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Biting the Hand that Feeds You

See the title?  I'll tell you why it's there.  Here's what's about to happen.

I'm going to express some thoughts that to some, may seem unkind, towards a certain amazing blogger.

A blogger who I owe an inordinate amount of gratitude, as she has without a doubt helped me connect with a large portion of other bloggers and readers.

I promise, I do not mean to be unkind or ungrateful.  This is just something that has been on my mind.  Freedom of speech, etc etc, so I'm using this open forum to bounce a few ideas around.


I swear I'm mostly sweet, so don't throw anything at me after reading this :/

The Topic:   
The Las Vegas Blogger Summit being Organized by SkinnyRunner and the Squires Group.


My Beef, in a Nutshell: 
Is this Summit just High School Hierarchy mixed with the ever-present Blogger Product Pimping?

Let's backtrack a moment.

As far as I understand it, the Squires Group is a company that makes running clothes, and their primary advertising technique is by affiliating with bloggers.  Strictly bloggers with big enough reader numbers for it to be worth it, of course.

The Company has teamed up with SkinnyRunner to produce a Blogger Summit the weekend of the Las Vegas Marathon, in Las Vegas of course.  

There is little information about this event as of date, so I am not yet able to form a solid opinion about whether it is something I am interested in forking over the money to attend.

However, that won't prevent me from preaching here the reasons why, with the information at my hands, I am turned off by this event.


If a facial expression had to represent my feelings about it, this might suffice

Or maybe this

The event seems to be centered around speakers.  Specifically, blogger speakers. 

A few select bloggers will get to speak at all the non-select bloggers who adoringly show up to learn the wisdom that the select bloggers have to share.

I don't know how the line-up of speakers was selected, but the existence of it makes me want to give the whole situation the stink-eye (see pictures above).

Reasoning: Bloggers are ordinary folk, almost by definition (obviously not including celebrities who have a celebrity blog).  Bloggers are your every-day joe-schmoe runner who shares their thoughts and happenings and some other joe-schmoe people tune in.

What I'm getting at here is, in the blog world, it is a level playing field.  We are all just average people.  None of us are necessarily experts, nor do we have to be in order to have a successful blog.

Yet for this Blogger Summit, a few blogs have been singled out as especially worthy of talking to me about running. 

I wonder what they can teach me?

Browsing through the list of speakers, I admittedly do not know a number of them, so perhaps they are incredible inspirations.

Perhaps they run sub-3 hour marathons and will teach me their training tricks, or explain how to balance family with marathon training with being a lawyer, etc.

But a couple of speakers that I DO recognize.... are not, in my reader experience, running sensei's.
  
I certainly won't buck up $, fly out to Vegas, to hear instructions (for the 400th time) on how to put a sliver of muenster cheese on a bagel thin

(ah haha, I kid.  But seriously, blogs documenting daily eats make me want to cry with boredom.  I don't even care to remember what I ate this morning, let alone see 18 close-ups of someone else's very average looking breakfast)

OK so what else can I learn then from the blogger elite? 

How much they looooove the Squires Group running clothing line?  How soft and amazing the shirts are?  Well NEWSFLASH product pimpers: until it is $10 per piece at my local Target, I'm not biting.  I'm perfectly content with my cheapie brand running shirts, or running in a $1 wife beater.

What else can I learn...aha.  How to be a popular blogger.  How to climb the ranks of the interweb hierarchy, and become cool enough to be invited to be a guest speaker at a running summit, where I will stand on a podium and speak to my minions! my sweet fans, you really love me!  Well yes, I do think the speakers invited could school me in this category.

In Summary

Ideally this summit would be about meeting other bloggers.  

There are so many bloggers and runners I want so badly to meet! Page, and Alyssa, and HauteRunningMama, and Diana, and Pam, and SkinnyRunner, and Nelly, and Janae, and Caitlin R, and (bikini) Katie, and TheRunnersKitchen, and....I could go on.  If you've ever read this blog and even liked it a little, I want to meet you. 

BUT I WANT TO MEET THESE ROCKSTARS without the status announcement!

As the Summit currently stands, I have too much pride to attend and be spoken at by people that I simply doubt have anything novel to share about running to someone (like me) who has been running for 15 years.

The ball is in your court: I know this is a controversial stance so I welcome your diverse opinions with an open mind.  Convince me why I should attend.  I also know that the Squires Group googles their name often enough that this will likely lead to a personal e-mail from them.

Anyone already planning on attending?  If so, why? and of course, if you've ruled out attending, why? 

And if anyone wants to attend the "all-running-bloggers-are-equal summit" I'm throwing, it will be held outside your front door or at your nearest treadmill, any day and every day.  Just put yo running shoes on, stride a few steps, and you're in!  :)