Tuesday, July 22, 2008

BlogHer 2008 Meets in San Francisco and Fun Times with Fellow Food Bloggers

I had a really great time at the 2008 BlogHer Conference in San Francisco, hanging out with over 1,000 women bloggers, including more than a few of my favorite food bloggers. Taking photos of people is not my best skill, but I'm trying to improve! Here are shots of some people I met, and after the photos are links to posts about the conference from other bloggers.

First up, not a food blogger, but I was very excited to meet Jennette Fulda from Half of Me, since I love her blog, and I kicked off her book tour on Kalyn's Kitchen! We had a nice dinner together on Friday, along with the famous SueBob of Red Stapler fame. It was a fun way to start out the conference (especially after the flying day from hell, courtesy of Delta Airlines.)

Friday morning started with a chance to meet the fabulous Lydia from The Perfect Pantry, and we hit it off immediately. We had a nice breakfast together, then went to the Food Blogger's Birds of a Feather session. I was leading and had been keeping a list of food bloggers, but there were a lot more people there than we had been expecting! (The get well signs for Paz are a surprise, and I'm hoping she is not reading blogs for these first few post-surgery weeks. Keep the secret, everyone, so I can post them for a guest post on her blog.)

No, Bertolli is not paying for product placement on this blog, but they did sponsor a blogger lunch with Rocco DeSpirito, who was pitching this new pasta sauce in a pouch. Food bloggers are tough critics, but we thought the sun-dried tomato sauce was definitely the best of the bunch.

I have to admit, I was not a Rocco fan when he had his TV show, but he was beyond gracious about holding the sign for Paz, and even inquired about how she was doing. I was set to be unimpressed, but I found him very likeable and charming. He did a cooking demonstration using one of the sauces in a pasta dish with shrimp. (Rocco, you can cook for me any time.)

The lovely Sara from Ms. Adventures in Italy was volunteering at the conference so we didn't get to hang out with her too much, but she got to attend the lunch with Rocco, and gave him a tip about salting the pasta water generously, the way it's done in Italy. (Rocco was flirting with Sara; you heard it here first!)

Saturday morning the always wonderful Elise from Simply Recipes gave her famous standing-room-only session on Building Blog Traffic. (Follow that link and read it if you've never been able to attend this presentation at BlogHer.) With Elise in the photo above is Susan from Food Blogga, (left) who I loved meeting earlier this summer in San Diego.

After Elise's presentation, the food bloggers all planned to sit together during the lunch break, and we did have fun! Above (left to right) is Biggie from Lunch in a Box, Amy from Cooking with Amy, and Jennifer from Jennifer Jeffrey. What could be more fun than hanging out with so many great bloggers!

I may be losing track of my days, but I think it was at lunch that Lydia and I ran into Stef from A Year of Crockpotting. (She was recently on Rachel Ray, go Stef!)

More lunch fun, with (left to right) Claire from Cookthink, Shuna from Eggbeater, Kathy from Panini Happy, Jennifer, and Janice from Meal Makeover Moms. (Yes, there was a lot of talent in the room.)

Still lunching with talented women. This time we have (left to right) Gudren from Kitchen Gadget Girl, Biggie, Lydia, Andrea from Andrea's Recipes, and Susan.

Sunday was the Unconference, a fascinating process where any attendee can propose a session. Right away I spotted Genie from The Inadvertent Gardener, who just happened to be finishing up her Weekend Herb Blogging post!

After hanging around the Unconference for a while, I headed to Americano, where Amy and I had invited BlogHer attendees and San Francisco food bloggers to meet. Another fun gathering, and pictured above (left to right) is Anna from Cookie Madness, Simona from Briciole, Christine from Christine Cooks, Amy and Claire.

More fun and good conversation at Americano with (left to right) Biggie, Gudren, Kristin of Offbeat Eating, and Christine.

Some of my favorite San Francisco bloggers, all hanging out on the same bench. Pictured (left to right) are Amy, Sam from Becks and Posh, Jen from Life Begins at 30 and Sean from Hedonia. (Yaay for Jen, who was featured as an expert on the Eat Local Challenge in the latest issue of Fine Cooking.)

Last, but absolutely not least are (left to right) Lynda from TasteFood, Ed from Is it EDible, Susan, Chuck from Sunday Nite Dinner and the gorgeous photo site Food Gawker, and Gutenberg and Chubby, the famous Bunrabs, managing to remain incognito even among all the snapping cameras. (I was especially excited to finally meet Ed, after I missed him last year!)

More About BlogHer 2008:
List of Food Bloggers at BlogHer 2008 (if you're a food blogger who was there and I don't have you on the list, please leave a comment on that post with your name and blog url.)
Announcement of Food Blogger Meet-up (with photo links) by Cooking with Amy
SueBob's Red Stapler Photos on Flickr
BlogHer Day 1 by Jennifer Jeffrey
BlogHer Day 2 by Jennifer Jeffrey
Food Blogger Meet-up by Cookie Madness
Food Blogger Meetup: San Francisco by Kitchen Gadget Girl
The Report from BlogHer '08 by The Inadvertent Gardener
Food Blogger Meet-Up by Bunrab
A Report from BlogHer '08 from Web Teacher
New BlogHer Friends by Owlhaven
Packing Cupcakes and BlogHer '08 by Lunch in a Box
Shuna fish Lydon Interviewed at BlogHer by Eggbeater
BlogHer Thanks and Thoughts by Andrea's Recipes

(I will update this list when I see more posts about BlogHer 2008)

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More to Chew On:


  1. Fantastic report, Kalyn, and the pictures are terrific! I love getting to know all these great bloggers in person -- it makes blogging even more rewarding than it already is. I'm so glad you could be there and that we had some time to hang out -- such fun!

  2. Lucky you! I'd give my eye teeth to meet Elise in person, just for a few minutes. And Lydia! man, sometimes I wish I were a female food blogger...

    But I'm not, so I'll have to settle for a few brews with Dr. Biggles!


  3. How wonderful to see all those faces Kalyn. Thank you for posting the photos. Sadly I didn't get to participate on Second Life, maybe next year. Fancy seeing Sam with a champagne glass in hand.... and that Jennifer is so blonde and pretty and I love her writing.

  4. Great photos and wrap-up Kalyn! Wish I could have attended more of the conference. Was great to see everyone.

  5. What fun, Kalyn! Enjoyed seeing all the bloggers, now have to read all those reports.

  6. I am so excited to see these bloggers in person. Especially Lydia of the Perfect Pantry :)
    I'm so glad you had a good trip, Kalyn.

  7. Fun to put a face to all those blogs!

  8. I'm glad people are enjoying the photos. I'm having fun trying to learn to take pictures of live people, that's for sure.

    Jerry, men are welcome to attend any of the BlogHer events! Next year!

  9. Kalyn, thank you for including me in your round-up. I enjoyed every second of my first BlogHer conference. I had no idea you and Lydia had just met in person this year---I love how the Internet brings friends together.
    so neat.

  10. Hi Kalyn. Thanks for the recap. I'm jealous of Claire's getting to go to BlogHer every year but always love the round-up. Sounds like another great year!

  11. Wow, you were busy! Looks like you had a fabulous time and got to meet so many talented bloggers! Good for you!!

  12. Great fun to see photos of so many people I enjoy reading!

  13. Kalyn, what a great re-cap! Wish I could have joined you all on Sunday.

    So nice to get a chance to chat at the conference. You are such a marvelous community builder... and you did a wonderful job keeping all the foodies in line at the meet-up.

    Keep up the great work!

  14. Great report, Kalyn, and thanks for taking all of these photos! The best part of the conference was meeting and talking with other food bloggers and feeling like I went home with some new friends. I wish I could have stayed around for the Sunday brunch. Next year!

  15. Oh, it's so nice to see the faces that go along with blog names! Sounds like everyone had a wonderful time!

  16. It was so much fun meeting all of you for the first time, Kalyn! Because of your efforts, I instantly felt part of the larger food blogging community, so thank you. (And good job reigning in the PR folks at the food blogger Birds of a Feather meet-up! Much appreciated.)

  17. I would have loved to be there with you. I was thinking "forget celebrity chefs!"...I'be star struck with blogger celebrities!!

  18. Goodness, a great post. A fine sampling of your trip to BlogHer. It was great meeting you too Kalyn, but I felt like I didn't get enough time with you. I was feeling a bit overwelmed. You took a lot of great photos. I wish I had taken more but my camera ran through two sets of batteries in just nine pictures. Damn camera. I have a couple great shots of you. I will post them soon.

  19. It was great to meet you on Sunday. Thanks for the recap and all the wonderful photos. I wish I could have met more bloggers.

  20. Thank you so much for this wonderful and complete report, Kalyn. I love all the photos! Meeting up with the Sunday afternoon group was such fun. I want to do this again!

  21. Oh, Kalyn, you took some really great shots. Thanks for rounding these all up. It was so wonderful spending time with you and with all of the other bloggers. What an amazingly talented and warm group of people they are.

  22. Kalyn,

    Every year you do such a great job of herding us and allowing us the space to meet and talk to each other. And then you take amazing photos! {I took some photos but where are they?}

    This is great. And lovely. And great to see. Thank you over and over.

  23. Kalyn,
    Thank you for the pictures and summing up the event. It was nice meeting you and all the other bloggers and I look forward to next year. Thanks again!

  24. Great post. I was amazed at how some so closely resemble their blog photos.

    Some you could pick out in a crowd without ever having met before.

  25. LOL! Kalyn, now you know I can't resist your blogs -- no matter how I'm feeling. I have to stop by. What a surprise I received when I saw the get well messages from everyone. My, oh my! I wasn't having a good day and seeing the photos and messages are like a shot in the arm. I immediately felt better. Thanks, Kalyn and all! What a wonderful time everyone seems to have had at the conference.


  26. Paz, get back in bed! You're not supposed to be reading the blogs. (There are a lot more get-well messages, so you will have to pretend to be surprised when I do the guest blog!)

  27. Great job with the photos! I am so shy that I always come home from these types of things with pictures of inanimate objects and hotel rooms. You really captured people's personality with your photos.

    I am extremely bummed I did not run into Steph. I suppose if I did, we wouldn't have recognized each other anyway.

  28. Oh, this looks like such fun! How great to meet everyone!

  29. Kalyn - Lovely report, thanks so much for taking pictures, doing a round-up and all the effort you put in to gather us together and keep everyone informed. I regret that I couldn't spend more time with you guys but I hope to be at a Food Blogger Conference soon with you guys!

    I'm going to read everyone's round-ups now that I'm "back" online.

    Also, I would love to think Rocco was flirting with me, but I think it was just "marketing" ;)

  30. What a wonderful post Kalyn and awwwww, how lucky you all are to get to hang out with each other at this great event! I realyl should consider plannign a trip to coincide with it one year. Lovely to see some faces that I've met (Shuna, Sam, Amy) and some I feel like I've met from spending time on their blogs (Susan, Elise).

  31. Fabulous to see all of the pics Kalyn!

    I'd love to go to BlogHer one year, it always looks like such good fun (it's just such a long way from England)

  32. I love how we are all wearing sunglasses. Like we needed them, huh? This weekend it is the opposite. I went out and got totally sunburnt cos I wasn't, well, you know, expecting burning sunshine in our city. I got it anyway.

  33. What fun pics! I am envious. Wish I could have joined you. xox

  34. Kalyn, The conference sounds like it was fun with lots of interesting people! Who would have thought that Rocco would be hawking packaged tomato sauces! -- Valerie Phillips

  35. Thanks for sharing all this great information. I live in SF, I can't wait to join in next year.

  36. I wanted to thank you for this nice read!! I definitely enjoying every little little bit of it I've you bookmarked to check out new stuff you put up


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