So if you didn’t know who Heather Armstrong was before this weekend, now you do. Heather is, like, the rockstar of personal bloggers. She was at the blogging conference I went to a few months ago but I missed her presentation because. . . what was I doing? The silk screen tutorial? Where I learned how to BUILD A WOODEN SCREEN FROM SCRATCH?? After which I decided- who has time for this? If I ever feel moved to silk screen something, I’m buying myself the deluxe machine with the pre-made screens. Or really what is going to happen is that I will click on over to etsy.com and support the work of one of the talented crafts folk who actually know what they’re doing. So anyway, back to Heather. Her session was more on the business end, like how to increase traffic on your site. But that was SO not where I was at the moment. I traveled across the country mostly to 1. Go on a trip (which hadn’t happened in years) and 2. Check out the scene, thinking cautiously about dipping my toe in the water someday. Maybe.
Anyway, I swear when Heather “Dooce” Armstrong walked through a room (all six feet of her) with her husband and someone else in her posse, the crowd parted to make way. The phenomena of Dooce is fascinating to me. She is really really funny and normal and thoughtful and she’s been writing about the mundane things of real life for ten years now– and millions of people read it — and Verizon is paying her buckets o money in recognition that people care about what this formerly unfamous ex-Morman mother woman has to say!! To me, this is the victory story of women finding a venue where the stories can be told and shared. The stories that seem like nothing on the surface but yet we all want to hear them because they aren’t nothing, turns out they’re EVERYTHING. Women are sitting down at their computers and finding ways to reach other women and some of them are even making a living doing it. Brilliant. One of the things I was struck by at the Alt conference is what a generous, creative, female friendly, community building place this blogosphere can be. There were many big round bellies, babies watching along from their Ergo carriers, gaggles of artsy single women, women in collaboration with each other, encouraging each other, sharing what they know. And yes, it was predominantly women with a few sweet guys in the mix. I came away feeling like there is room for all of us here. Women I admire were telling me to jump in. And the water seemed so warm — that I did.
Nieniedialogues. Love her. If you don’t know her, you really ought to.
Which ones are YOU reading?