My spam folder is full of emails with the phrase "sexually active blog."
They aren't spam. They are women quoting me from BlissDom 08.
So, yes, it was fabulous. Fabulously eccentric, rich, and entertaining.
(ahem, this would be a good time to state again that Blissfully Domestic is not affiliated with Velveteen Mind, as they aren't the "sexually active blog" kind of foul-mouthed girls I embrace over here... wink wink)
My second blog conference, Blissdom was hosted by Blissfully Domestic and sponsored by Epson and One2One Network. I can not encourage you enough to attend the next conference you can wrangle. Too much fun, too much information (oy! the brain!), and too much opportunity to pass up.
Too much encouragement to let slip by unembraced.
After BlogHer San Francisco, my single complaint was that most of the information offered in the sessions was content I could have Googled. I was looking for more personal experiences to be shared, less how-to information.
Why waste the little face-to-face time we have with each other by detailing instructions and explanations we could just as easily look up on our own time?
Yes, having someone explain it in person is far superior to Googling a complicated list of instructions, but with limited time, I'd rather get my hands on the intangible that my computer monitor can't seem to convey.
That, I found in the hallways in between BlogHer sessions. That, I found in the whispered asides and furtively scribbled notes between neighbors. BlogHer was what I made of it. I made of it the intangible.
That was BlissDom.
Sitting in front of me is an insanely awesome printer from Epson, the sponsor of BlissDom 08 in Nashville. Rather than run down all of the intuitive functions and utilitarian features of the Epson Artisan 800, though, wouldn't you rather hear why it is important to me to hold physical prints of photos in my hands vs. seeing them in their digital form only? Isn't it more engaging and illuminating to know about my deep-seated need to have high-quality photographs surround me, which I can now print from home thanks to Epson?
You can Google the features. You can look up the functions.
But Google can't tell you why I needed a printer. Yahoo can't convey the simultaneous freedom and control an all-in-one at my fingertips offers me, as a work-at-home mom with a self-sabotage bent, fueled by procrastination. How I need all the tricks I can get my hands on in order to make it through the day.
That was BlissDom. It was the why, more than the how.
But there was more than human stories being shared. It wasn't all touchy-feely. More experienced bloggers approached me after panels and marveled at the "proprietary secrets" being shared. So often I heard, "the new bloggers here have no idea the value of what they are hearing. No one shares this stuff. It's astounding, the openness."
And it was astounding. You just had to scratch the surface, let the first drop of earth-bound honesty fall, and a river of transparency flowed. No one was ashamed. No one was overly proud. It was what it was.
And then there was me. Babbling and man-handling the mic. Possibly cursing and comparing our blogs to geeky virgins that might consider at least trying to look like we are gettin' some. When, in fact, we've never kissed a girl/ received a comment.
So back to that email inbox. The emails that made it past the spam filter are mostly requests for further explanations or repetition of some of the points I hit along my mic-hogging. First of all, if you missed BlissDom, you shouldn't have. Second, you'll have another chance in February, so get on the ball. Third, yes, I'll repeat and expand on some of what I tricked you into thinking was valuable or interesting. As well as most definitely touch on some impressive women I met. Soon. So be sure you are subscribed so you don't miss my haphazard updates.
And, yes, I know I don't post frequently enough. I'll, um, post about that soon, too.
I walked away from BlissDom knowing that I'm doing the right thing for me. I learned lots of tricks and tips, most of which I will probably continue to ignore and which I encourage you to ignore, as well. Why?
Because it is infinitely valuable to know how to be "successful" and to willfully define your success by other means.
Blog conferences shouldn't be about scaring the pants off of you with everything you aren't doing right or aren't doing at all. They shouldn't discourage you by suggesting that you'll never catch up and never compete.
Call it "willful suspension of disbelief."
I know how movies are made; I know Superman can't fly. But it's so much fun to throw yourself into it and ignore the wires, once they are in place, just because you can.
I know the wires are there. Sometimes I can feel them more than I'd like. I've checked and double-checked them for reliability. They are functioning just as they should.
And now... I'm going to turn my face to the wind and fly.
Be sure to click on the images to check out the flickr streams of BlissDom attendees that had the sense to take their cameras out of their bags. Ahem. Special thanks to Secret Agent Mama and Mommin' It Up. People, click on their links or they'll never let me steal photos again.