Okay, marketing to women online is never boring, always amusing, and full of surprises. Over at Blogher, the posts about the event are colorful - exciting - funny - serious - and full of estrogen. But, of course!!! Here's more of my take...from an elderly statesmen - oops! - stateswo-men's point of view.
First of all - as expected, all those women were - LOUD! Good Lord, they sounded like cats on a hot July night! Their voices carried - to the moon, at least! Well, except for when Elisa and Jory and Lisa got on stage to make announcements. They're the Queen Bees of the group, the head Goddesses, so to speak. Though, I don't think any one of them would appreciate that title. They're Goddesses cause we love'em so much, not because they lord over us. Now, I had to say 'lord' cause...'lady over us' just would not have worked.
It's hard to know where to start. Expect many more posts on the event, sprinkled in with the other marketing to women online guidance I share. I spent a fair amount of time partying, along with the best of'em, but mostly I observed and took notes. Subtle notes. I will not blog anything outrageous. You may check the Blogher site for those posts. And, they are there! As they should be.
Friday night at the presentor's reception, I had some time to chat with a small group of new friends - all young and delightful. That's where I met and chatted with Elizabeth Perry. She shared some of her artwork with me and I was in awe of her talent. Rumor has it she only started creating her artwork a few years ago. I'm amazed. And glad to have found her. A visit to her blog is life-renewing. I not only enjoy her beautiful artwork, but her writing is soothing, too. I have found a place to relax - when I'm feeling overwhelmed by the whole blogosphere, and maybe, by life. Thank you, Elizabeth.
Elizabeth was kind enough to encourage me to explore my own artistic cravings but...I am not quite ready.
At the end of the night, Friday, a group of us were standing out in front of the restaurant waiting for the van to come take us back to the hotel, and I did my usual thing - silent observation of those around me. I was alone - which means Toby and Susan, my companions throughout Blogher, were elsewhere. Toby was being her usual social butterfly (and a beautiful, colorful butterfly she is!) though she did catch up with us before the van arrived, and Susan was off with an old colleague/friend. As the group of us stood there getting to know one another, I was secretly storing up the moment - for blogging later on.
The two things I noticed, which struck me enough to remember without even writing them down, were that this small group was truly representative of the larger group. We were young and not so young. We were dressed conservatively and outrageously - not necessarily according to age. We were loud and not so loud. I venture to say we were all strong feminists - though few of us would use that word out loud. Somehow the term 'feminist' has become distasteful - but, I still use it. It doesn't mean we hate men, or that we're out to burn our bras (I will burn all of my bras - as soon as someone invents a bra that actually looks good and is comfortable; NO Victoria's Secret - you have not succeeded yet).
The women gathered there, hanging about the steps and sidewalk in front of the restaurant (I have already forgotten the name of the restaurant - and will offer an opinion here - San Jose may boast Italian for some of its restaurants, but I visited two during my stay there and both were sadly lacking in Italian culture and taste), meanwhile...back to the tired group waiting for the van...
My second observation was that though we were (are) all bloggers, we were (are) women first. We were communicators. We were eager to share stories about our lives, and to listen to other's stories. We dissed the men now and then (in a fun way) and we talked about - what else - family.
There you have it. Blogher is about family. Extended family - your family - bloggers - and non-bloggers. PEOPLE. Everything that went forward from that night was about family, in some way. I might say conversations (presentations) centered on the family theme as in "the family of man." Man being a relative term that many of the women bloggers would take issue with, I know. But, I find it useful - family of man. Where man is just a label for human being and doesn't necessarily denote gender. Where family is the label for what connects one human being to another. Where blogging becomes the connector - sort of a thread of life - woven throughout the Internet from one blog to another, in subtle shades of gray and blue, in vibrant ribbons of red and yellow, in silky soft petals of pink and purple.
Blogher is what marketing to women is all about. It's about the way women create a tapestry of family stories - gathered in skeins of yarn full of riotous color. It's how we take the laughter and tears of our lives and form images with rounded edges here, and sharp steeples of steel, there. It's a place where millions of butterflies and lady bugs can flit from flower to flower, settling here and there for a sip of nectar, sometimes falling off in a wild breeze, but always getting back up, hanging on the arms of friends, or scrambling up on our own.
Blogher is all of that and more. At least, to me it is. And, within the beautiful bubble these extraordinary women create, I hear the sound of hundreds of women giving birth - to new feelings, new expectations, new beings. If you stand aside - as I did - and just observe for awhile - the spectacular new creatures that are being born will take shape before your very eyes. And you can begin to imagine the wondrous things they will craft - out of their collective dreams and warm embraces, almost without thinking about it.
Stay tuned...this is just the beginning. If this conference wasn't a clear example of In Women We Trust, I don't know what is!