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.