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In which i speak for the masses

  

Today, someone left a post on my blog saying “Lynn, tell us more about BlissDom because I know you’ll tell us the real deal.”  I thought that was interesting because I’ve actually been debating what to say about BlissDom.  On the one hand, I could say what I learned and go off in the positive direction and on the other hand, I could say what I really think.

Of course, I’m actually known (by the few people who actually know me) for saying what I really think so you wouldn’t think that would be a dilemma, would you? But, I’m actually starting to build relationships in this strange little world known as blogging, and by being incredibly blunt I could very possibly burn some bridges and that would be a set back, right?  Now, I say that I don’t care about numbers but, I’m only human, and I can’t help but get excited as more people read my blog…so what to do?  What to do?

I suppose, that being true to my mandate, I should be brutally honest.  And on this blog I am, up to a certain point.  I’m not exactly a stupid person and I’m aware that there are certain obvious aspects of my personality that would go over like a lead balloon to the world at large, so while I don’t hide those traits, I certainly don’t go out of my way to highlight them either.  So, do I expose some of those traits in my quest for brutal honestly?   Did Plato ever have to deal with these types of issues?  Doubt it…

Decision made.  The cold hard truth comes out as I have the balls to say what I think and I SPEAK FOR THE MASSES!

FIRST a disclaimer:  NO BLOGGERS WERE HURT OR INJURED IN PREPARING FOR THIS ARTICLE (at least, not by me) and I think my opinion was representative of a LOT of the women there…at least the women I talked to.

I went to BlissDom with a few goals in mind.  FIRST, I brought a friend with me who is new to blogging and has developed a resource site called Women, Money and Divorce.  I felt (and feel) that a site like this is long overdue and I wanted to promote the site.  That, and the fact that my friend Ann who runs the site needed to LEARN a LOT about blogging was one of the main reasons I went.  So, a clear goal of mine was to promote her website: Women, Money and Divorce.  Not being completely altruistic, I also wanted to promote my site, which I suppose is really promoting myself since All Fooked Up is really all me.  So, I wanted to learn how to spread the site out to more readers and that would be GOAL TWO!

To accomplish these two goals, I went to SEO workshops and writing workshops (mostly for Ann…I have no desire to be a better writer…I kinda like my screwed up little style).  We also attended workshops on Social Media (honestly, I know what to do with this crap, I’m just a little irritated that I can’t buy my way out of this) as well as a workshop on personal integrity, which by the way, I could have taught…cuz I got that in spades.

For me, the highlights were hearing Scott Stratten (@unmarketing) and attending the panel on Personal Integrity in Blogging.  They were speaking to the choir (is that the expression) with that one.  I’m all about personal integrity, being yourself, not playing the game and most especially about “if you can’t walk the walk, don’t talk the talk.”  I even stood up and spoke about this in the Integrity panel and why I haven’t been asked to speak around the world on this topic, I truly don’t understand.  Honestly people, if you can’t say something to somebody’s face, don’t put it on your blog.

A THIRD goal was meeting some of the many people I’ve been communicating with on Twitter and through my blogs.  I met so many lovely young things, I can’t even tell you… these girls were young, energetic, positive and full of talk of kids and things that totally used to be part of my life, but no longer are.  I felt completely jaded in so many ways and that leads us down the road to the stuff I DID NOT LIKE ABOUT BLISSDOM.

To be fair, I feel that my two friends and I were out of the demographic in EVERY way possible; age wise, experience wise, socioeconomically.  Therefore, many of the events and panels weren’t really directed towards us.  I get that and truly, I was prepared for that and it didn’t bother me as I knew before I went that I would be older and in a different stage of my life than most of the other mom bloggers.  In many ways, I enjoyed the “elder statesman” sort of role that naturally occurred. 

HOWEVER, there are a LOT of us older bloggers out there so perhaps I think a good way to start off this post would be to make the point that there was ABSOLUTELY NOTHING FOR THE OLDER BLOGGER and trust me, one day we will ALL be older bloggers. SO, you might want to hop all over that BlissDom.  After all, time marches on and stops for no one.

Also, have more mixing events; I don’t mean cocktail parties as nobody can talk there.  I mean like lunch on the first day.  I had some people with me and every time I saw someone wandering around looking lost, I collected that person and brought them into the fold.  While this didn’t directly affect me as I’m fairly confident and outgoing, for many girls, this is their first foray into the world of “collective” women and it can be intimidating.  There needs to be people like me, “connectors” as it were, to make these women feel welcome.  That’s paramount; especially for the many Conference Newbies who really didn’t know anybody.  After all, it’s all about connection, right?  I would recommend more situations like that niche thing you had going on.  That was a terrific way to meet people who had something in common with you and not just hang out with the few people you knew.

There should be WATER BOTTLES available…seriously, this was one of the biggest flaws there, and where the hell was the water?  I drank so much coffee as a result that my thrumming alone could have powered the expo center.

And seating in the expo area…the only place to sit in a chair was in a panel and yet, some of my best conversations took place in the hallways, bathrooms and expo area.  Part of the reason for the convention is connection, so make it more accessible.

And last, although I didn’t care in the least about this personally, make the little people feel important too.  So much time is spent kowtowing to all the “Big Bloggers” out there, even and up to having reserved tables for them so they’re isolated.  People want to know that these bigger bloggers started small too… so that they too can dream that the world is hopefully their oyster.  So help them by sprinkling these panelists, speakers and more successful bloggers out among them.  Give them hope.  Give them something.  Give them water and most importantly, give them a fucking chair!

Just saying…

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41 Comments

  1. Name *
    February 8, 2011

    Agree completely! Especially on the water bottles & chairs, dude. And for what it’s worth? I didn’t “see” your age. I know we didn’t have much time to get to hang out (I was in mostly all the writing sessions), but I didn’t think a thing about it. But perhaps if tables had been turned and I’d been the youngest there I’d have felt it more keenly.

    The evening things were nuts. Too hard to try and talk to people, navigate my way through the masses….

    Still, I’m glad I got to meet you! And I’m proud of you for speaking your truth on this!

    • Lynn
      February 8, 2011

      Thanks…and i appreciate the thanks for saying that…and having your support means a LOT. I didn’t feel left out because i was older, i just think others would have. I’m actually fairly outgoing. Thanks for reading

    • Angela England
      February 8, 2011

      I thought that there was water in every room during the panels. Like big 5 gallon jugs with cold water right? Maybe it was just the sessions I went to but I enjoyed the water during the sessions I attended.

      The evening gatherings are always a little tough with so many people – there’s always more people than time to meet them but that’s why I have to go back next year! Ha!

      I loved having you in my SEO session and it seemed like you and your friend got something out of it. The nice thing about the online community is that ages do not matter at all. In fact my right-hand-girl at Blissfully Domestic? Her youngest is graduating high school this year, while MY youngest is still at the breast. Our huge age gap means, literally, NOTHING.

      • Lynn
        February 8, 2011

        there was water available in the backs of the room but with just small cups. I would have willingly bought a water bottle and refilled it if i could have found one. We did learn a ton at your session but, although ages don’t matter, the issues that affect many mom bloggers don’t hold true for all. It’s more a matter of connecting with like minded people…which in my case, was some of the reason i went. Thanks for reading and commenting…many of the views weren’t necessarily my views but WERE expressed to me by way more than a few people.

  2. Linda Rihani
    February 8, 2011

    I love your post! I hadthis same feeling at the Blogher conference minus the chairs and water , they has that one covered. The being left out part or the high school feeling all over again.
    I agree with you, every conference this year all have the same blogger rockstar on their speaking panels. What about us? I would love to shine light on some starters and connect!!!
    Gosh I feel a new conference coming on the horizon! Thanks for sharing

    • Lynn
      February 8, 2011

      thank you…that means a LOT. I wasn’t actually going to talk about it but hopefully, i’ll be glad i did. Ask me at the end of the day.

  3. Natalie
    February 8, 2011

    I agree with every point you made. I left Nashville exhausted & extremely thirsty. Also, for what it’s worth? I’m with Erin. I never “saw” your age either. There weren’t young or old bloggers. We were all just women.
    Also? I found your site b/c of Blissdom & I’m so glad. Love your perspective on things.

    • Lynn
      February 8, 2011

      Well, I didn’t feel old per se, I just mean for older bloggers, trying to find a community that discusses issues we deal with…like college age kids, drugs, empty nesters, etc. Olives the young peeps and would have loved to have a panel from an older perspective of issues.

  4. Alexandra
    February 8, 2011

    I like this post, Lynn. You tell the truth, and maybe some changes will be made to offer more to a different group of bloggers. Not all bloggers are in their mid 30’s with 3 children under the age of 5.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with that {wink}

    I thin a lot of people will agree with you.

    • Lynn
      February 8, 2011

      Thanks…for everything!

  5. Alexandra
    February 8, 2011

    oh..and it’s I think, not I thin.

    Though, I would like to thin myself today. (:

    • Lynn
      February 8, 2011

      wouldn’t we all…but you look good in the picture, especially those eyes!

  6. By Word of Mouth Musings
    February 8, 2011

    Way to go Lynn, was thinking we should totally tout around some fold out Directors chairs next time with our names on the back and wear dark sunglasses … we will look established and professional instead of older and learning the ropes …
    and we need minions to carry water … if the tractor boys are there and I wear the fur vest again, we could TOTALLY get minions ;)

    • Lynn
      February 8, 2011

      the fur vest…i just wanted water…and a chair…i don’t actually consider you older though…not quite

  7. Lady Estrogen
    February 8, 2011

    Personal Integrity workshop? Spades indeed ;)

    • Lynn
      February 8, 2011

      thanks girl…yeah, be yourself for better or worse. In my case, mostly worse

  8. Jackie
    February 8, 2011

    I love how honest you are! Hopefully someone will read this and start making some changes to the conferences!

    I hope that when I make it to on you’ll be there because I’ll be the one wandering around all sad & lost! I’ll need one of those “connectors”!

    • Lynn
      February 8, 2011

      i didn’t actually intend to be a connector. I just couldn’t handle seeing people wandering around looking like they needed somebody…i suppose that sometimes, i’m nicer than i think!

  9. Valerie
    February 8, 2011

    Speaking the truth about Blissdom has never garnered me any fame, but it seems to be working for you.

    I did notice this year that there were visibly more of us older ladies there. I really enjoyed getting to know some more.

    I enjoyed (lapped like a dog) the water in the back of the room in every session. The noise levels were tough to combat for socializing at night, but the fun levels were awesome. Trade-off? The niche ideas are a great addition, but it was still too noisy at my niche table so I left.

    I did learn from most of my sessions and loved Blissdom overall. I did not like the whole girly girl sisterhood and rockstardom that ignores so many of us, but it seems to lie mainly among the younger bloggers.

    • Lynn
      February 8, 2011

      well, i know there was water in the room, in little cups. But i wanted to be able to walk around with the water and have a bit more at the table. I would have BOUGHT a water bottle. In fact, i wanted to but there were none available in the vicinity. I didn’t meet many older people but i didn’t care that much, i just would have liked to have a different niche for discussions on those issues.

      I’m not trying to garner fame…i would think that i would kiss ass if that was my goal. This is what MANY women told me…not just my opinion. At any rate, i didn’t like the girly girly thing either but that’s what you’ll get with bunches of young people…which is sorta my point. Thanks for commenting

  10. amber
    February 8, 2011

    Reserved tables? Really? I so would have crashed that party. That’s one of the things I liked about BlogHer. Bloggers big and small, everyone was accessible. I also thought i was more representative of the blogging community in general…but BIG!

    I’m glad there are women like you to connect people…I tend to be one of the lost sheep.

    • Lynn
      February 8, 2011

      there were reserved tables at the big luncheon and i heard also at the Disco thing. I didn’t go…i’m just reporting what people were upset about. They said they were going to write about it but i thought i’d do it as i really don’t worry about repurcussions. I actually heard there were plenty of private parties at BlogHer and people felt snubbed there too. Although, with so many different types of bloggers, maybe that would be easier.

      • Jana
        February 8, 2011

        I did have to put up a couple of reserved signs for a session because there were quite a few staff photographers who needed to be close to the stage to take photos. I have a tiny blog that no one really visits so I can tell you it had nothing to do with how well people knew me or that I think I’m important there. I just had a job to do and at the end of the day when I sign my name on it I want it to reflect that I did my best and took it seriously. I hope this helps explains that a bit more clearly.

        • Lynn
          February 8, 2011

          Well, I didn’t mean to insinuate that one person or individual was responsible for all the issues. I didn’t actually even attend all the events but was told from numerous people that, at least at the beach party, there were distinct areas that were reserved. If I’m wrong, then I apologize…but there’s no doubt of what I was told.

          • liz
            February 8, 2011

            I was wondering what you were talking about with the reserved tables! The beach party was not a Blissdom event. So to be fair, that isn’t something to be considered a strike against Blissdom.

  11. Jessica D Torres
    February 8, 2011

    Thank you for you honest opinion on the conference. I am going to BlogHer this year and I will be a conference newbie so it is nice to have a real opinion on what I might expect.

    • Lynn
      February 8, 2011

      well thanks, i’m glad you enjoyed. Truthfully, i had a great although exhausting time. I was with friends from home though so certain things didn’t bother me. Have fun at BlogHer

  12. Rachel
    February 8, 2011

    Hey Lynn,

    I enjoyed meeting you at BlissDom. I didn’t *see* an age on you, either :-)
    I’m so happy that you were there to help connect and guide others!
    Did your swag bag not have the red plum water bottle in there? I carry a Tervis Tumbler with lid to every even that I go to and just keep that filled with water — it is SUCH a lifesaver!

    Thanks for posting your honest opinions, I enjoyed reading them and all the comments!
    Hope you’re well rested, I’m still getting there :-)

    • Lynn
      February 8, 2011

      I did discover that water bottle…in the airport on the way home! Hahaha…hey, they don’t need to give me a water bottle, just make those things accessible. I had money and would have bought one but there was nothing around. Just those little cups…or maybe a BYOWB sign. Bring your own water bottle! Now I know

  13. Crayon Wrangler
    February 8, 2011

    I noticed your age. The hobbling, panting, complaints of arthritis at the prospect of climbing another stair. Let’s face it, Blissdom is for the young mom who wants to find the words to correctly pimp to Pampers.

    I kid…I kid…(maybe)

    I’m with you on the rockstar status. There was even one particular blogger that I jokingly made reference to her rockstar status and she spent the rest of the time avoiding me. Sad really, she would’ve learned that I don’t find her a rockstar because of some following that she has on a blog, but rather that she discovered her strengths and is rocking those to provide an income.

    Another great post from YOU and I just know you will be teaching an integrity panel soon to those who seem to think they have to be someone else just to get a following!

    • Lynn
      February 8, 2011

      The hobbbling. The panting…hahaha, that’s why…in a word, you are AWESOME!!! Thanks for the kudos. I really did enjoy meeting people, like yourself, who are just genuine. The other crap…never could play the game. Perhaps that’s why I kept getting fired? Hmmmm…food for thought.

  14. Name *
    February 8, 2011

    Now Lynn…if you knew Spanish, there was a really great waiter named Alexander “Alexander, mi amigo, mi needo some watero…muy sed…ah thirsty?” who “knew” were the water bottles were. Comprende! LOL Also…if he wasn’t around…you needed to go hit up the cutie tracker dudes next door (aka Tractor Convention) for water. Then if you were me, I just ate Blue Bunny Icecream and I didn’t give a damn about water or coffee… :)

    • Lynn
      February 8, 2011

      Hahaha…well, I ate my fair share if ice cream I must say…but seriously, sitting still is exhausting and I needed a water bottle…next time I’ll know. I didn’t see those tractor dudes hitting on me but I’m still sad I didn’t buy a combine.

  15. Amanda
    February 8, 2011

    Absolutely my number one reason I’m terrified of going to a blog conference — not knowing a soul and feeling lost. I don’t do well in big groups. One-on-one, I love, big groups intimidate me. It’s great to hear about these conferences from a different perspective!

    • Lynn
      February 8, 2011

      I’m very outgoing and I think that if I hadn’t had friends with me, I might have enjoyed myself far less. Those feelings of being left out were shared by others. I’m glad this helped.

  16. liz
    February 8, 2011

    And apparently I missed the rockstardom stuff? Because I never once got the feeling that I couldn’t or shouldn’t talk to anyone who was present.

    I do think it would be hard for anyone going to a conference by herself. But then again, I knew women who had, and they made the best of it.

    I feel like it is up to each individual to makes this conference for themselves, if I’m being honest. I was shocked while sitting through the same session as someone else, that their take-away was so, so different.

    • Lynn
      February 8, 2011

      Well, some people just aren’t wired that way. Again, I wasn’t talking about ME personally, just giving feedback from people that I spoke to. MORE than a few people by the way. I’m glad you had a good experience; other than dying of thirst, so did I. At any rate, you had done a LOT of networking prior to the event so I’m glad that paid off for you. Thanks for commenting Liz

  17. Emma Jayne
    February 9, 2011

    Thanks for your honest opinion of your experience at Blissdom. I think, however, the younger darlings have missed the point! We older bloggers don’t care about how we look next to the wee-bloggers…it’s about being at a different stage of life. The baby days were great and all (not) but it’s like going back to Algebra I when you have mastered Trigonometry. Pointless and kind of boring.

    I love you and your blog because I can totally relate to your experiences. You make me laugh, think, and know I am not alone in my journey through mid-fabulousness. Much more fun than which diaper absorbs more shit.

    Just sayin…

    • Lynn
      February 9, 2011

      That is absolutely right!!! Thank you, thank you, thank you. Great analogy…you’re the best!

  18. Mary @ Giving Up on Perfect
    February 16, 2011

    I’m just now getting around to going through my stack of business cards from Blissdom. Can I just say – OH my goodness, you are SO RIGHT about the water!!! That was ridiculous!

    I had a great time at the conference, but good grief, I was SO THIRSTY the whole time!!

    • Lynn
      February 16, 2011

      Well hello! Thanks for checking me out!

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