Women With A Voice: BlogHer ’09

Image representing BlogHer as depicted in Crun...
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Give me your tired, your poor, your bleary eyed passengers stuck in the Pittsburgh airport because you were diverted from Chicago to Pittsburgh — as NY’s airports were closed Sunday night because of thunderstorms…

I’m writing to you from the Pittsburgh airport at 7:19 in the morning waiting to hopefully get back home to NY this morning having just been at the BlogHer conference this past weekend. No, not the blogger conference, the BlogHer conference. Yes, it was all about women bloggers. Yes, that really is a niche.

Well, I guess I wouldn’t call it a niche, I would call it more of a power house. If you’re not familiar with the influence of the female blogger, or more specifically the women blogger wave, then my god you are in the dark.

BlogHer (#BlogHer) is a conference founded by 3 savvy women — Lisa Stone, Elisa Camahort Page and Jory Des Jardins, who decided to create a publishing community or network for women to be able to use blogging as a way to communicate their POV to their world. Whether it be about lactation, cancer treatments, romantic meals, product reviews, electronics testing, luxury travel, auto safety or infertility, you name it…women are writing about it. And, it’s an authoritative group with a dominant voice.

As a business person who runs a social media marketing company, I intended to learn more about what bloggers are interested in writing about, how to approach them and how they monetize their sites. I even got to meet and speak with Tina Brown, Dave Lieberman and hear Ilene Chaiken and Donna Byrd. Ragu, Pepsi and HP all wanted my business and toy companies, beauty companies and household product companies couldn’t stop giving me stuff.

But I got so much more out of it…I got to connect with these women (and a few men) on what inspires them. I was invited to hear their personal stories about infertility, homelessness, child abuse, prejudice, child care and Diet Coke. But I also heard about Love, Hope, Fun, Compassion, Camaraderie, Commitment, Humor, Selflessness and Courage.

What I really got to see is that behind these blogs…are real people. With real feelings. And real lives. And so even though I can learn about blogger outreach policies from the big agencies out there, all I really need to remember is that there’s a person behind that blog. And if it were me, how would I want to be treated? How would I want to be approached about content that you, big, important marketers, want me to write about? What compels me? Why would I care?

So, as much as social media is about strategy, measurement, technology, and analysis…it’s really just about people getting to know people. And that, is why I do it.

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