About a year ago, I was a neophyte blogger. My first few posts were force-fed into my blog. They were a "should" chore -- I should be blogging. I approached "the blog" as unfamiliar technology. I didn't yet realize that blog posts are born from passion, and that "should blog" is an oxymoron.
In late July, I attended BlogHer07. I was sipping my morning coffee, waiting for the keynote, when I experienced an epiphany: My "should blog" baggage was long gone. A collective passion and energy permeated the room. It wasn't just me; others said that they felt it as well. BlogHer was an educational and networking event focused on the human effect of blogging -- a viral revival meeting.
The conference included sessions on self-branding, storytelling, advocacy, politics, fundraising and the momosphere. At the same time, BlogHer was being held in Second Life. (A panelist shares her BlogHer Second Life experience.)
Women are the primary decision makers for the majority of household spend. According to BlogHer research:
- Women spend $5 trillion a year (U.S.) and control 83% of household spending.
- Women who blog are 30% more likely than average female Internet users to shop online--and spend more when they buy.
Bloggers are influencers. According to 2006 survey conducted by Burson-Marsteller in partnership with Penn, Schoen & Berland Associates
Mom-fluentials* are word-of-mouth agents, using a number of online and offline channels to communicate their opinions about products and services they like and dislike. The survey found that Mom-fluentials are significantly more likely to share their experiences with their peers through wireless or online channels than average online moms. [*Burson-Marsteller-coined the word "mom-fluentials" to mean "online movers and shakers who shape the opinions and attitudes of the Internet community."]
The real opportunity is to understand how to build a relationship with these powerful influencers online and then continue that relationship in a way that drives action in their communities, said Ame Wadler, Chief Strategic Officer, Burson-Marsteller. "The first step is to understand where they congregate online... "
The real take-away from the trade floor is that women who blog are quality leads. In marketing terms, women bloggers represent viral communities of potential buyers.
Comments from BlogHer panelists:
Elisa Camahort: "Before the Internet, there were people that had specific interests. Now we are able to find others that share our interests." ... "It's not just about the media, and everyone listen to me." ... "Collectively, we can change things for the better."
Esther Dyson: "We are creating a presence, [which is] substantiated because we now have the tools to do so." ... "There is no longer a single Blogosphere." ... "Mainstream cannot be generalized."
Web 2.0 is the era when people have come to realize that it's not the software that enables the web that matters so much as the services that are delivered over the web. ... I think it captures exactly where we are at this moment: a widespread awakening to the fact that the game has changed. ... While the patterns that constitute Web 2.0 are far from completely understood, there's a kind of intuitive recognition of sites that are expressing the new model.
With over 700 people, BlogHer is the largest conference dedicated to blogging. The BlogHer blogrolls list over 10,000 blogs.
We blog, therefore we are a 2.0 human community.