Tuesday, November 22, 2016, 10:59 AM
Sometimes you have to go with the courage of your convictions when facing pushback.
That’s what happened when BlogHer 2016 planners announced the name of a potentially controversial keynote speaker: Kim Kardashian. The decision was met both with anger and support.
Elisa Camahort Page, chief community officer of New York-based SheKnows Media and co-founder of BlogHer, listened to the social conversation for 13 hours following the announcement. She responded to concerns and explained the group’s rationale.
“We understood their perspective, so it was worth spending that time and being transparent with them,” she said. “But [Kardashian] has creative longevity in a very fickle media landscape. She’s a business leader and entrepreneur.”
BlogHer officials weren’t going to change their minds.
In the end, the conference took place this summer without a hitch in Los Angeles. It drew 2,500 attendees.
And that Kardashian keynote? It was standing room only; the room was packed.
Once Upon a Time
Everyone knows the BlogHer brand. But BlogHer wasn’t always the BlogHer it is today. It began more than a decade ago as a “labor of love.”
Camahort Page lived through the whole dotcom boom. Her background is in technology. But at the time, there was no community for women online. So, Camahort Page and her co-founders Lisa Stone and Jory Des Jardins got together and produced a conference to address this need. They paid for it on their credit cards.
“It wasn’t even a company yet,” Camahort Page said. “After the first conference, we found there’s a community here. They want to meet in person.”
So, the duo scheduled the next conference, created a website, and pulled together a member directory.
BlogHer was born in 2005. Its mission: How to help women make money with blogging.
Continue reading this article on the Beyond Bylines blog: Career Crossroads: BlogHer Co-Founder on Shattering That Online Glass Ceiling.