Blog Off!

by jeff

I’m blogging about BlogU: a blogging conference I didn’t even go to. Meta-sad. I would have gone if I had known about it earlier. And I didn’t have male parts. I found out about it just days before it was set to begin in Baltimore. With no time to rearrange plans or win the lottery to pay for last-minute airfare, I could only go to the website and peer and hope, and pine.

The agenda was a wish-list of sessions I had only attended in my deepest blogging fantasies.

Finding your niche. Yes please! I seem to fluctuate between believing my niche is either “daddy blogger “or “unschooling blog” but then I don’t post about either of those things nearly as much as I bemoan my horribly cluttered home.

Social Media Mastery. Don’t mind if I do! I’m getting something of a crash course, but there’s so much more to learn before all the rules completely change as they seem to do every week.

Making Money with Your Writing. I would LOVE to earn more money. If only to support my LIMITED EDITION STEPHEN KING BOOK ADDICTION. Of course this means making money off of you. Well you and hundreds of your friends. Though, not directly from you (unless we’re talking about the next point) but mostly from advertisers. All I need from you are your eyes. Give me your eyes. Your round, wet, salty eyes!

Going from Blog to Book. Ah yes. What are the best practices for doing this? Do I just reformat all this dreck into chapters/sections and then make people pay for things that were once free? And the only people who would have any desire to buy it would be the people who already read it—so why the hell would you buy it? Do I offer new stuff? How the hell will I have time to write new stuff when I can’t even write this stuff? Or maybe it’s actually taking this stuff and polishing it into something that is vaguely professional. I don’t know. But had I gone, I would have learned.

BlogU promised to address all of these topics with drinks and expert bloggers. Panels and panels of experts leading lectures and workshops and sitting on the A side of Q&A sessions spitting out knowledge. All with the goal of empowering women and moms.

Oh so now that sentence in the opening paragraph makes sense.

Sure, they made an effort on their site to say “dudes welcome” but all that phrase really means is “now you can’t sue us for discriminating against you based on gender.” To make sure that no real man would want to attend, they used pink/purple type and plastered pictures of smiling, empowered women looking recently imbued with power all over their website. And what self-respecting guy wants to be around that?

So BlogU is really a big EffU if that U = men.

I learned about BlogU reading a post from Saint Kate of the Twitters. In the comments section, Kate revealed that the conference was mostly for women (unknowingly giving me Swap Meat flashbacks and setting this post into motion) but that there was one guy that she knew of who was going.

That gave me a little something to chew on. How awesome would that have been—being one of only two guys there? It’s like the plot of a Buddy Blogger comedy that no one would pay to see: BLOGCRASHERS. Me and the only other guy (portrayed by Will Ferrel and Vince Vaughn) would have to play up the part of the stereotypical slovenly male and really stand out. We’d be a couple of crazy fish-out-of-water getting into all kinds of shenanigans and goings ons. Mostly involving pizza and not shaving. The movie trailer would boast: “this is the one must-see comedy that includes over 21 minutes of belching!” But then we’d see that we can’t go through life being obnoxious asshats all the time. We’d inevitably reach a turning point (probably after accidentally setting empty pizza boxes on fire and somehow ending up on a statue of a horse in the middle of a city park wearing nothing but our bathrobes). This epiphany would be a moment where we’d see how much we’ve hurt the people around us. Together, we’d grow as humans. Everyone in the movie would walk away somehow changed. Somehow better for the experience. We’d promise to quit being bad men and BlogU would promise to begin allowing men to attend openly. There would be several scenes of all the main bloggers, back in their homes, writing intensely personal, reaching, moving blog posts very much in the vein of “The Breakfast Club.”

The only other option for me would be to attend a conference entirely for men. And who the hell would want to spend a weekend surrounded by that level of douchebaggery?


  1. Ahahaha! You would have loved it. You might want to reach out to Mike Cruse, the ONE guy that attended, and ask him what he thought. Here’s his blog: I messaged him that you might have questions for him – I didn’t say your name, so don’t feel obligated.

    Haha – I just found out he lives in my hometown – now I wish I would have met him personally this weekend. I suck.

  2. Here’s a question for you: are there any blogging conferences (other than business ones) that DO have more than a smattering of men?

    My significant other and I are relatively new to the blogging world and I’ve been looking for a good conference for us to go to. But it’s all “Mom Blogger this” and “Blogher that”. I would love to find a conference that I don’t have to drag him to by the ear.

    Momus recently posted The Dysfunctional Bucket List

    • jeffandjill

      07/09/2014 at 3:01 pm

      I don’t know. Other than the Chicago Blog Week that I mentioned above, I haven’t a clue. I’m not very good at the business side of blogging. Or the purpose side of blogging. Or blogging.

      And yeah, it seems to be ALL WOMEN. I’ve read a few dad blogs, and overall I’ve got to say–we’re not really helping our cause. For some reason, blogging is a much more natural fit for women. Maybe because women read more and want to get other female POVs? It’s more relatable? I don’t know. I just like to write.

      I think next year Jill will go to BlogU. And I will go to a water park with the kids. And our marriage will be stronger for it.

  3. Chicago… you do follow, Thoughts From Paris (dot) com, right? I think he’s pretty great… for a guy. No, kidding, he’s one of my favorite mommy bloggers, despite the fact that he is not, nor will ever be, a mommy. Look him up; I hope you enjoy his blog.

    • jeffandjill

      07/10/2014 at 8:02 am

      Yeah, I follow him on Twitter. He cracks me up. I’ll give his blog another look.

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