(Sorry there aren't any pictures. Didn't take my camera. Oops.)
9:37 am – The hallways at the Westin St. Francis are quieter today than yesterday; the frantic energy has mellowed. I walk through the rooms in search of coffee. I finally find an espresso stand located in the room next to the book table. Fog on brain begins to lift.
10:17 am – Need to secure a spot in the room that will surely be packed for Elise Bauer’s talk. Kalyn and Lydia have already started saving seats: smart.
10:35 am – The room is starting to fill up. Elise walks in; the buzz begins. In a matter of moments, all the seats are filled; people line the walls and sit on the floor.
10:45 am – There are so many reasons to admire Elise, and here’s another: she knows how to present. She’s not only an expert in her subject, but she also hews to a strong narrative arc. She uses PowerPoint to keep the audience engaged as she moves through her topic. Someone turns to me at the end: “That session was worth admission for the entire weekend.” Agreed. You can see her entire presentation here.
11:50 am – I step back into the Zwaggle room to tell them how glad I am that they're here. They've drawn an old-school style thermometer on a piece of paper to show how many pounds of swag they’ve recycled. It’s already over 800 pounds. 800! Pounds!
1:50 pm – Photographer Me Ra Koh puts the awesome into the afternoon with her super-informative session. She talks about aperture setting + shutter speed + AI servo and chants: “How low can you go… with your ISO?” She’s effusive and warm and generous with information; I’m scribbling notes as fast as I can. You’ve got to read the story of her journey.
3:45 pm – I can’t decide whether to go the Blog to Book session or the session about the potential dangers of blogging personal information. I decide on the latter. The first half hour or so is intense. The stories coming from both the panel and the audience are raw and frightening. The Internet can be a scary place indeed. Then, slowly, the intensity begins to lift; the talk begins to turn to the fact that there is danger everywhere, but we still have to live out loud, be authentic, stay strong and be smart. Powerful stuff.
5:15 pm – When Heather Armstrong (Dooce) and her husband Jon walk into the Grand Ballroom for the closing keynote, the temperature changes. I think Heather is a phenomenal writer, but what is more interesting than Heather Armstrong is the effect she has on people. In close proximity to a group of women, approximately 65% of said group begins to hyperventilate. People stand up to ask questions and instead deliver incoherent blather. What does she represent to them - A difficult relationship with Mother? That mean girl in high school? The bad boss lady? On stage, she’s gorgeous and witty and etc., but I’m riveted by the crowd. What is going on here?
6:57 pm – The last BlogHer bash is at Macy’s. In the handbag aisles; between the shoe racks. I get it: girls like to shop. But I’ve never been a department store girl, and besides: I’ve got a greyhound at home who needs her dinner. I chat with a few lovely people, finish my flute of champagne and scoot out. Crisp white sheets are calling my name. My brain is full; I’m tiiiired.
(As you can see, I'm posting this Sunday night. There was an UnConference "Day 3" today, but I was all tapped out.)
Did you go to BlogHer? Thoughts?