Blog Indiana: or my first Blog conference

Yesterday morning I managed to find some clean clothes, make myself presentable and get downtown by 8:30am to attend BlogIndiana. BlogIndiana is a local blogging/social media/tech conference with a very local focus. It’s actually a three day affair, but our vacation overlapped it this year, and it’s sort of pricey to go for all three days. I was able to snag a nicely discounted one-day pass though, and we made it home from our trip east just in time for me to attend Saturday’s Social Media Summit.

The format for the day was panels–a business panel, a foodie panel,  a women’s blogging pane, and a tech panel. There was also an “un-conference” upstairs–people could gather to network, chat or cover topics that hadn’t been addressed yet.

I don’t know what the make up of the crowd was for Thursday and Friday, but Saturday women were definitely in the minority. As the women’s blogging panel started, the room was noticeably empty. Casey, Heather, Briana , Jen and Stephanie (live via Skype,don’t you love technology?) started anyway, and it was a very interesting conversation.

Joanna of Keeping Feet did an excellent job of summarizing what she took away from the afternoon, and I had a very similar experience.

Women use technology and social media to connect. To find that person online who is either at the same point you are, has been there, or is going there. To read stories that, to quote Ray Romano, make you,”laugh because it’s funny, and cry because it’s true.”

When that panel was over, there was a short break. At that time, most of the women left the room, and most of the men came downstairs from the meeting rooms upstairs.

The women found a spot in the lobby, and eight of us continued the conversation from the panel–talking a little bit about blogging platforms, domain names, and a little bit about maintaining privacy, where lines are drawn, and then some. Clearly we were all techy enough to want to come to BlogIndiana, but not interested enough to sit through a formal panel on tech.

I think the men and women (or at least the social/personal bloggers) were at BlogIndiana for different reasons. To put it in WordPress blogging terms:  Some people (not me) want to create plugins. Other people (me) just want to use them. Which is fine by me, because the world needs both.

(And? I got to see some great bloggers I’ve met before, and meet new ones, which, really, was one of the reasons why I wanted to go in the first place….)

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