Beliefnet
Beyond Blue

If you want to visit a place so packed with estrogen that women pass out maxipads with business cards (not really) and your free tote bag is loaded with lotions, makeup, and body gels (really), plan to attend next year’s BlogHer conference.
Beliefnet sent me this year to Chicago’s Navy Pier to listen in on some sessions about how we might grow our Beyond Blue community, and this is what I learned:
It needs to be as much about you as it is about me. Most blogs start out as online journals–erasing all possibilities of future employment at a government agency. But as the blog evolves, the writer because a kind of host of a party. Sure, I make the introduction, but you do a lot of the talking.


I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but I’ve been trying to use more of your feedback in the body of my posts. I started doing this because I didn’t have tons of hopeful and inspiring words–given that I’m presently toasting marshmellows in the waiting place. So I began to feature your e-mails to me and your comments because many of you are wiser than me, or at least have more experience at taming the black mutt of depression.
As I’ve done this, I’ve seen even more readers join into the conversation, talking to each other, which, as a host, makes me want to pop the champaigne open, if I wasn’t a recovering alcoholic, and celebrate.
It should go without saying that as I continue to learn from and be inspired by your stories, I will continue to invite you every day into my world, from my latest meltdown at Toys-R-Us or Chuck E Cheeseto keeping you informed on all the stupid things people say to me about depression, to divulging the most recent charity project that went awry, and of course those regular updates on my sanity status.

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