Bing at Blogher 2009 (aka #blogher09): Part One

I'm writing this in the Chicago airport in the familiar happy post-conference exhaustion. Unlike my previous Blogher attendance, I was doing more booth babe/evangelism of a product than being a social media expert, and it was cool to see how folks have reacted to Bing. And I got into Chicago at the right time - luckily for me - to catch the Chicago appearance of Tara Hunt and the Whuffaoke crew at a meetup at The Coop, a Chicago co-working space.

The Coop Party - met some really cool local folks interested in creativity and design

The Whuffaoke crew parked outside The Coop.

What drivers see - the view behind Winnie the Winnebago above.

Tara Hunt,right, getting ready to rawk the mike at Whuffaoke

Blogher this year was a sold-out conference - and it sold out months ago. To help combat disappointment, they added "Lobbycon" and some additional registration spaces but I think we taxed the Sheraton to its limits. I tried to find a photo setup that was emblematic of Blogher and honestly, other people took better ones. See here for a stunning array of bloghers' photos.

As mentioned, I wasn't really free to roam too much, between presenting at the MicroSpa with some amazing women bloggers and working the booth. As part of our presenations about Search Overload and Bing, I met Devra and Aviva, cofounders of and authors of Mommy Guilt . I also got to meet Beth Blecherman of Techmamas. All of these women are presenters of great poise and grace and I learned a lot from watching them in our presentations.

 Here's me at the booth demoing video search:

 I did see a panel moderated by Ponzi Pirillo, and featuring Kelly Russell-Donner, Kate from Sweet|Salty and Daniela Capistrano about Transformational Power of Blogging . It reminded me that blogging was about bravery and storytelling.Corporations could learn from the storytelling skills found in these "issue blogs."  If your brand packed as powerful a punch as discussions of babies dying and sexual assault, you wouldn't need marketing programs.

I snuck away from the booth, leaving Nathan Buggia behind, to see one more session. Here's Nate:

I'm always interested in learning more about search issues that cross all engines, and Vanessa Fox's Advanced SEO session was fabulous - she is really great at adjusting the level of discussion for technically wonky and technically newbie audience members and really approachable. She was mobbed at the end. :)

Next year, Blogher turns 10 years old, and it will be a blow-out celebration in New York (and no doubt even bigger than this conference, which burst the Sheraton at the seams). See you there!