August 2, 2005

Female voices at Blogher

I believe that the strongest bonds of friendship are formed through experiences shared in common.  With the shared experience of blogging, every woman who came to Blogher had something in common, but who could have imagined the glorious excitement of finding just how true that was.   

When women connect to women and bond through a shared experience, the pleasure is intense,  And that was Blogher.  That intense high extended through Saturday and night.    Bursting through my stereotypes, I was amazed at how smart and ariticulate every one was and how well-meaning and supportive.  The conference experience is  totally different when women predominate and  speak from their hearts and experience.  It was three hundred voices in full flower and bloom. 

When the change agents are women, all the maps change, says Evelyn Rodriguez and quotes Ursula Le Guin,
When women speak truly, they speak subversively--they can't help it: if you're underneath, if you're kept down, you break out, you subvert.
We are volcanoes. When we women offer our experience as our truth, as human truth, all the maps change. There are new mountains 

Hally Suitt,
Intense Broadband Beauty
I've been talking with friends who attended and reading accounts about how INTENSE and EXHAUSTING the whole thing was and we are all rather astounded by the gathering...

Holy heck! Honestly, I've never been so tired out by such an amazing group. I was talking with a friend about how dull most conferences are and you have times when you can just "switch off" and rest. This event felt so "SWITCHED ON" the whole time!

Trish Grier at
Love and Hope and Sex and Dreams. 
This was the most wonderful gathering of women I've ever been part of (that's saying alot, considering I went to an all-women college).

Jory des Jardins, one of the co-mothers of the conference
I've been writing about the Power of the X Chromosome, which I define as qualities unique to women that cultivate effective leadership when used to their potential. I think that these qualities--communication, connectedness, humilty--were in play all weekend.

Conferences don't materialize out of good intentions alone, and while I liked to pretend that they did, Elisa always was the one to deal with the more nitpicky, fiduciary and stress-inducing aspects of our enterprise. Even the next day, when wireless connections were questionable, and we were scrambling to set up signage and the registration table, she was cool as a cucumber. I wanted to be equally effective in times of crisis, and fortunately I had my opportunity to contribute when Elisa found she'd arrived at TechMart without any hair product. Elisa, it was an HONOR.
..I valued every opinion that was offered, even if I didn't agree with it, because of HOW it was offered--with intelligence, respect, and an intention of enhancing the community.

Charlene Li from Forrester
I  came to network. I came to learn. And I came away inspired. Within the first few minutes of the start of BlogHer, I was moved to tears. As a woman (make that Asian-American woman) in the technology field, it’s rare that I have a chance to meet and connect with people like me -- I’m often one of a handful of women at technology conferences and frequently the only woman on a panel. So it was thrilling to see and then proceed to meet so many women who share the same passion that I have for blogging.

Koan Bremner,  newly arrived to the community of women.
I'm struggling to find a single word to capture the effect that yesterday had on me; I think the best I can come up with is "inspirational". Truly, I feel as if in new life was breathed into me....  From the moment I stepped into the panelists briefing meeting on Friday afternoon, to the moment I left Nicolino's restaurant on Saturday evening, I felt at home. I *was* at home. I didn't encounter anyone in whom I detected the slightest resentment at my presence.

Mary Hodder
Saturday at Blogher was an amazing experience. And high in contrast to my usual experience with the conferences I usually attend, which are mostly men. Men's conversational style at events is often competitive and not very sharing of information. Over time, I've learned to share information and develop strong ties with many of those men, without competing, but rather by having interesting conversations. But at Blogher, which was 80% women, my style of conversing at my usual conferences would not go over, even if not competitive. This was a much more collaborative scene, and listening proved to be the most interesting thing, and the best way to connect with all the many amazing women there.

Ronni Bennett from Time goes by
Blogher was the best time I’ve had all year

Toby Bloomberg,
the Marketing Diva 
BlogHer was most valuable for me when I explored new worlds. ... we can learn from all corners of the blog world. That issues facing mommy bloggers, political bloggers, non profit bloggers and biz bloggers are very similar.

Susan Mernit from Susan Mernit
For me, the three flashpoints were
• the people--old friends and great new people
• the diversity--themes and attendees varied more widely than other conferences I've attended--and that added such richness
• the fact we did it

This conference rocked! This conference rocked!
I suspect BlogHer will lead the way to many more related events and projects--

Renee Blodgett from Down the Avenue
I have loved every other blogging event I've attended over the years, but hell, none of them had this much energy, beauty, passion and talent combined in one room. In addition to network TV, an editor from Glamour Magazine even showed up for this one!!!

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Posted by Jill Fallon at 5:40 PM | Permalink

Blogher the Day After

Like every other woman who was lucky enough to go to Blogher, I'm still recovering from the intensity of this splendid experience. 

On the way back from San Jose,  a side trip to Washington, D.C., via Atlanta to get a townhouse ready for sale in less than a day.  Thank God, my wonderful friend and real estate agent, J.J. Borzino, made this as easy and pleasant as possible.

More later

Posted by Jill Fallon at 2:42 PM | Permalink

July 29, 2005

BlogHer, the day before

After flying cross country yesterday, I'm now in Santa Clara for the BlogHer convention.  The  schedule shows who's blogging and when.  We're even working through lunch.

It's the day before the Big Day and I'll be liveblogging two sessions, the one on Politics and the other on Dollars and Sense, most likely at my corporate blog, Estate Legacy Vaults since they seem to have more to do with business. All the other stuff, I'll put in here.  You can go to Flick'r or technorati and search for the tags, BlogHer and bloghercon to see what everyone is saying.

Since I had to leave at 4 am, I wasn't able to post the link to my newest entry on the Third Age Blog. 

It's called When Good Enough is Good Enough about being broken, grace, Liv Ullman's face, and letting your light shine through.

Last night, I had the pleasure of finally meeting Evelyn Rodriguez and catching up again with Yvonne DiVita and Maryanne Mazurek.  We had a grand time in Los Gatos at the Taj Mahal of brew pubs drinking beer and eating fried green tomatoes.

You know Yvonne from Lipsticking, Marketing to Women Online.  You may not know Maryanne who says she's still hasn't found her true blog voice even though she blogs at Powdering Our Noses.

It was great to hear more from Yvonne and her sister Maryanne Mazurek about their new business, Windsor Media Enterprises and their print- on- demand publishing and marketing services.  It's authors helping authors with an accompanying AHA blog for all those who aspire to see their words in print. 

Evelyn who wanted us to see some of the California country she clearly loves drove us to Los Gatos.  Her Crossroads Dispatches has long been one of my favorite blogs.  She'll be a panelist and, though she says she'll just be speaking extemporaneously, is clearly prepared to speak in the Mother Tongue which she likens to the marriage of public discourse and private experience.  She quotes from Ursula Le Guin, always in inspiration of original thought.

The mother tongue, spoken or written, expects an answer. It is conversation, a word the root of which means "turning together." The mother tongue is language not as mere communication but as relation, relationship. It connects. It goes two ways, many ways, an exchange, a network.

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Posted by Jill Fallon at 8:12 PM | Permalink