Sunday, July 29, 2007

BlogHer '07: the Second Day, 7/28/07

This is a typical scene from one of the sessions of BlogHer '07 in Chicago, a conference for women bloggers held at Navy Pier. My previous post reflects the first day; this one is about the second. How different this scene was from my memories of teachers' conference sessions I attended in the past! If I attend another bloggers' conference, I'll surely join the younger crowd by taking a laptop computer, a lightweight one, I hope.

Yesterday, I attended three sessions, plus the keynote address. My first session of the day was "Book to Blog and Back Again." The ideas of turning a blog into a book and using a blog to boost book sales were not new to me. In fact, I plan to include parts of my "Write your Life!" blog in my coming seniors' writing guide. As for boosting sales, with my limited audience and lack of entrepreneurial interest, I don't think that's very likely. Still, it was fascinating to hear what so many have done and are doing.

The "Professional Blogging: Ways and Means" session discussed ways bloggers get paid to do what they love. I'm glad it's being done, although not by me.

The session perhaps most applicable to me was, "It's your Passion, Not Size, that Matters." After hearing so much about money-making blogs in previous sessions (not that there's anything wrong with making money), I was relieved to hear others share their views about the other rewards of blogging. We're the ones who do not agonize over the small number of "hits" our blogs tend to get. Communication, self-expression, making friends: that's why I'm an Elderblogger, and why I encourage other seniors to join me.

The keynote speaker was Elizabeth Edwards, wife of presidential hopeful John Edwards. I am not political, neither a critic nor a supporter of any candidate or any party, but here are my general observations:

Mrs. Edwards looked very "ordinary," and I don't mean that in a negative way. She wore a neat pants suit and a carefree hair style. I was glad she looked more like a blogger than a celebrity. Some candidates and their wives seem tethered to their hairdressers, wardrobe assistants, and speech writers--not Elizabeth.

Her conversation with the event's chief organizer was not especially political, although Mrs. Edwards expressed her sound views on women's issues. Of more interest to me was her description of the Internet as today's town square. How true!

I'm glad I attended BlogHer '07. I wish there had been a session for Elderbloggers, but perhaps we're too small a minority. Perhaps my favorite moment occurred when a very young woman read my conference badge and commented that my blog title, "Never too Late!" was very inspiring!

Copyright 2007 by Marlys Marshall Styne
Photo by the author.


Nicki Mann said...

Hi! I met you at the Birds of a Feather Lunch! Just dropping by your blog... I think its very cool! Maybe you could suggest an ElderBlogger session for next year's BlogHer! Maybe you could even SPEAK at it! When I start my new job at the retirement home, I will try to spread the word about your blog. I think getting seniors interested in blogging as a hobby might be a cool idea at my work! Anyway, keep up the good blogging!

seniorwriter said...

Nicki: Thanks so much for your kind comments! I remember you, and was pleased to meet you. Do try to get the word out once you're among seniors. Help them learn about computers and blogging. They have a lot of important things to say.

As for BlogHer conferences, I would be happy to speak there, but with such a small blog readership, and being a very new member of the group, I doubt that there's much of a chance. Almost no one has heard of me or my blog. But's that's o.k. I'm a bit old to seek fame and fortune. I'm still enjoying life, and that's the point!

naomi dagen bloom said...

hello, marlys, we've found you now! came here from your assertive comment at TGB. wish i could recall how i found ronni bennett's blog because both she and blogroll have been important to my work.

thanks so much for writing in an informative way abou BlogHer. have read about how little notice it received in mainstream press yet checking out Technorati found little other than how swell it had been to drink with others.

last year ronni was a speaker, millie garfield, 80+, attended. new to elderblogging, i cranked to the conveners beforehand how more visibility needed for us. gracious responses, end of story.

look forward to more of your thoughts on conference. please visit, moving toward 74, very political knitter. -naomi

Web Teacher said...

I found you on a tip from Naomi Dagen Bloom.

I was another of the elderbloggers at BlogHer07. I was there more as a tech blogger than an elderblogger, but I was very happy to see so many faces of women over 50. There were a lot of young moms (mommy bloggers) but BlogHer07 was much more than that. I took a few photos and tried to capture as many diverse faces as I could. They are on Flickr if you'd like to glance through them.

After attending so many tech conferences where an older woman is invisible, it was nice to be in a group where people recognized and appreciated an elder.

Jenny Rough said...

It was great meeting you at blogher. I was skimming an old issue of AARP magazine and noticed an article in there on senior bloggers!

seniorwriter said...

Many thanks to all of you! I shall certainly check out your blogs and the ones you mentioned.

I admire Ronni Bennett's "Time Goes By" (she's been blogging much longer than I have),and I'm sorry I was not at last year's conference to hear her speak.

I was disappointed that there wasn't an "Elderblogger's" group table for the Friday luncheon, and that I did not meet the other older women who apparently were there. Still, we will probably always be a minority, so I don't blame the organizers.

And by the way, I skipped the cocktail parties, so I couldn't possibly have blogged about them. That's probably a good thing, althouigh I do still enjoy a good glass of wine!