I started blogging in October of 2008. It took me almost two years to attend a blogging conference. In that time I made a lot of friends, and the experience of getting to meet them the first time can only be described as magical. I have felt the exact same way at every conference I have attended since then.
After every conference I’ve attended, from the small to the largest of them all, I hear the same complaint — There were so many cliques. But I have a different view of this. I don’t think these groups of women are cliques, I think they are friends. Friends that may only get to see each other once a year. Friends whose love for another builds up over that time, and then when they finally have a chance to see one another, it is released in a way that may shut out everything around them.
I will admit that I have a group of friends I plan to spend time with at BlogHer this year. We will have inside jokes. We will sit together at meals and during sessions. We will walk to events together. We will hug and squeee, and we may even cry when we meet one another for the first time in person.
But here’s the thing. I want to be friends with you too. I want to share an inside joke. I want to sit with you at meals and during sessions. I want to walk with you and chat with you and check out your blog and laugh and hug and squeee with you too. But I can’t do any of those things if I never get a chance to meet you.
It never fails that after a conference someone leaves a comment on my blog or Facebook or sends a tweet and tells me that they saw me at the conference but were too nervous to approach me. I’m always a little shocked. One, because I’m completely approachable. I’ll talk the ear off a stranger. Two, because we missed out on an opportunity to be friends. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to miss out on any opportunities. I want to come home enriched and fulfilled.
If you see me at the conference, please come over and say hi. I can’t promise that I’ll recognize you from Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, but that has more to do with me and my inability to recall people I know. I apologize for that. But please do not let this dissuade you. I WANT to talk to you. I want to meet you. That is the reason I go to conferences.
I promise. Me and my group? We’re friends. Not a clique. And we want to be friends with you too.