16 July 2008

Top 10 BlogHer Expectations/Goals From a Rookie

As odd as this may sound to some, I've found something even better than going to BlogHer 08 this year - spending time with my wife and newborn baby. I've asked a few of the cooler moms at the conference to be on the lookout for a young colleague of mine, based in Sacramento - Sallie Boorman, who like many of the hipsters in her generation can be found on Twitter - she's @SallieB.

Sallie is very excited to be part of the conference. I asked her to share some thoughts about attending BlogHer 08, and she was kind enough to let me share them with you here.

Top 10 BlogHer Expectations/Goals From a Rookie

I have less than 30 hours until I leave to drive to ‘the city’ to go to BlogHer 2008 and the voice in my head keeps thinking, “omg I am so nervous, what if no one likes me?” and “I have not even figured out what I am going to wear yet!”

Outside of the nerves over trivialities like how many pairs of shoes are too many (7…10??), BlogHer has got me feeling anxious. Not only am I a rookie this year to BlogHer, I don’t even blog.

What the heck would make me think I should be going to BlogHer?

Here is my driving reason -- my day job is as a PR and communications professional. Now before you dismiss me as one of “those,” let me tell you that nothing makes me want to puke more than when organizations misunderstand the culture of social media. As a sort of ambassador of social media in the corporate world, I am attending BlogHer to learn as much as I can. Not so I can recommend bloggers to corporations or sell things, or pick up new clients, but so I can take back the knowledge and communicate the culture and etiquette to organizations that want to engage (respectfully) online.

With that being said, here are some of my expectations for BlogHer ‘08 and some of my goals as I join the ranks as a Rookie.

EXPECTATION: Social and information overload. With the impending migration of thousands of smart women to San Francisco, I am expecting to be overloaded with names, social activities, immense amounts of information, and several conflicting emotions. While I am hoping my head doesn’t spontaneously combust or my brain start to cry, I plan on following the sound advice I have heard from others writing on BlogHer and that is to take some time to unwind from the conference, and digest the information, and collect my thoughts at the end of each day. Thanks A Mommy Story for the much needed and appreciated guidance!

EXPECTATION: The ear muscles will get a good workout. I expect to be not talking too much, and listening more. After all, I am a self professed rookie, and what better thing for a rookie to do in a room full of smart people than to listen and take note?

EXPECTATION: Expecting to be dumbfounded, and often. There is SO much I have yet to learn, and I know at this conference someone is going to be talking about something I had no idea existed, or how to even pronounce it, or what it even does. I am positive I will have many notes that state mostly “look this up” or “check this out.”

EXPECTATION: Fantasmi-Swag. Oh, the glory of so much conference swag.

EXPECTATION: Find support. I hope that I can connect with other conference goers who will be supportive in my quest to be brave, try new things, and get over my own fears when it comes to engaging in the online world.

GOAL: Operation “Twinkle Toes.” I have an unhealthy love of shoes and the Westin is located dangerously close to my beloved DSW in Union Square. Who needs lunch when you can head down a block and do some mid-conference shoe shopping? I hope to have some accomplices on this mission.

GOAL: Be a sponge. I am looking at BlogHer purely as an educational opportunity. I am here to learn, learn, learn. I want to go and immerse myself in the gloriousness that is the BlogHer culture, and soak everything up. I am looking to the gals at the conference to share their stories and experiences with me and educate me on the ways of the BlogHer jedi.

GOAL: Stop freaking out. About what to wear, if anyone is going to like me, if I will be the only one attending alone, and if I am not smart enough. Strangely enough, this fear/anxiety has also hindered my goal to start blogging. Everyone has to start somewhere, as Jory Des Jardins reminded me in her post.

GOAL: Get inspired. Get brave. I am looking at becoming inspired to try out my own creative ideas and starting my own blog, which for many reasons I have been hesitant to start.

GOAL: Becoming the Change. I’m fortunate to be in an interesting position in my job where I get to be what I call an online ‘native guide.’ My goal at this conference is to equip myself with roadmaps, tools, relationships and the knowledge that will help me to navigate and guide groups respectfully through this newer online culture jungle.There is a decided gap in how bloggers feel they are treated and how PR professionals think they are doing in this space. Believe me, I hate it when people scrunch their noses when they hear the word ‘PR’ just as much as bloggers hate being pitched bad pitches.

As Gandhi said “Be the change you wish to see.” Big movements start as small changes. I for one want to see a better understanding of the social media world and better guided relationships between bloggers and organizations. What better way to continue the dialog of understanding, than to embrace and become the change.

3 comments:

mothergoosemouse said...

Sallie is going to fit right in. Not only does she echo plenty of bloggers' concerns about BlogHer, she likes shoes.

Sallie, we will welcome you with open arms and a glass of wine.

SallieB said...

mothergoosemouse,

where there is wine and shoes, so there I shall be, and happily!

I can't wait to meet you!Thanks for the kind words!

~Sallie

Her Bad Mother said...

I missed seeing you at BlogHer! And! I cannot believe that I missed congratulating you on the baby!!! (Am still in fog with my own ;))