Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Dispatch from Blogher Part 1: Julio’s Take

As our videos below can attest we had a great time at Blogher, learning a lot from all the amazing women that were there. As many of you know, Experience Project has very strong female participation, and as the site grows we need to ensure we are able to maintain the safe and comfortable culture that has been so valuable to members over time. What best way to get feedback and input on community building than from talking to hundreds of women that are experts in social media?!?!

The conference merits some honorable mentions from my side… I’ll let Jessica and Dawn do their own honorable mentions in later posts. So here we go:
  • Special thanks to all the bloggers that helped us steer through the conference and meet more great women. Wendy Piersall, Elizabeth Edwards, Kelly Reising, and Liz Strauss were all especially welcoming and generous.
  • I personally love photography (and dabble a bit in it) so a special mention to Georgia Popplewell for always being on top of the photo world during all the social events. Caroline Donahue is an insightful life coach moonlighting as a talented photographer (or is it the other way around?)
  • Most inspiring interview we did was with Carol Lin (you can see the video in our previous post), former CNN anchor who lost her husband to cancer and is on a mission to bring support to others like her via the web (cancer social network). Carol’s story especially resonated with all of us at EP given the commonalities of how both sites got started from a personal need to help others going through difficult times. I told Carol that I thought that her genuine desire to help is the greatest driver of all as it has been in our case at EP.
  • Most laughter: Gina Trapani of Lifehacker. Despite being super busy and overly sought-out (blog superstar!), Gina sat around with us for an interview and for nearly 20 minutes afterwards just joking around and exchanging ideas. We were all incredibly surprised at how giving Gina was and especially how carefree and contagiously jovial she was – must be that amazing San Diego lifestyle!
  • Making a big difference: Two bloggers that I met over lunch that are making a big difference to their readers are Therese Borchard and Rachel Inbar. Therese does a near “Dear Therese” Q&A spin on fighting depression and is insightful and compassionate on her blog. Rachel talks about infertility and introduced me to some great web tools that she uses to make a lasting difference with her readers.
  • Best t-shirt design, Larry Smith of SMITH. Too bad they weren’t giving any out (at least I didn’t get any...) but the company logo and t-shirt design were beautiful. On some shameful self-promotion, our t-shirts came out pretty cool as well if I may say so myself. Design was courtesy of Bruce Drummon, an amazing and very professional designer.
  • Finally, special thanks to the wonderful women behind blogher: Jory, Lisa, and Elisa who I had the pleasure of meeting in person over the weekend and who put together what was a flawless conference!

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