- Social Media
Some things really are changing in our world. I spent an afternoon last weekend joining part of the BlogHer Conference in San Francisco.
BlogHer is a network of more than 13,000 mostly female bloggers, representing over 10,000 blogs. They collaborate to share learnings; 2,200 of their editorially-vetted blogs join in an advertising network. I was introduced to this organization originally by Lisa Stone, BlogHer’s CEO. Together with partners Elisa Camahort Page and Jory Des Jardins, the three women formed BlogHer in February, 2005.
I joined for a portion of what was billed as the “Unconference” — a setting wherein small, self-organizing groups discuss and collaborate on topics chosen by the group members themselves. The process bore much resemblance to what I had seen in “Open Space” conference settings. When I left the room, I had a strong sense that something significant was happening here.
The New York Times covered the conference in a descriptive Sunday feature. Rob Halper, one of my colleagues at Johnson & Johnson, spent more time than I at the conference, and provided his own assessment.
To me, the 150+ people in this Unconference — and the 1,200+ people in the general BlogHer conference — represented, in effect, new journalists for the generation ahead. There was awesome, well-articulated wisdom represented in the room on some topics — and awesome, raw, well-articulated opinions on others. Not dissimilar from what you would have found in a traditional newsroom. The difference is… BlogHer is a growing, vibrant community of entrepreneurial journalists; while traditional newsrooms are generally demoralized, shrinking communities of salaried journalists. Like I said, some things really are changing in our world.
If you check out the BlogHer web site and blog, you’ll get some idea of the range, depth and frequency of topics which are being addressed by this cadre of new journalists.
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