Bloggers v Popular People: A Pre-BlogHer Field Guide

You can tell we are getting close to the annual blogger conference, because of the marked increase of posts displaying arguably insane levels of social anxiety.

What if I don’t make friends?

What if no one talks to me for the entire three days?

What if I don’t get invited to parties?

What if I only get invited to the party that 1360 people were invited to and not the one that 40 people were invited to?

What if people think I’m a loser because I have a sponsor?

What if people think I’m a loser because I don’t have a sponsor?

What if the popular kids hack into my Twitter account, change my photo to Rush Limbaugh and start writing crazy #tcot posts directed to Ashton Kutcher?

And here I feel the need to point out that BlogHer is not a sorority social. It’s an industry networking conference. For the most part people will be pleasant and professional. The vast majority will be downright friendly. Amalah will hug you. Kristen will let you hold her baby. Tanis might even tongue kiss you.

Last year I put together a handy BlogHer Conference FAQ that seemed to be helpful for oh, 2 or 3 of you, to help you deal with these very fears. But this year I want to focus on one important fact:

Bloggers are not The Popular People.

In fact, real live actual Popular People do not want anything to do with bloggers. We frighten them, the way underwear frightens Paris Hilton.

I would think this would be fairly self-evident, but in case there is any confusion, I created a simple chart you can cut out and keep with you. A cheat sheet, if you will; so that should you accidentally mistake a blogger for A Popular Person at any point during the weekend–or beyond–your perceptions can be quickly and easily corrected.

(Of course the one exception to the body type rule is Audrey, whose triceps are as unfair as anything I’ve ever known in this world.)

See you at BlogHer. I’ll be the one with the chewing with my mouth open and accidentally flashing my underwear because I can never keep my feet on the ground when I’m sitting down. And probably hugging you.


97 thoughts on “Bloggers v Popular People: A Pre-BlogHer Field Guide”

  1. I'm not sure whether I should print this out and get it laminated for easy spill-proof reference next week.

    Or get it made into a sandwich board and wear it. That would eliminate any concerns about wardrobe.

    Of which I really have none. My only rule for BlogHer is to have no expectations, enjoy the moments and smile.

    Oh, and wear sunscreen.

  2. I love this list. I think it even convinced me that I should sleep in an extra half hour on Friday morning and skip the shower!

  3. I wish I was going. But, alas, I am not.

    You nailed the popular person vs. blogger thing. Too funny!

  4. I won't be there … DAMN … but I'd be excited to meet you if were. So, next year!

    I will be drinking copious amounts of wine in Portland (where I'll be) in honor of all my favorite bloggers, though.

  5. See this is why I'll be a great blogger. I'm not popular. I have limited social skills and a surprising lack of tact. Hygiene? Questionable. Body type? It's baby weight, I swear, she's only 10 months and god dammit I'm claiming it for at least a year. Blog super stardom: here I come!

  6. This is awesome! I'm glad I won't bbe the only chubby, socially inappropriate blogger there. 🙂

  7. OMG I love this.

    So many of my local friends are bloggers and it cracks me up when people say “oh, wow, must be nice to be one of the cool kids.”

    Yes. Right. All of my friends are internet geeks.

    We are SO freaking cool.

  8. This makes me warm and fuzzy about next week, not completely freaked out for a change! Thanks!

  9. I love holding babies, but I'd much prefer to hold Kristen herself. She's so nice and purty and melts me every year.

  10. I love this. Love it. I'm nervous, I won't lie. But that's mostly due to um my fear of speaking in front of a group of people, which…yeah. But the rest of it? Not really worried. Will be wearing flip-flops and clothes that I already own. Which doesn't really bother me, because my clothes WON'T have baby drool or vomit for THREE whole days. Squeeee.

    Also, I finally get to meet all of you crazy people.

  11. I'll kiss anyone with a pulse.

    Don't judge me.

    For 12 months of every year I'm surrounded by sticks and wilderness. I'm like the Pioneer Woman but with less money, less kids and more bears.

    I NEED human interaction. Preferably lip on lip action.

    I can't wait to fondle you. *Waggles eyebrows*

  12. I'll give you that I will shower, and wash my hands and take all my meds. I just would like to meet some other bloggers and find out if the voice I imagine for them is correct or not.
    I think I'd rather be a blogger than popular, considering most of my friends and family don't understand what a blog is, why I would do such a thing to myself or why I love to write.

  13. Ha this is awesome. I have to admit my biggest fear is accidentally peeing in my Spanx. That is if I bother to wear them. It's an olympic event to get into them.
    Let's hope everyone has safe travels both ways and let's down their hair and has a good time! 🙂

  14. Okay, I really was having a pseudo panic attack about going to blogher as a first timer. But now that I know it is completely acceptable to show my underwear, I might dispense with the pants altogether. That will make me easier to find, right?

  15. Love it!

    I won't be at BlogHer this year, but this is a great anxiety guide.

    (I can't keep my feet on the ground when sitting either. It's challenging in restaurants.)

  16. Hysterical post, can't wait to read thoughts AFTER the big event, I sold my ticket this year to go to Disneyland instead. Best story was from a friend that was stressing about going to a Blogging Event, her husband said, “Why do you care? No one knows who any of those people are except other bloggers.” 😉

  17. Well, I'm such a newbie that I didn't even know enough to be nervous. Good thing I'm not going to the actual conference, just a couple of parties that the SV Moms Group has invited me to out of pity (and because I live in the 'hood). Have fun.

  18. Thank you! I've seen an increasing number of tweets and such about BlogHer, as you mentioned, but more important to me are these posts that reassure me that we are all socially awkward and ready to crap our pants (from nerves, or just because that's what we do) at any given moment. My social anxiety is somewhat assuaged by knowing you're all just as messed up as I am. 😉

    Also, your Paris Hilton line? Priceless!

  19. I'm going as a BlogHer virgin, and you have addressed some of my major anxieties (except for the Twitter-account hacking – I hadn't thought of that one before. Gee, thanks). Thanks, and see you there :-)!

  20. LOL That was THE best BlogHer post I've read by far! Us bloggers definitely aren't the popular people. I've been wondering how uncomfortable we're going to make some of these celebs that are coming to BlogHer. Should be funny!

  21. Last year my best (non-blogging) friend tagged along to BlogHer. When she told one of her neighbours we were going to San Francisco for a blogging conference, his response?

    You're kidding, right?

    Yep. The Bloggers are a unique breed.

  22. no blogher in my future but rofl @ paris hilton being scared of panties. do ya think she even knows what they are???

  23. Take it from a no-name C-List blogger who knows from experience at multiple blogger functions: Liz is correct. 95% of bloggers, even internet famous bloggers, are really nice people. And nerds. Nerdy nerdy nerds.

    Also, you will certainly not be the only person hyperventilating in the bathroom. You may in fact run into your favorite famous blogger there doing the same thing. If you do, offer to buy her a drink.

  24. Awesome post. LOVE the checklist. And now I'm all anxious again because I forgot Tim Gunn cared about shoes too! Sheesh.
    If Tanis tongues me I am SO liveblogging it.

  25. What the hell does #tcot stand for anyways? Is it code for Satan?

    Abby Cadabby was the highlight of my weekend last year and I have been a hero amongst the little people ever since.

  26. I think I'm just going to hide in a bathroom and ambush The Bloggess when she tries to hide in there.

    Awesome list—made me laugh really hard b/c I am nervous about all this stuff too.

    And, Audrey's mom is fab-looking too, so it's the whole “apple doesn't fall far from the tree” thing.

  27. I think the fact that you made this chart should put everyone's fears to rest.

    I love it.

    Too bad I can't photoshop the zits off my face when I meet someone in real life, right?

  28. I'll be the really tall one in fabulous shoes. (Not Mocha Momma, the other tall one in fabulous shoes.) And hugging you. 🙂

  29. Loved this! Thanks for the humor and making this BlogHer newbie feel a little more comfortable!

  30. I'm not too terribly nervous. At least, not nearly as nervous as I was last year when I met up with some girls from high school who I'd reconnected with through Facebook. (That turned out to be totally fine & normal, which might be why I'm not so scared about BlogHer.)

    I will say, though, that the idea of meeting Tim Gunn? Scares me to death. But I know that if I have the opportunity to have my picture taken with him and I don't, my mom will never forgive me. So I'll put on my most fashionable big girl panties and try to meet him anyway.

  31. Dead on brilliant as always!

    Totally true for me except I worship at the alter of YSL Touche Eclat and not the iPhone (though I have a BlackBerry in iPod white with apps to maintain some semblance of geek cred) and I'm hoping Tim Gunn will not approve of my shoes and feel the need to school me 🙂

    I'll be the chubby introvert with frizzy hair lunging at everyone to give socially awkward, inappropriate hugs™ (per my twitter bio) whether you want them or not.

  32. Sitting cross-legged in a skirt as I type. It's a wonder my butt's not permanently attached to this chair, which ought to underscore my lack of social skills.

  33. WAHHHHHHHH! Why can't I go to BlogHer and be angsty about getting invited to the 1360 people-party!?! (You SO pegged me on that and I'm not even GOING.)

    phooey wah wah wah!!!!!!!

    *snif* I'm so jealous I don't get meet all you girls.

    Also, my word verification is shnnic which is the ugly cry snort sound. Tee hee.

  34. I *heart* you. Though my husband thinks your crazy for wanting to dread our kids hair.

    I am so excited for blogher because 1.) I can geek out to my hearts content. 2.) talk shop and no one will look at my like I have six heads. and 3.) I'm not pregnant and I can drink this year!

  35. That's excellent. I won't have to worry since I'm not going to BlogHer *sob* – no really, I'm fine with it.

    I'll print this out on the off chance I get to go next year. Because I will so be one of those nervous people.

  36. I was totally having the headshot/avatar discussion with a friend the other day. Who is the person that is going to put an “ugly” photo of themselves in their social media profile? We choose pictures of ourselves that we like! We all take 675 self-portraits in photobooth and agonize over the best one. If I wanted people to believe I was a svelte, lithe, athletically-built blogger-lady, I would never leave my house. My “cover” is blown the moment people meet me in person. Maybe I should add a, “Guess what?! I am not thin!!” disclaimer across my photos. Or better yet, “I ordered the Jillian Michaels DVD and IT'S STILL IN THE SHRINKWRAP!”

  37. No one should ever be surprised at the way I look. I post unflattering photos of myself all of the time, and post pictures of the numbers on the scale (currently 2-1-7.) However, I can't lie, I love my current Twitter avatar which hides most of my face and kind of makes me look like I could POSSIBLY be cute and sexy in person.


  38. The flashing of the underwear is accidental? Now you tell me. Oh great. I have been flashing my underwear at people since my first BlogHer conference in 2006. I saw you do it and figured it was some sort of blogger thing I should do too.

    I can't believe I totally misunderstood that.

  39. This is the perfect antidote to my slacker-blogger-D-list state of mind. All I want to find is a few folks to sit with at meals because I'm fat and pregnant and need to eat a lot. We shall all check our insecurities at the door, but it's sure funny to talk and make fun of them.

  40. Okay I know it met an untimely, albeit quiet death but I'm offended you didn't say a ROFL was a coveted prize.


    (In all seriousness, can't wait to see you again!)

  41. Definitely nailed the blogger vs. popular person thing!

  42. How about we make sure that everyone leaves the anxiety pills they take when they have to go to real meetings at the door?

    Seriously I don't understand why people are so freaked out this year. I have read stuff on people worrying about outfits and hair and am just wondering where the hell this is all coming from. Is it the people who review and who think they can figure out ways to make a ton of money nervous that if they don't success at blogher than their plans to be rich off their blog is dead?

    I'm just psyched to meet new people, see some friends I only talk to virtually and drink some alcohol and hopefully learn a thing or 2.

  43. I, too, am way over the “This is the biggest social event of the year!” bullshit people are writing. No, ladies. It's a conference. If this is your idea of The Biggest Social Event of your year? Then, please, get out more often. Step away from the computer and go out with your girlfriends. The ones who live near you. I

    With that said, I'm hurt beyond belief that Tanis' tongue kissing got mentioned that that my infamous licking did not.

    No lick for you!

    (I kid. There will be licking. And hair fondling. AGAIN.)

  44. I am now mortified about the extra “that” in my comment and the obvious “I” at the end of a sentence.

    Hopefully, Tanis' word verification was “tongue”. A gal can hope.

  45. This is the best blogher post EVAH.

    P.S. Don't front, @MU, you'll be handing that little bundle of happy to ANYONE WHO WANTS HER.

  46. I'm feeling the BlogHer stress and I'm not even attending! This is a great post and I'm sure will soothe lots of nerves. Have a fun time in Chicago.

  47. Sounds about right! Looking forward to meeting you while there! I'm so excited since it's my first time to attend. : )

  48. I'm freaking laughing my ASS OFF. You are so funny. I just read this out loud to my husband… as far as the triceps – I rent my sons out by the hour if you're interested… great workout! 🙂
    Is it wrong to want to see Kelly at the Hamptons? I'm trying for a sighting the weekend of Aug 1st. 🙂
    PS – Can't wait to see YOU at BlogHer…

  49. Perfect. I adore bloggers. But I always thought being scared of bloggers who are “A-list” is like being intimidated by the Chewbaccas at a Star Wars Meet-up because those guys are tall enough for that costume.

  50. unfortunately, i don't get to go this year. if you need to know why i could afford to go last year, when it was in san francisco and not this year WHEN I COULD FREAKING DRIVE THERE IN FOUR HOURS, please see: michigan economy.

    but! for anyone who's still scared, i will tell you that i went to chicago in 2007, and was worried about all the things that everyone worries about before blogher, and i had almost no fun.

    then i went to san francisco in 2008, and i was all: “this shit is expensive, i am going to have fun no matter what.”

    and i did! it's all about that mind set, people. everyone there wants to be loved just as much as you want to be loved. otherwise… we wouldn't have blogs to begin with, probably.

    oh, and amalah gave me a hug, too! if you see her this year, give her a hug for me!

  51. I am literally reading this on a Saturday night as I migrate my Bloglines over to Google Reader. So maybe I really *am* a blogger after all 😉

    And I didn't know tweetdeck made an iPhone app, I'll have to look into that.

  52. Everybody come say hi to me, Esti, I think all bloggers are interesting and I'd love to hear your story. I'm a blogginer and I didn't even know what BlogHer was last year, now I feel like I'm heading into a non-stop social superhighway (better make sure I've got ASSETS covered, thanks spanx).

  53. So you're saying I shouldn't act like I'm on “The Hills” after all? Damn. This changes a few of my planned outfits and hissy fits.

  54. Ha – does this make me a weird blogger that I don't even know who most of those “popular people” you speak of are?

    Loved this post!

  55. Well, this year I will hug you AND let you hold my baby. I'm a double-threat! Triple if you count the inevitable spilling-red-wine-on-somebody event.

  56. Who’s Kelly Bensimmon?

    (and if that’s not proof I fall into the ‘Blogger’ category, I don’t know what is.)

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