If Women Ruled the World: BlogHer and The White House Project

I spent a good part of last week with 2400 women from all walks of life, from coupon moms to political activists.   Women bloggers descended on The Hilton in NYC for the BlogHer10 Conference. This was my first BlogHer and I didn’t know what to expect.  Would it be cliquey?  Would it be overwhelming?  Would it be inspiring?  Well, guess what?  It was all those things, and much more.

What did I learn at BlogHer ’10?

  1. Women bloggers have serious reach and influence, but they’re not using them to their fullest power.  Forget brands and coupons and all that “stuff” what women need to do is take their voices on the web and turn them into political reality.  I spent a day at The White House Project, a series of lectures and hands on learning about getting women to run for office and get where the real power lies.  I don’t know if I will ever run for office, but I walked out of there thinking I could.  And so should you.  Want to know how and why?  Check out The White House Project – it will change the way you think about politics and female politicians.  I’m still thinking about how I can implement this at a young level for my 8 year old daughters.
  2. The Food Revolution Ain’t Happening.  I’m sorry but the amount of processed food crap at BlogHer was really appalling to me.  Entire brand suites filled with chemical, corn syrup and hydrogenated oil laden products that were being packaged and pushed on moms so they can go home and serve this junk to their kids.  It was really disappointing and disheartening.  And yes, I know these companies are big sponsors of these events but shouldn’t bloggers be using their power to influence these brands instead of the other way around?
  3. There are so many funny, interesting, smart and witty women writers in the world.  The Voices of the Year celebration highlighted many of these amazing women, and you should read all of them.  But I feel like my faith is restored in the blogging world just by going to BlogHer and being exposed to so many new bloggers.
  4. My friend and fellow blogger, Amy Oztan, might be a “SelfishMom (yes that is her blog in case you don’t read her – and why aren’t you reading her?) but she is a kick-ass friend.  Amy actually wrangled me an unofficial invite to lunch at The New York Times with Lisa Belkin because I basically told her I was a crazy weird Lisa Belkin fan.  And luckily Lisa said I could come rather than seek a restraining order!  It was a BlogHer highlight hanging out with The Motherlode mistress and a few incredibly funny bloggers in the gorgeous New York Times Building.
  5. I actually like meeting new people. This is shocking to me because really I hate group things.  I would never go on a cruise or even a tour.  I detest bed and breakfasts.  I dread small talk.  But BlogHer was different.  When you’re a writer you lead a solitary work life.  When you’re a blogger you lead a solitary yet virtually connected work life.  And so to meet women in real life whose faces I usually see in a teeny tiny square on my twitter feed or read in the ether was thrilling.

So even though there were too many people I never got to meet, and not enough time to get to the panels and parties and brand meetings all happening at once, it was worth it just for the experience of being a part of something big and just in its toddler stage.   And it inspired a whole new project for me and three other fab women bloggers –FromHip2Housewife, Coast2CoastMom and SelfishMom – that will launch shortly, stay tuned…

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8 replies on “If Women Ruled the World: BlogHer and The White House Project”

  1. Hey Rebecca! Just found out about you– I’m a second-time-around Mom of Twins (boy and girl, 2–oy!) who is opening a NYC summer day camp for arts, music, acting, comedy, etc down in the West Village. Not a baby camp– ages 8-14. VERY affordable.
    The Clubhouse Camp.
    I gave up my fancy advertising copywriter job over 10 years ago to play music for kids.
    (Have a pretty popular blog, too, A Little Less of Lisa which was supposed to be a diet blog, but who wants to write about dieting?)
    Anyway– nice to meet you– and if you can, let me know what you think about the new camp!
    PS– Like the Mii cartoon!

  2. Part of me is jealous that I didn’t go to BH despite blogging and living in NYC. I would love to have been inspired and met the people from my twitter feed. However, the food thing would have put me over the edge. In my nutrition/food part of the blogging world I have met amazing people who hate HFCS as much as I do and use ingredients I haven’t ever heard of. I bet many of these women were at BH. So why the hamburger helper? Thanks for making me feel like I was there, maybe next year. And I think you told me you hate bars, check out my post, you may want to try some of them.

  3. Hi Rebecca – it was nice meeting you too at the NY Times luncheon. It was my first BlogHer too – and I had many take-aways from the conference the greatest of which is all the fantastic writers and humorists I met over the weekend. Some of the breakout sessions were ill-prepared, I thought, but most of the advice you can get online anyway. The really benefit of BH is the human connection (and I finally got to see realtime how Twitter can actually be a good thing!).

    I will subscribe to your posts – I look forward to following you!

    I am in the process of launching my new business – http://www.pink-pockets.com and I do not have a blog there yet. My blog is at http://www.writingmamasaustin.com but I have not posted there in a month – no readers.

    Best to you!
    Diane, Austin

    PS – my daughter LOVED the playdo kit. But I must say, the Orbeez from The Mouthy Housewives party was the biggest hit of the swag!

    1. You are a nicer mom than I am because I didn’t give the Orbeez to my girls. I dreaded what I thought they’d do with them. I’m saving them for our school’s Halloween Fest when we do a “yucky” room and I think these would make great eyeballs in a bowl. eeeewwww….

  4. I think you were at a much better conference than me. Which is weird, since we were connected at the hip while we were there.
    You left with lofty thoughts on politics and using our influence. I left wondering what the hell Bruce Jenner was doing there, and why there was a foam Hamburger Helper hand in my swag bag.

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