BlogPaws 2013: The Not-So-Good

This backpack seems a little hollow

Since my human went to BlogPaws as a representative of my cat blog, and she was assigned the task of reporting about things that mostly concerned cats, you may not have noticed something about the conference that was pretty obvious if you were actually there: we cats were shrugged off as second-class citizens!

I will start off with the swag bag. Swag bags are supposed to be the highlight of any conference of this type. My human did not bring the BlogPaws swag bag home because it had nothing but dog junk in it! She opened it up, saw what was in there, and marched it right back to the registration booth and returned it! The BlogPaws humans claim they had a hard time getting cat swag for us kitties… maybe they should talk with the Cat Writers Association humans. There was enough cat swag left over at their conference last year to make generous donations to four or five different rescues.

The Cat Lounge this year was — I am sorry, there is no other word for it — pathetic. Sadly, Kate Benjamin of Hauspanther was not able to attend this year — last year, she created a fun, lively space for the blogging cats’ humans to hang out. This year, the only bright spot there were the toys she sent over.

Fun Hauspanther stuff

As for the rest of it, here is what BlogPaws apparently thinks are important to cats and their humans: litter boxes.

One table of litter boxes and litter

Really appealing, right?

Still more cat litter stuff

It was kind of insulting. One of the staff (a cat blogger, of course), went out and bought some toys and scratchers to supplement the paltry selection in the Cat Lounge.

The whole weekend, my human got the impression that a lot of people there really did not get cats at all. Take the slide from this talk for example — they thought they would be cute and use Grumpy Cat:

Wrong!

Hello! They aren’t called FURballs — they are called HAIRballs! They could not even get the jargon right.

I was really hoping my human was going to come home with a fun package of swag — a bunch of toys, treats and other items of feline enrichment that I could share with my readers. I wanted to have a giveaway that included my international readers, since they are so often overlooked when a company sponsors a giveaway and does the shipping themselves. So I nearly wept when my human opened up the backpack and I saw this lame selection:

Lame!

Okay, I confess — I’m not a weeper. I was mostly annoyed. Some cans of Friskies, a couple packages of treats and a plastic promotional brush. Oh, and a litter scoop, as if anyone needs another one. I would not insult my readers by making this a giveaway.

Smells good!

The only bright spot that came out of that half-full backpack was the little goodie bag that the Curlz and Swirlz blog human gave out to her fellow cat assistants.

This is cool swag!

It was full of fun and delightful scents! And even a couple of things for the humans.

Pay attention, BlogPaws humans!

BlogPaws humans, I hope you are reading this because I want to say that this little bag of treats and toys was ten times more awesome than anything you guys had to offer us cats!

So does this mean my human was so unhappy with BlogPaws that she would not go back? No! Not at all — in fact, she is already signed up for next year in Las Vegas! She does think they need to understand that we cat bloggers are a very big and important force, and that cats in general are more popular on the internet than dogs! They need to understand cat culture and enrichment way better than they do now. And it is up to us cat bloggers to teach them, the same way we teach our own humans.

Besides, my human had loads of fun hanging out with all the other cat blogging assistants, running around and having drinks with funny decorations.

Allie, you do not know what you are missing. Lucky you.

And the last night, at the party after the awards when many of the cat blogger humans were gathered together, there was a camaraderie that is worth treasuring. Plus there were tiny tiaras. Which brings me to my last gripe about BlogPaws:

Crown yes, tiara no!

I was hoping it was going to get lost in the hotel room.

* * *
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Comments

  1. says

    Oh, man….you can send that tiara to Jake. He’ll wear it, I assure you! LOL…
    I’m kind of glad I couldn’t go this year and, at the same time, wish I could have. I think Jake being there would have been HUGE to them. I was thinking about it after seeing Jackson, and really, Jake’s making a statement to people that, yes you CAN bring a cat with you like most people bring a dog. Just because “people don’t do that” doesn’t mean they CAN’T…

    Anyway. I think we should ALL keep talking about this “problem” and maybe by next year they’ll listen to us!

  2. says

    My mom person was there & agrees with you. Last year the cat lounge was amazing, this year it was pitiful. She thought that not only was it not fun & cool like last year, it was bordering on the pitiful.

  3. says

    Hmmph! After havin’ your human away for what must have seemed like years, you were entitled to some non-litterbox swag, for sure! Are you SURE there wasn’t any nip in that bag?

    Purrs,
    Nissy

  4. says

    Sparkle – we completely agree with your spot-on assessment, but the good news is, like your human said, despite the lack of swag, it does not mean BlogPaws is a bad conference. It is just up to the cat bloggers to educate the humans so that next year’s conference will be a total home run. I think in many ways your comments will open the door to conversation and improvement and we are proud of you for standing up for us kitties!! Purrs from Zee, Zoey, Mia, Peanut, Rolz, Harley, Jazz, and Kizmet

  5. says

    You go, Sparkle’s human! You said, without being too hissy, what was missing in this years BlogPaws Swag and Lounge. We think if the CEO’s follow her advice, there will be a Furtastic (had to HahaMeow at the Fur Ball comment) Cat Lounge and a ‘New and Improved’ BlogPaws Swag Bag, too.

    We love the photos of you with our Mini Swag Bag and it’s contents…can we use those photos for our BlogPaws post Teri is supposed to be working on?

  6. Becca C says

    Seems that all the cat blogger at Blogpaws were a might upset with the swag and lounge. Nothing for the kitties all for those dogs in the swagbags and the lounge was lacking for all the pictures I’ve seen. It seems as if cats are still the second class companions to the dogs. Here’s hoping that next years Blogpaws will be better for all the cats of the world and their humans aides.

  7. says

    *sighs*
    This was my first BlogPaws and I was a bit worried that the Cat Lounge was normally like this. I was expecting well.. cats there. No cats.. no sponsors, and a tiny grab bag… I did make two trips to Greenies and Purina so I doubled up on cat treats so I could test them with my babies.. I did visit the swag bag trade table and got another bag (they are so cool!) and two quasi-thunder coats as I have two scaredy cats when it comes to thunder storms.. I did get t-shirts and pins and got to make a prayer flag.. which was awesome. I just wish I could have honored more pets that have gone over the rainbow bridge.. but I do agree, more cat stuff! They should have dedicated dog, cat and other pet stuff.. because there were ferrets there and guinea pigs and bunnies.
    I think they need to accommodate the other pets, dogs aren’t the only ones out there and if the cat bloggers swept the nominations and awards that should say something for how they need to adjust their swag bags.

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