"Greed is good" was Gordon Gekko's motto in that movie Wall Street. I'm about to go Gekko on the ladies who run the BlogHer conference...but in a good sort of way.
Last year, we had a BlogHer Birds of a Feather lunch for parents of kids with special needs. I put it together with Julia Roberts of Support for Special Needs, and about two dozen people attended. We both knew there was potential for something bigger and this year Julia got BlogHer to do a Special Needs Mini Conference, because she is amazing that way. Close to eighty of us gathered in a large room for lunch, mingling, listening, sharing, bonding, canoodling (you can read a transcript here).
I'm awed and grateful that Julia pulled this off, and I am convinced she has a double as I'm not quite sure how she managed it. I'm totally thankful to BlogHer for the support. But truth, I am not satisfied. I want more conference—and I'll bet everyone who attended would say the same.
BlogHer now offers several smaller conferences throughout the year: BlogHer Handmade, BlogHer Food, and a business one, BlogHer|bet (Business, Entrepreneur, Technology). This year, before official BlogHer started there was Pathfinder Day, a mentoring sort of program focused on growing your blog.
Surely special needs parenting bloggers could have a dedicated day at BlogHer. Surely we could have our own BlogHer conference. BlogHer Special, perhaps?
Some of you mentioned last week how helpful real-life groups have been for you. Imagine them, but on steroids. BlogHer Special. A conference with sessions, expert speakers, workshops, an expo featuring companies and nonprofits who provide services and equipment. There could be general sessions as well as ones divvied up by type of special needs. Having shrinks on hand would come in handy, but I guess we could make do with cases of wine.
It would be far easier to establish a national conference for special needs bloggers under the umbrella of BlogHer than to create one from scratch. I can think of potential sponsors. I am positive this conference would attract plenty of attendees—both parents of kids with special needs who blog as well as moms and dads who want to start blogging and need inspiration from the rest of us.
So thank you, wonderful ladies of BlogHer, for this year's mini-con. And in the immortal words of Oliver Twist (no relation to Gordon Gekko), "Please, sir, I want some more."