BlogHer DC Roundup!

BlogHer DC Roundup!

Monday marked my second BlogHer live event and did not disappoint. Why does BlogHer hold such anticipation and appeal?

  1. Making offline connections with online friends. Getting to see and meet Lindsay (a.k.a. Rock and Roll Mama) was a highlight. I originally found her by searching for other Moms who had written about the WOM-worthy Rody toy, and have been enjoying her blog since. Getting to make that connection real alone was worth the price of admission. It was also a great pleasure to see the BlogHer’s political director Queen of Spain and DC’s own PunditMom discussing their roles covering the election. And always a pleasure to see @jillfoster and put a real life person to the wit at Nurse Ratched’s Place .
  2. Being turned on to new blogs & Tweeters: @digitalsista, @dcconcierge (very helpful website by the way), @thewino, @cecilyk, @blogdiva, @resourcefulmom, @thegreenparent are all well worth a read and follow! Check out @blogherdc for a more extensive list.
  3. Meaty conversations. In this case, the angst revolving around blogging’s relationship to mainstream media permeated multiple panels. I don’t know that there is a shared vision right now for what that relationship “should be”. At some moments there seemed to be pent up desire for respect and integration with the mainstream media (MSM). At other times, the annoyance at being “used” by the MSM was palpable. I have started following @ricksanchezcnn after the event! I think this is a complex, rich topic that we’ll see BlogHer digging into long term. Another (un)controversy surrounded the term “mommyblogger”. Some embrace the term. Mommies like me who blog about business sometimes bristle at the term, but the conviction with which I heard “My name is X and I’m a mommyblogger!” has made me reconsider my feelings about the term.

And, because of the timing and location, BlogHerDC offered some lively discussions about politics and the coming election. There is great consciousness about how candidates and the MSM are actively trying to use bloggers – unfettered by the need to feign journalistic balance – as pot stirrers. Lesley Stahl, of CBS fame and her internet venture Women on the Web talked about the old days of presidents rearranging their schedules around HER deadlines because they knew the nightly news was a communications tool. Now, she posits, they are doing the same with the Internet, but the path to making it happen is less clear. I would love to sit in on one of the “blogger phone calls” being held regularly by both candidates.

Also on the political front was BlogHer’s careful treatment of politics on their site. As @LisaStone said, BlogHer is omnipartisan, but their editors aren’t. Opinions from PUMA (former Hillary supporters who formed Party Unity My A**) have been welcomed on the site. Even though @QueenofSpain is a vocal Obama mama (and Michelle Obama blogs on BlogHer), the need to foster a place that encourages free speech and multiple views is critical for the success of their political discourse.  Check out all the BlogHer Election coverage here.

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