Today we bring you an interview with our director of business development, Nicole Patterson, and original content editor, Adrianna Gould. Adrianna and Nicole were the lucky gals from blekko who got to attend BlogHer, a conference attended by thousands of women (and some men too) to network with fellow citizens of the blogosphere.
You’re accustomed to going to library conferences, so BlogHer is a different scene. This is also the second year you attended. What does blekko value about BlogHer that keeps you going back?
AG: BlogHer is a conference focused on women who blog. These women have powerful stories and an audience of readers. There are brands there trying to get bloggers to talk about their products. This is a very powerful and inspiring group of women. Blekko wants to be part of the conversation.
Give us a sense of the vibe at BlogHer. I want to hear it all – the energy, the sessions, the big-name speakers, the parties. What is the big draw for bloggers and exhibitors?
NP: BlogHer is a lot of fun. You can feel the energy and everyone seems genuinely excited to be there. I was inspired by all of the women there who blog in their free time as well as hold down jobs and run households. They feel they have valuable information to share so they take the time and effort to write about it.
AG: This year Barack Obama, Katie Couric, and Martha Stewart were some of the speakers addressing the bloggers. You’ve got exhibitors giving away lots of fun women-focused products. And then you’ve got the awesome after-parties, so you can imagine how much energy there is at the conference.
Syndication seems to be an important takeaway for attendees. How can bloggers use blekko and ROCKZi to their advantage?
AG: Bloggers can submit their articles to ROCKZi boards. We have over thirty topical boards, including CraftZ, which is about crafting, and ParentZ, which is all about being a parent. I’d also encourage bloggers to check out blekkogear, where they can get free badges, widgets, and search boxes for their site. Lastly, we’ve got great SEO tools that bloggers can use to get analytics for blog traffic.
You mentioned people got excited about ROCKZi. What did they love about it?
AG: It’s a new digital offering that has a lot of potential. Brands can create custom ROCKZi boards to engage with their audience, and a lot of companies were getting excited about that. I heard people saying that it’s tough to find fresh content, but ROCKZi pulls in all the fresh content using blekko’s realtime crawl of the web.
Which session stands out to you?
NP: I attended “Blogging for the Love of It” where they talked about ways to earn money through blogs that are very low touch.
What was your favorite piece of swag?
NP: A lot of organizations had great swag, I liked the homeopathic booths where they were giving away full-sized products like Oscillococcinum and Zicam.
AG: I loved the free trade bracelets from India. The company was supporting female entrepreneurship abroad, paying fair wages to make the bracelets.
Outside the conference activities, did you get to see some of the sights? What was your favorite New York moment?
AG: The New York delis are awesome. You can’t get a sandwich like there anywhere else. I saw a Broadway show, of course. But my favorite moment was having dinner at Birdland, this famous jazz club that’s been there since the 1940s. There are candles on the table, a neon sign in the window, and red velvet curtains behind the band. It was an unforgettable night.
Tell me about Sparklecorn! Is it as amazing as it sounds?
AG: Yes, it is…. Imagine an open bar, a unicorn cake, a DJ, and a room full of bloggers dressed to the nines and dancing the night away. Oh yeah, and throw in some unicorn balloon hats and rainbows.
Any tips for first-timers planning to attend BlogHer13?
NP: Bring lots of business cards and marketing materials to give out.
AG: Bring an extra duffle bag in your suitcase, because you are going to need room for all that free stuff. Don’t be intimidated by all the new faces; just strike up a conversation and make a new blogger friend. And bring a sparkly dress for Sparklecorn.