Pictured from Left to Right: The Green Parent, Green Phone Booth, The Smart Mama, Green and Clean Mom, Foodie Tot, Organic Mania, Min Sook Lee
Blogher D.C. was an amazing experience and I’m still digesting and processing everything. It was a whirlwind experience that began by flying into the beautiful Regan airport, blurry eyed and coffee in tow as I hailed a cab and drove thirty minutes through the city of Washington D.C., leaves changing colors through the winding roads to Bethesda. I tried to absorb the scenery and soak it all in but my mind was busily thinking about the day ahead. I looked out the window wondering about the women I was going to meet, the impact they would have on my lives, the film crew and the documentary to be filmed and if everyone at Blogher would look at me funny. I thought about the sessions and corporate marketing and sponsorship. I had many preconceived notions and the unknown was nerve racking yet exhilarating.
I immediately met Min Sook, she recognized me and we got right to work with the microphone being slipped down my shirt, attached to my name tag and the contraption hooked to the back of my pants. The poor folks that do reality television! The microphone tried to capture me talking to the different companies there to solicit or educate the bloggers, depending on your point of view. The “swag” wasn’t anything special so I continued right on to the session and met up with Jenn from The Green Parent, Jess of Surely You Nest and now, Green Phone Booth. It was odd because I had never met these two ladies yet I knew them. We had so much in common, had exchanged so many emails that I did know them but finally we were meeting. It was surreal and it only continued.
The panel for the first session discussed a variety of blogging topics and Elise with Blogher asked if anyone had any stories of how their blog had brought them to something amazing, such as a news reporter, a consulting job, etc. I had to raise my hand and mention why exactly I was there because it tied in perfectly and of course, explained the looming cameras filming. I was attending Blogher D.C. because someone with the Environmental Working Group had given Min Sook Lee my name and contact information for her documentary on Toxic Babies and I answered her email. It was blogging, networking and most off all connecting that brought me to Blogher D.C., connecting with other Green Mommy bloggers. When I stood up I heard this loud shriek of excitement and when I turned around there was another fellow green mommy blogger, Lynn of Organic Mania, waving excitedly to say hello! It was like waving to a long time friend happy to finally know what she looked like. As one of my fellow green mommy bloggers said, “It’s as though we look into each others brains, thoughts and feelings through our blogs and finally we are seeing the person.”
I have to tell you, I’m not sure where the hours went and I never really kept track of the time. The ladies and I sort of segmented off into our own green mommy blog world to embrace testing toys for lead with the XRF analyzer. Jennifer of The Smart Mama flew the red eye accross country to meet all of us and happily used her $40,000 thousand dollar machine to let us know if My Little Pony and other trucks, cars, tanks, beads and toys were safe. Jessica sums up our toy testing experience better then I could ever write it so I’m going to send you over to a real super hero website, Green Phone Booth for that information. I have to say; I have a video that I’ll post, that I took with my Flip Camera and you can watch Jessica, Jennifer and myself test some toys at the Hilton Bar and discover my new purse was dosed in lead. Yikes!
The conference itself was worth it but the filming for the documentary did sidetrack me from really networking and meeting other fellow bloggers. Looking back I wish I would have reached out more and met some other bloggers, spoken with Erin from Queen of Spain Blog and other outstanding bloggers that were there. It was only one day and there’s only so much you can do in one day! I for sure would have been more prepared with business cards but mostly I noticed an exchanging of twitter addresses so everyone could follow one another. I heard over and over, “Oh, I’m @soandso.” Twitter had a definite presence. Cocktail hour allowed us some down time to just chat with Min Sook, off the record with no camera watching. I had a great conversation with Foodie Tot and was able to actually relax a bit.
Lynn arranged a superb dinner and we all settled into a small banquet room where Diane from joined us and while enjoying some amazing Mediterranean cuisine we all just chatted. There were several moments throughout dinner where I was awe struck by the intelligence, experience and passion. Min Sook asked us questions about baby care products, shopping choices, the FDA, BPA ruling, politics, every day life, cloth diapering and our take parenting and going green. There were times I felt out of place because I monetize my blog, I sought sponsorship to attend Blogher D.C. and overall my blog is my business. One thing, among many, that I gleemed from the conversations is how differently we all might use our blogs. I do affiliate marketing, advertising, paid posts, sponsorships and run the mommy go green blog tours. I also leverage my blog for consulting and hope to turn the blog into something more and maybe speak or write a book but for now I blog. The others might consult and use their blog to help them get jobs, others do it because it is a personal hobby or passion or to help support their book. Out of the group, I’m sure I can say I was the only women there that has a blog that is her business and felt as openly and positive about monetizing a blog. This set me apart but I wouldn’t necessarily say in a bad way. If only for five minutes I could absorb all of their intelligence and knowledge I am better for it.
Regardless, I felt we all shared some very strong and common threads. We all care deeply for our children, the environment, political change, safer products and foods for our children. Our blogs and the Internet helped weave us together into a tight knit but each of us being our own unique strand. Looking back I am so thankful for the opportunity and remembering my ride in the cab to the meeting, I could have never imagined what an impression that day would leave on me. How inspired, motivated and hopeful I would become leaving the next day to fly home. If in one day I could meet five women with such passions and determination to make the world a better place what would be in store for the future? I am anxious to see the documentary unfold sometime early 2009 and hope that our D.C. adventure will help add a important piece to the film. I have more filming to do for Min Sook. She sent a video camera she sent home with me!
Thanks to my lovely and generous sponsors that help defer the cost of my trip: