A Few Thoughts On BlogathonATX 2013
I have been in the tech room for every BlogathonATX since it’s inception and for the past two years been the head organizer for the Tech Room. I don’t just volunteer because Ilene Haddad, the creator and organizer of BlogathonATX, is like the older sister I never had. It’s not because of all the amazing free food. It’s not because I sometimes get a freelance gig or two out of it. It is because I genuinely enjoy doing it. But something struck me at the end of this year’s event on Saturday and I feel like an idiot for not realizing it earlier.
I made a joke on Twitter near the end of the day on Saturday:
To over explain the joke, if you go to any tech conference or even a meetup the men’s room is at maximum capacity while the few women at the even can usually stroll in and out of the bathroom without a wait. Men are a vast majority at most tech events. But at BlogathonATX it is the exact opposite.
I don’t have access to the numbers but it is safe to say that BlogathonATX is 85-90% women. It is also safe to say that the majority of the attendees are over 30, possibly 40. There is a noticeable lack of “brogrammers“, douchey marketers, or people pitching their startup. It’s just nice normal people looking to get more connected, on the internet and in real life.
I am flattered each year when I get the email from Ilene asking me to be involved in another BlogathonATX. I honestly enjoy helping people understand technical and often difficult concepts. And I am honored to be asked to help such a large group of people that are often overlooked (or treated in a condescending manner) by the tech community. As someone who preaches the “content is king” motto, the tech community is missing out on some great voices. I’m glad BlogathonATX is there to help them learn, grow, and network. And in turn I also learn, grow and network.
I also want to mention what an asset we have in Sherry Lowry. I can’t think of anyone else who has the knowledge and experience she does without the cockiness. She is probably the kindest person in the Austin tech scene and is often not given the accolades she deserves because she doesn’t bring attention to herself.
BlogathonATX is just flat-out a wonderful event and there is nothing out there like it. It is cheap, has amazing food and there isn’t the attitude or doucheiness of other tech meetups or conferences. It’s a one of a kind.