Attack of the Mommy Bloggers!

This past weekend was Blogher 2009, the largest gathering of women bloggers. And I believe that is the key to the many tensions that hovered over the otherwise amazing conference. Women are not one cohesive entity. While there might had been 1500 different visions for Blogher, a few key issues did surface over the weekend.

First...Not all women are moms and not all moms are mommy bloggers: The amount of companies that attended with products directed at moms were staggering. The best of the mom swag? Getting to meet Nina from Sprout's Goodnight Show. Despite valid concerns about the "Goodnight Show" I let my six-year-old watch it because well, that's the only time of the day she gets cartoons. And not even every day. Now my daughter has a signed photo from her favorite TV crafter! But seriously, the mommy stuff was waaay over board.

Second...Blogher a tech conference or a trade show? When I attended Blogher 2007 the swag tables were set up as if I was at a high school college fair. Long tables and not too much sizzle. This year, OMG...It was intense. We had two cartoon networks (but not the actual one), soft drinks, chips & snacks, women's clothing, make-up, hair styling products & actual hair styling, big box store, cars and even the big D. There was an online photo editing company, printer and a camera company in the house, but I don't recall one company that actually allows us to publish a blog. The growing debate over product reviews only intensified the tech vs trade show question. Don't get me wrong, some companies did a great job - it just depended on your point of view. I even saw one tweet that labeled Blogher as a writers conference.

Three...If mom bloggers are the dominant force that brings out the products, why are babies such a hot button issue? How does a baby wearing mama hit all the parties? Is she even allowed?

And lastly...This blogger brought to you "buy" [insert corporate logo here]: I mused last month on my blog about the "good old days" of mom blogging. Where we were a community supporting each other and not trying to sell things to each other. It's kinda like going from a La Leche League meeting and suddenly finding yourself at a jewelry party (not that those aren't nice!). But many think the corporate sponsorship of bloggers has gotten out of control.

It wasn't all drama. I had a great time hanging out with friends and meeting people who use to be just an avatar to me. It's still weird introducing myself as "Hi, Veronica...veronicaeye." But it's awesome to connect in the flesh with writers whom I admire. Next year Blogher is in New York and tickets are already on sale. Not sure if I'm going yet, but until then let the debates rage on.

This is cross-posted to AWEARNESS.

by Veronica Arreola
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Professional feminist, former Bitch Media board member, mom, and writer. Creator of #365FeministSelfie.

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4 Comments Have Been Posted

i find the idea of 'wearing'

i find the idea of 'wearing' a baby kind of unsettling. i mean, i understand what they mean, but it's kind of dehumanizing and missing the point that your kid is experiencing the conference too. they have thoughts and feelings about what's going on around them.

but i'm not a mom. i was just a kid once.

more on that ...wearing a baby

"Wearing" your baby in a sling is a great way to bond with your child and keep them close, up high at eye level rather than down low in a stroller or on a floor. And it can be a great comfort. But as I posted, I wasn't sure how fair it was to bring my baby to the conference. She did seem to enjoy it, but I definitely have decided I don't think I would do it again. Unfortunately I was also on the outskirts of a "scuffle" of sorts between two catfighting Mom bloggers where one was pushed right into us and I would never want to put my baby in harm's way again. I know I can't predict when that type of thing will happen- can happen anywhere, I guess, but I definitely learned from this experience...


Would never go back

I went to BlogHer back in 2006 and am still a little puzzled about the whole experience. Somewhere between being given Contrex, this "women's water" they only really sell in Europe, and having my photo taken without consent by a bunch of dudes who had creepily shown up sans female to take pictures, I also wondered to whom the conference was actually marketed. The only thing I really got out of the whole thing was a very nice bag that I still use. It fits a laptop but doesn't have all that funky padding, so I can swap it out for an everyday tote. Sad when I only remember (or enjoyed) the swag.


<p>thanks for this will increase my awareness</p>

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