For some, a ballroom crowded with several hundred bright, accomplished and outgoing women might be a scary place. A conference with close to 1,500 women with opinions and blogs is probably even more frightening! But as we juggled our glasses of wine and tried to make conversation over the din at the first night of the BlogHer '09 conference, one wise woman turned and said to me, "There's so much power in this room."
It was the way she said it that struck me -- part in astonishment that so much female potential to be harnessed could be in one place, but there was also a tinge of sadness that sort of said, "Why aren't we doing something with all this power besides waiting for the swag bags?"
Obviously, there's more to a blogging conference than the parties and the goodies, but it is a fair question -- what could we do to grab an opportunity where so many women gather? How can we make an impact or, even, start a movement?
The list of big and small things goes on forever. Kim of Hormone-Colored Days has called for conference goers to save their unused hotel toiletries for a women's shelter. On a bigger scale, the question is being asked today by Veronica and others - what do politics mean to women in a post-Sarah Palin world? (Is it even possible to imagine a post-Sarah Palin world!) And the beginning of a movement is underway to take back the integrity with which many of us write, even though there are some who suggest that we are nothing more than product promoters.
It is good to pause and focus on what else we can be doing with this accumulation of power. We're so much more than the sum of our blogs. If we each take a moment to step away from the swag and the cocktails to think about what we could do to contribute to our communities, both online and off, we can take the next steps toward "world domination." And I know we'll be able to do it so skillfully, that the current powers that be will never even notice!
BlogHer News & Politics Contributing Editor Joanne Bamberger also writes about her political and, sometimes, activist, thoughts at her site, PunditMom. Joanne is also a regular contributor to The Huffington Post and is currently writing a book about mothers and politics to be published by Bright Sky Press in Fall 2010.
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