The History of Me and BlogHer
I first started blogging near the end of June 2006. The BlogHer conference that year was so close to me - maybe a 20-minute drive to the convention center - and I briefly considered going. But really, I hadn't been blogging that long, and I wasn't sure that it would really be all that interesting if I wouldn't know very many people. I completely regretted that decision, because everything I heard about the conference made it sound fabulous and amazing and super-duper fun. I swore - next year, I would be there.
BlogHer 2007 was coming up, and I was so excited to go... until I found out my bestest friend Tpiglette was getting married the same weekend. So unfortunately, I had to miss out again. Hearing, yet again, how awesome it was only made me even more set on going the following year. I just HAD to be a part of this.
FINALLY, I was able to participate in BlogHer 2008, in San Francisco (where I got to snuggle Her Bad Mother's new baby). By then, it was already fairly large and crowded, at least in comparison to what I'd heard from friends who attended the first two years. Still, though, it was great - I got to meet tons of amazing people I already considered friends online, and I got to sit in on great sessions about this media format I loved so much.
It was a no-brainer for me to sign up for BlogHer 2009 in Chicago, and I very much enjoyed it. Reconnecting with people from the previous year and/or new bloggers I'd been reading, plus those same amazing sessions. I had a great time, and when they opened registration for BlogHer 2010 in New York, I immediately signed up, so excited.
BlogHer 2010, the fifth year of the BlogHer Conference, it was HUGE. There were so many people, it was difficult for me to even find people I wanted to see. The sessions were crowded, though still amazing, and I had a good time, when I wasn't hiding in my room from my social anxiety. I really did enjoy the weekend, and when the time came to sign up for BlogHer 2011 in San Diego, I only hesitated for a moment before registering.
Even though I have a ticket, I will not be at BlogHer this weekend. (Why do I have a ticket still? Because by the time I realized I wouldn't be attending, it was past the deadline they'd set for transferring tickets. Bummer.) Is it because I didn't have a great time at BlogHer 2010? No, I loved BlogHer 2010, in spite of the fact that there were so very many people there. So why am I not going this year?
Basically, I've hit a point in my life where I'd much rather spend the weekend living my "real" life than living my "online" life. Now, don't get me wrong - I'm not going to pretend that the stuff that goes on in the blogosphere isn't real, because it is. There are very real relationships that we form with each other, and a great many of us show our real selves through our blogs (even if we may not be using our real names). But in the past, my real day-to-day life hasn't been all that interesting, especially in late July / early August. Why not go to BlogHer? What else would I do with my time? With no ready answer to those questions, it was a straightforward decision to spend the time with other bloggers.
But now, I love having this free time during the summer, because I have so many amazing, fun, socially active friends. Spending a weekend in San Diego means losing a good four days of hang-out time with people I absolutely LOVE hanging out with, to spend four days hanging out near people I only sort of know. All in all, that's a terrible trade-off, and it just wasn't worth it to me.
So no, there will be no BlogHer '11 for me. And I am totally cool with that. My weekend will be spent with my lovely friends and my three-legged cat, and I won't regret a moment of it.
What are you doing this weekend?