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Monday, August 01, 2005


No time to do justice to BlogHer, which was, in a word, a phenomenon. My concluding mental meanderings, in no particular order:

  • I've scarcely seen such diversity, particularly in a crowd that was largely female. Hats off to the organizers for pulling together such a riotous assemblage of uniqueness. Lesson: while it is sometimes tempting to think of "women" as a group with unified concerns and interests, resist temptation. It's not accurate and probably not productive.
  • Jay Rosen's observations about confronting terror, coupled with Dan Gillmor's (from AlwaysOn) about giving each other some slack (if we hope to, for example, create a future in which competent individuals can serve on the Supreme Court), amount to a very compelling roadmap.
  • Lisa Stone works a room with a microphone beautifully. Aside from all the hallway meetings and conversations, the opening session with Halley Suitt, Charlene Li, and (mostly thanks to Lisa) just about everyone, was a high point for me.
  • I'm so impressed with Renee Blodgett as a person and a professional. Renee did the PR for the conference, and she's dynamite. I came home from the event that evening, there it was on the local news, and folks have been emailing me about the front page Chronicle coverage. I'm sure those aren't the end of the story. It's good to see acknowledgement of the quality of this event in other (traditional) kinds of media.
  • I spoke on a panel (blogged by Tony Gentile and Tricia, and moderated by Mary Hodder) about women who want to fund, build, and sell things. A big theme was how to line up investors without giving up control of your business and selling your/its soul. It might not be terribly on point for the myriad ambitions of the people in the room, but Baby Einstein's Julie Aigner-Clark has been on my mind since our talk. Her story underscores our suggestions about capitalizing on today's tools to maximize capital: "My husband and I financed this project ourselves — it cost about $18,000 to develop, design and package our first video, money that we took from our savings." Also, "We didn't spend any money on marketing and advertising." This was a few years ago now; today I think she not only would have cut or reduced conventional funding, marketing and advertising, but blogged the hell out of things. The current opportunties for getting the word out about products stemming from a passion to address shortcomings in what's already available are orders of magnitude better than they were until quite recently.
  • Given its strong attendance, keen interest, and laudable goals, BlogHer is definitely going to need a bigger boat.

[Update:] Oh yeah, and Cathy Kirkman blogged the legal panel (thank goodness or I'd have missed out on it entirely; it was the same time as mine).

[Update:] And here's my favorite photo of myself from the conference: the feet and nose behind Mena Trott.

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