One of my favorite things about blogging is the community. Reading the words of others provides me with insight into their lives. I truly enjoy sharing my life with individuals both near and far. It is always a special treat to meet some of these women (and men) in real life. This year I will not only be attending my first Blogher conference but I will also have the privilege to speak on the panel "Mommy Blogging: What is your tribe?" This excites me to no end but I am most looking forward to meeting my friends that I know only by way of my computer screen. I feel very connected to my blogging friends despite distance. Each and every time I meet one of my blogging buddies I say the same thing ,"this is our first time meeting but I know you." And I do. Opening up your life to strangers is both liberating and bonding and after awhile these individuals are no longer strangers but friends. Friends that cheer for you in the good times and lend a helping hand when times are rough. Community. That is what blogging means to mean and BlogHer '09 "In Real Life" is all about community.
Over the past two weekends there were BlogHer meetups in cities all over the country. The meetups provided attendees of BlogHer '09 a chance to meet local bloggers prior to the conference. The idea of walking into a room of 1500 people and seeking out the ones you "know" can be dauting. Meeting here in Atlanta we can coordinate schedules and maybe even be fly to Chicago together. The meet-up was also an opportunity for those not going to the conference to meet local bloggers, talk shop and have a nice get together. On Saturday I hosted one of these meet-ups for Atlanta based bloggers. We really had a wonderful time and although it was initially planned for two hours by hour three we wrapped up and mostly because babysitters were home waiting!
The group was a mix of fairly new and seasoned bloggers. One of the things that was most striking was the free flowing conversation and exchange of ideas and knowledge. From the newest blogger to the oldest everyone had valuable insight to share. Charming Charlie accessories provided a door prize which was a special treat and at the end of the day people were asking when the next meetup will take place. Perhaps we can do it again fairly soon. I know I would love to chat with the ladies again.
Thank you to all the ladies that came out - Jennifer, Christie, Dawn, Kelly, Ericka, Sandra and Naomi. I also have to acknowledge my son Mekhi who attended with me and was a total trooper!