I’ve told you before how I love when like-minded people come together. It happened during Listen To Your Mother this spring. And it happened last year during BlogHer in Chicago. I can now look to a blog conference as a perfect chance to do just that, connect with other brains that work and think like mine do.
And I stepped away from my weekend at BlogHer 14 with this belief tattooed on my brain. I have an amazing tribe. And they are so worth flying across the country for. I’d honestly do it again tomorrow, but I’d do it without the conference to distract from all the love and support and talent that shines through the women I get to call friends.
Don’t get me wrong. I had fun at the conference. I am excited about some companies that I connected with who might play a big part in my future 30 Day challenges. And I got to share a roof with Kerry Washington, which makes my Scandal-loving heart glad. But in searching for inspiration and searching for knowledge, I found it in my tribe. And I left the conference exhausted, hungover, and smiling. All because of my some amazing women. Come see.
I landed in San Francisco Wednesday morning. I squeezed in a lot to 24 hours in the city by the bay. I had an unexpected lunch with my rock star cousin. I toured the city from land and sea in a Duck Tour, which was the perfect way to see a little bit of an amazing city, since I only had a few hours. We drank Moscow Mules in a tiny Italian restaurant. Ate homemade brownies out of a can. And “rode” a street car.
By the time I got to San Jose, I felt like I’d already won.
San Jose is a lovely city. Expansive views. Blue skies. Pedestrian-friendly space. Starbucks was close. And the conference held a lot of promise. There were keynotes from big names like the Bloggess, Arianna Huffington, and Kerry Washington. Rev Run was the DJ at the closing party. I was especailly thrilled to see a series of publishing sessions on the schedule. But I found myself pulling away from a lot of the ego that seemed to stifle educational opportunities. Rooms brimmed with an I’m better than you attitude, and I had a run-in with another blogger in the restroom that left me speechless. (To the woman in the leather skirt the in Lower Level bathrooms, you might want to rethink your approach to those around you.) Some of the brands were there to advertise to female decision makers rather than connect with bloggers and establish relationships.
And once again, I found myself turning to my tribe to inspiration and to answer my blogging questions over wine or late night donuts. They didn’t disappoint. My friends or the donuts.
And so I’m redefining how I look at blogging conferences in general. I won’t be relying on the them for education. The resources aren’t what they are billed to be. Rather, they’re an excuse and a reason to come together with amazing and beautiful people who are good for this site and for my soul. I’m going to reach for my favorite people when I have questions down the road. Blogging is about community, building one and finding one.
That’s where my inspiration lies. I didn’t have to fly across the country to find that out, but I’m kind of glad that I did.