Tonight, members of our Green Mom Carnivalwill be in NY to accept a Shorty Award in the GREEN CATEGORY. Go Girls! Shorty Awards (Twitter) go to the best producers of short content under 140 characters.
It should also be noted that between postings there are a LOT of emails, twitters and postings circulating as we help each other become greener in our homes and our professions -trademarks or toxins, sales or sustainability, it all gets discussed. And why not? In our founding group are authors, lawyers, environmental engineers, activists, marketers, and messengers. There's not a slacker among us.
NEXT UP: Anna Hackman who is a lawyer and LEED AP (GreenTalk) captured the moment in and the mamas who made this happen on video.
A reoccurring theme is popping up among the bloggers, one of "user-ship" and not in a good way. Women bloggers are beginning to feel used. Where do they draw the line between generosity, self-promotion and getting paid?
Today an email crossed my desk from one of my gal pals. She asked what we thought about an online magazine asking permission to reprint the full text of one of her blog postings. (At least they asked, two points for that.)
Magazine X is getting paid for drawing eyes to their site. Shouldn't they be paying for full blown articles of bloggers just like they pay for full blown articles by staff? Taking snippets of a blog post and linking back to the original posting on a site is considered ok in a word-of-mouth world, but a full article?
When business is involved, the answer is pretty clear - get paid - unless you really need them on your resume of experiences and then it's a case of mutual user ship. But what if the person asking is a new online fellow blogger? Let's take it a step further, what if they are asking for professional guidance on a subject because you're friends? What do you do? Give away free information or snub them?
The rules of social media dictate that you must give away more information than ever before - what used to be billable hours is now business development hours. How do you draw the line and still make a living? More importantly, how do you decide what's right without losing friends?
Maybe its time to invoke the Girl Scout Law as it applies to blogging...
I will do my best to be honest and fair, friendly and helpful, considerate and caring, courageous and strong, and responsible for what I say and do, and to respect myself and others, respect authority, use resources wisely, make the world a better place and be a sister to every Girl Scout / blogger...
The "respect yourself and others" rings especially true when it comes to blogging. If you don't respect your opinion and the value of it, then how can you expect others to do the same?
Yes, we have to give away more teasers than before, but if writing is your business, don't give it away.
This is BlogHer recap week. I want to do it justice, so each post will capture one topic. Today's focus is on the community at large and sponsorship. Later this week, I'll cover the wonderful individual community members which I met. I've tried to live blog in the past, but it cut into my face-to-face time. That's why I attend each year. I want to TALK without my fingers moving for just a few days.
Over 1000 women bloggers and babies
50 biz cards, that's about how many I have to help me remember the faces and places.
69 sponsors from food to electronics to software and .orgs. (yes, I tried to visit them all)
3 days (if you count the night before and the morning after)
1 very tired, talked out blogger who enjoyed the 7 hour quiet drive home.
The best part of BlogHer is meeting women outside of my normal interest zone. The blogosphere allows me to talk with others "like me" which locks me into same/same mode. These conferences force me to considering other options. One thing no one lacks is passion; it's the #1 vibe in the room. The #2 vibe is community. Even with our differences, our ability to express those differences in such an open and uncensored way is what joins us together.
I've been to five of these events so far (3 regular, 2 for business) In the early days, co-founders: Elisa, Jory and Lisa, (the three dots on the stage left) were running it on their charge cards. Since then BlogHer has grown to 13,000 listed bloggers, 2200 in their ad network and sold out conferences like this one.
Social media, of which blogging is part of the mix, is finally taking hold in the market. Why advertise a 30 second spot on TV that's gone after 30 seconds if you can engage a blogger to write about you on the Internet cave wall where it will be read forever. Those of us who blog, "get it" and those who don't (most companies) want to "get it" or more accurately, get the written endorsements and word of mouth.
This year that was made very clear as BlogHer has joined in a partnership with iVillage, Bravo TV and the Oxygen. NBC (the umbrella company) wants to help those business units get a handle on what women bloggers can and can't do for their various properties. I understand that venture capital was extended to BlogHer which allowed them to hire a staff of 22 and expand their reach.
Back at the conference, I has fascinated at the inventive ways companies used this past weekend to engage the group. There were electronic makeovers per se by HP, Intuit, Norton, Picnik, sanpfish, T-mobile, Microsoft, Nintendo. We worked out to Wii and had our floors cleaned by iRobot. We were well wined by Oops and dined by Boca, Bertrolli, and of course Starbucks. Cafe Press offered us ways to monitize our blogs and many more offered content and software to make everything run more smoothly.
In a terrific example of "experience" marketing, Macy's corded off floors in their store for a progressive party of appetizers and more wine by Oops. We started in the purse department, moved to shoes and ended up with tiny ice cream cones in the furniture department. What a fun way to get 1000 women to walk your store. It gave new meaning to shop/talk. NEXT - personal video highlights.
" Ever notice how bloggers talk about the same people over and over? That's because we have relationships with them."Yvonne DiVita, Lipsticking
I laughed out loud when I opened my email this morning. In one of my Feedblitz aggregators, the two new posts offered came from Yvonne DiVita and the other Toby Bloomberg. As I scrolled down to see what they were talking about I ran into myself and the cover shot from WECAI this month. (12,727 readers so far) WE is published by Heidi Richards, who is also another great blog and biz buddy with 35,000 on her mailing list.
What made it particularly poignant was that I just read an email from Emily McKhann from The Motherhood (who I met through BlogHer).(23,000 women bloggers/8 million readers) She asked if I (or Diane MacEachern) (2500 eco women) would be interested in talking to a grad student (another woman) regarding ECO women's green groups.
Why do we gather? For the same reason we blog together - to support one another.
These are crazy times, we need each other to help keep the crazies at bay. Kimberly Danke Pinkson of Eco Mom Alliance (11,000 women) sure knows the answer to that one. It's the same reason we join Weight Watchers or AA. Like any good 12 step program, first you have to acknowledge you have a problem and then, by being accountable to others in your group, you can work to solve it. Why are we accountable? Because we have a build a relationship with the members of the group.
Let's take it a step further, take a look at the banner on this blog, see the woman who is in the black suit (second from the left) that's Terry Gamer. She recently bought the rights to 500 women's small town, local level news sources which account for 36 million readers. Small, local papers who would have thought they have much to do with why women gather? The answer is as simple as to why do they subscribe to a small women's paper - it's all about the relationships that it helps to foster between women.
That's the short list, but these are the nine whom I intersected in the last 4 days. Nine women representing a reach into over 45 million women's lives. Why do green women gather? Because we can!
My thanks to the ever gracious Heidi,for putting this Women & Green issue together on top of running several companies while launching WECAI into a thriving organization of 1200+ global women. WECAI, (Women's E-Commerce) it's an organization dedicated to teaching small business women how to become better at conducting business online.
I'm joined with many other women on the same green mission to create a more sustainable world. Suzy Miller questions ethical marketing or is it just greenwashing? Bea Kunz, WE's green editor addresses how we can spend our way to a better world. Teresa Morrow provides Green Cleaning tips. Elizabeth Skronski Supports Mother Earth in a whole new way. Linda Pereria takes on "Are we loving it to Death"?, Jeanne Horak-Druiff wonders if green glass is possible, Diane MacEchern looks inside her Big Green Purse, Green Granny Joyce Emery shares her point of view and Carol McCelland gives green career guidance.
The Issue also has a special Women's Green Commerce Survey. Anyone who participates will recieve a list of hundreds of green resources which Heidi has been collecting over the last year. We'll also give you the results, first! Link to it from inside of the Spring issue or here.
Earth Day is only a marker of greater things to come. It's all about Purses, Peers, Posts and the Power to Move Green Markets. Download your free copy of the Spring E-Issue and catch the green buzz plus hear much more from the many bright women who are out to recreate their personal and business life. http://www.wecai.org/wemagspring08.pdf
In preparing for the discussion, I checked out A Squared Group and was instantly impressed. They just "get it" - this marketing to women thing as well as seeing women's for the "really new media" that they are. It's no wonder that Method chose A2G to help them develop a sincere social media program.
The Detoxing Seattle program was a completely new way to enter into a market. Method, with it's sculptural design has been in major retail stores for a while, but it doesn't scream "Green" which is its main selling point in an evergreening market. I asked the BlogHer audience how many are "greenies" and a modest show of hands went up. When I asked how many used Method products however, and many hands went up. Without knowing it, they were supporting the green movement, the product's styling and recyclable packaging worked. Being green(er) than other options was icing.
What they did
The agency first got to know different bloggers, like Kathryn on a personal basis. Kathryn already had recognition in the local market, is an entertaining writer and someone who cares about how her home environment affects her family. Amy explained that her agency always tries to meet with Bloggers first to see if it's a good fit of values and interest or not. How many agencies are willing to do that?
Next they invited the women to a night out with cocktails and no expectations except to bring with them all the under-the-sink chemicals that they would want to take into detox. Even if no one liked Method, the night was still be a success. (Hundreds of toxic products were brought in.)
Afterwards, they sent a basket of Method products directly to each women's house. Pretty nice and unexpected. Needless to say, they had many nice things blogged about Method later and now that's a permanent part of the Method legacy for others to read including investors. I know I sure would invest in a company that is good to the planet and good to those who buy it. What's not to love? For the record, Method is the 7th faster growing privately held company in America according to Inc. Magazine in 2006.
This very Social Media program will continue in Boston, Minneapolis and more major cities. Their plan is to detox the world one woman and one city at a time.
My thanks to Amy, Anna and Kathyrn for a great discussion that had us all laughing. If you want to be someone who "cleans like a mother" fill your house with Method eco-safe products.
What is the sound of hundreds of manicured nails typing? That was was I heard for two days straight at BlogHer Biz in NYC, tapity, clickity, tap... I couldn't take notes notes fast enough. BlogHer Biz is very different from BlogHer's Summer conference. It's smaller, more intense and everyone has a mission or five to talk about.
Sitting next to me was Alysson TeCarr from Typepad which is the software I use for this site. Her colleague at Typepad is to her left, but I didn't get her name. (A little help Alysson?) Yes, Typepad will be bringing out a more customizable format soon. I was taking video with my Flip and then converting to snap shots. That's where all these pics came from. I took shots with a still camera as well, but Flip, that needed less light and you can stop movement, performed better.
Debba Hauper of Girlfriendlogy was treat, as were Maggie and Paige from Grossman, Lindsay Yaw with her Mind, Body and Soul site called BeThree. Once I met Beverly Robertson of the March of Dimes we couldn't unmeet. Seemed like she was everywhere there and everywhere on Twitter as well. (yes, I promise, I'll start twittering, really... honest...) Natalie Johnson the New Media Manager at GM balanced business with pleasure with blackberry. For comic relief... Tara Anderson of Lijit and Kathryn Thompson of Daring Young Mom. (just go her site and see what I mean)
Another fun gal I'm looking forward to getting to know better is Terry Gamer, she recently purchased millions of womens' eyes in the form of readers of small, women owned newspapers around the U.S. She's new to blogging and ready to shake things up - at 64!
My thanks to Jory, Lisa and Elisa for again surpassing expectations and combining the best of women, work and inspiration together.
All of that is happening inside of an hour at BlogHer Biz in a couple of days. It's part of a panel discussion focused on "Who you are, not what you do." I'm on the panel as well, addressing green reputations. This is a timely subject given the recent focus on Patagonia's Footprint Chronicles. They are being transparent and authentic which is what this market is demanding.
Today, (yes, I'm posting at 2 in the morning in the city that never sleeps, including myself) I'll be moderating a case study panel for Method cleaning products which is in the middle of a social media campaign that intersects with women's groups on the ground and in the air. Stay tuned.
Did you feel the power shift? The markets are changing, first my blog buddy Karen writes about 1,4-dioxane and then an Eco Mom sends me a copy of a letter from Method explaining away the problem that's similar to this. For the first time women are being taken seriously as social influencers. Companies are being pro-active and sending out letters to womens' groups before they take them to the court of public opinion.