Why I Won't Talk to You at Blissdom or Other Blog Conferences

Originally published at Chicago Moms Blog prior to BlogHer 2009.

My 10 year-old recently half-jokingly hurled an insult at me, "Mom, you are a wannabe nerd. And that makes you a dork."
Me? A dork? I resemble that remark.
And now as Twitter is abuzz with chatter about upcoming conferences like the one in Houston this week and SXSW Interactive in March, his comment made me realize that maybe it's best that I'm not attending either of those events.
After all, there are two conversations from BlogHer08 I still haven't lived down.
The first conversation took place last summer in the elevators of Saks. I was headed for a makeover with a few my Silicon Valley Moms Blog friends and two young women joined us in the elevator. One of them had mascara smeared under her eye.
As soon as we took off from the ground floor my internal dialog started. Do I tell her? Do I keep my mouth shut? If it was me, wouldn't I want to know? It's like when you have a bit of food stuck in your teeth all afternoon, but no one tells you until after your big presentation?
As she exited the elevator I decided to act. "Excuse me," I said. "But your eyeliner appears to have smeared a bit."
"It's a birthmark," she replied as she turned her head and walked away leaving me to recoil in shame at my faux pas.
And then, within a few hours of this interaction, I found myself talking to another mom blogger. We were discussing motherhood and nonprofit work. I have a master's degree in nonprofit management, but always figured my life would take one of two paths- the mommy/family route or the traveling the world helping women and children route. I never saw a convergence of the two.
My new friend was telling me she thought a woman could do quite well at both things and I continued to explain, perhaps defend, my limited view.
I later realized this mom who could do it all was none other than Beth Kanter. The Beth Kanter. One of the best known, most influential, do-goodingest women on the whole damn Internet. In fact she just received glowing kudos in a little magazine called BusinessWeek. She's awesome.
And I'm a dork.
So anyway, if I don't talk to you at BlogHer09, don't take offense. It's not that I don't have anything to say, it's just that I'm all too aware that a closed mouth gathers no feet.

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