Little Cuter and I are in San Diego, along with 3000 other bloggers and assorted hangers-on, for BlogHer '11. BlogHer is the network that brings you the suggestions for other posts in my sidebar. It's the network that sends me books to review. And it's the network that supported Little Cuter after she posted Tough, the post which blasted me to mini-stardom.
Suddenly, my readership was through the roof. More important to my family, though, was the love that came from BlogHer itself. Lisa and Elisa and Jory were there for her, offering themselves as resources for whatever she needed. It was an indication of things to come.
Gabby went home from the rehab hospital and BlogHer asked for my thoughts... thoughts for which they were willing to pay me. Financial compensation for my efforts - BlogHer was certainly following through on its promise to empower me. I walked on a cloud for a week.
I don't know what the algorithm is which brings me Meg and Jo and all the rest of the not-really-Mommy-but-not-totally-political-either bloggers and which sends Nance and her rants a completely different set of posts. I do know that I've made lots of new friends by being reminded to check back to these blogs. While Nance is recovering from a minor-we-really-hope-it-helps procedure, Meg and Becca and Sarah will all be there.
We are part of a community, Little Cuter and I. We have strangers who love us and who are interested in our progress and who will support us and listen to us and laugh with us and send us advice and love and hugs. We learn and expand our horizons and we do it within a structure designed to enhance our experience. We are rewarded and covered with bling.... bloggy bling being those badges you see in the sidebar.
There's a larger sense of accomplishment when I consider the fact that I am a valued member of the BlogHer community. I'm supported and encouraged and syndicated and featured and my words are spread through the blogosphere through a network of like-minded individuals.....and individuals who may look at the world through a different pair of bifocals than do I. Walking through the lobby and the pool area we are surrounded by women on laptops, commemorating the event as it is happening. We are in it and of it and we're loving it.
There are serendipitous happenings, too. I told Little Cuter that one person to whom I really wanted to speak was Jane Goodwin. She's funny and writes brilliantly about the day to day of classroom management and I've never disagreed with one of her rants or screeds. She sets high expectations for her students and herself. And, when Little Cuter and I arrived early for the prep session for the speakers, there she was, the only other person who had arrived that early. I knew I loved her even before I realized that she, too, was terminally punctual. We introduced ourselves and hugged and I complimented her and she was gracious in her acceptance. We talked about schools and kids and blogging and I had to keep reminding myself that I was actually in her presence. Her speaking voice is just like her bloggy voice.
Little Cuter and I walked through the Expo Center and interacted with her peers who had marketing degrees which were being put to use by giving away swag - mugs and cereal and shampoo and water bottles and key chains and pens and stationary and Allegra and t-shirts and the most fabulous pair of cow pants which, if she weren't asleep in the other bed in our room here at the Marriott Marquis, I could download the picture she took from her Iphone because yes there is an app for that, too.
Perhaps we will extricate it from the device on the morrow; look for it and more on BlogHer '11 on Monday. Right now, I have to go to sleep, too. All this fun is exhausting.