Quick. And Hurry.
Blogher, Part Two

Blogher, Part One

(Wow. So I originally planned to write about the entire conference in one post. HOURS AGO, I planned that. HOURS, I have been writing this and it really gets away from me at the end and I think I use the word "community" in a totally unironic sense and basically I'm going to publish this and write more tomorrow, because now I have to go punch myself in the neck.)


Part One: Not Off To A Real Brain-Trust-Like Start

I woke up at...oh, 4 A.M. in a dread pirate panic over things I had forgotten to pack. I should point out that I was still at home. And had many, many hours left before my flight to pack these things. No matter, I clearly needed to get out of bed and pack them RIGHT THAT SECOND, or ALL WOULD BE LOST. If a blogger goes to Blogher without her business cards, is she really at there? Does she cease to exist? These are the deep thoughts I had at 4:30 A.M. when I found out that not one, but BOTH of my babysitting leads had fallen through, and that I didn't have a confirmed sitter for the Mamapop party after all.

Some people might think: I know! I shall contact a reputable sitting service in the Chicago area! I shall use my SitterCity account! I shall ask the hotel concierge for recommendations!

I thought of none of those things. I contacted Twitter instead.

I...yeah. I know. I KNOW. Very very bad and irresponsible and boneheaded parenting, finding babysitters on Twitter. Except when you find a babysitter like Annabelle. Who was just SO lovely and sweet and Ezra and I both adored her. (I did like, you know, meet with her ahead of time to get a read on the whole "are you going to steal my baby and/or all the hotel room furniture" thing. She passed! I have terrific instincts.)

Anyway, my Twitter babysitter was totally better than your babysitter. I also remembered to pack my business cards.

Part Two: I'm Sick Of These Motherfucking Babies On This Motherfucking Plane

After reading all of your comments and suggestions for airplane-related entertainment for Ezra, I packed a small treasure trove of crappy cheap toys (and toy-like substances) that he'd never seen before. He ended up playing with 1) the laminated emergency procedures pamphlet, 2) plastic cups from the beverage cart, and 3) Jodi.

Jodi warned me that she was a nervous flyer, so our agreement was that in exchange for the baby-wrangling help, I'd do my best to distract her from the fact that we were in a rickety tin can 37,000,000 miles off the ground.


Problem solved!

Part Three: I Went To Blogher & All I Got Was Your Elbow In My Face

After getting to Chicago and to the hotel and into my hotel room and meeting my lovely roommate and eating a burger topped with cheddar cheese AND bacon cheddar cheese sauce and watching my baby sneeze hamburger meat directly into my lovely roommate's face, I was already Hearing Things About Swag. My Twitter stream was full of swag bag descriptions and people were whispering stories about other people getting gross and ugly and grabby and ditching parties as soon they got a bag and pwning wristband systems in order to steal more swag. I mentioned that last year I brought home 1) a tire pressure gauge, 2) a bottle opener keychain and 3) a magic 8 ball. I was informed that this year was PROBABLY going to be a little different.

I stuck Ezra in a sling and decided to check out the People's Party. It was loud. And crowded. Insanely crowded. By the time I filed into the room and realized OH MY GOD, the room was easily three times too small for the number of people crushing through the door, I was kind of stuck. I spent a few bewildered moments shouting at people I knew before I realized what a huge mistake it was, bringing Ezra in there, and that I absolutely had to leave. This realization was cemented when someone abruptly pushed past me towards the swag bags, I saw Ezra's head kind of...jerk to the side, and when I looked down at him his eyes were wide with surprise...and fear...AND PAIN. He dissolved into a wail.

People, someone goddamn elbowed my baby in the face. While rushing for SWAG. At a party sponsored by freaking PBS Sprout.

At the time, I 100% totally and completely blamed myself. I was horrified that I'd unwittingly brought my baby to a party where he wasn't SAFE. I mean, Twitter babysitters aside (which...you know I'm taking a little creative license with that, as I absolutely would never leave him with someone who I didn't believe was responsible and trustworthy), I take my care of my little people very seriously. I felt stupid for even thinking that this was a good idea. And I left, taking my own swag bag only after Jenny insisted I take one. ("But I'm not staying! Is that okay?") I Twittered about being stuck alone in the hotel room feeling sorry for myself, too embarassed to admit that my baby got hurt because I wanted to wear a pretty dress and get a drink ticket.

Part Four: We Used To Blog Uphill In The Snow, Both Ways, Hand-Coding CSS Until Our Fingers Bled, And We Liked It

I still blame myself, in part. The room was crowded and hard to navigate and while Ezra wasn't the only child there, I was asking too much of him, after a long day of travel and super-short naps and a heapload of sensory overload. And really, he's FINE. He's not bruised, he didn't get a black eye, maybe the mystery elbower had to pee, or something. Once we got back to the hotel room he was all smiles.

But as the weekend progressed and the swag thing turned into a Swag Thing (to the point that I commented how nice it was, since I didn't miss Noah as much I thought I would, what with being surrounded by toddlers), the Elbow Incident became oddly emblematic of the whole attitude. People completely disregarding other people's personal space and hard work (seriously, planning those parties takes EFFORT, you guys) and just goddamn common decency. Would let your kid show up at a birthday party, grab a handful of cake and a goodie bag and leave? Would you let him cheat at the games at Chuck E. Cheese, just so he could get more crappy prize tickets? Would you sit by and let her bitch on Christmas about not getting the gift she REALLY wanted, or whine that the gifts she got didn't cost enough?

God. I feel old and finger-waggy, but get a fucking grip, people.

And yet.

I've gone on some nice trips, I've gotten some really nice gifts from companies, I've gotten laughably bad product pitches that I would never in a million years want or use or "review." I've alternated between being delighted by the attention and annoyed by the way it's changed our community, I've struggled to keep that balance between wanting my blog to be "successful" and wanting my blog to be...you know, MY STUPID LITTLE BLOG.

And yet, even I need the occasional dose of perspective.

When I started writing online, signing up for a brand-new service called "Typepad," nobody really liked the word "blog." The people I read wrote journals or diaries. There was a still a wide gap between the two groups, a definite sense of old guard vs. new upstarts. Moveable Type was taking over the old hand-coded clunky sites, your free blogging platforms were Diaryland or livejournal or Blogger and when Diary-X went down, people lost everything because the entire service existed on one dude's hard drive that he'd forgotten to back up. Oh, man. There were A-listers and people who wanted to be the A-listers and people who spent most of their time complaining about the A-listers. People fretted over whether the new generation of "bloggers" were ruining the community, now that it was so easy to start a site. If you had your own site the hosting could cost you a fortune, since there was no Flickr or Vimeo, but there was still endless debate over whether an Amazon Wish List or PayPal Donate button made you a tacky sellout. Are bloggers even writers? Are all web writers bloggers? No! Yes! Sometimes!

When Google text ads started showing up on PERSONAL WEBSITES, the wank level went through the roof.

In summary: six short years on the Web and I'm a freaking dinosaur, apparently, but I guess my point is that there has always been something threatening the community. We have been on the brink of sellout-y destruction for as long as I've been doing this, and I'm pretty sure me and my weirdly-named blog and TWOP-aping writing style were once considered harbingers of literary doom and made fun of on some old-skool message board. Now we all just get to overreact on Twitter.

In other words, it's all going to be okay, as long as we at least stop elbowing each other in the face.


(I promise this entry is the only one where I'll get preachy and philosophical about Blogher. I had a fantastic time and did a shitload of stupid things that did not involve people beating up babies for free pens.)



HA! Great post!


Lovely post my friend.

Just do me a favor, never describe an airplane again as a RICKETY TIN CAN. Especially one I was on.

You forgot the part where Ezra spilled the wine all over you. B/c we drank wine. On a plane. With a baby.

And it was lovely.


Oh my! I have already read quite a bit about a baby who got elbowed in the face and thought to myself "I sure hope that wasn't EZRA." But WTF it was!!!
Smoochies on your little head gorgeous baby boy!


Did that cute baby in orange come with all your swag? Because if so, I'm DEFINITELY going next year.

The fact is, some people are a-holes. Especially when free stuff is involved. Lots of people are not. Even when free stuff is involved. Unfortunately the two are allowed to mix freely with no licensing involved whatsoever. Cuz how cool would that be? If there was a bouncer at the door, carding people, and someone shows him an id that says A-HOLE across the picture and he's all, "mmmm, sorry. I'm afraid I can't let you in."

I'm just sayin'.


Elbowing people is in serious poor judgement just to get a bag of free stuff. And while free stuff is good, manners and courtesy are better. I'm glad you got your bag. And Ezra looks so happy with all his swag. Glad you made it home safely.


Great to see you (and precious, delicious baby Ezra) - but not great to be stream-rollered for the swag. Still, it was some fiiiiiine stuff. Eating unicorn on Friday was super-awesome; looking forward to your perspective of the sparkleness of Friday.

Miss Britt

I'm waiting for the part of the recap where you're like "I was trying to have freaking dinner and some girl SQUEED IN MY FACE and TOUCHED MY KID WITHOUT ASKING."

I am already preparing my "look, your kid totally dug me, OK?" defense.


I absolutely felt at times like one of the upstarts threatening the old guard, because I never drank Yahootinis around a pool.

So, thank you for this.

Megan@Blueberry Scones

Wow, that's a crapload of free stuff!


Wow that's a lot of free stuff. People kind of go crazy for the free stuff. Sorry poor little Ezra got elbowed in the face. Can't wait to hear what else happened! :)


I want to know about unicorn, too, and all it's sparkliness. Because I'm intrigued by it.

Jennifer A

I'm sorry to hear that. Some blog "star" cut in the bar line to get her drink at the People's Party. So if you had known me I would totally have gone off on the person who elbowed Ezra. I commented to you sometime on Friday how well Ezra was taking the whole thing in and how calm he was. And ran off in fear. Or someone else wanted to talk to you I can't remember. I really wanted to say how much I like your blog. So yeah, I'm a total loser.


Someone put the hurt on Baby Ez?

I say we assemble the posse and go huntin'. Cuz ain't nobody messes with the Baby Ez.


And also, if I ever make it to Blogher, I would like those chunky baby thighs in my swag bag, kthxbai.


It's funny. I've been blogging for ... six? Six years? I had a Diaryland account first, and thank JESUS those old WOE IS ME entries are gone, dumped without looking back when I moved to Blogspot for its fancy themes in 2005, because I couldn't stand to read myself and my twenty-something drivel anymore.

Anyway. No one cares about that, but what's funny is that I never really gave (give?) a rip about any of this THREATENING OUR COMMUNITY navel gazing, because: yes. You're so right. I mean, how many people remember when Dooce wrote a long post about how she was struggling with how to make money off of her Web site? And then made barely enough cash from Google text ads for a weekend away and people FLIPPED THE FUCK OUT? Like HOW DARE SHE?

God, do you REMEMBER that? It was the beginning of the struggle on grand scale for the first time, really. And then there was Kottke, who did a year via micro-sponsors. And that was practically LATE IN THE GAME for all this shit, as it started before them, even.

Now people are flipping their shit for swag bags and demanding sponsors without shame anywhere and everywhere. It's nuts and a little creepy, right? I mean, I don't find it threatening so much as ... creepy and entitled and sort of funny. Like, calm down people. Also? Get over yourselves.


Is that Ezra or were they giving out babies also?

Ran into Noah and Jason over the weekend - a bit odd to know so much about people and then actually run into them. Noah was super cute.


Jeez I had no idea Ez was the Elbowed Baby. Not that any other baby would be less important, but Ezra! Wah!

Jeez that's lame.

I started my Livejournal in 2002.

I'm pretty sure every community has some sort of wank. Or 400 kinds of wank. Sigh.


This is a great post. And I'm so sorry that your little guy got elbowed in the face. That totally sucks.


Poor Ezra! People can be so RUDE!

She Likes Purple

Really great post. Best I've read about BlogHer/blogging post-BlogHer so far.

Also, all I brought home last year was a Magic 8 ball and I'm kinda curious where that disappeared to, which goes to show all those swag whores that most of the stuff they ELBOWED BABIES for will be shoved to the back of a closet or gone completely one day soon. I'm pretty sure junk drawers were freaking INVENTED for swag.

Although I did gather MANY, MANY free candy bars last year. Those I have no complaints about.

Lucy The Valiant

Man! I've been reading posts about a baby getting elbowed in the head, but when someone finally put a link to whose specific baby it was, all I could think was, "Oh, not EZRA!" Although any baby getting elbowed in the head would suck. But...EZRA!

Julie @ The Mom Slant

I'm really sorry I wasn't there and didn't get to see you again and meet Ezra. I did bring Oliver to the People's Party last year, but it was significantly less crowded. And then Jenn Satterwhite absconded with him while I drank (too much) wine. And I don't even think there was swag. So perhaps that was safer, but only marginally so.

living with lindsay

Oh, I've been hearing stories about the baby who took an elbow to his face, and I was certain Dick Cheney was involved. Now that I know it was dear Ez and I'm so sad!

I really want to go to Blogher next year, but I also want to learn something. I could care less about free cupcake frosting or whatever was being handed out. I just want to meet new bloggers, learn some stuff, and have fun. Should I even go? All the stories I'm hearing have me frightened.

Baby Uncensored

Dear Ezra -

I liked poking you in the face. I especially liked when you poked me in the eye. And when you spit out meat on your mom.

My mom told my sitter that she only knew for 10 minutes before leaving me with her not to order a $400 bottle of champagne or sell me on the black market or trade me for a bag of swag.

Drool on you soon,

Baby Uncensored

Dear Ezra -

I liked poking you in the face. I especially liked when you poked me in the eye. And when you spit out meat on your mom.

My mom told my sitter that she only knew for 10 minutes before leaving me with her not to order a $400 bottle of champagne or sell me on the black market or trade me for a bag of swag.

Drool on you soon,


ahhhhhhhhh TWOP, how I love thee.

I never actually watched The Apprentice, the season with Omarosa, whichever season that was, because I read the whole thing on TWOP. I also devoured all the CSI and Alias recaps. We still call Brass "Captain Exposition" and Mr. Sloane "Uncle Inappropriate/Brigadier Batshit"...

This mostly has nothing to do with your post except to acknowledge that I heart TWOP and I heart this site and the alphamom stuff and suddenly I see the connection!

Also, wah, if I had been in Chicago *I* could have been babysitting Ezra! Bummer!


Ok...I gotta start me a blog. This just sounds all too exciting..of course except for the part where somebody elbows your little man! Which by the way..I think I stumbled upon the blog of the person who confesses doing it..I'm just sayin'! haha Thank you so much for providing an exciting window into your life. I have really enjoyed reading your blog for some months now. Glad you guys made it home safe! :0)


DUDE. For shame on the elbower, as has been screamed and echoed and re-echoed here already. I'm sure it was an accident (because someone throwing intentional elbows to get free shit is beyond pathetic, and I'd hate to think that of anyone) but it really does underline the problem here: This conference is to gather and learn and get closer to people that are and do what we all are and do... Not to get free junk. The free junk is a plus, a bonus, a perk. People getting grabby makes my stomach hurt. And it shouldn't be the fucking point of the gathering, to collect said junk.

I'm tired and not making sense, but I think what I'm getting at is that you shouldn't have felt bad about your baby getting beaned in the noggin and I'm sorry that it happened.



Good grief, I am grateful that I left my babies at home this year, safe and sound.

Still, my favorite swag was the deodorant. I am a v. v. dirty girl, you know.


You were one person I wanted to see at BlogHer, but didn't. I was too busy not going to parties and such because--I like to talk to people, not scream 'hi hi hi' at them. I remember the People's Party from last year and if this year was even bigger--yikes, I'm glad I didn't go. Missed the MamaPop too. Sorry.


Every party I attended would inevitably leave me asking "Oh, right? Where are the swag bags?". And everyone would laaaaaugh because "Silly, those were gone hours ago!". Stupid me for VISITING with FRIENDS.


I’ve never been to BlogHer but it sounds like a scary place where unicorns and sparkle is just a fairytale and all it really is, is just an old pony with a horn someone stapled on to it’s head. Hmmm… I had no idea there were so many politics involved.

I just have a baby blog. Fortunately, no one really reads it, so I’m about as relevant in the political blogging world as Pedro. Vote for Pedro. Woot!


I can't believe Ezra is the Elbowed Baby everyone's talking about! Luckily, being Elbowed has not affected his cuteness. Btw, I think you can fit him in that Mr. Potatohead box.


Love all the toys on the bed!


This one time, my baby was elbowed at the Gymboree. During Gymbucks, of course. These mamas were practically foaming at the mouth and that place is the size of a shoebox.
Anyway, it happens. Looking forward to the next post!

Chicky Chicky Baby

Sneezed hamburger or not, the only swag I wanted was Ezra. But that would be wrong. Yes, very wrong.


fantastic post! just enough preachy without me wanting to kick a soap box out from under you ;-) SO wish I could've been there to accost you in the lobby, er, um, i mean meet you and shake your hand like a normal sane person.

Annie @ PhD in Parenting

It happened at every party. Disgusting. I was waiting way in the back of the line for the Typeamomfluence party - a party I really wanted to be at because of the amazing people organizing and attending it - and was shocked at the people that went in, grabbed swag, and then left for the next party. I got no swag at that party, but I got so much more...


Dear Ezra: I am so sorry that I kept touching your wee chunky foot. I just wanted to nibble you a tiny bitty bit. Especially when your pretty pretty mom pointed out your chunk-ola thighs. Nom.


Ah HA! So it was YOUR baby that had to take his lumps in order for mama to get free coupons for underpants!?

Grrr. I ignored all of the drama all weekend - determined not to let it get to me, but I had to write about it today when I just simply could not let it go and let people think that this was all Blogher was about. Yeah. So I got all momma-bear protective about Blogher.

Poor, sweet little Ez. I just wanted to eat him up every time I saw you guys. And you are so delightful, just like I'd imagined you would be. It was so nice to finally meet you, talk to you, and pinch your baby's toes.

Um. Not that I pinched him or anything. Especially not with my ELBOW.


I have to admit that it doesn't surprise me that things got so out of hand...but also (pleasantly) how many people, all across the web, are speaking out about it.
And poor Ezra.


Write it all. Take as many posts as you need. Details, woman! I'm living vicariously here!

So sorry, baby, that you ended up taking one for the team. hugs & kisses.

cindy w

I just have to geek out for a moment and tell you that talking to you for 10 seconds in the lobby was like the highlight of my weekend, since I've been reading your blog since before you got pregnant with Noah. Love. You. And THAT was the reason I went to BlogHer, not for a Crocs-branded drink cozy. Yeesh.

(Also, I'm sorry that Ezra cried as soon as I walked over to say hi. I swear I don't normally have that effect on babies. But at least my elbows were nowhere near him!)


Preach it sister, preach it!

Sprite's Keeper

Wow, I didn't realize the elbowed baby was Ezra! Glad he's okay and now I want to flame the swag hag who tried to take him down to get to... a Scholastic bag? Was the Gerber teddy bear really lined in gold for someone to not watch how they were getting to it?
When I met you in the elevator on Thursday (God, that feels like forever ago..), my hand actually started going out to touch his cute chubby foot, then I realized "Hm, how much did I hate when people tried to touch Sprite without my okay and a 20 page questionnaire on where my hands may have been?" and retracted. (Of course I thought this before she hit toddlerhood. Now I warn people before they try to touch her on where HER hands may have been.) You were so nice though and I agree that the swag situation was way out of hand. This being my first BlogHer experience, even I was getting overwhelmed with it all.


Oh my goodness! I heard some crazy stories about the elbowed baby, but it never dawned on me that it might be sweet baby Ez. How sad! As for the babysitting, if I had been in town, I totally would have done it...I'm even on SitterCity! :)


At least you were graceful, when my sister and I were in a crowded Starbucks my 2 year old nephew TOTALLY got a elbow-to the-back-head experience, so as my sister comforted him I totally yelled at the guys back, really loudly I might add, "OH SORRY HIS HEAD WAS IN YOUR WAY, EXCUSE US, REALLY!" Now she won't go in that location with me anymore, wonder why?


I'm so glad I could stalk you and that delicious baby for an entire weekend! Oh, and interrupt your dinner and.... ;)

Ezra, thanks for bringing Mom out for a little spin. She was lovely, and fun and everything I thought she'd be. That's a great mom you have there.

Amalah it was lovely to meet you this weekend. I prefer to remember the good stuff rather than the not so good (swag wars). You were definitely in the all good category.

You are right, things have changed, ARE changing, and I hope it doesn't get too out of hand. It would be a shame to see the demise of this wonderful community be because of a flash drive. Or a sponge.

Well said. As usual. :)


A belated thanks for the last post, since I was flying with my 6 mo old this weekend and chose to take NOTHING in toy form. As predicted by yourself/your commenters, he played with: an empty Dr. Pepper bottle, the airline cup, the emergency info cards, and the airstream from the overhead nozzle (turning it off and on = mom can do magic!).

I also ran into the blog where the elbower gleefully outed herself. Rude, and de-bookmarked. Poor Ezra! And I got into a hissy when someone came too close to my baby in the airport - no contact! And they were rushing for a flight (which I could understand)..not swag.


Is that ALL swag on the bed in that picture? (And if so someone gave you a defective baby. It has no pants.)


I'm so sorry about Ezra getting elbowed. Ouch! Poor little man!


Good grief, the famous Elbow Baby is Ezra? I was sad I couldn't attend this year, but have been following the coverage. You little guy seems to be the mascot of a "Control Yourselves!" movement that's fomenting.


I'm just so glad you're back! I'm not a blogger, just a reader and I check every day to see what glorious thoughts have sprung from your noggin'!

Jen L.

Dude. DOOOOOD. I had no idea until now that it was Ezra who got his little head elbowed. That is NOT ok.

I'm sorry people are douches. Posts like this one have made me want to get back in touch with my roots, so to speak, and re-read every single blog post I write, making damn sure they are for ME.

I'm sad that I didn't make it to BlogHer to meet you this year. I'll be there next year for sure. Incidentally, I'll be in the DC area for the next two weeks, so if you get bored and want to meet another mommy of a cool little boy and celebrate the grape (in the form of vino), shoot me an email! (And save me from my in-laws. Please. For real.) My kid spits meat, too.


I've also been reading about the "baby elbowed in the head" but I had no idea it was one of MY blog-babies!


Oh, I'm sorry about poor Ezra. I'd already read about a baby getting elbowed in the face, but didn't know it was yours. (At least, I hope that he was the only one.)


No apologies about being philosophical. We blog because our writing and the community are important to us. It's OK to care about what happens when that community is compromised for a free sample.

Also, it was wonderful to meet with you and chat for a few minutes. If Ezra hadn't been sleeping, I totally would have nibbled a toe.

Plano Mom

If I had been there, I would have tackled that asshole and beat them up, just for you and Ezra. Jerkoffs better NOT mess with nom nom baby!

Lady M

I'm sorry I ran up to you and totally ignored you to drool over cute, cute Ezra. It was nice to see you too!

I didn't hear about the elbowing incident until later - the swag monsters did get out of control this weekend. Ick. Glad the little dude is ok.

Abi Jones

Oh, Diary-X! By the time it crashed I'd switched to my own Wordpress hosting and all I could think was 'Thank God every blog entry I ever wrote in college has now disappeared'. Yeah, yeah...internet archive...blah, blah, blah. I checked - it isn't much there. Yay!


I've been hearing from everyone about how BlogHer was so unruly this year.

It made me think back to years past, where your dispatches from the event made me yearn to be there, to meet everyone who I read.

This year? I'm sort of glad I had to sell my ticket at the last minute.

I'm glad Ez didn't suffer any lasting injuries from the elbowing.


Grrr...seriously, some people! Elbowing helpless children for a bag of free stuff you will throw aside once you are home - that's ridiculous. If you take the time to go, you should be there for the people, not the material things. Really, was your plane ticket/gas cost/hotel cost worth that 3 dollar toy???


NPR did a piece on Blogher about this very thing which I heard yesterday evening. Basically about the selling out of Mommy blogs to advertising and free stuff, etc... It was fascinating to hear and now to read about...


I'm also sorry to hear it was Ezra that got elbowed. I didn't even try to get into the People's Party because we stopped by SocialLuxe and started hearing the grumbling about people who were on the "first 100 get a special bag" list being told their bag was given to someone else.

And, at the Room 704 party, there was this feeling in the air of "swag! where's the swag? is there more swag? did you get this? I want one of those!" It was kind of disgusting.

If it were my choice, next year I would require parties to be swag-free. It's supposed to be about meeting people and networking and having FUN!

P.S. Thank you so much again for letting me fuss all over Ezra as much as I did. I loved feeding him bites of blueberry muffin at breakfast on Sunday! He's a charmer, as you know :)


Your baby is even more darling in person. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?

Also: people are assholes. I was working registration when BlogHer ran out of swag bags and I got a few 'lectures' from snotty women. But, nobody elbowed me in the head.


Maybe the world really has gotten too small when tons of people know that a baby got elbowed in the head at a BlogHer party.


I really appreciate reading BlogHer recaps that aren't all butterflies and unicorns.

So, bring it!

apathy lounge

You know...this is why I don't go to BlogHer. I know people don't like to hear the quip that it's a lot like high school but, from what I've read, it's not exactly like the United Nations either.

At one extreme you have the neophyte bloggers (some are good writers and some are awful) trying to get a piece of what looks like a very lucrative pie. And at the other end you've got some pretty insufferable people who (some by luck and some by skill) have stumbled upon a way to make money online and get to be on Oprah or the Today Show. While one is trying to maintain the status quo (I've got mine...you get yours...but I'm not sharing), you've got the other being desperately needy and swag-greedy and elbowing people's kids in the face.

It's not bringing out the best in a lot of people.

I think there's some justified resentment on both sides...and some that isn't. "The Community" is what it is...even when you count in the new people who are trying to change things to their own advantage and taking some of the thunder away from the more established bloggers. It is fluid and it changes. That's just life. "The Community" doesn't get to be the same six bloggers who planted a flag on Planet Blog and decided they're the only ones who get to live there. It's got to open up and--yes--that means there are going to be some assholes getting through. Spoiler alert: There were already a few there to begin with. And some of them already had ads on their sites, so if a few untried writers do the same thing...well...it's a free country. I used to be worried about this kind of stuff, but then I realized that I HAVE A JOB. I'm a teacher. My blog's purpose is to give me a place to vent...not to gain an obscene amount of attention talking about constipation. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

So, in review:

BlogHer: Still a lot like high school...even if some people don't think so...and with the same old arguments. Do ads makes you a whore or not? MommyBloggers? Bad name or marketing tool?

If I want to start an argument or feel bad about myself, I could just go have dinner with my parents and listen to them malign the president.

Glad Ezra's okay, though. Party on.


Blogher just got some bad press on gawker on this swag issue: http://gawker.com/5324636/the-low-low-price-of-a-bloggers-soul-a-pair-of-plastic-shoes


I appreciate your insights.


Ok, seriously, who outed themselves as "I elbowed a baby in the head for SWAG"? I really want to know so I know not to read them anymore, you know, if I already do read them.

Ezra is chunk-a-licious and the same age as my youngest son. TOO CUTE! Nom nom nom :)


Poor Ezra! And it's so sad that there was such a swag focus. I'd never heard of BlogHer until a couple of months ago; I look forward to hearing about the rest of it.

I also really liked your insights into the "world" of blogging. I only started a blog a few months ago, and using it as a source of income is laughable; just the occassional reader is enough for me. But it's easy to feel like I came too late to the phenomenon for anything I say to be relevant. It's nice to hear that there have always been people who feel that way, and I don't have to feel bad about just joining the party.


I appreciated this update as both a blogger and a product publicist who has watched the transition from a personal and professional perspective for nearly five years. Looking forward to part two.


Well, I certainly hope you let Ezra take a shot at the b*tch who elbowed him! Someone needs to out that blogger so we can all give her whatfor. She needs some perspective.

SciFi Dad

Personally, I think twitter is putting blogging on the edge of destruction, but maybe that's just me.

Also? Was there any Star Wars swag? Because that would be cool.


Wow. Just...wow. I had read on another blog that a baby got elbowed in the head, had no idea it was Ezra. Maybe this will become Swag-Gate and people will realize how stupid it looks to stampede other people for freebies. Free crap. I mean, free crap that will eventually end up in a landfill. Seriously, people.

I'm glad Ezra is fine, he is deliciously nom-able.

Lynn Craig

YIKES! Glad ur both safe!


I've read four or five blogs that have mentioned the baby getting an elbow to the head. Each time I hoped to myself, "Not Ezra!" Now I know it was him. Bastards. Take me as your bodyguard next year. (Yeah, I don't even know you, but some mamas protect the whole tribe.)

I really wish people could put names to these Pushy Peggies so we could boycott their blogs.

Mama Coyote

*grrrs at poor Ezra getting elbowed* THAT'S not what I was expecting to hear when you got back...!

Just... wow.


Lucretia Pruitt

Was pointed here by a friend and so happy I was - but also so depressed to read that someone elbowed Ezra and didn't bother to even slow down.

Someone seemed genuinely puzzled this year when I told them I wasn't rushing off to Social Luxe or anywhere else "to get the bag" - because after all? It's um, just stuff. I can get stuff anywhere. What I can't buy anywhere is the community that somehow felt a little off this year.


Reading, nodding, sighing. Also feeling dinosaur-like, but more from whatever the era is that came after the one before it. I don't know, I suck at that kind of history stuff.

but I did love hanging out with you. The hanging out when there was no swag around? That was some of the best parts.

maggie, dammit

"the Elbow Incident became oddly emblematic of the whole attitude"


Avoided most of this bru HA HA, looking back. It's funny, I just took those people and imagined them as avatars and then I clicked the little red X in my mind. Poof!

So sorry Ezra had to endure that. :(

sensibly Sassy

oh my gosh, Ezra was "the baby that got beaned in the head" that is ridiculous. I remember last year the swag was pretty awesome....nobody was dropping 'bows though.


All around the interwebs, there's been talk of a poor baby being elbowed. I was hoping it wasn't yours :( Poor guy! But wow, he's a trooper!

Great post! New perspective on things.

Talking about being a blogger from the dinosaur ages, I started on Blogger in 2003 and I just could never get the whole "A-List" thing...I guess that's why I've been so sporadic w/blogging throughout the years.


Wonderful post.

It's a damn shame that baby Ezra got SwagHagged. Hopefully next year we can truly state, "No babies were harmed in the staging of this conference."

It was nice to briefly meet you. I hope I didn't interrupt your convos too much with my "MRS FLINGER LOVES YOU!!" or whatever.

I look forward to your next installment.

Mrs. Flinger

It was so wonderful to see you. And also, just.. um.. Amen. To that stuff. But you know, I'm all old school and well...


Paula G

>>We Used To Blog Uphill In The Snow, Both Ways, Hand-Coding CSS Until Our Fingers Bled, And We Liked It

Favorite comment of the day!

Glad your baby is ok... I have never really understood the mass rush to free stuff myself. Somehow enter the word free stuff and whether people even want or need it they lose their minds (Not everyone of course, but enough that it does give one pause).

samantha jo campen

I have no idea what is WRONG with me but this made me teary. Because I totally agree with you and dude, can't we all just get along? Do we have to act like white trash for some free shit? And then complain about all the sponsors? WTF dudes?

I had a beyond fabulous time and so enjoyed meeting you and Ezra (who I flirted with and I'm not ashamed about it because people, he's a million times more adorable in person if you can even wrap your minds around that). Amy you were the most down-to-earth and welcoming blogger I met. You always smiled at me or said hi as I walked by after we chatted which I appreciated more than you know. I didn't feel like it was Big Blogger vs. Little Blogger. We're ALL bloggers and that's all that matters.

Great post. I'm done now. :-)

Granola Spice

This makes me feel REALLY old, but I remember when JournalCon was happening every year and the swag were pieces of things that other attendees had put together with their "Journal's" name on it. And if you were stuck on the west coast, like me, your online friends (like Amy) would gather up some swag and send it to you!

Condo Blues

You are not a bad mom or a horrible person for taking your baby to a party. Especially one sponsored by SPROUT and had all sorts of baby and kid friendly sponsors. Actually I felt a little lost with the sponsors because I'm the World's Most Fabulous Aunt (no kids.) I started to have a good time at that party only once I stepped into the lobby and had room to mingle with people.


I've heard about the baby who got elbowed and now I get to see his mother's entry. I'm so sorry this happened to you. what a shame that GROWN WOMEN act like what happened at BlogHer this year. I Hope it never happens again!


this was my first BlogHer I was not prepared for the amount of extra bags I would need to bring nor the elbows in faces.


been jumping from link to link all over the internet, trying to get caught up on the conference (I was on vacation) and determine how badly it got broken. This is my favorite wrap up yet. Good to have the long range perspective. xo


And yeah! You posted about it 'being a dinosaur' with the same perspective you had initially when we conversed about this at Cheeseburgher. Great post!


Remember: when the baby gets hurt, it is the baby's fault. This is what I have to tell myself whenever I take the Wombat wakeboarding, or when we accidentally drop him in the alligator pit.

It's ALWAYS the baby's fault.

The comments to this entry are closed.