At times in life, we realize we are experiencing change, real-time. I recently spent two days with 5,000 bloggers, mostly women, mostly under the age of 45. They were a spirited bunch that followed very few rules, including fitting 5,000 women into a midtown Manhattan hotel. I have attended hundreds of conferences, and I knew from the start that this one was different. There were many new moms there with their infants in sessions with them, offering coos and smiles. Seats were filled with writers who blog about topics from quilting to motherhood to technology; all speaking a language of conversation that occurs across previously held barriers, instantaneously. My two favorite conference quotes: "Twitter and tequila don't mix," and "don't pin the ugly."
I have never seen so many corporate sponsors, with brands ranging from Jimmy Dean to Army to Zicam and Duct Tape - and of course the only financial services provider, Wells Fargo. I attended numerous breakout sessions here are themes that emerged:
- Be true to yourself, your inner voice and reveal that consistently in what you write and how you act across channels.
- Embrace the areas of your expertise and if you are not good in some area, partner with someone who is - be self aware.
- Be confident in your power, best said by Martha Stewart. She was asked via text message, "what are you really terrible at?" and after a long pause she said, "well, the things I have not tried yet." She is a woman who knows she can do anything she puts her mind to, and she has proven that time and again.
- We need to adopt new technologies and not fight change - social media will be the path to create discourse in America again. Katie Couric plans to have her new daytime show embrace social media in new ways. She said, "civil discourse has become an oxymoron in our county," and in her new "smart" talk show, she hopes to raise the intellectual bar for daytime conversations.
Women power for a newly connected society - that was BlogHer 2012 .