This is a question I got asked this morning in the elevator. Of course this is a question that has been asked in various ways during the conference this weekend. The first few sentences where the start of an article I wanted to do the day the conversation took place. Since I’m just now trying to finish it you know that I didn’t get the job done then. The question was a valid one considering that the Blogher conference is supposedly geared more towards women. In the end my thoughts are that Blogher isn’t much different than most other conferences. You have egos, attitudes and the really cool people who don’t have the first two items in this sentence. Yes Blogher is mostly women gathering to discuss some relevant topics to things that are important to them. However there were many sessions that weren’t gender specific. These sessions were very much like some of the past content I’ve been present for at Gnomedex.
Comparing the two conferences is easy. There are some things both do right and wrong. Yes I had points were I was not happy. There were several points where I was given dirty looks. Or the same type of looks you can come across at Gnomedex. The people who feel they are better than you and that you’re beneath them because they are more successful etc. Again in my opinion it seems as if this is just the social structure that society has created. What gets me about this is when a conference promotes things as a people for the people when all of those who attend don’t believe in the concept.
Blogher is promoted somewhat as a love fest. The love is only given within specialized cliques. Exactly the same as what I’ve seen at Gnomedex. Would I attend Blogher again if I could? Yes. Did I feel welcome at times? Yes. Did I meet interesting people and have good conversations? You bet. So personally the money spent was worth it. Not to mention the fact that the parties were definitely a plus. Both events at the Navy Pier and Children’s Museum were fun. It was uncomfortable attending an event where I knew no one. The fact that I was a man in a world of women took me a little bit out of my comfort zone. But I’d do it again. Just like how I feel about Gnomedex. There are ton of things I can be critical of. Yet at the end of the day there is always enough value to me that I keep coming back.