In 2006, I was working with David Aylward and the National Strategies firm. He doesn’t know this but there’s a story (If you know me you know there’s almost always a story.) We had a client who wanted to reach parents. David hired me to help and I had this big idea about making a parent website to promote them. Well. David sort of said “What about these blogs I keep hearing about? Would that be better?” I knew so little about blogging that I had to go look it up online. I found a story about this little conference in San Jose called BlogHer, meeting for only its second year. David and I convinced our client that I should attend this mysterious event and off I went along with fliers for our product and real curiosity about who these women were and what they were up to.
Here is what I received – from BlogHer 2006 and every one since:
1. Access to an entirely new world of remarkable women (and men too.) Including ( a little bit of a yearbook list) Elisa Camahort Page and Lisa Stone and Jory Des Jardins and Morra Aarons-Mele and Cooper Munroe and Emily McKhann and Liz Gumbinner and Kristen Chase and Asha Dornfest and Jennifer Burdette Satterwhite and Mary Spivey Tsao and Danielle Wiley and people I haven’t mentioned here (Sorry – some I’m not completely sure who I met in 2006 and who later.) Feels like I’ve known you all forever as well as Sarah Granger and Kelly Wickham and Jill Miller Zimon and Joanne Bamberger and Stacey Ferguson and Cynthia Liu and Anita Sarah Jackson and Jenn Pozner and Cheryl Contee (and and and) And that doesn’t count the new (to me) folks like Sharon Hodor Greenthal!.
2. An entirely new way to communicate and create.
3. More fun than a barrel of groovy blogger women knew they could deliver. And – here’s the reason I’m writing this post at all:
4. Another decade at least of being part of and participating in the new parts of the world – online and on screens, instead of watching from the bleachers.
Lots of boomer women have joined me and the other early birds each year and I am certain they feel the same way (I’ve asked several and besides they’ve written about it.) At a time when many of our friends are settling into a more and more peer-centered life, we have the gift of having broadened, rather than narrowed, our world and hearing the voices of women we never would have known about, much less known for real. So David, thank you for the gift of my entry into this universe and for the imagination and vision that opened your mind to its possibilities. It’s a beautiful place to hang out and I’ll always remember who sent me through the door.
*This post first appeared on August 2, 2014.