"I feel out of my depth."
"I know I'll feel overwhelmed."
"This is way out of my league."
"I am so intimidated by this group, but..."
These are just a handful of the emails I have received regarding RSVPing for The People's Party, a pre-BlogHer party I am co-hosting with a handful of bloggers the night before the BlogHer conference at the Westin St. Francis in San Francisco this year.
Because we need to keep loose numbers on how many drinks and goodies our sponsors need to provide, we have asked you all to RSVP if you think you'll be able to come. That's the customary purpose of an RSVP, but some of you seem to think that we have chosen to use it as a torture device and have been hesitant (popular word: intimidated) to even leave a comment or email that says, "I'll be there."
Lord knows what you think the actual party is going to be like... Spotlights at the ready to point out your every flaw... Live rankings of everyone's blog stats projected on the wall over the bar... Buckets of pig's blood dangling from the rafters a la Carrie...
Well, we will require you to log into FeedBurner to verify that you have at least 500 subscribers to your blog before you are allowed to enter, now that I think of it. Sucks for you blogging losers.
Okay, that was a joke.
The People's Party is just that: a party for the people by the people, because that is all any of us are. Seriously. No one should feel left out or not cool enough or not popular enough or not enough enough.
Because, enough already.
You know The Bloggess? She is hilarious, right? Almost intimidatingly hilarious. But you know what? She's not buying the hype for a second. She knows that at the end of the day, she's just a woman with a foul mouth, a decadent mind, and access to the Internet.
She is a lot like you. Only with less censoring. And possibly less underwear.
She wants to meet you. And, better yet, she is just as nervous about meeting you as you are about meeting her.
Now swap "The Bloggess" with any other big-name blogger and you end up with the exact same scenario. Possibly fewer references to "vaginas" and "ninjas" and "vagina ninjas" and "ninja vaginas," but you get the point.
If I have learned anything from planning this party it is that "Internet Celebrity" is all of the following :
- A fluke.
None of the above are a reflection of my co-hosts, as this lesson is simply a result of the entire process as a whole. Mostly a result of being exposed to more opinions and perceptions regarding "celebrity" than I have ever been exposed to before.
What makes a "Big Name Blogger" is not necessarily based on merit. It is occasionally just the result of sticking it out and being at the right place at the right time. It is sometimes based on hard work. It is often not deserved. Or if it once was, it is no longer. It is the ultimate contradiction in terms.
Simply put: It is meaningless and often holds little real value.
It is all perception. And that is up to us.
However, being a successful and popular blogger is something in which I know we are all interested, which explains some of the "celebrity" fascination that extends to bloggers. The most popular link on my Mommybloggers: The Resource page? How to be a Popular Mommyblogger by A Mommy Story.
Wanting to grow your audience and expand your reach is healthy. Boasting a large readership is a good thing because it opens you up to more opinions and feedback, which helps you grow your own voice. However, when you begin to think of "popularity" in terms of the "cool kids table," you lose me.
We give the concept of cliques power that they do not deserve. After BlogHer last year, the number one complaint I heard was that it felt like high school. That the cool bloggers hung out with the cool bloggers and the newbies hung out with the newbies. That "cuteness" came into play, whereas it doesn't usually factor online. Friendships through blogs did not always translate in real life.
People you thought you would hang with shunned you from the "cool kids table."
After we announced the party, I received a lot of comments along the lines of, "I had no idea you hung with the big girls" or "How did you get in with them?"
First of all, I am a big girl. Second of all, I let them in with me.
And you are, too. And you should, too.
It didn't occur to me that I might not be cool enough. That my traffic statistics might not be high enough. That I might not be popular enough. So I just did it.
The imaginary boundaries placed around cliques? I figure, if my son can't see them, I shouldn't, either.
And now my blog name is on a gajillion badges on a spajillion blogs, right along with Oh, the Joys! and motherbumper and One Plus Two and IzzyMom and, yes, The Bloggess. People at Parents Magazine's GoodyBlog know who I am. People at Sprout® and PBS know who I am.
People know who I am because I know who I am.
I'm a mom who writes her blog mostly in her underwear. With a sink full of dirty dishes and piles of laundry staring at her from her peripheral vision. I'm a blogger who puts on a good show, but whose numbers followed the fancy facade she put up for the world to ponder. I'm a blogging mother that wanted and needed a way to reach out, get some things off my chest, and connect.
And I'm just like you.
Robin from Pensieve left a comment on my post about being interviewed by NBC Nightly News for msnbc.com (and my subsequent decision that I should be on the Today Show
kissing with Matt Lauer) that said, "If 1/10 of Megan-the-blogger translates to Megan-live-and-in-person? The ratings would soar off the charts."
Megan-live-and-in-person is exactly like Megan-the-blogger. Except with more pants and poorer spelling.
Want to meet me? Come to The People's Party the night before BlogHer in San Francisco. We are right below the newbie party that BlogHer is throwing, so you can float back and forth. We'll have drinks and goodies and lots of compliments and questions and interest in meeting you.
And we'd love for you to RSVP so we can be sure to have enough of all that goodness, all for you. Because you? You are our people.
And me? Well, I like to think that I'm your people. Regardless of whether or not you are going to BlogHer. Regardless of whether or not you are a mom. Regardless.
Now, how about you stop lurking (reading a blog and never commenting) and take this second to connect with me.
You. Delurk. Now. Leave a comment. Connect with a not-so-Big-Name-Blogger that may or may not be wearing pants right now.
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