I'm back at home base in University City, Mo., after a trip that got so long and complicated friends have sworn to make an intervention if I try something like it again. For the record, between July 25 and Aug. 5 I went from St. Louis to Philadelphia (CTAM), Santa Monica (ContentNext mixer), Los Angeles (MES), Santa Clara (BlogHer), Palo Alto (rest day/Mobile Monday), San Francisco, Las Vegas (family time/father's birthday/shoe show) and finally home Thursday in time for a late dinner with my favorite editor.
I owe many of you apologies for dropping out of touch for several days. I hit a not-too-rational point where I felt compelled to finish my OJR piece on BlogHer before I could do anything other than my work on paidContent.org. The article went live earlier today, I've taken a very deep breath and now it's time to make my re-entry. If you haven't heard from me yet, you will soon.
As I thought, writing about BlogHer turned out to be daunting for many reasons. Left to my own devices, I'd still be writing, editing, rewriting. Robert Niles, thanks for the patience and the encouragement; Diana Day, as always, I owe you.
One of the issues I ran into is the difference between writing about something as it happens or writing about it in a changeable/updatable space compared to writing something essentially published once. I also knew that by the time we published those who wanted to follow the conference already would be doing so through the often-amazing live blogs, post-BlogHer posts and the like but that many of my readers would be coming to the story cold. Plus, I've already written about a lot of the issues that cropped up during the weekend so didn't want to cover a lot of that ground again. If you're looking for blogging v. journalism redux, skip it.
Voice was another issue. In the end, to be true to the experience it had to be in the first person.
About the live bloggers, as frustrated as I was about the WiFi un-access, knowing that cadre was doing the job gave me the freedom to sit back a little. I still took a lot of notes but I wasn't worried about getting it all down and transmitting it. Thank you for the breathing space.
For more than my take, I urge you to spend some time with the other BlogHer participants. You can check my link blog, too. Via Nick Bradbury's Feed Demon newsreader, I spent hours of plane time wending through the posts of those who offer full-text RSS feeds. It felt like taking two journeys at once.
(That's also how I found out about Nick's pending surgery. Nick, good thoughts and prayers for your recovery.)
I'm sure I'll hear about anything I got wrong. Just to show I learned something at BlogHer, you're welcome to let me know what I got right, too, here or at OJR -- and please link. Yes, it's still hard to ask.