After hearing that this lovely lady, whom I just recently met in real life, is going to BlogHer 2010 in New York City, I am very strongly rethinking my fear. But I read this and this, two very different takes on the whole to go or not to go and what to do while your are there topic and I get even more confused.
Luckily, I have the privilege of knowing Angella in real life and Elaine, Tracey and Karen MEG on line. How do I decide such a momentous decision (you know besides begging Jay that we really need to take a trip to NYC next year, say around August 5, 6 and 7th, 2010)?
Well I interview these lovely ladies of course!
Here is what they had to say to my amateurish questions (FYI interviewing skills are not taught to accountants, generally speaking):
1. This was your first BlogHer, what made you decide to go?
Tracey: I have been blogging for almost 3 years and have been watching the connections made by everyone who attended previously. I was SO jealous that it burned me up! I managed to save enough money from ads on my site and articles for magazines to pay for 80% of my trip. It was my first time doing anything by myself, FOR myself. I felt it was my time.
Hmm, while I am ecstatic for Tracey, I am not sure I can get away with the never taking me time excuse, because, um, well, I pretty much get my fair share of me time me thinks. I am super lucky, that I know.
Karen MEG: I went because I wanted to meet my blog friends, that's for sure. And last year I attended as a head on the Immoral Matriarch's popsicle stick, so I felt obligated to bring the rest of my body this year. But seriously, BlogHer is something completely different than I've ever experienced. It was a challenge for me and something I wanted to "conquer"; I'm one who finds it almost terrifying to talk to people sometimes, and have rarely ever approached anyone I don't know, to talk, chat, whatever. It was a stretch for me to do something totally on my own for a change too; no husband, no kids, no colleagues and entirely UNrelated to work- out of my element. Granted I had met a couple of the bloggers before in Toronto, but it was still intimidating, I mean we're talking 1500 bloggers en masse!
Karen, you and I are a lot alike me thinks and I think it’s high time I conquered this too, what you say, you, me and a few martini’s?
2. Were you all kinds of nervous? Was it anything at all like you expected?
Elaine: I actually was not that nervous. I think it was really cool that the first night OhMommy recognized me first (it was probably mostly the belly, but still...) and I sort of regard her as a bloggy "celebrity" but I immediately felt comfortable talking to her, just like I have in comments and emails via her blog and mine. Since that happened within hours of my arrival I was more laid back about it all after that.
Hmm, mental note, maybe grow a belly before next year so someone (anyone!) will recognize you? Scratch that, my glasses will do it. I hope.
Karen MEG: Well, it was a little as expected, in terms of being completely overwhelming when I first arrived. And I also expected it would be a bit like high school, or even a reunion, because you're always looking around for a familiar face, hoping that you'd recognize someone from their tiny avatar. There were tribes, groups of people milling around together with familiarity, much like you would see the "popular" kids, you know? Because for many it was a reunion. I found the sheer size of it, though, was what made it difficult. As you're only there for a couple of days, you're hoping to find/meet as many of your blog friends as possible, and I found it a little tough as you're feeling very thinly spread. And I hope to heck I didn't act rudely because of it, as it was so easy to get pulled in various directions as you'd see familiar faces go by who you didn't want to miss. There were some that I saw only at the beginning and then at the end, so although I got a hug, there might have been very little conversation and interaction, which was a drag. I did surprise myself, however, at my ability to shout across the room, across a sea of strangers to yell at a face I recognized, and fling myself with open arms into the comfort of those I'd only seen on my laptop screen. I'm a nut, I know. But you gotta do what you gotta do :).
See this is what I imagine and it terrifies me, I am not the type to yell across a room (no one would hear me) but maybe I could run across the room?
3. I am considering going to NYC next year, why should I go?
Tracey: There are a million reasons to go. The main ones, for most of us, is to hug that person you have talked to online. We all want to hear the cadence of the voice that is behind the written words we've enjoyed. The sense of camaraderie was definitely something I hadn't experienced in a long time. I mean, everyone there (except the sponsor/promo dudes) was a writer. We all love to write and read and comment and connect. We all understood the draw that a good blog can have.
Angella : It's NEW YORK. Aside from that, I know that you have a lot of blog friends who you are close to that you would love to meet. Plus, considering that you and I didn't get our work meet up in Vancouver this year, we may have to rely on BlogHer for the chance to say, "hi." :)
Reason enough for me.
The one and only reason I would go would be to meet some of the wonderful women I have connected with online. Because many of them live far far away from the quasi Arctic (have I mentioned they are also very smart?) the opportunity will not arise unless I buck up and head to this here event everyone has been talking about.
Will I go? I still don't know. Obviously it would be expensive to get from here (flip flapping Arctic) to NYC so it's a decision Jay and I must make together and if I told you now, what would I blog about in the future?
I'm nice like that.
But here's the deal, if I go, you go, capiche?*