I just finished a full day of sessions at the BlogHer conference in Santa Clara, a conference focused on female voices expressed through blogs. A met a variety of women who blogged about anything from the life of a professional dominatrix, favorite cupcakes, and analysis of the Supreme Court.
You could hear the passion in the quivering voices of women as they stood up to speak in front of this crowd of hundreds and share their story. Most of the attendees I spoke were not local and the conference provided a way for them to meet face-to-face women they regularly read online. BlogHer attendees were definitely not a shy bunch and let their feelings and frustrations be known at every opportunity.
I came away from the conference with a better understanding of what various groups of individuals wish to accomplish through their blogs and the importance placed on small communities of interest groups among the millions of blogs in existence. We all seek persons of similar interests and views in our day-to-day lives but online we have better tools to discover people of similar interests, no matter how small that niche may be. BlogHer was about discoverability. BlogHer was about identifying with a community. The event was a success in the ability to help bloggers discover each other, to foster community, and provide the methods and the connections needed to maintain momentum as attendees return to their laptops around the country and around the world. BlogHer 1.5 will take place online and I am convinced there will be a second BlogHer conference to keep introduce new people to the medium and community and keep the learning process alive.