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BlogHer Celebrates the Real Life Effects of Blogging

By Sarah Klein

Although there is relative equality in the number of women and men who blog (11 percent and 14 percent of Internet users, respectively), female bloggers are largely underrepresented in the more popular outlets like the Huffington Post and DailyKos. In 2005, Lisa Stone, Elisa Camahort Page, and Jory Des Jardins founded BlogHer in an effort to change that. Today, the site continues to operate under the same mission it was founded upon: “to create opportunities for women who blog to pursue exposure, education, community, and economic empowerment”.

Women have been flocking to BlogHer ever since it started. Members are doctors, CEOs, stay-at-home-moms, and even first ladies. The site now claims to touch the lives of 14 million women each month.

The site itself is a community hub – a conglomerate of blogs by women about topics ranging from the Internet and technology to health and wellness to beauty tricks. When a woman joins the community, she can list her blog to share her latest posts with other members. In May, the site boasted over 22,000 listed blogs. Editors comment daily on the blogs, guiding regular readers and new visitors to the best and the most interesting. BlogHer also hosts an advertising network devoted to helping women make money off their blogs.

In May, after raising a further $7 million from investors, BlogHer launched additional social networking tools, so members could more easily connect and foster relationships. But it’s not all about virtual connections. BlogHer also hosts many popular face-to-face conferences, including an annual one that recently sold out for the third year in a row.

For this year’s conference, around 1,000 women will convene in Chicago next month to learn from each other, network, and meet the people they’ve interacted with online. In this spirit, the conference is themed “In Real Life” to celebrate the impact these women’s online efforts have had on their work, their friendships, and other aspects of their real – as opposed to online – lives. While the conference, to be held at the Chicago Sheraton and Towers July 23-25, is already sold out you can still sign up for the waitlist.

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