Hugging Off-Line at Blogger Socials

In the world of blogging, comments and links are virtual hugs. When bloggers meet socially, it’s a chance for real hugs. I’d like to thank the attendees of Blogger Social who welcomed me so graciously into their midst. We had two great days together of first meetings, conversation and hugs.

ck-and-arun.jpg
CK and Arun Friday night kick-off Marathon Mixer, Blogger Social ’08 April NYC

The mission of Blogger Social is to bring together a specific niche of bloggers who write about marketing/PR. Many of the 80+ bloggers who gathered from around the USA and the world were well-known forces in the field. I wasn’t yet a marketing blogger, but I was a marketing expert and managed to convince Christina Kerley “CK”, the organizer, that I would fit in.

I first heard of it on Twitter when Connie Reece tweeted that she was speaking at BlogHer Business and attending Blogger Social in NYC, which were conveniently back-to-back in April. I wanted to attend BlogHer Biz till I realized it was priced toward corporate attendance. I decided to wait until BlogHer SF in July.

Blogger Social began for me mid-day Friday. I finally met the delightful Shashi Bellamkonda, who was one of my first friends on Twitter.

Friday night, at the first and therefore highest energy Blogger Social official gathering, I enjoyed conversations and hugs with fascinating women including: Ann Handley, Valeria Maltoni, CK, Lori Magno, Toby Bloomberg, Virginia Miracle, Connie Reece, Jennifer Berk, Kristin Gorski, Tara Anderson, Jennifer Laycock, and Tamar Weinberg.

I tend to prioritize meeting women (sorry guys) but the men I met at Blogger Social were also amazing. Since the party didn’t even begin to slow down until 2AM, I had a chance soak in some wisdom from social media stars Tim McHale, Arun Rajagopal, Todd Andrlik, Darryl Ohrt, and Thomas Clifford. I was happy to grab first face-to-faces with Ryan Karpeles, Steve Woodruff, Nathan Snell, Lewis Green, David Reich, David Berkowitz, Mark Goren, John Wall and Doug Meacham.

Saturday morning, I somehow managed to get out of bed to an early morning brainstorming for Rohit Bhargava‘s book “Personality Not Included”, where I got to meet Anna Farmery, Heather Gorringe, Saul Colt, and Matt Dickman. This event was also open for us to invite friends, so I was able to bring Kathryn Jones, who contributed some great ideas to the brain fest.

Aside from an exciting look at the Statue of Liberty, Saturday’s boat ride let me get close to Mack Collier and Terry Starbucker. Chris Kieff “cookied” me.

At the Saturday night dinner, I got to sit between Geoff Livingston and CeCe Salomon-Lee. Seni Thomas and I had a chat in Japanese. I met and succeeded in hugging Amanda Gravel, Jane Quigley, Katie Chatfield,Scott Monty, Mario Vellandi, Greg Verdino, C.B. Whittemore, Kaitlyn Wilkins, Susie and Drew McLellan, David Polinchock and Jason Falls.

Sunday morning, I was grateful that Ryan Barrett put together a brunch, an event that I could bring Ray to. Luc Debaisieux, Gavin Heaton and Jennifer Berk joined us for a lively exchange.

Joseph Jaffe was exchanging supportive tweets with me up to the event. Thank you to Arun and Kristin for tagging me on Media Diet meme. It’s half written, I promise you.

Will I have a chance to hug you at BlogHer?

About Linda Sherman

International, multicultural marketing pro, Linda brings a distinguished background of international subsidiary CEO/CMO to her Social Marketing expertise. These include CEO Club Med Japan, Barilla Japan and CMO Wal-Mart Japan. Linda Sherman has been featured and quoted in Forbes, The New York Times, Christian Monitor and other leading publications. She devised and implemented an innovative guerrilla-marketing plan for ZIMA in Japan that produced a lasting, profitable success. Linda has hands-on technical skills in building and search optimizing WordPress websites and an influential on-line presence. Linda teaches social marketing for business at the University of Hawaii. Her company, The Courage Group, provides websites, digital film, branding and social marketing strategy and training.

Connect with Linda Sherman on Google+

20 comments
Jennifer Berk
Jennifer Berk

Rereading this brought back so many memories. Thank you for capturing them! Glad to hear you had a chance to go to BlogHer (your posts about it are great), and I hope to see you at one in the future....

LindaSherman
LindaSherman

@Kimberly How did that happen?? Hopefully our paths will cross before then.

@Deb I can just imagine!!

@Valeria That's a lovely thought about hugging. It may the same with hand shaking and kissing. One of us may be the initiator but it's always a mutual activity.

Valeria Maltoni
Valeria Maltoni

Hugs are the great equalizer. There's no who's first in a hug - there's both at the same time. I enjoyed getting to know you in the months since blogger social, Linda. I know you enjoyed BlogHer and maybe, one day, I will get to attend one as well.

--Deb
--Deb

You should see a bunch of knit-bloggers getting together at a fiber festival--the amount of hugging and squealing is indescribable! (grin)

Kimberly
Kimberly

Did we get to hug? Sadly, no. I'm up for next year though. :)

LindaSherman
LindaSherman

@Kristin @Connie @Ann @Toby @ Kelsey @C.B. @CK: You were missed at BlogHer!

@Vanessa: It was great to meet you in person!

@Gavin @Luc: Blogger Social was worth the trip, wasn't it.

@Elizabeth @ZipnTizzy: It was great to share BlogHer with you!

@Doug: Thanks for checking in all the way from Disneyville.

@Simone: Thanks for the intro to your new site for women.

zip n tizzy
zip n tizzy

Enjoyed meeting you this weekend, and look forward to getting to know you through your blog!

Doug Meacham
Doug Meacham

As you may have seen on Twitter, I've been experiencing a little Disney magic this week, so no hugs this time around. Hope you're having a great time and I'll see you at BS'09 (if not sooner)

CK
CK

What a great post (makes me want to hug you again!). I hope you have a terrific time at Blogher--such a wonderful organization--and there truly is no substitute for face-to-face time...I wouldn't have gotten to know the cool, fun, smart woman that is you. And it was such a dream come true to meet so many pals that came from all over.

Thankful that the blogosphere has introduced us and that so many have gone the extra mile (in your case 3,000 miles!) to meet, and hug!, one another.

Vanessa Van Petten
Vanessa Van Petten

I will be at Blogher, please please find me! I have a pic on my website and am looking for mommy and daddy and parent bloggers for my teen writers to review!

@vvanpetten (twitter)
vvanpetten@rrules.com

Thanks! Cannot wait to meet you in person Linda!
Vanessa

C.B. Whittemore
C.B. Whittemore

Linda, have a blast at BlogHer! You are a natural and I bet it will be fantastic. Thank you for recapturing the magic of Blogger Social in this post. That was an amazing event...

Kelsey
Kelsey

Have an awesome time I unfortunately wont be able to make it!

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog, I look forward to that hug! I might not be wearing the top from the photo I posted until Saturday, though, but I'm sure you'll find me, just look for the short blonde hugging everybody :) Have a safe trip!

Luc Debaisieux
Luc Debaisieux

Linda,
Blogger Social '08 was indeed a memorable event. I'm definitely pleased to have had the chance to share brunch with you in NYC. Thank you for bringing these unique memories back to our minds.

Toby
Toby

Linda - reading your post and other friends who are on their way to BlogHer SF brings deep sighs that I won't be giving you an in-person hug. Hope the 01010s come through as a digital hug. I know you'll have a great time and bring home more wonderful memories.

Ann Handley
Ann Handley

I, too, have warm memories of Social.... that was indeed a special time. BlogHer sounds wonderful, and I'll look forward to hearing your take on it. Have fun stormin' the castle!

Gavin Heaton
Gavin Heaton

Thanks Linda ... Blogger Social seems like such a long time ago now (only a couple of months). That is why I am pleased I made the extra effort to get there. BlogHer sounds like it will be great ... looking forward to the coverage!

Connie Reece
Connie Reece

Reading about Blogger Social made me nostalgic -- what an incredible event. So glad you were able to attend.

I wish I could be in San Francisco for BlogHer but can't. However, I'm speaking on a panel in BlogHer in Second Life -- right from the recliner in my den. I'm looking forward to that a lot.

Kristin Davis
Kristin Davis

I have such fond memories of last year's BlogHer conference in Chicago, and am crushed that I'm unable to attend this year. I first learned about Twitter at BlogHer last year and had so much fun meeting hundreds of amazing blogging women and tweeting with them at the same time. I'll be sending many of them virtual hugs next weekend!!

Warmly,
Kristin

simone
simone

Not yet this year, we just started 3 weeks ago quietly with our magazine. Business magazine for female internet heroes. Still want to get some coverage to publish about blogher, so if you want to write a guest article, we would welcome you!