8 years ago my sister suggested I find a way to publish the amusing emails I sent her about our dog Zoe. Now there is blogging! Zoe tales are about Zoe (3 1/2 lb Chihuahua), Gracie (bigger and the world's friendliest Chihuahua) and other stuff I am thinking about. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

BlogHer '06 - Identity and Obligation Thanks and Other Shout Outs *Updated*

My primary experience of the conference content was as moderator of the Identity and Obligation panel. I was able to catch bits of some other sessions but mine was the only one where I saw the whole thing. :-)

I've attempted to make my rounds around the blogosphere to leave thank you comments, and I will continue to do so. But let me try to call out those to whom I owe particular thanks.

I have undying gratitude to the panelists - Dawn Rouse (the microphone master), Karen Walrond, Carmen Van Kerchove, and Marisa Trevino. I moderate for a living and working with this dream team was effortless. I just had to be the designated loud mouth.

Thank you to Elisa Camahort for pulling together such a stellar group of women on this panel and for honoring me by asking me to moderate.

The session was special not just because of the amazing women surrounding me but because of the equally amazing group of people both in the room and participating virtually. Kirk recorded the session, Farah, Christine, Lynne and Karl live blogged it. Keep your eye on Amy Gahran's Wiki for additions. Denise and Jeneane chatted it. And PHAT Mommy led the BlogHers in spirit - check the comments for links to those who played the home version.

Updated to add: Liz Henry has an amazing liveblog of the session. Go read it now. I'll be waiting.

I'm going to try and make another post later where I will attempt to give a shout out to everyone I managed to meet, speak with, glimpse and give you a virtual squeal and hug if I didn't get to in person. As volunteer to help organize the conference I didn't really get to attend or participate - I got to be the hard ass at the registration table and the whipping girl for all the sponsors and attendees who for whatever reason felt that we didn't supply the experience they imagined they would have or, worse yet, imagined they were promised and for the hotel employees who insisted that we never asked for things that we had planned for and asked for for months.

Don't get me wrong - for the most part attendees, sponsors and hotel staff were lovely, appreciative and flexible. But I'm still, days later, having a particularly difficult time processing all the negativity I'm seeing expressed about the conference. In particular, I resent the implicit assumption in many of the posts and chatter that the organizers (including me) were unconscious to or uncaring about or did not plan for various aspects of the conference. Also, I'm bugged by the implicit suggestions that conference attendees (or non-attendees) have no agency or responsibility in how they experience or perceived the conference.

So, I have to give a very special shout out to the group of women who were subjected to my bitter, fried brain ranting on Saturday night and who did not slap me upside the head even though I am sure they wanted to because, hell, I wanted to slap me. xoxo to Annette John-Hall, Tiffany Brown, Gena Haskett and Tarita Thomas for allowing me to vent and promising me some specific suggestions. Much love, sisters.

Cross posted at Fizz.

Powered by QumanaTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


Blogger allaboutgeorge said...

Tarita? For now, there's Menstrual Maven but more is on the way, I reckon.

August 02, 2006 3:46 PM

Blogger Wag said...

Thank you, George!

August 02, 2006 3:49 PM

Anonymous laurie said...

"Also, I'm bugged by the implicit suggestions that conference attendees (or non-attendees) have no agency or responsibility in how they experience or perceived the conference."

Maria, I hear you. I, for one, had a fantastic time, and think that you all did a wonderful, marvelous, fantastic job. Star speakers, excellent receptions (free wine. hello? Does one complain about free wine??? Nope.), amazing networking opportunities, and enlightening sessions. I was on the podcasting team and we had a great time. I considered myself lucky to be a part of the whole event, and my only issues were personal struggles with some shady hotel shuttle drivers and the door to my room being left unlocked. Stuff happens...and anyone who's been involved in the professional world (or personal travel, for that matter) needs to be flexible or risk constant depression and high blood pressure.

Anyway, just my opinion - thanks for all your work to make it so great for all of us, and I look forward to Chicago in '07.

August 02, 2006 4:03 PM

Blogger Wag said...


Thank you very much for your comments and for volunteering and podcasting. I'm very glad to hear that you enjoyed and appreciated the conference and that you'll be there next year.

Let me just add that I understand that the conference was disappointing in many ways and that things fell apart, despite our best efforts. So if you, or anyone else has some specific suggestions or constructive criticism I know that I, and more importantly, Elisa and the other BlogHer co-founders would love to hear it.

August 02, 2006 4:09 PM

Blogger Annette John-Hall said...


Although "we" floated around like grape nuts in a bowl of milk, I loved BlogHer for its feeling of inclusiveness and its generous spirit. That, to me, trumped the wi-fi snafus, the annoying (to some, not me) Mommybloggers and the lack of a conference recycling plan.

Speaking of "we," your life as "undercover" sistah must be incredibly revealing, lol. When Kim Peason first told me, "You see that woman over there? She's black...." I didn't believe her. But after spending the evening talking on Saturday, I know you can't be anything but. :)

Thanks for making a novice blogging sistah feel welcome.

August 07, 2006 8:13 PM

Blogger Wag said...


Thank you so much!

"grape nuts in a bowl of milk" ROTFLMAO!

"You see that woman over there? She's black...." Story of my life

"But after spending the evening talking on Saturday, I know you can't be anything but. :)" Also the story of my life ;-)

August 07, 2006 8:30 PM


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home