BlogHer '11, Boomers, and a bang-up ending

Ready for take-off from DIA for BlogHer '11.I’m back from BlogHer '11, and what an awesome experience it was, in so many ways. My traveling companion was great, San Diego was so much more than I remembered from a trip to Sea World years ago with the Jim and the girls, the conference was brimming with information I’ve yet to wrap my head completely around and utilize, and the people—from hotel staff to pedicab drivers to fellow conference mates to the conference leaders—were ab-so-lute-ly amazing.

This was my first BlogHer conference and I believe I accomplished my goal: To learn and to connect. I did both, in abundance.

The learning part is mostly what I’ve yet to wrap my head around. So, so, SO much information. So much good information that should make a difference for my readers, for my blog, and for—maybe down the road if I do things right—my bank account. Yes indeed, the learning was good.

The connecting was even better. For one, I met the ever-so-humorous Penny of So Humor Me. She’s a hoot in real life, just as she is online. And she’s a pretty darn good seat-saver, too. I’ve known Penny online for a while, as we visit one another’s blogs and she was a featured Grilled Grandma not too long ago. Meeting her in person was one of the many delights of the BlogHer experience.

Of the other fellow bloggers I met, I had seen many online here and there, follow a few on Twitter, and, like Penny, featured as a Grilled Grandma (that being the ever-amazing juggler named Laura). One in particular, the one who most generously offered up reams of information in a too-brief encounter during breakfast, just so happens to be a relative neighbor, living just a few hours away from me. In fact, her Twitter handle is @ColoradoMom. So close yet so far, really, and someone I’d never have met if not for BlogHer.

That amazing and giving blogger was a mommy blogger—truly incredible and inspirational, as so many of the mommy bloggers are. But a big goal of mine in attending BlogHer was to find those bloggers near my age, part of my “tribe.” To connect with and support those of my generation, in hopes our numbers online will increase. One of the true surprises of BlogHer was just how many of us were in attendance.

Swag, swag, and more swag. And this was just mine!Although clearly not the majority, Boomers were a huge presence at BlogHer. Instrumental in the whole experience, actually. And thanks to a session created specifically for the blogging Boomers, I’ve now found my tribe, connnected with them, and will be sharing lots about them in the coming days, once I get around to linking blogs to the list of participants so I can share them with you.

One of my favorite blogging photographers, Pat of Mille Fiori Favoriti, unable to attend BlogHer herself, asked this of me: "Please do all of us grandmas a favor and represent us among all the mommies and young singles that seem to dominate blogs and blog advertisers!  Let them know that being 50 doesn't mean we are we are still consumers and have lots worth saying!" I feel confident saying I did just that.

Better yet, after BlogHer '11, I simply feel confident. Period. With my blogging. That I surmounted the hurdle of shyness I feared would hold me back. That I know where this blog is headed and the difference it can make and be.

Bottom line: I feel more confident about me. That, I think, is what BlogHer really should be all about. That, I know, is what BlogHer was all about for me.

Immediately after the final keynote, my co-BlogHer buddy, Heather, and I ran (literally...and I am not a runner, folks) to the water's edge, hopped on a ferry, and spent our few final hours in California visiting the enchanting Coronado Island. As the evening neared its end, without notice and completely unrelated to the conference, this is what happened:

A bang-up ending to an exhilerating—and yes, exhausting—experience. One I hope to share with all you other Boomer/non-Boomer, grandma/non-grandma bloggers next year, when BlogHer heads to New York City in August of 2012.

Feel free to start your planning now. I certainly am!

Note: If parts of this post make no sense,if there are spelling or grammatical errors I've overlooked, please forgive me. I got home just a few hours ago, it's past midnight Sunday, I'm tired, and I am oh-so ready to crawl into my bed. Thank you. And good night.

Today's question:

How much arm-twisting would it take to get you to BlogHer '12 in New York City?