Mainstream Media Ignores BlogHer Conference

I was in Chicago last weekend for a BlogHer conference. In attendance were over 800 women (and men) bloggers. Many more bloggers participated in the events on Second Life. A main event at the conference was to announce a year long activist action called BlogHers Act on the number one topic selected from a survey of thousands of bloggers. The topic is the one the thousands of bloggers surveyed want to see both Democratic and Republican nominees address positively in order to win our votes in 2008. Yet the activism potential of the over 13,000 bloggers who are members of BlogHer was largely ignored by the main stream media.

As Joanne Bamberger, writing at The Huffington Post pointed out,

It wasn’t difficult for Cooper Monroe and Emily McKhann, two activist bloggers who were behind the been there clearinghouse to aid victims of Hurricane Katrina, to figure out that if major advertisers like GM, Dove, Yahoo and Google are interested in a conference where close 1,000 women bloggers will be, that we, as a group, could also have significant influence on the major political issues in the next election.

The winner? Global Health.

A pretty significant issue for a whole variety of reason, especially when it comes to the whole health insurance coverage question.

But who is going to find out about this amazing effort to lead the way on gaining attention for and promoting solutions for the myriad health care issues we all face when no one from the main stream media shows up to cover it?

The breakout sessions, the keynote speakers, and the topics discussed were the same topics that are discussed at other large technology conferences. Business, Writing, Technology, and the BlogHers Act agenda. But no one was there covering the event for the press. As Bamberger pointed out in the article I mentioned, a largely men’s conference, The Yearly Kos, gained plenty of coverage.

For YearlyKos? Plenty of stories, including ones in the National Journal, the Washington Post, MSN, FOX News and the New York Times. That’s what I’d call Main Stream Media attention.

There are 509 blog posts on technorati tagged blogher07 as I write this. They appear to be mostly reports from the bloggers in attendance. A general Google search for blogher07 returns over 65,000 results. The first few pages were similar to what technorati is pulling in. A news search on Google returns 26 results. They include Yahoo Tech, a press release touting the sponsors, and a piece mentioning the article I quoted here. Nothing of substance about what happened, what issues were discussed, who spoke, or the important BlogHers Act initiative.

The mainstream media is completely out of touch with what people (voters) care about. They just proved it again.

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4 thoughts on “Mainstream Media Ignores BlogHer Conference”

  1. thanks for substance about the event. looked at a few posts i found via technorati. they were all about women having great time, drink tickets, being worried about not having dressed up enough.

    i wonder if BlogHer would address, as an organization, the issue of why so many women were ignored by the media. tells me,along with other cultural signposts, we have not come so far.

  2. For those of you who might want to follow the link to Naomi Dagen Bloom’s site, here is one that works:
    A Little Red Hen.

    Naomi, the swag at the conference was pretty girly–lotion and purses and such. There were a lot of women having fun, dressing up and cutting loose. But when the speakers started on their topics during the sessions, it was all intensely serious business.

    The questions put to Elizabeth Edwards during her keynote were thoughtful and about very important issues.

    According to Elizabeth Edwards, BlogHer isn’t the only organization putting health at the top of its issues list this year. She said that is the number one issue everywhere she goes.

    Are you able to post in the forums or comments at BlogHer? Your suggestion would get heard faster and by the right editors if you posted it there.

  3. You have opened up a whole can of worms. I hope that in due time they will see how much more powerful we can be.

    My collaborative group of Mom bloggers in Chicago ( once got written up in the Chicago Tribune but the writer berated the question about if we feel bad being called a Mommy blogger? huh?

    Anyway, I was in your session and thought I’d drop by.

    🙂 MJ aka Sugarmama

  4. I’d never been to a BlogHer event before. I actually applied to speak there because I vowed to present tech stuff at more places. See I decided to quit complaining and take action. I don’t think appearing at BlogHer did anything to even the balance between the genders at tech conferences, but I went for it anyway.

    I”m pretty well ignored at most tech conferences. It’s mostly young people, mostly men. Someone like me is invisible in that crowd. It was very different at BlogHer where people were coming up to me, starting a conversation, saying they knew my work, read my posts, etc.

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