I’ve been attending mom blogger conferences for years—this summer will be my seventh BlogHer event. Yet this month was the first time I had the opportunity to turn out for the Mom 2.0 Summit, which took place in Atlanta. Staff members who had gone in the past highly recommended it, and finally, this year, I had no scheduling conflicts.
About 600 women — and a few men — were on hand.
I was immediately impressed, first, by the level of bloggers in attendance – many of them the real leaders in the world of mom blogging, women I had known and worked with for a very long time.
Sponsors, too, were tops in their fields, and included Lego, Hasbro, Fruit of the Loom and Whirlpool. Dove was a dominant presence, in smart ways. Dove not only branded the entire hotel, from the “Do Not Disturb” signs in the guest rooms to paper towels in the conference-floor rest rooms; it also sponsored a heart-warming panel on women and beauty and hosted a relaxation lounge, where the weary could go for shoulder rubs, manicures or a glass of champagne.
Well done, Dove.
Best Buy rocked by having a makeup artist and professional photographer on hand to take formal portraits. Whirlpool invited bloggers to enter a contest telling what the contents of their refrigerator said about them.
Beech-Nut, meanwhile, chose Mom 2.0 Summit to feature its new line of “real food for babies” vs. “baby food.” They invited bloggers to do a taste test, guess the flavors and post a video of the effort to become eligible for prizes.
But for me, the highlight of the event was the reading of a post by Catherine Connors, of the blog Her Bad Mother, that brilliantly summarized the evolution of this world of women bloggers. Called “Be The Conversation You Want To See In The World,” the March post was based on a conversation she had with Gloria Steinem eight years ago, as she puts it, “before public Facebook, before Twitter, before Pinterest, before BuzzFeed. It took place back when mom bloggers numbered in thousands, not millions; back when our only social platforms were the comments sections of each other’s blogs; back when we could only find each other through blogrolls and back links and word of mouth. It took place in a time that seems almost immeasurably long ago, in Internet years. It took place in a time that I’m struggling to not feel morosely nostalgic for.”
She talked about all the ways good and maybe not so good the world of blogging has changed in those years. “And yet. And yet. Even though it was early days – the earliest days for this thing that now fuels an entire industry that drives millions of dollars in business – we knew that what we were doing was important. We knew that we were on the cusp of something. I left an academic career to be on the cusp of this… thing. This movement. This revolution. Which is what it was.”
Despite all the changes, “it still contains the community that was there from the beginning. It still contains the true stories, and the speaking of truth to power. And it not only contains those things – those things drive it.”
She added, “We have – we have – built and expanded and lifted and expanded again this inclusive public space, and made possible this inclusive public discourse. Us. We did this. We made this. It is huge.”
It is indeed.
Read her full post here.