April 07, 2007

BlogHer Business 07 — I was there

The boats carry war-, world-, and sea-weary, freedom-craving, hope-filled immigrants. Among the millions that poet Emma Lazarus tagged “tired, poor and yearning to breathe free,” I picture my maternal grandparents and their two daughters — the sweet sixteen elder, my mother, arriving in New York City. To greet them, Lady Liberty, the "mighty woman with a torch... mother of exiles," was standing in the port harbor. Here, on Ellis Island, the great registry hall opened as an immigration station in 1892, and in the next 68 years it was in operation, agents processed 12 million immigrants.

Even today, arriving in the Big Apple by airplane, I think about my mother’s maiden journey here — what it might have been like; and then, her arrival and early years on its strange shores.

I got the word in Tel Aviv
So when I opened Elisa Camahort’s email invitation to volunteer at the BlogHer Business 07 conference March 22-23 in New York City, I pounded my fists into the Tel Aviv air, shouting “yes!” (I had been wrapping up my part-time life there — the balance I live in Atlanta; it’s a bihemispheral thing...) I thought, soon I will be returning to the city where I grew up… to participate in a conference that focuses on a medium… that helps me integrate my life in two hemispheres! And (surprise!) I blogged about the conference where more than 200 women (and about a dozen guys) would explore "How to Succeed in a Social Media World."

Brain overload: a good thing
Bright, savvy, engaging, sympathetic, experienced, and resourceful peers, mentors, and talented presenters addressed the evolving communications paradigms and technologies. From the opening keynote session on the State of the Social Media World, and throughout the case studies and breakout tracks on topics such as Should You Blog? the players identified and grappled with the key issues, questions, and solutions.

Petite Atlantans (l. to r.) Toby Bloomberg, me, and
Stephanie Roberts frame BlogHer panelist
and fellow blogger
Penelope Trunk

Close ups
Among social media veterans and newbies, media and tech giants, mommy bloggers, professors, and students —

The traveling team: unflappable Kristin and Nathan, age 6 weeks, cuddled in mommy’s sling.

Ewan Spence, attired in a kilt, represented Scotland and The Podcast Network.

Vlogger Bill Cammack, whose BlogHerBiz conference views are among his site Categories.

Fellow volunteer — gentle, funny, soulful artist, and inspiration Jen Lemen.

Angela LoSasso, Home and Home Office Web Content Manager, Hewlett-Packard Company, who financed her college education by playing professional women's softball in Italy! [NOTE: For Angela's reply to my request for her review of this description of her athletic accomplishments, please see my comment at the end of this post.]

Roxanne Darling (coach, communicator, and systems analyst specializing in health and technology), who listed on one side of a business card, the essential tools for podcasting and sharing files on my blog.

The mix of race and age (and species!) of participants — moderators, panelists, and discussion leaders was incredible, and I noted and thoroughly appreciated that many women (and men) were of color. Absolutely magnificent.

Yahoo! Corporate blog editor, Nicki Dugan; FastCompany.com senior editor, Lynne D. Johnson; and Weblogs, Inc. editor, Karen Walrond (all shown above) discussed How to Embrace the Social Media Culture.

Carmen VanKerckhove of New/Demographic and co-host of "Addicted to Race," a podcast series, shared how she is tackling "America's obsession with race."

Ja-Tun — singer, performer, and hip-hop artist took notes the first day until her multi-tasking mother, Professor Kim Pearson, arrived. This witty, fun, and hip writer and educator is "... interested in the use of interactive storytelling as a means of encouraging more informed and engaged civic participation."

To visit or revisit conference proceedings, click these transcriptions (blogged "live") and audio podcasts.
  • Audio Podcasts for 4 General Sessions State of the Social Media World, Case Study Interviews, Making the Case to Engage, and Is the Ethos of the Social Media World Changing How We Conduct Business Online and Offline?
Kudos to co-founders and uber organizers Lisa Stone, Elisa Camahort, and Jory Des Jardins. Bouquets to event planning goddess Kristy Sammis. Bows to programming advisory committee members Maria Niles, Toby Bloomberg, Elana Centor, Susan Getgood, Marianne Richmond and Lena West.

Maria Niles reports that animal companion, Zoe,
much preferred the conference to a kennel.


Beth Blecherman said...

Great Post! And nice to meet you briefly at BlogHer Business.

littlepurplecow said...

Yes, this is a wonderful post. And thanks for exposing the hidden puppy... I missed seeing her live!

Toby said...

Tamar - Wonderful recap .. and a beautiful story of your mother. It was great to see you again at BlogHer .. we have to stop meeting in cities miles away from our 'hometown.'

Maria Niles said...

Tamar -

I want to echo the kudos on this post - you captured the spirit of the conference beautifully.

It was wonderful to meet you - I hope our paths will cross again. And Zoe thanks you for the photo and shout out, as well.

penelope said...

Hi, Tamar. Such a fun post to read. Thanks for writing this -- and it is lyrical, as always with you.


Nicki Dugan said...

Thanks for posting that photo of our panel! And especially for snapping Zoe in her momma's purse. Snaps to the Affinia for being a dog-friendly hotel! Great post.

Tamar Orvell said...

Thanks everyone for reflecting the energy, humor, spirit, and rich content of BlogHer Business '07! Here is Angela LoSasso's correction to my description of her athletic accomplishments! Go, Angela!

Hello Tamar!... To answer your question(s):

1) I financed my education via an NCAA athletic scholarship from Arizona State University.

2) I played for the USA Softball Team (separate entity from the college team) ages ago, and we traveled to the People's Republic of China, Japan, South Korea on goodwill tours to promote the sport and to play exhibitions before International Olympic Committes to gain the sport's entry into the Olympic Games (obviously we helped! Softball became an official medal sport starting in Atlanta in 1996).

3) I played professionally (after college and after my stint on the US team) on the Robuscchi club team in Parma, Italy....