Sure, It Seems Cool if You are Reading This Blog

As many of you know, I am going to leaving for BlogHer next Thursday. I am really excited about it. I am expecting my fancy new business cards and my giveaways to arrive early next week.

(I am SO worked up about my Sarah and the Goon Squad key chain bottle openers that I could just scream. Every time I think about them I want to jump up and down like a little kid. If they get here and they look stupid I will be devastated. Wait – what the hell was I just talking about. Oh, right.)

So I am really excited to go to Chicago next week and see all of the people I met last year and meet a bunch of new people who are going this year.

If you are a blogger you are probably either 1) going too, 2) wish you were going, or 3) think the whole thing is stupid, but at least you know what I am talking about.

Anyway, I was at the pool this afternoon with my neighbor. Not one of the crazy ones, but one I really like. We were talking about ding something with the kids next week and I said Well, I leave for Chicago on Thursday.

So she said: Oh you guys are going to Chicago?

Me: No just me. I’m going to a conference.

BlogHer '07 I'm<br>  Going

This is where things get sketchy. She knows I don’t have a job. I know I have mentioned writing on the internet before, but I’m not sure she knows about my blog. If she does, I’m guessing she has a real life and doesn’t read blogs all day long.

This is the part where I stammer.

It’s a blogging conference. For women. Um. One of the websites I write for hosts a big conference each year for women bloggers. It is called BlogHer.

And I know every word that comes out of my mouth makes me sound more like one of those Star Trek convention people. (Hi Melissa! – My friend Melissa, who is having a birthday today is in the credits of Trekkies II. She is the one that says Gabriel, I hope you are having sex. Happy birthday Melissa. )

(It it just me or am I out of control with all of the italics and parentheses on this post. What the hell?)

I guess what I want to know is this. How do you deal with real life, regular people. Do you tell them you blog? Do you tell them you go to blogging conventions. Do you tell them you met some of your closest friends on the internet? Or do you just shut up, say you are going to Chicago to hang out with some of your girlfriends, and leave it at that?

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  1. I am NOT going to BlogHer, but how do I get me one of those fancy keychain bottle openers. I would totally use that every day.

  2. Me too! I want a bottle opener! I’m not going to Blogher because we finally scheduled our first trip to Vegas for that same weekend. I would like to go though.

    I tell people about the blog sometimes, but mostly not because it makes me sound weird. Just like you said. :) I don’t care if people I know in real life read it though.

  3. I’m not going but I kinda wish I was. But nope, I’m not telling anyone. At least not yet. Course I blog at work and I’m sure they frown on that, but oh well.

    I guess my question is did she know what a blog was? If so, you’re probably safe and she’ll still talk to you. If not she thinks your nuts now and that you think the computer “Talks” to you….and then you may need to find a new friend.

  4. A lot of my friends know about my blog, it’s my sweepstaking habit + friends that I stammer about

  5. I talk about my blog, but even my closest friends in the “real” world don’t get it. Oddly, over the past few years I’ve found myself having less and less in common with them and more in common with I Has Cheeseburgers. That’s normal, right?

  6. I want a keychain. I’ll tell someone I blog if I can have one.

  7. I want a keychain. I am also part of the Blogher contigent going to the Police instead of Blogher so i can’t get one in person. Most people don’t care about blogs so I don’t worry about it. Excpet with work, then I get nervous.

  8. Mom: How did you meet Sarah?

    Me: I don’t remember.

    Yes, I lied to my mother. About you. Surely that deserves a SATGS keychain bottle opener.

  9. I’m going to BlogHer and I’m so stalking you for one of those keychains. Though now I’m feeling slightly inadequate that I didn’t make any cool giveaways. Dammit.

    Anyway, everyone at work knows I blog and where I’m going. Since it’s a library, most people are at least familiar with the concept of blogging and they don’t think I’m strange for going; in fact, my friends here think it’s pretty cool. My boyfriend doesn’t know what to think, but since he’s coming along to Chicago, he doesn’t much care (and if I get a keychain bottle opener, he’ll probably try to steal it from me).

    And my family thinks it’s GREAT that I’m going. Heck, my mom even sent me “mad money” to spend while I’m there!

  10. I don’t hide it but tbh some of my friends don’t even know what email or the Internet is…so a blog? Yeah whatever that is, LOL.

    I can’t believe you’ve got cool free giveaways and cards for your blog. I’m not cool enough.

  11. Are you saying we don’t have real lives? Sniff.

    Oh, who am I kidding? You’re right.

  12. I just had to fill out the questionnaire for my 20th high school reunion, explaining what I do, and had a similar problem. I didn’t want to call myself a blogger. It’s such a loaded word. But I’m totally “out,” and I wanted people to at least kind of understand what i was doing, so I said I have a kids’ music website and do some freelance writing. Gah.

    I bet your key chain bottle openers will be a huge hit! Sorry I won’t be there. We’ll be smack in the middle of our big move that weekend.

  13. I’m not going…..

    And, I’m a closet blogger…. I like being anonymous — my biggest fear is that some of the people I write (bitch) about will find my site.

    I’d love a keychain though :)

  14. I tell them I’m going to Chicago for a women blogger conference. I may also say I MIGHT be running away from home, but that usually makes them laugh. I also tell them that I’m meeting friends I’ve made in the internet there, which actually most people think is pretty cool.

    When they ask what a blog is I reply that I keep an online diary for friends and family to keep up with us. That seems to reduce the fear from their eyes.

    Well, hell, lady! All I have is Moo Business cards by Flickr. You had to go and get all fancy!

    Can I have one of them there keychain thingies? I’m sure I’ll have a bottle (or four) to open while I’m there at BlogHer, and that would come in kind of handy.

    I’m just sayin’. 😉

    Shash

  15. I best be gettin’ me one of them fancy bottle openers.

    BTW – the only ones who know that I blog are other bloggers/friends – mostly ephemeral people with strange names like CroutonBoy, Goon Squad Sarah, MetroDad, Cape Buffalo, etc. I may have some esplainin’ to do at The Police show in a couple of weeks.

  16. Nobody but my husband and my sister knows that I blog and ditto for the conference. And that’s the way (uh huh, uh huh) I like it (uh huh).

    Save a keychain for me. I’m kicking myself for not ordering any swag to hand out.

  17. I’m “out” pretty much everywhere. An after hours work event is actually what got me the dubious honor of being the department’s blogger for the company website…because after a couple of beers I mentioned that I had a blog. And my mom and my best friends read my blog, as well as some other folks, too. (And several of my friends also blog, a couple of them inspired by me.)

    I hope there are enough key chains for me to get one.

  18. I’m half-in and half-out. Some IRL friends know I blog and some don’t. But I’m an editor for a web site for my day job, so I just say it’s a writing conference for work.

  19. hey, you went last year? Is this cocktail party thing a casual or a dressy type event. Am I going for little black dress or jeans and a t-shirt. Help!

    Oh, and I’m going. Chicago is only about 3 hours from me, so most people don’t even ask. I just say “I’m going to Chicago for the weekend.” If they ask more, I stammer and sound like a geek, but whatever. I’m making my cards too. I heard it’ll be a lot easier than writing down your url all the time.

    I hadn’t heard about the police/BlogHer clash, but I can just tell everyone that the reunion tour is pretty awesome, so either one you choose, it’ll be a good time.

  20. Try explaining you’re going to Blogher in Second Life…….EXPLAIN THAT to people in the real world.

    Seriously.

  21. I’ve had the same experience, but,sometimes, I can leave it vague enough that the other person assumes it’s for my work.

    Try telling your young teen that you are going out of town to see people you met on the Internet.

  22. I love your comparison of bloggers to trekkies. That’s the perfect analogy. (It’s also much better than my Jehovah analogy.) Anyway, I tell people I blog. Maybe 10%, 15% get it, and they’re either my closest friends or diehard web users already. The ones who don’t read blogs look at me and kind of back away. You’d think I was trying to get them to join a cult or something.

    So, don’t give all your key chain bottle openers away. Have a contest while you’re at BlogHer for those of us not going. Let one of us win, win, win!

  23. I had to take two days of vacation, thursday and friday, and when my boss asked what I was doing, I told him I was going to a conference in Chicago. Which of course made him ask what for and when I told him he looked at me as if I were an alien.

    I never know what to say so that people don’t gawk at me!

  24. Ooooh, your schwag sounds cool! I want one!

    I have been spilling my guts all over the playground, too. It feels weird and I mostly get no reply at all to my declaration of where I will be next week (instead of the playground.) I’m pretty sure most of my friends read my blog but not all of them are willing to admit it. It’s awkward sometimes.

    And all of that is why I am SOOOOO looking forward to next week!

  25. That’s a tough situation. I now have 5 people that I know that are aware of my blog, though that’s probably going to change real soon because I’m going to be outted….long story. I’m a tad anxious at the thought of this happening. But F it, what can you do?

  26. my friend ktjrdn is going (hi kt!) to blogher but i guess i dont quite get it. but very very few people know i blog. mostly cause i think maybe i stink at it. and because i havent gotten a whole lot of response so either people arent reading or they aren’t posting…but i have fun! it’s a way to vent my annoyances and give my friends a chance to read me if they want. if not, oh well! i’ve had a few people stop by.. so hi everyone! i’m not sure i know enough about it or read other blogs enough to go to blogher. maybe another time!

  27. Frank Sucks says:

    1. I’m getting a key chain and card, correct?
    2. Face it, you blog, and you have a card and key chain about your blog. AND you go to blog conferences. Sarah, you are an internet dweeb, and thats that. I still love ya. Heck, I’m been one for a heck of a lot longer time then you have, even though I don’t blog or have a card or key chain.

  28. I don’t talk about blogging much but when I do, I feel like I’m demonstrating the Vulcan Mind Meld or something. And the fact that I just offered up something like the Vulcan Mind Meld makes me feel even more like a giant dork.

  29. I really wish I was going to blogher. I try not to talk about my blog, but sometimes I say things that allude to it. When I mention something about my friend in such and such a place, a lot of times I get “where did you meet them?” then I stammer around as “on the internet” kind of sounds creepy, like a weird dating service or something. Then I try to explain a blog and I get a lot of blank stares or “we will be praying for you looks.”

  30. Okay now, everyone who WISHED they were going to blogher but isn’t, needs to sign up and go via Second Life.
    And then, come shop at my mall……..COME ON PEOPLE help out a fellow blogger.
    Help me help you.

  31. when i try to explain blogging or blogher (which i’m sadly NOT going to…bah…we would have been great roomies…) people give me that blank stare…the one where they are silently judging me and pronouncing me a GEEK in their heads…

  32. I never have too much trouble with my friends, but my husband is still not over my blogging. I always knew he wasn’t geek cool enough for me!

  33. I went into work the other day and dropped it around that I was going to a blogging convention in hopes they would partly fund my trip as “marketing research”. But they wouldn’t. Cheap bastards.

    All my friends know I blog but a lot of my family doesn’t (because I still want the option to bitch). If I know someone is going to be skeevy about the whole blog/meeting people online thing I just tell them I’m “meeting writing friends” and leave it at that.

    (Business cards are a REALLY good idea! God, I’m glad I’ve been stalking Blogher ’06 attendees.)

  34. I wish I was going, I’m hoping to make it next year. Almost no one IRL except my husband knows that I blog, but I have told a few people I write for a political site. Curiously nobody ever follows up with the next obvious question. I can’t tell whether they’re bored or intimidated.

  35. How can I score a keychain???

  36. i was talking to a friend on the phone today and she actually said to me “I hope you’ll get some time away from the conference to do something fun while you’re there.”

    so, no. no-one in my offline world quite gets it.

  37. All my friends know about my blog and most of them thought I was just a computer geek that has this sad life of airing my dirty laundry online UNTIL they saw all the free stuff I get. Now they all want to know how to get one of those blog thingies.

    Me likey a keychain.

  38. I tell no one I blog. Only like 3 people in real life know I blog. It’s not like I’m ashamed of it, I just don’t want to get into it.

    Have fun at blogher!

  39. I stammer, too. Everyone knows I blog, but a lot of people don’t understand it. The just nod politely. I’m working on an “elevator speech” that makes me sound really confident and excited about what I do – instead of stuttering and letting my voice trail off when they obviously have no clue what I’m talking about.

  40. Three of the people going to the Police with me have already commented as has Mrs. Chicky, who lives in the next town over and who I’ve met. Recently, she ran into one of my co-workers and mentioned that she knew me, then had to backpedal fast and say that she met me through “as friend” which, technically, is true, as I sometimes view my computer as a friend.

    That sounds really pathetic, doesn’t it?

    Oh, and also, I know we already talked about SWAG, but now you can see that the masses in Stepford will be wanting their bottle openers. We’ll take and post pictures with them :)

  41. that was “a friend”, duh.

  42. i’ve heard about cards but swag?

    what? how will you be able to carry all? i’ll barely be able to carry my computer around…

  43. Chrissie says:

    That sounds about like the awkward conversations I have with acquaintances when I finally have to admit that I moved 3000km away from home to live with (and eventually marry) some guy I met on the internet. :)

  44. Just say it’s a writing conference and you are a freelance writer. Works for me.

  45. It totally depended on the person. Some people I told the truth to, others I told that I was going to Chicago to see a friend. I think we tend to have an idea who would “understand” our news and who wouldn’t. Pretty stupid that we still have to worry about that in this day and age, huh?

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