This past weekend I had the privilege of attending the Blissdom conference at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville. As a new blogger I was hesitant to go and be surrounded by women who have been blogging for what seems like forever. I was not sure if I’d fit in. I was sure that I would be overwhelmed not only by the information presented but also by being in the presence of so many women whose blogs I’ve lurked at for quite some time.
But thanks to my new friend at Life In Grace (if you go to her site you’ll see a picture of me with her!) I put my inner high school shy girl away and jumped in with both feet. I don’t have very many pictures. I needed to balance my desire to meet these many phenomenal women with my need to document my experience. I chose to document it on paper and will now rely on my new friends and their flickr accounts for the pictures. If a picture is worth 1,000 words then I will need to come up with millions!
My mind is swimming with all the new things I learned. Not just about blogging. Yes, this was a blogging conference and I am now better equipped to move in the forward direction and not reinvent the wheel when it comes to my blog. But if I had to take one thing away from this conference it would be:
As 500 women hugged and laughed, cried and shared I witnessed something so amazing. It didn’t’ matter what we blogged about, where we were from, how many (if any) kids we had, or any other label that we use to define ourselves in everyday life. I saw women from near and far connect with each other. Some have known each other for years online and finally connected in person (or, if you speak twitter, IRL). But, there were more like me who have lurked at various blogs because we felt connected in some way and we were now finally in the same room!
Women are not always kind to one another. It’s a known fact. We’re often clicky and exclusive. Not this weekend. We were the epitome of a community. We were 500 women bloggers who descended on BlissDom because we wanted to be part of something bigger than ourselves and connect with others who share the same passion for community.
In this busy, fast-paced, tech-focused, 140 character limit, 500 women gathered because each day we sit down at our computer in hopes of better connecting with our readers in a meaningful way. We have one mission, to create a community where our readers connect with us and each other to feel that even in our boundary-less virtual world that we are part of something that nourishes our soul just as much as it feeds our mind.
I thank Barbara and Alli for believing that 500 women can gather all with the desire to connect the world one person at a time. And as I end this post I reach out to you, the readers of my new blog, and say thank you for finding me and being part of my community.
I look forward to what this year brings and can’t wait for BlissDom ’11!