Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Why it's good to blog in obscurity OR how I'm preparing for BlogHer '11

It's funny, I keep reading about how some of my favorite bloggers are making nervous preparations for BlogHer '11 this week in San Diego. I'm attending, too - heck, it's in my hometown and that never happens, so how could I not? - but I'm not really nervous at all. It's not like FitBloggin' which I was nervous about for weeks before because I knew that while I would know and admire most of the attendees, none of them would know me. BlogHer is massive - over 3,000 attendees and sponsors - with lots of "by invitation only" seminars, parties, get-togethers that I will never know about in addition to the three days of official seminars and parties, and I don't know most of the folks who'll be there. There are a few happy exceptions and I'm hoping to see them while I'm at the convention center Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, but for the most part I'm happy to wander from seminar to seminar in my own little bubble of obscurity.

Months ago, when I was still feeling overwhelmed and conflicted about whether or not to actually attend BlogHer, I read a great post (can't find the link now) that emphasized the need to come up with a very specific goal for the conference because it was all too huge and overwhelming, and without a goal it would be very easy to get lost - literally and figuratively. I gave it some thought and realized that the most important thing for me is to learn things that will help me improve this space, my blog. I want to learn everything about creating better content, from coming up with things to write about to better grammar (oops!) to taking better (and more!) photographs to videoblogging best practices (I'm going to guess that "don't vlog from a parking lot all the time" is probably on the list of "no-nos"). When I view all of the available conference activities (and many of the unavailable activities, too), I view them through this lens: will doing this help me improve the content on my blog? If the answer is "no", then I put it out of my mind.

So, no bowling party for me tonight. No Sparklecorn on Friday night. No CheeseburgHer on Saturday night. They will all be fun events, I know, but for me to really focus and get the most out of my time (and money), I have to be focused. Here's my list for BlogHer:

Tomorrow/Thursday is dedicated to Pathfinder Day: My Blog as Life Changer. This is an all-day session and will be followed by Evening at the Expo where I can wander about and see what cool new stuff is available for bloggers while also getting a massage.

Friday starts with a 5K, then moves on to writing, writing, and more writing
Essential Writing and Editing Skills
Essential Blog Content Development Workshop, Parts 1 and 2
Fitbloggin' meetup at Pinkberry

Saturday it's all about spicing things up with some mixed media
Video Blogging U
Lunch and Keynote Address: Exploring Inspiration and Leadership
Hillshire Farm Food Photography and Styling Workshop (no link available)
Mobile Multimedia: Making Media on the Go
Closing Keynote: Women in the Media, Women Making Media
Social Fiesta (because a girl's got to eat and I do so LOVE Mexican food!)
Aiming Low (I think it sounds relaxing and besides, I've got a room downtown on Saturday night, so might as well stay up late, right?)

Sunday morning there's a 5K walk that sounds relaxing. If I see sense and decide that I don't want to wander around all day Friday after a 5K in the morning without a shower (no hotel room that day), then I might just do this instead. We'll see.

And that's it in a nutshell: my BlogHer '11 plan. Look for updates here and on Twitter throughout the rest of the week.http://www.blogher.com/blogher-11?from=menu

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