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BlogHer ďSwagtroversyĒ: Oh the drama!

2007-08-10 - 12:08 p.m.

I admit, Iíve only read one personís post about this, but I have the impression that similar posts have been written by others. So, late out of the starting blocks as usual, I really want to put up a protesting voice.

If you have no further interest in BlogHer Ė about which I canít seem to stop writing. Seriously, itís like itís the only unusual-for-me thing Iíve done this summer. Oh wait, it is. - please feel free to come back at a future date and read instead about my ovaries. Otherwise, read onÖ

Hereís the nutshell: people were/are complaining about what they did or did not receive as swag at BlogHer and BlogHer events. These complaints are in two categories:
1) People who didnít get certain swag that wanted it, possibly at certain events that happened in the BlogHerSphere but werenít necessarily the conference itself.
2) People who felt that the swag they got was not appropriate.

I am going to make a rare, contentious statement to these people. Shut the hell up!

Seriously, cram it sideways. Didnít get swag bags at the party you crashed? Why are you surprised? You werenít invited. Donít like the fact that someone tried to give you a potholder or moisturizer? Itís free stuff. If you donít like it, donít take it home. Just give it to someone who appreciates it. Or leave it on a table somewhere and someone might just pounce on it and proclaim, ďI canít believe someone didnít want this! I am totally taking it home!Ē and cackle with greedy glee. Not that I know anyone whoíd maybe do such a thing*.

Okay, I know this isnít black and white. The people hosting the fancy party did show deplorable manners by welcoming gate crashers when they got there and then acting like they were getting ripped off as the night wore on. They hosts should have just said that it was by invitation only from the get-go, and once they didnít and just told people to come on in I really do think they should have treated the crashers like any other guest. But they didnít, so the moral high ground could have been left to the crashers had they not, from the sounds of it, made an effort to ensure they got as much free booze and fancy food as they possibly could. And they talked amongst themselves during the speeches. I pity the assistant who told them to take their conversation outside, because I think she was perfectly right to do so and has now been vilified online. I personally cannot stand when people talk over the person at the podium/microphone; I think itís rude, no matter how boring the person may be. I actually kind of admire the assistant for asking them to pipe down.

And yes, itís true that, probably because almost all the attendees were women, there was a lot of ďgirlyĒ swag. And yes, itís also true that, contrary to stereotype, not all women have much use for potholders or moisturizer. (Perhaps the BlogHer organizers should have sought out the NRA to sponsor the event. What? No?) But there were also lots of other, not-traditionally-girly sponsors like AOL (best swag ever) and GM. And this doesnít even matter, really. To me it comes down to this: would the complainers rather be offered free moisturizer that they donít have to take, or would they prefer to pay double the fee for the conference? Iím guessing the former. I sure as heck choose the lower fees, PLUS Iím all for being offered free stuff. The stuff I donít personally use I can do other things with, like: see if my daughter wants to play with it (what toddler wouldnít want a giant plastic martini glass, really?), or hey, thereís a place at work where we can drop off, and this is a quote taken directly from the sign on the bin, ďSoap, etc. for the HomelessĒ. Any little samples of extra toiletries go in there if I donít want them.

Do you hear me sponsors? I, for one, am grateful for your generosity. As far as Iím concerned, the coolest laptop bag Iíve seen was alone way more than I expected to receive as swag; anything extra was just gravy. So thank you.

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* Oh who am I kidding? I would totally do that. In fact, I did, scooping up two extra boxes of something, then magnanimously turning one over to someone else who couldnít believe anyone didnít want it.

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