Friday, July 27, 2007

BlogHer Conference

Here I am in Chicago, writing from the BlogHer conference.

It's a great conference and I'm enjoying meeting lots of people and getting great freebies... Being away is exciting and refreshing on one hand, but I'm running myself ragged, so I'm so tired my eyes are practically closing. I'm about to become one of those people who falls asleep in the middle of a session... well, I would be, if I weren't busy networking instead of going to the actual session (oops)... that, and talking to my mother's 2nd cousin on the phone.

Infertility bloggers seem to have no representation here, which isn't that surprising. I met one blogger who blogs about depression, which is similar in the privacy aspects, but not too many who are blogging about really personal topics. Amazingly, during the "speed dating" session (two big circles, 1 minute per meeting) several women told me that they were going to look up my blog and that they were unaware that there are infertility bloggers or an informal infertility blogging community.

The main question I keep being asked is how blogging about infertility helps women, men & couples. The second is what part do men take in the whole process (and no, I'm not talking about the little-cup-in-a-brown-paper-bag part). I gave my answers, but I'd appreciate any insight.

All my best from Chicago :-)


Bea said...

Ooh. Tough questions.

How does it help? Information to help make decisions and ease the fear of the unknown.

Support in the forms of comments, readership, links, and just the feeling of not being alone.

Therapy in terms of clarifying thoughts and feelings, venting frustrations safely, and discovering new ways to look at the situation through reading of other points of view.

How do men fit in? The practical aspects differ from couple to couple, but the support is a constant. They do the therapy and support mentioned above, but in real life - which is heavy duty, especially when they're going through a lot of stuff themselves.


Anonymous said...

Two very pretty little girls had lunch at our house today... they and their Abba and we are looking forward to your return. Can't wait to see the loot!

Thalia said...

I remember Julie writing about blogher last year, and the same thing was true then. The conference seems to have a very different focus from that of this community - it's all about 'getting your brand out there' and 'making your blog a distinctive destination' and that's not why any of us blog, even those of us whose brand is clearly out there - Tertia for example (although perhaps her reason for blogging has changed).

I blog because I needed to get some very unpleasant thoughts and feelings out there, and it was too much for my husband to take - and sometimes the feelings were about him, too. I blogged because leaving comments wasn't enough, I wanted to be genuinely part of the community that understood what I was going through, and that meant sharing some of myself. Yes, I like getting more traffic and hearing more from others because of this, but it's not about the 'thalia brand' or about making myself a distinctive blogger, it's about writing from the heart and hoping someone gets it. Blogher, from what I've heard of it, simply wouldn't do it for me.

Sarah said...

i initially started blogging and shared it with my friends and family because i didn't want infertility to be so in the closet; i wanted to have a place where they could learn as much as they were interested in about what i was going through, but could also turn it off if they weren't up to hearing about it.

i didn't know about the community when i started it, but discovered all the benefits mentioned above after i began--and i'm enormously grateful.