Photo via @SaysHelen
Y’all know that Disqus is known as the web’s “community of communities”. Our product allows people all over the Internet to discuss their interests and engage in conversations with people who share (or hey, don’t share) their passions…people they’ve never met, and may never meet. This is one of the most exciting things about the Internet, and it’s what I love about blogging and social media.
But for me, the product is only the beginning.
Last weekend, I attended my fourth BlogHer Conference with my co-worker Helen (longtime blogger, first time conference attendee). For those not in the know, BlogHer is a community of (mostly) female bloggers, founded 10 years ago as a safe, friendly space for women on the web. It’s grown into a community of many thousands who are passionate about writing, sharing, and finding community. As Helen so aptly observed, “I’ve never seen so many representations of what it means to be a woman, all in one place.” Women from all over the world came together for two days in San Jose to share their stories, learn new skills, and engage with major brands, all while finding commonality and celebrating our differences. If that’s not the power of a friggin’ community, I don’t know what is!
We listened to some truly moving stories, from bloggers like Feminista Jones, Postpartum Progress and The Bloggess, and with guest speakers like Tig Notaro, Arianna Huffington, and Kerry Washington (I mean, come on!!!) there was no shortage of inspiration to be found.
— Katherine M. Gordon (@katgordon)July 26, 2014
— Kim Rohrer (@kimskitchensink)July 25, 2014
— Christine Harkin (@naptimewriting)July 27, 2014
Maybe it’s because of where I am in my career at Disqus, and my current focus on our internal company community. Maybe it’s because I’ve connected with some amazing women through blogging over the last seven years. Maybe it’s because I’m just sentimental and a sucker for anniversaries (this year, the conference was celebrating its tenth). Regardless, the weekend was a powerful reminder of the importance of finding “our people” - whether it’s online or in real life - and forging meaningful connections.
“Luckily, the internet was there for me to keep me company and make me feel less shitty about myself.” - Jenny Lawson (The Bloggess)
When I joined Disqus in 2010, I was excited about a tool that would make my life as a blogger easier (moderating through email woot woot!). Over the years, I’ve seen us grow from a simple widget with a SAAS side, to a robust network of crazyawesome internet people. I’ve met people and found conversations through Disqus that I never would have discovered on my own, and that’s only getting better as we continue to build new ways to find interesting people and communities on Disqus. Community is incredibly important to me, and the human-connection side of our business is what gets me jazzed about what we’re building here.
At their core, communities are all about making human connections. And maybe that’s what is so great about them: discovering your community is like reuniting with an old friend.