BlogHer 2010 was NOTHING like I expected. Which confuses me.  And makes it hard to wrap my head around.

Let me start this post saying that I am a BlogHer newbie.  A veritable baby in a sea of blog conference experts.  Now, you must know that I stalked BlogHer online last year.  Truly. I read all of the tweets.  I visited all of the posts and I camped out on the Flickr stream.  So I had an idea of what to expect.

My ideas were wrong.

Being a self-help kind of girl, I expected BlogHer to be centered around education and learning. Err… not as much as one would think.  I mean, there were many sessions covering diverse topics.  But many people blew them off.  In fact, some of the bloggers I met confessed that they didn’t even go to one session, which blew my ever-loving-mind. I, personally, was there for an education.  I own my own business and I blog on that site as well as here and at the Washington Times Family Today community so I was ready for some serious blogging and social media  input.  I was going to take notes and write serious posts on what I learned and how to apply it.  Sadly, I will not be doing that.  Yes, I did take away nuggets of good information but overall the sessions were designed to be very informal.  (Apparently Power Point and handouts were not allowed.) That informality did not jive well with my personal goals.

But the networking, well, the networking opportunities were priceless. I’m an extrovert so I have no problem introducing myself to other people and engaging them in conversation.  Which works to your benefit when you are in a huge convention like this one.  And honestly, that is where this self-help gal gleaned the most information.  I learned more from my peers than I did in the sessions.  And I am completely okay with that.  Learning is learning is learning!

My fellow bloggers and I conversed about honesty in blogging, we compared iPhone apps for productivity, shared our personal stories, observations and goals and really connected. That part was priceless.

I got to meet Dawn Meehan (author and blogger at Because I Said So) who was my inspiration for blogging in the first place and Jo-Lynn of Musings of a Housewife who was the first blogger to ever acknowledge my existence.  My roommates Bailey (Makeover Momma), Lara (Chicken Nuggets of Wisdom) and Jennifer (Savoring The Thyme) were a blast to hang out with.  And the parties and gatherings? I can’t even begin to describe how interesting and fun they were.  From those I met some phenomenal entrepreneurs and inspirational professionals.  I was treated like a queen. (Which any mom will tell you is rare.)

Most importantly: I left BlogHer with a new direction and new vision. I found inspiration in my fellow bloggers and they helped me clarify my vision for this blog. (Which will probably take on a new direction going forward.) The knowledge that I already had was reconfirmed by the sessions.  I learned what to do and what NOT to do. Was it worth it to attend?  Yes. Yes it was.

Besides all of that, I sure had one hell of a good time!

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