Here is a promise that I made to myself recently, and that I will make to you, too: I will not blog, on this blog, about BlogHer, prior to BlogHer.
I am, of course, super-thrilled to be going. But you all don't want to read about that: if you're going, you already know what that excitement feels like and don't need me to deconstruct it for you, and if you're not going, the last thing that you want to read about is this Big! Fantastic! Party! that you'll be missing. So I'll desist.
There will, however, be two exceptions to this promise. The first is that I will, in all likelihood, write about BlogHer on BlogRhet, the meta-blog sandbox that Joy and I and some of our thinky friends frolic in from time to time (and which you are welcome to play in, too, if you like). Stuff about how we talk about things like BlogHer conferences, the sort of language we use, why so many of us identify ourselves, pre-emptively, as outsiders who'll be lurking on the sidelines or hanging back at the table looking for other geeks. (Word to you all - we are all geeks. Every last freaking one of us. The biggest blogger that you know is, end of the day, just some geek who writes on the Internet. In her pajamas. Nobody's a rock star here, people. ALL. GEEKS. Goin' to a geek convention. Hot geeks, at a fun convention, but still. Geeks.) Maybe a post or two about the real or perceived politics of inclusion and exclusion that flare up when virtual life hits reality, that kind of thing. And if I or any of my BlogRhet peeps do write those posts, I'll certainly mention it here and direct you to them.
The second exception: there will posts about BlogHer over at MBT. Not least, because a group of us will be minivanning down to Chicago on a bloginista road trip and we will (oh yes we will) be blogging it, with photos and video and all manner of exhibitionist performance art. Kinda like Thelma and Louise times six, but without the crime or the death or Brad Pitt.
The biggest reason, however, that there will be BlogHer posting over at MBT is this: we're going to send someone to BlogHer. Well, we're going to give away a full 2-day registration package, which is pretty good. And it could be you! The contest is open to all citizens of the internet - you don't need to be from Toronto, or from Canada. You do not - repeat, do not - need to be a mommy blogger. Hell, you don't even need to have a blog (although if you're interested in BlogHer you're probably thinking about getting one. Check MBT for deets.) You can be anyone, from anywhere - all you have to do is write a post, sometime between now and June 15th, on some variation of this topic: (how) does blogging empower women? (Variations: How has blogging empowered you? Is blogging a radical act, for women? Are women rocking the blogosphere? Is the blogosphere rocking you? How and why?) Then send your link to me or post a comment here or at the MBT post. All posts, of course, will be linked up here and at MBT (which, I suppose, means that there's a third exception to my No BlogHer Posts promise. But you'll forgive me, right?)
We've got an awesome celebrity judge (you Canadians - and Americans who lived close enough to the Canadian border to pick up MuchMusic, Canada's MTV, in the 80's - will appreciate how cool this is) who will select the winners. Did I say winners? Yep. Those of you who are not planning to attend BlogHer can still participate - we'll select the best of the submissions from those of you who are not going and the winner will receive a wonderful We'll Miss You At BlogHer prize package (the contents of which are secret, but will, I promise, include candy.)
You can find full details here. Check it out, then get writing!
You can also win BlogHer registration by doing the Parent Blogger Network Blog Blast next Friday. You see how badly we want you to come? We're giving it away all over the place.
And because that's not enough for you to do: check out the writing challenge that we've just posted over at BlogRhet. It's a meme, but you can tag yourself. Or just wait for me to tag you. Or maybe wait for OTJ to do it - she sprays a meme better than anyone I know.
And - did you know that Babble has just launched Babblepedia? It's a parenting wiki (the first ever) to which anyone can contribute. Our own little wikipedia, all about parenting and childcare and everything that you ever and never wanted to know about what to do after that little dictator is dropped from the stork's beak. And, $1000 - ONE. THOUSAND. DOLLARS. - goes to whoever submits the most posts by June 30. That's a lot of diapers. Or a lot of drinks at BlogHer (one of which you'll owe me if you win this.)
I'm going to be spending the rest of my week establishing myself over there as the resident swaddling expert. Oh, how I miss the swaddle, sometimes, and the days when WonderBaby could be contained within a thin sheet of cotton...
Those were the days, my friends. Those were the days.