Curious as to what this Blissdom was, I poked around and discovered that Blissdom is a blogging conference for women, to be held this February for the second time in Nashville, Tennessee.
Looking at the web page, Blissdom takes more than a little inspiration from BlogHer’s conference energy–only with two significant differences–Blissdom has a strong Christian faith-based subtheme–and has Walmart as a sponsor.
Sponsored by some Nashville bloggers (would they call themselves girls? I’m not sure), February’s Blissdom ’09 is a repeat of October’s Blissdom ’08. This conference started life as a plans for a local party after the BlogHer business tour stop in Nashville, but turned into a day-long event after BlogHer cut back the tour, eliminating the Nashville meet-up.
Now, Allison Worthington, aka Mrs. Fussypants, and her partner Barbara Jones, aka one2onenetwork are calling in the tribe to Nashville for a lingerie and Cosmo-tinged party that Carrie Bradshaw and her gang of pals would surely enjoy (if they were moms of 5 with their own businesses, a relationship with their lord Jesus Christ, and blogs and blog-based businesses of their own, that is.)
The conference pitch is to come to Nashville for fun and fellowship and “learn from other women about building your blog, your brand, and your business while achieving bliss in those other areas that are so important too: being a mom, a wife, and being true to yourself.”
So here’s the thing:
- Would I, an irreverent New York Jew transplanted to the Bay area, feel comfortable at Blissdom?
- Could I too be a Belle of Blissdom?
- Or would my life as a Bella strike me from the lists?
- Would the fact I don’t have small kids, or a husband annoyingly but charmingly underfoot a home, deter me from feeling welcomed at this conference?
And how about that Jesus thing? If God’s grace comes with a cross on it, would I feel welcomed?
While it’s clear the conference wants to bring into people by the boatload who aspire to Allison Worthington’s ability to balance “her magazine, her mommy blog, her photo jewelry business, five young sons and a wonderful husband with lots of coffee and God’s grace,” it might also be true that this conference isn’t interested in attracting people who doesn’t fit that model, including childless and single people, LGBT ers and people of color who don’t fit the demo.
On the other hand, this might be the just the women’s blogging audience that Walmart is looking for. Maybe Walmart has funded Momtourage (iVillage) and Blissdom( this event) because these are their people.
(Of course if that means the more diverse group at BlogHer just isn’t, it will make me want to scream loudly for at least an hour.)
Short version: Am I the only one who gets the vibe that Blissdom is ground zero for the post-sorority, married with children version of SATC with blogging?
Or am I just being Mrs. Crankpants this morning?
(Update: I’m not angry about this at all. I think it’s fine for everyone to organize into whatever affinity groups ring true for them, and I respect all beliefs and religions, At the same time, this is the first women’s blogging group I’ve run into where many of the organizers list both having kids, being a good wife, and their Christian faith as key to their lives–and while it makes perfectly good sense–it’s also, uh, surprising, especially with Walmart forking out $$ so fast and all.)
Update 2: Mom 2.0 Summit, another niche conference in a rapidly crowding category.