The Beginning -- BlogHer 2006

8 years ago

I wasn't one of those lucky people that attended BlogHer in 2005. For me, BlogHer didn't really exist until after I joined the website in January 2006. Since then the community has grown, and the website has changed a lot, but one thing that hasn't changed is that our editors and members provide great content. Here are some of the 2006 post that still stick with me.

A post that I keep saved to my favorites is this one by Lisa Stone on what do you do when you're cyber-stalked, taunted or abused online.

I'm talking about the lovely experience of encountering Internet trolls. And for me, it all boils down to this...

Sometimes people are mean in this virtual Web world. Really mean.

And it's my opinion that there's only one solution: Ignore them.
That's the most powerful thing you can do.

It was the first year that I really heard someone say that they were thankful for their blog, like Kalyn did.

It's connected me to a wonderful network of people worldwide. My life is enriched by communications from readers who let me know I'm helping them lose weight or create more interesting meals. I've learned so much from the creative, talented people whose virtual kitchens I enjoy visiting.

Liz Rizzo wrote about blogging letters to your loved ones.

Did you ever write emotional, five-page letters to your boyfriend in high school? And later, did you learn that you were supposed to write the letter, but not send it? Oh, and, "Don't drink and email!" I'm willing to bet that most people have had at least one moment where they poured their hearts out into a letter that no one ever saw. I bet your average blogger can remember more than one.
Only now, of course, we post them. Our hidden letters have become blog posts. Their value now is not only for us. Now we pour out our heart for others to share

Liz Henry blogged on how personal blogging crossed boundaries.

Revealing the personal details of life is powerful and relevant to other people. All the things we're not "supposed" to talk about, those are the things that are the most radical. Exhibitionism is subversive. Is this true or not?

There are things that we discussed in 2006 that we still haven't completely figured out. Jory Des Jardins tackled the question what does it mean to "sell out?"

As a writer, and as a WOMAN, I think that getting paid is a message in itself. So many women throughout my working years have knowingly taken lower-paying work, discounted fees, no advances, initially as a means to something better, but then eventually as a way of life.

Denise Tanton put a personal face on a self-harm study.

I don't mean that I currently take part in self-harm activities, because I don't. I don't even feel an urge to do so anymore. I can remember the last time I felt the urge, it was just a few years ago and my family was in crisis. I took control, did what needed to be done to keep everyone safe and then collapsed. At that point, the idea flashed through my mind. Luckily, I am a recovered self-harmer and I have other coping mechanisms now. 30 years ago, I didn't.

Amanda Shaffer wrote about what it's like to be young and facing your spouse's cancer diagnosis.

I started to walk across the grounds, and in the corner of my eye, I saw a car race through the parking lot and screech to a halt. When I noticed that the maniac in question was my husband, he was running down the midway at full tilt. When Eric reached me, the look on his face said it all: he collided with me and told me the news between sobs and gasps for air. A routine physical for his new job had revealed that his white blood cell count was approx. 175,000. The normal range is between 4,500 and 11,000. Eric's leukemia had returned with a vengeance.

Remember O.J. Simpson's kind of confession? Elisa Camahort Page took that on in her post
"Reality TV gone to far: OJ Simpson's "Confession."

Yes, OJ Simpson has a book deal to write a book to talk about how he would have killed ex-wife Nicole Simpson and Ron Goldman if he had done it. Judith Regan is the publisher who has sold her soul for what will surely be an easy buck or two on this one.

Paige Maguire blogged about outgrowing MTV.

I have the most vivid memory of watching MTV as a young adult and thinking that as long as it was around, I'd never have to stop being cool. I was 13 or so, watching Headbanger's Ball, simultaneously clutching the latest metal magazine with a mini-poster featuring Brett and Bobby from Poison, so I wasn't exactly who I am today. Yet, I was well on my way, and Poison was the coolest thing around back then. I was one of the only kids on my bus who got to go see David Lee Roth and Poison on a school night, and proudly wait for the bus in fifty degree weather in my concert tee, sans Members Only jacket, just to make sure everyone knew.

Suzanne Reisman took on the "C" word -- Cesarean.

The risks of c-sections are downplayed and the procedure is glamorized in Western society. We see so many pictures of celebrity moms frolicking in bikinis on the beach soon after giving birth that it is understandable that a less conscientious person might not understand what this major surgery entails. Throw in a fear of malpractice suits, and doctors are more than happy to comply with requests from less-than-informed patients, further normalizing the procedure.

Karen Walrond wrote a letter to her nineteen-year-old self.

Indeed. For me, 19 was 20 years ago. Clearly any mistakes or poor decisions I made helped to shape the person I am today -- so, you know, no regrets -- however, wouldn't it be nice if the 39-year-old us could write letters from the future to the 19-year-old us, to help dodge some of those unfortunate mistakes we made? If it were possible, I think my letter would go something like this...

Were you a member of BlogHer in 2006? Do you have any posts that stick out in your mind from that year?

Contributing Editor Sassymonkey also blogs at Sassymonkey and Sassymonkey Reads.

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