I’ve read a lot of BlogHer recaps this week (as have many of you). Many of them share a common complaint. BlogHer, they say, is getting too big.
If you ask me, that’s a really short-sighted view of things.
Yes, with 5,000 people running around the Hilton, things did get a little zany.
And sure, making connections in a group that large was more difficult than it was in the more intimate gatherings of the past.
And yeah, it was harder to get into some of the headline sessions.
But, you know what? That’s a good thing.
It’s a testament to how fast the women-centric blogging industry (and yes, it is an industry) is growing.
This conference started because a handful of women were concerned that the voices of female bloggers weren’t being heard. That there was no place for them to gather. And that first year, only a few hundred showed up.
That was only what? Eight years ago?
This year, there were thousands of us. And we were wooed not just by traditional, female-oriented brands (like Lysol and Hillshire Farms), but big technology companies, car manufacturers, and hell, the president of the fricking United States.
Martha Stewart and Katie Couric took time out of their schedules to talk to us.
PR companies and advertising agencies threw elaborate, fancy-pants parties to get our attention.
In other words, we are officially a force to be reckoned with.
So, excuse my French, but stop the bitching. Celebrate what we’ve accomplished instead.
Those newbies who fluttered around, getting in your way and ODing on swag? They want to be you. Give them time to grow up. Who knows what they’ll become?
Those coupon and deal bloggers, who write only as a means to an end? They’re feeding their families, paying their mortgages, and making a career for themselves. And that’s only possible because of what you’ve done.
You paved the way.
You invented a new economy.
Do you have any idea how awesome that is?
The words, and the love of writing, will never go away. People will always read your blogs. You are storytellers, and the world loves stories.
But we have to make room for new people, telling new stories, in new ways.
If we can’t embrace change, who can?