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How not to be a loser at this year’s #BlogHer

Adam Avitable with Isabel Kallman and Amy Storch
The three As: Alphamom (Isabel Kallman), Avitable, and Amalah (Amy Storch)

Are you going to BlogHer this year?  Although I’m not a veteran, having only attended the last two BlogHer conferences in New York and Chicago, I am perfectly willing to call myself an expert in any arena.

Many bloggers choose to blog as their primary means of expression because they experience some level of social anxiety.  By gravitating towards a media that allows them to be honest and open and emotionally vulnerable, yet protects them with the safety of separation via a computer screen and occasionally anonymity, bloggers as a general are not the most outgoing people in real-life situations.

This means that the crush of 3,000 people squealing in excitement as they see their friends for the first time in a year amid the palpable wave of estrogen can be really overwhelming to many people, veterans and first-timers alike.  It can be easy to feel alone or left out or even brushed aside, but most of that is about your perspective.  This could be the most fun that you’ll have all year, or it could be the most miserable mistake that you’ve ever made – it’s all up to you.

Here are some tips that might help:

  1. Don’t see cliques where they don’t exist.  While bloggers as a whole are not socially outgoing, when it comes to those few people with whom they’re comfortable, they can band together.  This is not high school again, and this is not a group of the cool girls snubbing anyone else.  These are people who are just as socially nervous and awkward as you clinging to what’s familiar to them.

  2. Take the initiative but have something valuable to say.  If you see a blogger who you enjoy reading, go up and say hi.  Introduce yourself.  Talk to her and share a little of yourself.  And be aware that it will be a quick conversation.  Every blogger there will be pulled in a hundred different directions at once, and in no way does that devalue your input or experience with that person.
  3. Leave the negative attitude at home.  I said this in my post about BlogHer 2010 last year, but I think it bears repeating.  Whether you’re the type to whine and bitch about the men present at the conference or the drinking that goes on or the breastfeeding or the swag or the lack of swag or the exclusivity or the private parties or Nikon eating babies, shut. The. Fuck. Up. There is literally something at BlogHer for every type of personal blogger out there. Whether you’re married or single or gay or straight or a teetotaler or an alcoholic or childless or barren or fertile or Christian or Jewish or Muslim or black or white or yellow or purple, if you have the right attitude, you will walk away with something positive. And wouldn’t you rather come away with something positive rather than focusing on the few aspects that annoy or piss you off? I know I would.
  4. You’re beautiful.  The memories that you’ll make during BlogHer will last you a lifetime, and if you hide away from the ONE KAJILLION cameras that will be everywhere, you’re only hurting yourself.  It may not seem like it, based on the number of times I post naked pictures of myself (and the business cards I’m bringing this year with even more nudity), but I’m quite camera shy.  I’m not comfortable with my weight (or worsening hair loss) yet, and I hate the thought of being in a thousand photos where I haven’t had control over the angle and how I’ll look.  This isn’t about that, though.  This is about celebrating yourself and your friends and your words and knowing that nobody cares what you look like, so just relax and have fun.
  5. See what you want to see, do what you want to do.  There is no way that you’ll see every session and go to every track.  It’s okay.  Don’t let yourself get bogged down with your schedule.  Pick one or two sessions, a ROYO or two, and the community keynote – these are your must-attends.  For everything else, just play it by ear.  If you’re tired or you want to lay by the pool or go out to lunch with a new group of friends, it’s okay.  You’re not missing out on anything if you’re fully invested in whatever you’re doing at that moment.
  6. Don’t mispronounce my name, because I will mock you mercilessly.
  7. Come find me. My cell is 818-398-2079. Text me, come say hi, buy me a drink, and we’ll talk. I’ll be in San Diego from Wednesday morning until Monday afternoon, and I rarely bite.

Relax. Take deep breaths. Escape into your room for a few minutes if you need it. But have fun and enjoy the experience that is BlogHer.

86 thoughts on “How not to be a loser at this year’s #BlogHer”

      1. @Avitable, I’m scheduled for drinks at the top of the Hyatt (next door to Marriott) Weds night with SugarJones and KimT205. You are welcome to join. My email goes to my phone so hit me up if you’re around.

  1. Hey! I’m a first-time BlogHer visitor, and I’m suffering from pangs of inadequacy I hadn’t felt since highschool. Thanks for the tips!

    PS: I’ll be the one with the hipflask full of single malt, and I’m always happy to share!

  2. There will be a photo of us. And pls to spell out phonetically how to say “Avitable” because for some reason videos annoy me and I don’t watch them.

    Also? Great post. I’m taking my Life Motto with me and letting that lead me: “Have fun and don’t be an asshole.”


    1. @Jurgen Nation, oh yes, there will be photos of us. And at least one that we can show the public.

      Avitable is like “Inevitable” without the “In” and replace “eh” with “uh”.

      1. @Avitable,

        Avitable! Uh-Vit-Ubble. Like Vittles!

        When I have too much of the sauce and cameras come out, I invariably do the “humping leg” pose. I don’t know why I do some of the things I do, but there will be a few pictures with my leg raised like I’m humping the other person’s. This is because I should never drink. I say this because I’d like you to just ignore it. It’s vodka and too many fraternity parties. (Last year.)

  3. I WISH I WERE GOING! I know I said this last year, but I just can’t justify the huge expense (flights alone – GAH!). Maybe 2012 (I’m praying for an east coast destination; that would help a little!). And although I’ll no doubt be a nervous wreck (have never met a blogger in real life, ever, anywhere), I’ll remember this post (and keep your number to hand!).
    I hope you have a great time – and fingers crossed for a lottery win or something so I can actually make one of these days!

  4. OH THE STRESS, THE STRESS! I don’t know what I’m going to do with myself or who I’m going ot see or what parties to attend or what to wear or who to talk to or who to ignore and what about my hair OMG and what if my suitcase gets lost and will there be enough to drink?

    Hahaha…. I’m cooler than a cucumber in a Greek salad. 😉 See ya in San Diego, I mean, maybe. There ARE 3,000 people there after all! I’ll make sure to wave across the room if I do see you, though.

    Have fun! 😉

  5. I briefly spoke to you at 09 to thank you personally for driving Margalit batshit insane into a corner (where she belonged!) but I didn’t talk to you last year. Actually, until I met the venerable Faiqa last year, I wasn’t a regular reader here. So, you have Faiqa to thank (or blame, your choice) for at least 1 new reader in the past year.

    I’ve been going to BlogHer since 05 and each year, I think “Man, THIS year will be the best one yet.” And I am never wrong. San Diego is going to rock.

    1. @cagey (Kelli Oliver George), I remember that! And did you really have to write that about Faiqa? Her ego is big enough already – now I’m going to have to help her carry her own head around because her neck can’t support it.

  6. This year BlogHer occurs the weekend of my husband’s 40th birthday, so yeah, I won’t be there. Are you prepared for all the heavy breathers and random troll assholes that may now contact you?

  7. Seeing as you are an expert in any arena, can you go back in time and share this post with the crazies who thought that me being excited to see other people meant that I was shunning them? And then turned the Crazy Lady on me?

    That’s my way of saying that I loved this. See you on the Wednesday, friend.

  8. I remember being nervous as shit before attending BlogHer ’09…and then realizing once I got there it was all for naught (other than the couple of pounds I lost while stressing). I had a great time and made contact with people I had only met online previously; and another that will remain my friend for life.

    There is no way I can make the trip from India this year, but next year? I hope it’s in the cards and budget.

    I hope everyone going has a wonderful time…and my advice? Just be yourself.

  9. The next 2 weeks cannot go by quickly enough.

    This was really helpful until #6. On top of my normal blogher nerves I now have the added worry of running into you, mispronouncing your name, and being mocked.

  10. I will find you. And when I do, you’ll be pleased to find that while I also rarely bite, I have been known to kick people’s faces. It’s more endearing than it sounds.

    Tip for everyone worried about the mispronounciation of Avidable. I saved this in my phone as UhVidUhBull.

    So when I call you Ey-Vide-Eye-Ball, you’ll know it wasn’t unplanned.

  11. On behalf of all the wall flowers, thanks for reaching out (with your phone number, not the naked pictures). I won’t be at BlogHer this year. But if I was, we totally would’ve hung out. And it would’ve been fun, dammit. Until we meet again…

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