The Weirdness of BlogHer ’12

I am still processing BlogHer ’12, so please bear with me if I ramble.

My first BlogHer (2009) was BIG, but tiny in comparison to what I just experienced in NYC. Julie Monday from Angry Julie said it best while we were at Sparklecorn – “Who ARE these people?” Yes.

From what I heard, 60% of BlogHer ’12 attendees had only been blogging 6 months or less. I could tell.

ADDED LATER: BlogHer emailed me regarding the 60% stat. Here is more accurate information provided by BlogHer – 57% of attendees have never been to a BlogHer before, and 40% have never been to *any* blogging conference.

I am not one to feel out of place or introverted, but I experienced both this year. I have been analyzing why.

I do not consider myself a “big blogger” as I am not entirely sure what that title really means, but my readership has grown over the years. More fans have come with that growth, which rocks, but the growth has also brought more awareness that my blog/brand exists. In other words, people who are not necessarily my fans or readers still know who I am. Again, good, right? Can be. Or not.

Perceptions online can be royally skewed. We only see a snippet of one’s personality and life, even from bloggers who share their most intimate details. For me, it is especially difficult to display “the real me” since I choose not to blog about my children and keep several elements of my life close to the chest. I do, however, like to share what blogging has done for me, both emotionally and monetarily. This is done in an effort to inspire women and men to follow their own passions and dreams. I hope, at least.

This year at BlogHer, I was treated differently from some attendees. (and I stress some, not all) Not necessarily in negative way, just different. More questions about my business or “success”. Comments about me “doing well”. Requests for sponsorship and various other monetary contributions. It comes with the territory, I suppose, but I still wasn’t expecting it. Maybe a question about media kits or what to charge for sidebar ads, but, not that. Like I said, nothing negative, just…different.

For the first time since BlogHer ’09, I am not sure that I will be attending BlogHer next year. This may be due to post-conference burnout, but maybe not. BlogHer may have outgrown me.

Saying that, I had MANY positive moments at BlogHer ’12 that I hold dear and made the conference worth every penny. People who I love immensely. Brands that were legitimately interested in connecting. Readers who appreciate me, and I them. I have many thanks to hand out.

Thank you for telling me stories of how a post made you feel or how I helped solve a problem.

Thank you for sparking (no pun intended, well maybe) meaningful conversations and inspiring me.

Thank you to those who hugged me.

Thank you for being cool and making me laugh.

Thank you for understanding me.

Although I may not attend BlogHer next year, I am not stopping this work. If anything, my experience at BlogHer ’12 has taught me more about the direction I would like to take with Mom Spark and the people I want to take it with. I also appreciate my loyal readers and fans more than ever before.

So, as I still try to process BlogHer ’12 and the weirdness of it, I wonder…how did it make you feel?