worthy. Is that weird? Your post basically bucked that entire line of thinking. Perhaps I’ll have to go next year.

Megan Sullivan August 4, 2010 at 10:42 pm

Amazing post – thanks for your support of BlogHer.

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