The five ways I’ve ruined BlogHer ’12 before I’ve even arrived

If you don’t blog regularly (or at all) you might not know about the big BlogHer conference next week.  It’s a place where bloggers – famous and unknown – get together in person to share ideas, cultivate business relationships, and solidify online friendships.  And I’ve already ruined it.  How, you ask?

1.  My name.  Parents decision becomes my problem.  My name is Carinn.  It’s not Karen.  It’s not pronounced like Karen.  It’s closer to Corinne, but that’s not quite it either.  Curren?  Ca-Rinn.  Since I don’t even really know how to pronounce it, I will end up saying it not once but twice on our first meeting and several more times over the course of the weekend.  So don’t feel bad about asking again.

2.  My blog name.  Totally my fault.  Welcome To The Motherhood.  It captures the theme of my blog for sure.  As in, Welcome to the Motherhood, bitches.  Prepare to be cold-cocked.  Axl Rose is singing in the background.  It’s perfect for high drama, not so great for introducing yourself at conferences. There also happen to be roughly 20,000 versions of the same ‘hood concept (minus ten points for originality).

3.  My Twitter handle.  I have no problem with the one I chose.  It’s both cute and practical – @MamaHasSnacks – like your favorite pair of ballet flats.  But it doesn’t directly connect to Welcome To The Motherhood – which was too damn long for Twitter (that should have been my first hint?).

4.  I’m a Newbie.  Not just to the conference but to the entire blogging world.  I envision this conversation happening about 6,843 times:

Me:  Hi, I’m Carinn.

Fellow blogger: <blank stare>

Me: Online I’m Welcome To The Motherhood?

Fellow blogger: <blank stare>

Me: I tweet sometimes @MamaHasSnacks

Fellow blogger: <blank stare, increasing discomfort>

Me: how ’bout that swag?

Fellow blogger: ah, yes!  Swag!  LOVE.IT.

5.  I’m clueless – especially about swag.  Every post keeps telling me I need to have a separate suitcase just for all my swag.  What are we talking about here people?  Some T-shirts?  Samples of dog food?  A new toothbrush?  Q-tips?  My guess is that yogurt and sausage links don’t travel well, so what do I need an extra bag for?  You see, I don’t know shit about swag.  What I do know is that my family of four lives in less than 1,000 sq. ft and if I come home with a suitcase full of foam fingers and clap sticks my husband is going to kick me out.

I’m thinking I should just stay home and hug my pretty new business cards for comfort.  There’s no hope for someone who has already sabotaged her experience before she’s even arrived, right?

Anyone else having intense anxiety over BlogHer’12?  If not, please share your tips and advice for playing it cool.  I need all the help I can get.

30 thoughts on “The five ways I’ve ruined BlogHer ’12 before I’ve even arrived

  1. Suitcase of foam fingers and clap sticks- hilarious! Sorry I can’t help with the other stuff, but have a great time!

  2. You are so funny, I wish I was going to BlogHer so I could finally meet you and hopefully not mispronounce your name! I am new to all this as well and totally envision your #4 – newbie conversation happening with me as well – lol! “Mommy who? Um, padawan???” I have a feeling you will have a great time and return with some cool little gifts and lots of blogging material :) I wanna see you pretty new business cards! Can’t wait to hear about the conference from people and I loved this post.

  3. My husband read your “about me” section a long time ago and has been coaching me on the pronunciation ever since. I am so ready to roll out a “Ca-RINNNN!” I tell myself it rhymes with “Rin Tin TIn,” and I mean that totally respectfullly. Here’s the other thing: if all this hype about swag is reallly about foam fingers and slappy things, I am going to hunt the people down who were bragging about it. If I am going to ruin all my hard decluttering work, it’s gotta be worth it. No foam.

    Great post. I have most of the same issues. I can’t wait to see your business cards. I am the one with the brown hair– I am somewhere between Kate Middleton and Roseanne Barr– look for me, Kay?

  4. I am laughing hysterically right now. Not at you I swear. I’m bummed that I’m not going, but at the same time I am so new at this that I didn’t even know a conference existed. Fail! People would be looking at me and thinking, “Uh huh yeah, who are you again? Mommy who? Oh Mommy OM. And what does that mean exactly?” I probably just gave myself too much credit with that dialogue. People would probably, maybe say “hi” in passing. There that’s better. Please please report back on everything. Maybe we can meet up next year!

  5. Haha, you are so funny! I’ve dreamed about going to BlogHer for years now, but I always feel like, eh no one knows me, blah blah blah. I’m setting a goal for next year. You’re going to make some great connections and have tons of fun! Super jealous.

    • That’s a goal I hope you stick with! I don’t think you need to be known to go – you are supposed to make great connections while you are there! Or at least that’s the story I’m telling my husband.

  6. Woooooooo!!!! I, for one, will not give you a blank stare. How bout I shout really loudly “Oh my god, it’s Ca-RINN everyone!!!!!! From Welcome To The Motherhood!!!!! And this Mama has SNACKS!!” and then run to you and give you a hug!? And the swag??? I am properly mystified too! I kept telling Sean I needed an extra bag, and he’s like “well what kind of swag is it?” and I had to respond with “uhhhh…stuff? And vibrators”. Because that’s the BlogHer swag everyone talks about! And then Outlaw Mama sealed the deal with HER post this week….so yeah, I’ll meet you ladies at BlogHer, and we’ll collect our swag vibrators (I mean, our free Starbucks and yogurt coupons and cheesy notepads).

  7. Fear not. I’ve never been before either, but I get the feeling it’s a pretty positive and inclusive environment. Power to the People! Power to the women just didn’t have the same ring, but that’s really what it is (I think). You can still hug your business cards just do it while your at the conference. I’ll be hugging mine too. Look for me – I’m the one whose bald, has a big red nose and googly eyes.

    • You are so right – I don’t know why I am so worried I understand it to be a great environment too. Hopefully I’ll see you at the Newbie Breakfast. Will you be the one cursing the hash browns (I hope that wasn’t potato insensitive)?

  8. Carinn, funny post! I’ve been to a ton of conventions over the years (not for blogging, but conventions none the less), and most of the swag is smaller stuff you can get home easily with. BUT, I did go to a big booksellers convention in Orlando a couple years back to help a friend and fellow author do a book signing… I came home with no less than 50 free books in a huge box. No lie. I was there for about 45 minutes before I realized you didn’t have to actually buy the books that were being signed by the authors at all of these booths. After that, I was like a kid in a candy store. Three years later and I’m still trying to give some of the books away, lol.

    Have a blast!

  9. I’m still trying to convince myself that it’s worth my while to buy a ticket and go. (I live in the city, so I can make that last minute judgement call). But hmm… The promise of swag sounds tempting.

  10. I’m also a BlogHer newbie, and I had a great attitude about it when I signed up. Then the closer it got I also began to sabotage myself (I hear Beastie Boys in the background!) I recently read the Conference Guide and it sort of amp’d me up again! I was convinced I wasn’t going to any of the parties since I’m going solo and also thought I’d look like an idiot, but I think I’m going to step outside my comfort zone and go.

    Let me know if you need a friend! I’ll need one too! Here’s my tentative schedule:

  11. I needed this laugh tonight! I agree, you should stay home, hug your cards and tweet with me instead. I’m too lame to go this year (and my daughter’s ninth birthday falls over the conference), but I hope to meet you at next year’s conf when you can guide me through the almighty swag rituals. Color me jealous and bring me back a foam finger (the biggest one you can find!).

  12. Well, Ca-rinn. Nice to meet you. I’m a plain old Karen. I figure your parents were just ahead of their time. These days nobody chooses ordinary names for their children and if they do, they deliberately spell them oddly. I’m giving blogher a go for the first time too. Easy choice – I live in NY. Looking forward to meeting you! I promise, no blank stares.

  13. Ca-rinn…..I am a newbie going to Blogher for the first time too. My step sister is going – she went last year – and she convinced me that a weekend away with her – at a blogher convention is what I need to get some rest and relaxation. Except, she signed me up for 10 events (5 of which I was rejected for – as I dont have enough followers) and we have someplace to be every minute of every day. I cant wait to be there – experience it all – and meet people. I named my blog Holly Go Lightly because she is my favorite character from my favorite movie. Only….not everyone knows that Catherine Hepburn was Holly in Breakfast at Tiffanys. My very first mistake. My name is Wendy – and my blog is named Holly. I am sure we will make 100 more mistakes. I hope to meet you in NY….look for me!

  14. My advice is this:

    remember why you love to blog and how your own space is enough to make you proud.

    Realize there will be people who brush you off and don’t take it personally even though it SO IS.

    I had many a brush off and I had to be OK with it, though it’s taken purt near a year.

    I am small potatoes, and that’s important to some people.

    Go on, go on…remember what counts: the folks back home. the rest of all this? is just a place where I find myself, and that is enough.

    blah blah blah, all that to say :don’t look to others for validation of self, nor measure, of your worth in this world:

    • Thank you for saying this. A lot of people insist that everyone is so nice and I am sure that is the vast majority. But thank you for saying some people are going to care about “who” I am (or am not). I would rather be ready for a few disappointments and focus on the people I am excited to meet (including and especially a new part of myself!).

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