Wednesday, December 9, 2009

MOM 101!

Interview with Liz Gumbinner of author of Mom 101 and co-founder of Cool Mom Picks

Short Bio
Liz Gumbinner, Publisher & Editor-in-Chief of Mom Picks, is a born and bred New Yorker but without the accent. She's had a successful career as a creative director in the Prada-mandatory world of advertising, writes some parenting columns here and there, and has contributed to a number of parenting anthologies including Sleep is for the Weak, 42 Rules for Working Moms, and the upcoming See Mom Run and Kirtsy Takes a Bow. In 2009 she was named to the Nielsen "Power Mom 50" list of online influencers, and cited on's list of 10 MommyHood Gurus.
Liz is equally at home in the boutiques of Fifth Avenue and the aisles of Target, but can most often be spotted around her Brooklyn neighborhood with the love of her life and their two daughters, Thalia and Sage, trying to coax their stubborn English Bulldog across the street.

Why did you start blogging? Was it something that you had wanted to do on a personal level, were friends doing it or was it a way to help gain exposure for other projects?

-In early 2006, my first daughter was 6 months old and I had been spending a whole lot of time on message boards trying to figure out this mom thing. Eventually what I wanted to do as a writer was share longer, deeper stories, thoughts and observations than what I could do on the boards and I started a blog. I took it on more like a memoirist finding her voice, than a writer self-promoting. In fact I was shocked the first time I got a comment from someone besides my mother.

Did blogging for you become something different than what you thought it would be when you started?

The community aspect was a really unexpected and delightful benefit. I had no idea that I would end up making profound friendships and starting a business with the FAMOUS BLOGGER KRISTEN CHASE who was kind enough to let me know that I should allow comments from non-blogspot users.

How different do you find blogging from traditional writing for advertising? Such as…do you write in a way that will provoke more of an active response from your readers?

Advertising writers tend to be removed from their subject matter - clever and observational but not necessarily of the audience. As a blogger you learn that you have to immerse yourself in the subject, use less exposition (which I am still working on) and don't be afraid to let go. I think in copy writing we tend to gloss over the bad stuff or the weaknesses. That's good for selling antibacterial soap, but not so good for an audience looking to connect with you personally.

How effective do you feel your personal mom blog has been to create awareness for your other projects? Do you feel that blogging has created more of a "buzz" for your career than most other venues or that it has allowed you to reach an audience in a new way?

It's incredibly helpful for my online projects. I think people in advertising just think I have some weird geeky journal thing online. But the online audience is often interested in other things I'm doing as far as writing, or Cool Mom Picks, or charity projects and I'm always so grateful to them for their responsiveness. It's cool when I do a reading and someone shows up who I've never met to say "I learned about this on your blog."

What are your thoughts on bloggers who post a great deal about their lives, their children, their spouses?

We all have to make choices as memoirists how much to share, and where our stories end and others' stories begin. I will write about Nate in terms of our relationship, but I don't reveal personal struggles of his, and I don't (generally) use my blog to vent about him. I may get so "WHOO YEAH!" comments in the short term, but in the long term, I've still got to sleep next to him at night!

As my children get older I'm also more discriminating about what I say about them. So far they like seeing their pictures up there. Although one day they'll kill me for posting their bad haircut photos.

On the more homespun Mom Blogs—how do you feel about ads, product reviews, contests, coupons?

I think one of the amazing things about the blogging platform is how democratic and accessible it is. Anyone can start a blog with no gatekeeper, no hoops to jump through, no audition, and the good content will rise to the top. I see no reason why a mom shouldn't be able to stick ads in her sidebar and make a little money off what she's doing. I especially like smart relationships between brands and bloggers - like Intel's sponsorship of Maggie Mason's lifelist on Mighty Girl. Or Asha Dornfest from ParentHacks working with Microsoft Office for home. Those bloggers then become like celebrity endorsers, and if it's a fit it's a fit.

What gets challenging from a marketing standpoint is when there are 25 moms representing a big brand, and few of them seem to know how to use paragraph returns or apostrophes. It diminishes the brand in my eyes.

That said, I think that the best blogs are about one's passions. If a blogger is passionate about cereal, I hope that she'll create the best, most thorough, most entertaining cereal review blog that ever existed. If she's just writing "reviews" on whatever came in the mail that day in exchange for keeping the product, I'm not that interested in it. She has the right to do it, and if her readers enjoy it then more power to her. There's no one right way to blog. But I do think that if a blogger starts to trade her relationship with her audience for a disingenuous relationship with marketers, they'll sniff that out pretty quickly and she'll eventually lose both.

Same goes for contests and coupons. If they are entertaining and interesting and on-brand for the blog then why not. Have them daily! But that's not true in 99% of the cases. Although that's just me; I know there is a whole world of crazy contest enterers who just do that all day long. And some of the coupon blogs are the most popular now in this economy, so those blogs do a great service for their readers. I admit from time to time I'll find a good deal at CVS at some of them! But overall, I prefer to spend my time reading stories that are compelling and entertaining, and finding writers who inspire me.

Do you feel that they take away from the blog in any way or enhance it?

I hope that a contest on Cool Mom Picks enhances the experience for our readers because we only do them if they're on brand, and they're secondary to the content. If Kristen is doing a sex toy giveaway to promote her Mominatrix book I know it will also be hilarious, and I'll read it - even if I don't enter. That you know of.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

It's a Dog's Life Part 2

After you started your personal blog have you or have you been tempted to start a blog at work or use some sort of collaborative on-line media like a wiki?

I have actually started several other blogs. One of them is for the Texas Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Association (yawn). We use it as a communication tool. I'm the chair of the education department. Yeah, that's exciting. We also have one at work but I don't post to it very often. I use a lot of Google documents. I use it to share docs between other librarians around the state of Texas. We collaborate on papers mostly. Because I am a university faculty member, we live under the publish or perish rule. Thus I am starting an electronic journal about digital librarianship. I'll be the editor and contributor. So I use a variety of social media tools to do my job.

Do you feel blogging has changed your writing style?

Blogging has changed my writing style. I think more about what the reader wants to hear than want I want to say. Combining the two is always in the back of my mind. I want to make my topic interesting to my readers but I don't want to talk down to them. They are some of the smartest people I don't know (or know). The last thing I want to do is make them feel silly. I mostly try to introduce them to things that they might not have heard of or to talk about historical events that they may not know all the details about. Then there is the food. I hadn't started out as a food blogger but that seems to be where I go. I cook a lot, I'm older than most of my readers, and I have a lot of cooking/housekeeping/home managing know-how to pass along. I'm everyone's mom but in a kinda of cool way. It's sad really but I'll take what I can get. I love the people that read my blog. I've connected with so many of them that I feel invested in them and their families in about the same way as I do my own kids. I want to pass on any information that will make their lives easier.

Have you ever thought of approaching stores that cater to vegetarians or health food stores or pet care stores to do product reviews?

I haven't thought too much about approaching stores that cater to vegetarians or health food stores. Probably because I've been so busy it hasn't really occurred to me. Plus, I'm not sure I want to buy into that whole blog for money thing. I do a lot of contract work so blogging is just a fun thing for me. Fun in a commitment kind of way. Safeway/Randalls just contacted me about linking and blogging for them but I turned them down for now. I'll probably be blogging for them if the offer is right and I can do it my way. It is very important for me to feel that I am honoring my vegetarian values. I guess I do blog for one vegetarian group. I do a meatless Monday blog and I encourage my readers to go meatless one day a week. It doesn't matter to me which day they do it. I feel it is very important that each of us do our part for the environment, for animals and for our own health by going meatless one day a week. Joey from John Hopkins uses my recipes and features my blog on their website periodically. So maybe that is selling out but I don't think so. I'm not getting paid for it. This is not to say that people who do make money from their blog are evil capitalist pigs. They are not. They have just found a place that works for them. It just doesn't work for me.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

It's a Dog's Life

Short Interview with Michele from It’s a Dog’s Life

Michele’s Short Blog Bio:
My life is an open book. Just a very short and very boring one. I am a librarian in Houston, Texas. I tend to be a bit neurotic, math impaired, and admittedly lazy. I like old stuff such as furniture, postcards, and of course books. I collect cookbooks like they were going out of fashion. As if! I quite possibly like my glass of wine a little too much and have taken an admittedly unreal interest in everything vegetarian

Why did you start blogging?

I started blogging because I took a social networking course for my job. One of the assignments was to start a blog. What you see is what I started. I didn't start it so that I could have a voice in anything.

Did blogging for you become something different than you thought it would be when you started? Did it evolve?

It become something totally different then what I thought it would be. I didn't think I would continue to do it after I finished the course. It also evolved into something else again. At first it was all about my dogs. I didn't have much to say about anything else. Next then I knew I was writing about cooking, my kitchen pantry, my travels, etc. Then I started making blog friends and that led to blogging about interactions or things that were brought up at their blog. That is one of the aspects of blogging I like the best; the friends that you make. Some of my blog friends I chat with online a couple of times a week.

I have noticed that you have very little about your family, about you? Is this due to fear of losing privacy or is there another reason?

There are a couple of reasons why I don't blog about my family much. 1. Is they are not little kids. They are adults and have asked me not to say too much. They have jobs and lives that don't have anything to do with my blog and unless they comment (which they do) or say it is okay I usually leave them out of it. 2. We are not very interesting. Or at least I don't think we are.

How do you feel about bloggers who post a great deal about their lives, their children, their spouses?

I get a little concerned with bloggers that are too open with the lives of their children and family. Especially the children. There are a lot of bad people out there and opening their lives up for anyone to see doesn't seem like a good idea. Not only that but employers these days are not stupid. They are on facebook, linkedin, and twitter. They look up blogs. If you have older children, like mine, or a husband on a job hunt it isn't a good idea to blog about them. Do you really think they want you telling them about your latest run it with the law or their last employer? With little ones you need to remember that they are going to be getting bigger. Your blogging about their toilet training may come back to bite you later. I understand that not all bloggers think this way and really that's okay. You need to stay with what you feel comfortable with.

How do you feel about ads, product reviews and other marketing attempts by blogger?

Ads—I don't like them. I don't blog to make money but I understand if some do. To tell you the truth I never click on ads so unfortunately those blogger won't get anything from me. Sorry guys.

Product reviews— This is interesting. I have just been asked by Safeway to review a sale and to post about their 2 hour turkey deal. I turned it down. I don't eat meat. I don't judge those that do but I encourage my followers to at least take one day off from eating meat. How could I encourage friends to go out and buy a turkey when that is the last thing I would do in person. I told the thank you but no thank you. I did leave open the possibility of blogging about something later without meat. By the way, I am blogging about this tomorrow.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Not Smashing, But Polishing the Glass Ceiling.

I hate to blame the victims, but really…what else can you do when Mom Bloggers accept less than what their blogs are worth? But this is MORE than just a mom blogger issue when moms gratefully pick up the scraps of marketing money such as gift cards and coupons from MAJOR corporations who benefit A LOT from the Mom Blog PR. This is woman issue.

Women in general, at least of a certain age, tend to accept less, actually OFFER to accept less, AND take on more responsibility than men. I find it at work, I find it in homes and I find it at the schools. Of course, the place I hate finding it the most is in my own personality. But, since I am a woman of a certain age--I do have that tendency to step in and do the f*cking job just to get it done… But now more than ever I have been actively stopping myself, not for my own good but because of my child. SO like a mother-Right?

Before motherhood, If you were taking something away from me, I would not necessarily stand-up for myself. But now, god help you and any close family members you have if you even try to take ANYTHING from my child. Motherhood does that to you—you find a strength. Your children are your strength.

It is easier for me now to think –this unfair pay raise is taking money away from daughter and I will not stand for it. Or this system where high powered women are standing behind folding tables selling cupcakes is stupid and I am not going buy into this women volunteer ethic. Take my money, not my dignity. Scowl all you want PTA mom—You tell me--where are the fathers in this equation?

For me it is not JUST money or time , it is about showing my daughter how to stand-up for herself—at home, while in school and when she goes out into work world. This world would not run without women, but for some reason we continue to sell ourselves short.

Take a look at this great blog post by Mom 101 who talks about the large corporations using mom bloggers and the effect it has on all bloggers.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Oh Baby..."Monetize My Blog"

I have been tempted, like JGH of Nyack Backyard, to press the “monetize my blog” button on the Google blogger program many times. But when I talk to other mom bloggers, whom I respect, they seem to view it as something cheap and dirty like having some tawdry affair….that the whole PTA is aware of it…

I would like to say that I have resisted until now because of some high personal standard, but that would be a lie. I have never pressed the button because I am too lazy and I was not sure if I wanted feminine products or constipation remedies advertised next to my posts. But for the sake of this class and research for my fellow mommy bloggers—I have decided to sell my soul, and “monetize” on my personal mom blog, Lazy Mom Café.

It is actually a lot of guilty fun…just like what (I can ONLY assume) an affair would be like. Since I did not want to let Google decide what I am advertising—I went through Amazon since I LOVE books and I have never had a bad experience with the Amazon. The child helped with recommendations. It was a wonderful family, consumerism moment.

Blogging is sort of a guilty pleasure which, for me, serves two purposes—first as a creative outlet and second and more importantly—to annoy my husband. Both activities are deeply satisfying. And if I were to make money off the blog that would just be frosting on the cake.

So check out my personal blog and if you plan to order anything through Amazon—just click through my site! For Christmas Gifts—think Lazy Mom Café!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Don't Worry Your Pretty Little Head....

I heard the report while driving home from the city last night…on NPR, of course, about the new recommended guidelines for mammograms starting at age 50 rather than 40. And they mentioned that the risk factor of having yearly mammograms outweighs the benefits. The first thing I thought was…OMG I have been having mammograms for years now …I will not go into how many, but needless to say—I have had A FEW yearly mammograms and I am dying…perhaps literally…. to know WHAT are the risks?!!

1. squeezing your breast between pieces of cold hard metal actually causes cancer???
2. the radiation from the X-ray increases the risk of cancer?

WHAT COULD POSSIBLY outweigh the benefits of early detection of cancer?

Finally…like they are a Fox news show rather than NPR, they tell us…

Apparently it is the ANXIETY of having the test is the “risk.” And my response to this finding is: WHAT THE F*CK?!!!.

Are we in Victorian England where I may need someone to fetch my smelling salts. PLEASE tell me that this is NOT what this team of highly respected “health care professionals” came up with. AT LEAST MAKE SOMETHING UP. I mean REALLY—we are women who deal with much bigger stresses than this ritualized torture and frankly the mammogram is one of the least stress producing tests because they tell you right then and there--you are good to go or perhaps—we want you to come back in 6 months just to check something. For heaven sakes! The anxiety of the test is a “risk factor?” If that does not have the Health Care Industry bribes written all over it—I don’t know what does? We must protect women from the “stress of the test” and save ourselves millions of dollars at the same time….oh…and a few women out of a thousand will die…but the stress. Oh the horror.

What else are these specialist planning to protect women from. How about seat-belts…they really rumple women’s clothing….How many women actually die in car accidents anyway…compared to say the EMBARRASSMENT of showing up rumpled. Perhaps GM and Ford can get together a group of specialists to study this and make some “recommendations.”

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Barnacle

I learned the other day in class from a marketing maven that there is term for shoppers like me: Barnacles. Barnacles are people who mainly shop the specials. I don’t MAINLY shop the specials—but I do buy very little in the way of processed food and I do always stock-up on the specials.

I always wondered about that—before we have a party I buy all sorts of junk food—potato chips, hot dogs, sodas and candy and when I do this type of shopping the coupon machine at the register spits out tons and tons of coupons. But now as I am checking out with my vegetables and fruits and old fashioned Quaker oats—no coupons…nothing!

What they are trying to do by not giving me coupons is to encourage me to shop elsewhere. They want to eliminate me from their customer base like a sailor wants to scrape the barnacles from the bottom of their boat. I am a drain on their store because the specials are often sold for a loss by the store in hopes that once you are in the store you will buy more. Is there any wonder why Americans are fat?

I just have one message for those marketers—I don’t even use your stinking coupons! Go market to the stay at home mommy bloggers.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Marketing, Monetizing and Mr. Clean.

Below is a guest post from fellow mom and fellow blogger, JGH, of Nyack Backyard.

So far, I’ve resisted any temptation to click on the word “monetize my blog” on my settings page in Blogger. It’s not that I don’t want to make money, it’s just that I don’t want to start thinking of my blog as a business. I’m afraid that the minute I do, the feelings of obligation will begin and it won’t be fun anymore. I’d want to add more gadgets, and more ads and maybe even sell a few things, and then before long, the blog would be one big commercial venture. And although some of my favorite blogs have advertisements, I probably wouldn’t follow one that is devoted solely to reviews.

Wouldn’t it be fun if blog marketing worked the opposite way? Wouldn’t it be nice if Trader Joe’s noticed how many times I’ve praised their Dixie Peach Juice on my blog and sent me a case of it? Why didn’t Mr. Clean notice when I praised his Magic Eraser Sponges? I can always use a few more of those.
My friend once said something nice about a local nursery that got printed in the paper, and they sent her a gift certificate. Now they’ve got her and several of her friends as customers for life. That’s what I call cultivating a local audience!

Every once in awhile I’ll get an email from someone asking me to review or link to something in exchange for being entered in a raffle. I’m sorry. There is no way to know what my chances of winning are, or how many are entered, or even if the drawing is rigged. I guess I’m just not that trusting. I’d probably respond better to the idea of product reviews on my blog if I was offered something for free that I could really use, like a cordless chainsaw or woodchipper, video camera or hardy kiwi vines! I think I could make a good case for any of these products. But the odd things that I’ve been offered haven’t been on my wish list, and now that bloggers must disclose the fact that they’ve received freebies to review, I’d be wary of looking like a sell-out.

There is one kind of marketing that I do participate in, though. It’s called “oblivious” marketing. The Lazy Mom informed me just recently that when someone clicks on one of the books listed on my sidebar, they are directed to and Amazon page where they can purchase it. I hadn’t known that. I’d be surprised if any click throughs result in a purchase, but if they do, shouldn’t I get a cut? How do I sign up for that? I could really use that 17 cents.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Demise of the Alpha Mom

So what happened to the Alpha Mom? There was so much chatter about her on-line a few years ago and now…nothing. Perhaps they were tired of us “Beta Moms” making fun of them. Perhaps when they sold out to companies who wanted them to “review” their products that put them in the dog house with other moms. Or maybe it suddenly dawned on them—that no one REALLY cares what they think of fruit roll-ups.

For me it was a lazy Saturday afternoon in Riverside Park, Hippo Park to be exact, when my own disgust of the Alpha Mom first began. My sister and I were sitting on a bench as we watched our children run wild through the child’s park of hippo statues. The hippos were at various stages of emerging from the soft playground surface. We were sipping iced coffees—a mom staple, and the children had more Oreo on their faces than in their stomachs. It was one of those perfect NYC days.

Suddenly, out of nowhere, a clipped English accent announced: “Veggie Puffs!?” and large cellophane bag full of seaweed green balls was shoved into our faces. Harshing my mellow with this fish tank smelling “all-natural organic snack” the woman popped herself down next to us to tell us all about the health benefits. The children charged over to take a look, which was all they needed to turn up their cookie smeared noses, and ran back to play on the hippos. My sister, who eats nails for breakfast, grabbed the offending bag from Ms. Know-it-All. Scanning the contents—she said: “I would NEVER feed this crap to my child…god knows what they put in it—they could easily get salmonella from this so called “organic” snack.

The mother took her malodorous smelling bag back over to her Baby Einstein enhanced son. We sipped our coffees, my sister lit a cigarette and we watched our cookie faced children do dangerous balancing acts on the life sized hippos while other Alpha Moms called out to them to be careful and called to their own children not to follow suit.

If you cannot be good Alpha Mom—at least be a good bad example.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Down with Disney--A Mommy Class Action Suit

Although I must confess that The Winnie-the-Pooh Disney video truly saved our marriage by sucking our toddler’s full attention for a good 45 minutes...and allowing us JUST enough time to “re-connect“ on the weekends....Disney, now, is not welcomed in our house.

We were talking over dinner the other night—the child, the husband and I, and the child mentioned that the Disney movies always seem to be absent a mother—she is either dead or missing or killed early on. And she is almost always replaced by a mean, wicked stepmother.

I said—I think it is is because they are following the old fairy tales—Cinderella, Snow White etc.

But then child said...”What about Finding Nemo where the mother is offed in the first few minutes? What about that?”

Good Point...

She said she thought it was time for a mommy lawsuit against Disney. I think so too. How many more movies are we willing to accept with this free and easy killing off of mothers?

Mothers of the Internet Unite! You have nothing to lose but that glorious 45 minutes of undisturbed time.

Winnie-the-Pooh looking for a mother

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Working Moms' Favorite Sites REVEALED!

So...after a rather painstaking process—the results of my totally non-scientific survey are in. 45 of my closest mom friends have spoken...

Just a note on the survey sample: Most of my mom friends work and those who do not “work” are NOT what I would refer to as the classic stay-at-home moms—in fact they are less likely to be at home than most of us because of their other "outside" interests that take them to L.A. or Tibet...

So what are the Working Moms of the somewhat affluent suburbs (this marketing opportunity sweet-spot so to speak) viewing on the the web?


Now...I know it is a big surprise, but it is true.

What sites are they visiting over and over again like the pathetic addicts that they are? and

Tripadvisor is the one site that came up more than any other followed by Travelzoo....moms are not looking for recipes, not looking for parenting advice (please we get enough from in-laws and even strangers on the street), nor sales.

We are looking for adventure!

It is so true...I know EXACTLY what hotel in Rome I would love to reserve and I know what hotel in Rome we can afford to reserve. Barcelona, Florence, Paris—the trips are completely my head. If the child did not have a mouth full of braces and a math tutor—we would be in Buenos Aires this week at the Hotel Babel.

Tripadvisor and Travelzoo take note—Start a mommy blog about travel.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

News Flash--Moms are too Busy & Men have Time to Burn

“Female iPhone Users More Likely to Tune Out Mobile Advertising” reports Ad though it is a huge surprise.

Although I don’t believe it is a news flash to any mom, but apparently for the advertisers is was an epiphany.
Moms are “less engaged with mobile web advertising” and tend to focus on getting tasks done instead. duh.

The other big surprise revealed in the article, which, for anyone who has a husband or who works in an office with men is not ground shaking news—Men are much more engage with mobile web advertising than women. Probably because their time is freed-up while the women do all those daily tasks....

Of course this all leads up to the controversial, yet popular, PepsiCo's sponsored app "Amp Up Before You Score" for the iPhone. An app to help men be less dopey when trying to pick-up women by feeding the dopes pick-up lines to use with different types of women—I personally think of it as a public service. I think every woman regardless of age remembers painful pick-up lines...surely this app can only help.
The only problem, of course, is that the developers just went a little too “guy,” Rather than coming off as an app to enhance first impression, it was marketed in the most base a way “TO SCORE.” But what can I say—Men are dopey....and the ad people know it. The ad people just forget that EVERYONE sees the app—it is not written on the men’s locker room wall.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Study: Stay-at-home moms dominate social media

Study: Stay-at-home moms dominate social media

Well...not a complete surprise. It is not like all of the working moms were wondering who had time to do those coupon searches and thrifty recipes and now we know.

The working moms will do what we do best--come home and have a glass of wine.

Posted using ShareThis

Letterman is More than a Pig and Why Moms Should Care

There is nothing like a 62 year old married male boss getting sex from his twenty something intern to turn me all “Fox News”. Although normally I am pretty much be and let be as far as sex, but this is NOT about sex. I cannot imagine what maze of rationalizations Letterman had to wind his mind through to even THINK it was okay to get his groove on with someone who works FOR him. Not with him, but for him.

I work at an Ivy League school and not that long ago a male professor dating a female student was considered normal and now it is completely taboo--as it should be. “OH…you are too busy to date me—perhaps a “F” on your lab paper will change your mind?” Please…how long did it take the old white men at the university to realize that the party was OVER. I will tell you--It took a LONG time.

A mom friend, who does not even own a TV because she is so organic and back to nature, stopped our conversation short to talk about David Letterman, At first I thought—David Letterman is such an asshole on his show to begin with why should I even care about his personal life. However, as she talked…I realized—it was not his personal life that disgusted me—it was his professional life. Yet Ms. All-Natural seemed mostly upset about his infidelity, not about his morally pathetic actions of screwing someone who worked under him, who he had some degree of power over.

I am SO in my Fox Mood Moment I just have to say what REALLY bothers me are the conversations about Letterman. What I have heard and read have been about his poor wife or the blackmail or why are all men pigs NOT about the abuse of power over a young woman...which I think what moms should care about. It is, what my favorite sex-ed teacher calls—a teachable moment. Bring it up with your daughters—there are men in the world who will use their position of power to get you into bed. It is not love, it is not even passion—is just power.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Do You Want a Coupon with that Sarcasm?

After some research I have found there are basically two types of mommy Blogs and then, of course, the various hybrids. There are the sarcastic blogs that chronicle the life and times of regular moms and then there are the thrifty moms…the moms with tips on how to clip and use coupons. I think this basically all comes back to the two types of moms—those who work outside the home and those who work in the home.

Here is the link from the scholastic press contest:

The top 3 of the 5 listed are the day-in-a-life type of blog—funny, thought provoking —they have advertisers, but no product reviews, no tips for saving, no coupons to clip. The last two are all about working in the home and I mean REALLY working. Strategies for saving, for making the home look beautiful for less… Have you ever seen that commercial about the woman who has a dirty carpet in her foyer that she refuses to let a friend in from the rain because she is too embarrassed? These blogs are where these “fear” commercials should be playing because if your worst fear is dirty carpet don’t come a knockin’ at my door…I will let you in…messy floor and all. Thank god for our slate floors—you cannot tell they are dirty until your shoes stick to them.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Blessings Abound

I have to admit—I have been a very sheltered blog reader, but to be fair to myself—I think the web creates that ability to filtered out unwanted or maybe just unrequested sites. So when I started to toss my search engine net out wider to explore in the Marketing Mommy Blogger sea I found something I really was not looking for. Like Jesus teaching people to fish—my net came back full of Christian Consumerism. I had a feeling it was all connected...and apparently I was right. WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) is clip coupons, stay at home with lots of kids, enter giveaways and make the perfect ribs using a slow cooker and a can of Coke.

I know...scary, but it is true. It is whole different world out there. NYC is not the rest of the country and let me tell you—the NYC rules do not apply out there. I think the epitome of this type of Mommy Marketing blog—is Blessings Abound.

This is a site of a mom who is Blessed to live in Alaska with her best friend husband and their four (home-schooled) kids, one name Liberty. She has a “passion for product reviews” and “hosting blessings” which I believe are giveaways...but my innate fear of religion stops me from clicking through to investigate further.
I know people must go to this site, but who are they and what are they getting from it? No one can really believe the product reviews since they are sponsored by the companies...
I know there must be better sites out there for moms marketing to moms. My search continues.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

What Fresh Hell Is This?

Marketing through Mommy Blogs? It seems so cheesy, like Pampered Chef Parties or Tupperware gathering from the 60s.
As I delve into the Mommy blogosphere to look at attempts to market to moms-- Dorothy Parkers’ comment keeps on coming to mind: "What fresh hell is this?"

I must admit--I love a few mommy blogs..the ones with smart, deeply sarcastic writers like Dooce by Heather Armstrong and the blogs that take up strong and unpopular opinions on childrearing such as Free Range Kids by Lenore Skenazy.

But there is a whole other world out there with people who discuss ad nauseam--stain cleaners, the new M & M favors, vacuum cleaners--this world, I am almost certain, is the making of Madison Avenue and the Stepford Wives inventor combined.

I had NO IDEA until I entered a communications masters program that Mommy bloggers are a marketing force and moms in general are a HUGE market. Although moms as a huge market is not complete surprise to me (because god knows men can’t be bothered to go grocery shopping), I am very skeptical of how much influence a mommy blogger has on other mothers. You will not see me clicking through on an ad for Mucinex or Febreeze as I read my favorite blogs and for the most part the blogs I read are not discussing their taste-test of Pop Tarts....

With this blog I plan to explore the world of the mommy blogs to better understand their appeal, what they can do for mothers and, more importantly, what they can and cannot do for marketers. Can mom blogs REALLY start a buzz or are they just the new Tupperware party of the 21 century?