I've had an incredible couple of days. It feels like I just got home from an amazing trip. And, in a lot of ways, I kind of just did.
I spent the better part of Monday and Tuesday this week running around Chicago with three other bloggers, Courtney
Kendrick (who I'm TOTALLY smitten with), Jamie Eskelson and David
Leite, as well as Lisa Stone, the CEO of BlogHer. All of them amazing people and bloggers (and I'm not kidding about my crush on Courtney – I told Greg we might have to move to Utah so I can be closer to my new BFF.)
Why were we running around Chicago? Well, we were meeting with big corporations like Sears and Kraft, and having really interesting conversations about the best ways for bloggers and brand name corporations to pair up and create credible relationships that truly support the blogging community.
Not only was it absurdly fun to hang out with these other bloggers and tour these big companies, but it was really fascinating to me in terms of how far the world of blogging has come in the last decade. Both of these companies were really curious about the blogging world and
they had a lot of questions. In these meetings I was asked why I blog, how I got started and what it means to me.
Over and over I told the story of how I began blogging seven years ago when my father was dying, how it was really just a simple outlet in a time of isolation, and how surprised and enchanted I was with the community that arose so quickly from it. And as I sat there talking about it like this, I was so struck by how far it's all come. Who ever thought that bloggers would one day find themselves negotiating with these major corporations and even supporting their families through the work they put into their sites?
I also came out of these two days feeling prouder than ever to be a part of the BlogHer Network. This is an era of opportunity for the blogging world, but that also means that a lot of bloggers get taken advantage of. An organization like BlogHer works really hard to make sure that doesn't happen to its members, and to the community at large.
When I started blogging seven years ago, I just wanted to write. I wasn't thinking about where I was going with all of it, and right now, sitting here on Wednesday morning, I'm just feeling really grateful for all that has come of it.