As many of you know, this past weekend marked the inaugural BlogHer conference, an event designed to provide an open forum in which to discuss the role of women within the larger blogging community, to examine the developing code of blogger ethics, and to discover how blogging is amplifying the voice of women worldwide. All worthy causes and it seemed the event was a phenomenal success. Female bloggers from around the world were able to not only coalesce as a group but also, as my friend Laid-Off Dad put it, "to name each other's knockers."
But all kidding aside, a small part of me was a little jealous that some of my favorite bloggers gathered in one place for a long weekend. I would have liked to meet some of the amazing female bloggers that I read on a regular basis. But aside from that, I think the fact that a group of women could multilaterally mobilize and organize such a prodigious event is truly a testament to the amazing organizational fortitude of women as a whole.
You think male bloggers could ever organize an event like this?
I think the planning of it would be so chaotic and comical that it would almost be worth it to try and organize one just to watch the fireworks. Personally, here's how I think a male blogging conference would work out...
The two aspects of planning BlogHim that would actually NOT be controversial are location and date. These are no brainers. Location? Vegas. Date? Super Bowl Weekend. Done. And whereas the women were able to double up and share rooms at one of the 24 hotels servicing the conference, I'm thinking that all the guys could chip in some dough so we could get the Rainman Suite at Caesars.
The women were organized enough to get corporate sponsors like Nokia, Red Herring, Technorati, Yahoo & Google. However, I'll bet that the guys would be happy with a couple free cases of Bud Light and the chicks from Hooters. Because as all guys know, corporate sponsors are for pussies! Screw The Man!
BlogHer featured an impressive array of symposiums, including "When Globalization is Good for Women," "Blogging for Business," "Mommy Blogging," and "Minority Female Bloggers." I don't even know how we would begin to organize an agenda for men. What would it include? "Blogging Apparel: Boxers or Briefs?" "BWI: Blogging While Intoxicated"? Or maybe "When Worlds Collide: Blogging & Internet Porn"?
What I really admire about BlogHer is that the women bloggers were all so supportive of one another. Unfortunately, there's no way that you could put several hundred male bloggers in a room together without some sort of competition starting. Because ladies, if you've ever wondered why your husband's business conferences always include a round of golf, it's because testosterone needs an outlet. Take away the golf aspect and you'll have a few hundred guys having a drinking contest or starting a food fight. Don't over think it and wonder why. It's just how we are.
Furthermore, you can't put that many men in a room together without a few dozen arguments starting. That's another indisputable fact. Men like to argue. It's nothing personal. We just like to do it. Women don't like to argue. They like to reach consensus. That's what I love about women.
But what I love about men is that we'll never shy away from a good argument. We can spend hours debating anything. Will Griffey make it to the Hall of Fame? Is Ashley Simpson hotter than Jessica? Could Batman kick Jet Li's ass? Ford or Chevy? Because men will argue about anything, it's hard to imagine exactly what the controversy would be at a male blogger conference. But make no mistake, there would be one.
At the end of BlogHer, it seems that on-line friendships ventured into the real world. Lifelong relationships were formed, heartfelt hugs were exchanged and tears flowed freely with laughter.
At BlogHim, I think guys would exchange e-mail addresses (so we could send each other funny photos) and possibly cell-phone numbers. But tears? Hugging? I don't think so. As guys know, there is still a lot of controversy surrounding the etiquette of the man-hug.. To be on the safe side, I think we'd all just high-five one another and go our separate ways. We'd say that we'd keep in touch but, within a few months, we'd find a business card in our wallet, look at it, wonder who the bozo was that gave it to you, and then chuck it in the trash.
So unfortunately, I think the only way that a BlogHim conference could ever take shape is if some women organized it on our behalf and kept us in line. Since that's not likely to ever happen, I'll just take pride in the fact that so many women were able to organize something as cool as BlogHer. Like I said, there's a part of me that's very jealous that they all had this great opportunity to meet and come together. And though they did open the conference to men, I was surprised to see that so many men actually did attend. I was thinking about attending too...but then my balls dropped. (Seriously, fellas, what would compel you to attend a conference for women named BlogHer?)
Anyway, kudos to you women for having the wherewithal to pull off such an event. Guys, we've got to get our shit together and organize a similar event. Any volunteers?
To all those attending BlogHer this weekend, have an excellent time. I expect full updates and detailed reports. And if any pillow fights or jello wrestling matches happen to break out, please be sure to send photos!