BlogHer 08 Conference

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"Do you blog too?"



That is what a man asked me, as I hopped on the elevator to join the hundreds (felt like thousands) of other female bloggers for our first day of talks at the Westin-St. Francis hotel in San Francisco.



Somehow, between the munching, swag-grabbing, shopping at Macys, and Wii-playing, professional bloggers, Mommy bloggers, and amateur bloggers all managed to hold numerous conversations about the intricacies of the blogosphere.



Why do people blog?

Before attending this conference, I defined blogging as an online journal – a place for individuals to rant or rave about whatever is going on in life or around the world. While this may be the case for some individuals, it’s not the case for most.



Most individuals blog for a purpose – to make a living, to advocate a cause, or to connect to others with similar interests.



Blogging with a purpose

Several speakers addressed how they mastered the art of blogging with a purpose.



Elise Bauer, publisher of the Simply Recipes blog, said, “If you want to run a marathon, you have to like running everyday more than you like winning the race.” In other words, getting what you want out of a blog takes time and work. Bauer focused on three fundamentals for generating traffic for a blog: community, content, and technology. (Visit www.elise.com/blogher for a PDF of her complete presentation.)



Beth Kanter, spoke about using social media as a means for fundraising on a personable level. Her strategies included using a "Ladder of Engagement" to entice people to keep clicking through her site and to get more involved. Kanter’s recent work for Cambodia raised over $90,000 and won first place in the Global Causes for America’s Giving Challenge in January 2008. (Visit http://gsp4good.wikispaces.com/ to read the full story.)



Blogging is so much more than words

I came to realize that not every blog rants about wearing white after Labor Day or raves about the iPhone 3G.



When a blogger takes full advantage of the tangled web that is the blogosphere – Wordpress or Blogger, Twitter, Facebook or MySpace, YouTube, Digg, etc. – a single entry can snowball into a movement.



If you knew your words could impact tomorrow, what would you blog about today?