Still a little wiped out from Blogher’06

I needed to do the housework that doesn’t happen during the work week, and I am still a bit wiped from the events of the last couple of days, so I wasn’t able to make it up to chez Badger today for the next round of WoolfCamp.

I was able to learn a lot of stuff, and best of all, meet a bunch of fabulous women whose blogs I hope to visit, comment about, and learn from, but there were some things I do hope the Blogher planners can work on before next year’s event.

I haven’t been to that many professional conferences; most of the time, I’m going to science fiction and fantasy conventions that are put on by volunteers from the fannish community, so I was a bit taken aback by the overwhelming presence of corporate sponsors when I walked into the facility.

Before I launch into my critique, let me acknowledge that the corporate sponsorships did help in several ways. We were able to have meal breaks that did not involve us having to leave the hotel and lose out on a whole lot of chances to meet fellow bloghers. The cost of internet access was discounted for the attendees and was built into our registration fees. An aside for any fannish folks who are whinging about not having ubiquitous wireless at next month’s World Science Fiction convention in Anaheim: I’m sure that if the concom had decided to pay the ~$30K that the Anaheim facility wanted to charge for wi-fi, the memberships would have either gotten pricier, or the concom would have had to pinch pennies in ways that would have really impacted the quality of programming and events, or not be able to pass along funds that really help future Worldcons.

Note for Blogher…if we go back to this hotel, I hope the infrastructure does allow for ~800+ highly wired people to have more reliable connectivity.

My second biggest beef about the sponsorships was having to sit through commercial pitches before the plenary sessions. The pitches varied from “ignorable with minimal added annoyance on my part” to “incredibly artificial insults to our collective intelligence” (this one was due to the two young women who attempted to be the next generation of Tool Time girls for Windows Live Spaces).

Debbie and Laurie from Body Impolitic nailed most skillfully my biggest beef when they blogged about the sponsorships that perpetuate negative body images for women (e.g. Weight Watchers, vile tasting mineral water that purported to help women lose weight).

In future posts, I will shift to the many positive aspects of the conference, but I wanted to get this off my chest.

And, here’s a shout-out to Minnie, whose picture graced the first page of the business section in yesterday’s SJ Mercury News.

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