I’m back. Back from a week of holidays from both my job and from this blog. I needed a rest and to feel unencumbered for a while. I wanted to be spontaneous with my days and in the evenings. I read very few blogs and enjoyed long stretches of time with Jay. I needed it. To be honest I still do. I can’t say I am rested and ready to pick up where I left off. I had a frenetic week full of preparations for my trip to New York. I feel more tired now than I did a week ago. Tomorrow I go back to work. Though thankfully just for a few days.
Today I need to do little writing. To explore my feelings and emotions in the aftermath of BlogHer ’10. While I’d love to write about my enthusiasm for the conference, I can’t. In fact, I still don’t know exactly how I feel. I’m still processing.
Going in I was worried that I had too much emotion invested in this event. I wasn’t nervous. Not at all. Just anxious that it wouldn’t be what I hoped for and had come to believe it was. That should have been my first warning. It wasn’t possible for it to measure up to my expectations.
My first mistake was attending with two dramatically different goals. I was there for the sake of my own blog, to meet the people I have connected with because of it and to be inspired to keep it moving forward. But I also expected learning that would be relevant to what I do professionally. This was misguided. Though the session descriptions led me to believe differently, they were of no use to me professionally. The content, in my opinion, was weak and much too informal. I was disappointed and surprised. In fairness, had I attended sessions that were of interest to me personally, I may have felt differently.
But my disappointment comes from more than just the sessions. It was an overall feeling of inadequacy and not belonging. I met some fantastic bloggers, some who I consider to be close friends. And though not everyone was who I believed them to be, most were that and more. But because I was so eager for opportunities to learn, I wasn’t as focused on the socializing and parties for which BlogHer is famous. That was perhaps my biggest mistake. I assumed it wouldn’t matter. But it did and I never found my groove. I felt uncomfortable, disappointed and pulled in too many directions. I went looking for good content, and when I realized I wouldn’t be getting it, it was too late to regroup.
Of course, I’m only one blogger. One who went with expectations that were too high and who hoped for too many things. I was also intensely disappointed by a few people who I thought would be so much different. And I let it all colour my experience. I let it take over and I lost out.
And so this post isn’t meant to be a judgment of the event as a whole, particularly since I write this when I am so tired and perhaps not my most objective. It’s meant to remind me not to place too much stock in hype. Or if I do, to at least better understand what the hype is really all about. Then there won’t be any surprises.