Okay, so BlogHer...yes it was fun, yes the swag parties (almost wrote stag parties) got out of hand, yes next year I'm not going to even think about swag beyond what comes in the BlogHer bag, yes it was crowded and more impersonal than last year, yes too many panels were in rooms too small, locking out those interested (me! once you're outside the room, 10 deep in the hallway, unable to hear, it's time to give up and walk away), yes, the lack of properly functioning wireless at the Sheraton was shameful, no the Geek Lab wasn't geeky enough and finally, yes 38 year old tummies don't appreciate cheeseburgers on top of booze in the same way a 20 year old tummy does. But it's over and I'm over it, other than the stack of business cards next to my computer.
Meeting new people or catching up with friends is one of the biggest highlights of BlogHer. BlogHer seems to hit its stride on Friday nights, when people are settled in and more comfortable with one another. One surprise was that I found more people connecting over Twitter handles than blogs. It was much more likely for someone to say "I've seen you on Twitter!" or "I follow you on Twitter!" than to say they know a blog. Does this mean mircoblogging is becoming more common and blogging is really only for times when there is a larger thought to express? Regardless, next year BlogHer should add an avatar to the name badge because that would be the fastest way to identify people.
I missed my kids, but only at times. When I talked to them on the phone, the kids who at home sound pretty mature, sounded like babies. Listening to Rocket in a voice that made me appreciate how really little he is, made me cry.
The most memorable swag was a tiara and a pink boa, given out at fun parties. I think I called a bunch of BlogHer parties beautiful, which made me sound 80 years old, but they were fun and nicely done, making beautiful the best descriptive word I could come up with in my post-party state. My kids loved the two tiny tubs of Playdoh snagged from the expo. We already have a ton of Playdoh at home, not to mention, these tubs are a buck a pop at Target, but my kids thought they were the greatest souvenir ever. Before I left for Chicago, Clover asked for a postcard and said with big eyes, "I know you'll get it done," which forced me to leave the conference in search for postcards that I could write and mail immediately. When hers arrived, she shrugged her shoulders and tossed it on the table. Postcards that were begged for? Meh. Playdoh we already have? Woo hoo!
Chicago is way behind the curve on recycling or maybe California is that far ahead. I was disappointed. There was a card on my nightstand that I expected to say something like "Help us conserve water. Reuse your towels." A standard hotel room sign. Instead it was a reminder that the hotel recently went nonsmoking and that a fine would be levied for any hint of smoking in the room. Time warp. Although there was Midwestern fun: a tricked out bowling alley right downtown and the Good Humor truck parked outside of the hotel each night.
One of the greatest moments of the week came at check out when I looked up my balance due and it said $0. Many thanks to Yahoo! and to Ford for making this happen for me. I am very grateful.