9 posts categorized "BlogHer"

October 23, 2009

Does Maria Shriver's Women's Nation Lack a Massive Segment?

Picture 21 It's been a long while since I've tapped into my inner women's circle of pals. Work has consumed me and I've had to put this blog in simmer mode. This morning, however, Yvonne DiVita's blog post cranked up the burner. 

Yvonne is a long-time blog pal and my publisher, she's also been a long-time voice for the everyday gal who's just trying to make a mark in a world that generally ignores her contributions. In her post, she takes on Maria Shriver's Women's Nation Report for two reasons: 

1. Her site focuses on Maria's pals who are only women at the top of the professional food chain.

2. The report focuses on Moms (again) (short overview here)

Yvonne's argument centered on the reports lack of diversity in its roll out and zeroed in on PANKS (Professional Aunts No Kids). As someone who writes for and with green moms all the time, it rang true. The mom stats are quoted so much that even I didn't know the Aunt stats. We 50 percenters aren't even on the radar within our own crowd. 

Interestingly, Melanie Notkin was a bit unhappy with Maria's conference call and her work, also. For those who don't know Melanie she is the founder of Savvy Auntie - a powerful group of women who represent close to 50% of the female population in the U.S. 

The green moms that I hang out with are the best and very inclusive of us who don't have kids. That's the kind of women's nation I want to see. Thank goodness for women like Yvonne who started me on the blog path and for BlogHer for promoting women bloggers at large and for Terry Gamer at Womego for bringing the voices from 500 women-owned publications forward. Without that first push, I would never have written my first post let alone a whole book. 

What this report really reinforces is that our value system that has gone from citizenship to consumership. The reason moms are quoted and tracked is because while they may have less available cash than the PANKS, they have more reasons to buy. They also share more (word of mouth) making them coveted WOM media targets because kids force them into circles of communication that we Aunts don't have. 

I'm glad the tipping point of prosperity has happened and for the attention that this report gives it, but I agree with Yvonne, it's the diversity of the crowd that makes us a stronger "nation" and it's the blogs that bring us together. 

August 18, 2009

Where are All the Women Ad Agency Leaders?

Picture 23 That's a paraphrase of "Where are all the Women Bloggers"? it was a sentiment aired a few, short years ago which prompted the formation of BlogHer. No one questions where all the women bloggers are now, they are dominating the medium and creating a media of their own. 

If it takes one to know one including making the judgement calls that resonate with instead of repealing female customers, you have to wonder why the Advertising Departments are still mainly male.

Recently the top Women To Watch, were honored at by Advertising Age.(Congrats to all) This is what Tiffany Kosel said to sum it up. I agree with her quoted conclusion - good ideas have no genitals. The problem is, those at the top do and they are ones filtering which ideas get air time. 


What do you think, have the times changed due to arrival of enlightened men at the top of the ad chain. Or have the times changed because women bloggers are ranting about what does and doesn't work for them?

July 29, 2009

To Review or Not to Review...

Could you do it? Could you turn down a FREE NEW REFRIGERATOR in exchange for three months of (hopefully) positive reviews? How honest could you be at that high of a freebie price tag? Below is how Diane handled it.

Moral Marketing (to each other) is the new concern of social media marketing. When Neilsen tracks 10,000 women bloggers for their mass media appeal just like they do magazines and newspapers, you know the tide has turned. Because the influence of the blogging woman is so high, because high product praise from a friend carries so much influence, companies are doing whatever they can to get women to endorse their products in writing. 

By the time I was done writing "In Women We Trust" it was apparent that in Women we better trust as we find our voices and do online what they've been doing off line for generations - sharing experiences about food, products and life.  

Many in our green women group have set policies for reviews. My policy is that I'll only review products or books that serve the triple bottom line of people, planet and then profits. The products must be certified as sustainable like Forbo's Marmoleum (SMaRT certified) and books must offer insights into how to turn the world greener and safer. 

What's your moral marketing policy? Will you blog about anything, or does the product/service need to hold itself to higher standards first?What is your standard for changing the world? Are you a change agent or an enabler?

April 06, 2008

The Buzzonators of BlogHer Biz

Blogher_her_typepad2What 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.

Blogher_getgood_yvonne_3Prior pals like Yvonne DiVita and Susan Getgood showed up. (Check out Yvonne's new Lipsticking look.) Toby Bloomberg and Elana Centor were back for another year, as was CB Whittemore. I met up with Virginia Miracle again too, who moved from Dell to Ogilvy since the last BlogHer conference.  I can honestly say I know these women better than my neighbors - even you Virginia.

Blogher_girlfriend_flowerDebba 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)

Blogher_taraAnother 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.

NEXT: business not as usual

September 30, 2007

Time for us to Tell Plastic Bags to Bag it.

"People are getting increasingly concerned with global warming and how our lifestyles contribute, and plastic bags are a true culprit in the problem."

Dscn3582 So says, Lisa Wise, executive director of The Center for the American Dream a Maryland based agency that promotes responsible consumerism in recent article.

Bloghers Act Canada launched their year with downsizing the packaging in their lives. It's a behavioral thing that can be learned and unlearned. They are promoting the learning part and it will take constant reinforcement.

In the NY Times today is an example of how fast we can unlearn:

"She moved to the United States from Germany seven years ago, Angela Neigl brought with her the energy-conscious sensibilities of life in Europe. You drove small cars. You recycled every can, lid and stray bit of household waste. You brought your own reusable bags or crate to the market rather than adding to the billions of plastic bags clogging landfills, killing aquatic creatures on the bottoms of oceans and lakes, and blowing in the wind.

But, alas, there she was Friday morning, lugging her white plastic bags from the Turco’s supermarket, like everyone else, figuring there was no fighting the American way of waste.

I admit, I felt that way as well, especially on days when I'm at the checkout counter and my bags are back in my trunk. Sande Hart changed that for me last week. She announced to the meeting of about a dozen women what she does when she forgets her bags, she asks the bagger to put everything into the cart and then she puts all items in her car or in the bags in her trunk. What a simple and great idea - and not to mention an example of peer pressure at work. Go Sande!

It would only take me doing that a couple of times before I'd remember to bring my bags into the store. As one of the above articles reminded me, plastic bags are used for literally seconds and then their life use is over - from cart to car and car to cupboard. Surely we can rewire ourselves to do better. If they can do it in Europe, we can do it here.

Or look at it this way, it's not getting rid of a bad habit, it's opening up closet space.

July 04, 2007

Get Ready for Voice Activation at BlogHer 07

I am beyond excited for BlogHer 07. At one point I thought about not attending. I had to balance the fun of a hot time in The City with working practically the next day in Vegas at the Sustainable Furniture show. When BlogHers ACT was added to the roster, I confirmed my ticket for Chi Town. I wanted to be at ground zero when BlogHer puts the power of blogs and women's hearts behind ONE topic for ONE year.

It will change the world. 

When explaining bloggers as a "media" to business, I often tell them, "Bloggers are like cats, if you want their attention you have to pet them, feed them or give them something to chase." For this cat, BlogHers ACT is the ultimate chase and that's why I'm going and that's also why it will work.

Women (still) are getting the back seat when it comes to being acknowledged. With the right topic tracked, however, BlogHers ACT will provide the acknowledgment women deserve and that will start a chain reaction like never before. Why? Because business is watching and reading blogs. What is written on the Internet cave wall by their key consumers carries clout. What women care about, business cares about. Notice how fast the Super Bowl went from frat jokes to practically Disney in less than three years. Women ranted, business listened and the Super Bowl, and it's advertising, went mainstream. That's clout.

And now that we have their attention... let's crank it up.

For example: Elisa reminded us of what has become marketing lore, 83% of the consumer dollar is influenced by women. In my industry (furniture) women influence 94% of the decisions. So, let's connect some dots. About 75% of the CO2 emissions are attributed to one industry - buildings and their furnishings. Think about it, what's more prevalent than cars - offices and homes. Then think about the raw materials and transportation needed to build, heat, cool, light and furnish that asset? Think too about all the wood that is required and where that wood comes from... If all we did was band and blog or buy FSC certified wood, we could influence how fast the furniture and the building industries would mend their ways. The standard does the heavy lifting, we just have to demand it.

Some of the good guys are doing it on their own, but that's slow and frankly we are running out of time to stop dangerous and irreversible global warming.

Business will always follow the money and with that leverage, we can change the world.

August 08, 2006

BlogHer or Blogger? Who cares, just learn the tool.

Susan Getgood's posting on BlogHer set off discussions in many directions. I'm going to focus on one -- when does a "women-only" thing go from being an event identifier to a name-calling insult for an attendee?

As I was reading Susan's post and others the issue fell into two camps A)women being heard in the first place B) how to be taken seriously in the mainstream if you're the one segmenting yourself out of it. (by being part of an all woman event). A third unspoken issue also came out, is it limiting and in socially poor taste to identify with being a BlogHer instead of a blogger? (in the same way that women would rather be "lawyers" not "woman lawyers.")

It's the same discussion that's been held since I entered the business world three decades ago. Back then, women were forming business groups and associations primarily to have their voice heard or to learn things about their profession that weren't being shared in the workplace. They had no choice, they either sat in the dark or created their own spot of light.

Today, you would think that the world has evolved enough that separate groups aren't needed, it hasn't. Women are still struggling to learn how to voice an opinion and then have that opinion taken seriously. We've only had this "seat" for a few decades, cut us some slack. Knowing how to blog, pushes the process and sure beats standing on a rock and screaming.

What's the difference between a BlogHer and a blogger? The first is a business name, the second is a person.

Can closing the knowledge gap close faster if it's inside a woman-focused event? Yes. Sitting side-by-side sets off the women-helping-women gene. To answer my own question at the top, is it self-limiting to attend an all woman event to get information that you will be used in a mixed gender world? No. It's quite the opposite. Do whatever you have to do to learn and then apply the knowledge. For some that's being left alone, but for women, it's talking it out and learning from each other.

August 02, 2006

Are you bi-cultural?

My advance thanks to Liz Henry, Chris Heure, Mr. "un-named" in the BlogHer BOF session for Social Change, the general tone inside the BlogHer techie session and the BlogHer conference at large. The gender/communication problems continue to run deep as this inside/outside observer sees it, but it's nothing more than a lack of understanding of the women's culture.

Here's what made my skin crawl.

I was sitting in the Birds of a Feather group for Social Change. Each of us gave a quick intro as to who they were and their blog's name. One man decided to use the intro moment as his sales pitch time and launched into what he was doing there and what his product could do for the group and... (finally) was asked to cut it off as this "was just a quick check in." That's where he made his communication mistake - he didn't apologize for rambling and immediately shut up, he just kept going. He was asked again (very politely, I might add) to stop and he rambled on MORE! You could feel the disdain set in. If he had wanted to earn a sale, he just lost every chance by not paying attention to the unwritten rules. Blend - don't offend.

While he was making his point, you could feel each one of the women making a point to never do business with this insensitive jerk. Because he was one of two guys and he was the only one who rambled, this moment really drew attention to his out-of-placeness.

Today - while following conversations and links on post BlogHer thoughts, I tapped into an exchange by Liz Henry in her June 2006 post. This is a great case study of what NOT to do if you're a guy trying to fit in with a group of women, and reinforces the difference. If you're having a hard time communicating with women, go read the entire post and comments that follow. Here's a tidbit from it which is Liz's take on what happens between women and how trust is first established:

...Which I have to digress about. Women often communicate by the mutual offering of vulnerabilities and uncertainties. This can come off as annoying or bewildering self-deprecation, but in a group of women, it functions well. I say "I'm not sure about this idea, and gizmo theory, and I'm not an expert, and here's the three mutually contradictory ways I feel about it, and here's what I do know, and I wonder what my priorities are and what I'll do." Then you say "Me too, sort of, and I've always worried that I don't know how to widgetize well enough." And then we have established our mutual trust and non-arrogant stances, and begin the actual information exchange and work together towards confident steps to action. It is an approach to the process of conversation. The same conversation between women and men often goes like this: "I'm not sure about my gizmo theory abilities, and..." "I'm so sorry. That sucks. Maybe some day you'll know what you're doing. Here, let me tell you how to do it." *guy now puts woman into the category of incompetent whiners* *woman gives up on actually having a productive conversation with guy*...

Again, I urge you to read the whole post, and follow the comments afterwards between she and Chris Heuer. Both women and men can learn from this one (thanks to you both for your candidness).

I also attended the techie group. I am NOT a geek, but even if I don't understand the tools I do want to know what the new tools are and the mindset of those holding them. (It's an extention of the "Who owns the guns and where are their heads"? conversation...)

I expected the conversation to center on tools and application ideas and for the most part it did, but it quickly became a women vs. men in the tech world discussion - not as in who comes up with better stuff, but who is accepted on face value as a participant and who isn't. It was the same conversation I heard in the 70s. The solution? Quit fighting gender issues inside your workplace and go out and start your own company.

That's not much of a solution - defect from what you can't fix. The gal sitting next to me said that her solution was to collect "the good guys" (guys who are bi-cultural) and ignore the jerks in the tech world. That's not easy considering the ratio of men to women in that group is heavily weighted on the male side.

BlogHer is taking a similar stand. Instead of trying to merge or beat the system, it started it's own culture club. In doing so, men are invited to join, but they need to behave within the cultural behaviors of the group if they want to be "part" of the group.

Some think that technology is the big equalizer. If that was true, then the high-tech crowd would not have been voicing their continued frustration with the gender issue (STILL), BlogHER wouldn't have happened, nor would mass quantities of offline women's groups be forming. Clearly something is missing and the women are defecting to their own culture to get something done within their own lifetime instead of waiting for permission to start.

July 31, 2006

BlogHer Laptop and Communication Envy

I never experienced anything like it - 700 women with their laptops open in 2 days of blogger's gone wild. They slammed the system at the San Jose Hyatt. I drove away in a daze wishing two things A) that my computer was wifi'd and B) that every woman on the planet needs to know how to blog as well as she knows how to use a phone.

I'll borrow from Saturn which was one of the sponsors - Saturn "gets it" and were doing their best to convert all 700 women into spokespeople for their new line up of cars. How can you go wrong with a little red sports car under $30,000 that makes everything else look boring? Yes, I drove one and yes, it was everything you hope for in two seats, wind and pure joy.

Their new tag line is "Like Always. Like never before." It also describes this event.

Like always... women talk and share and inspire one another.

Like never before... women can do that with hundreds, even thousands rather than a few. And as Gladwell's Tipping Point noted, people are more likely to believe and act on advice given by those they trust.

Blogs enhance what women have always done with each other, connect, learn, grow, change things for the better.

One speaker, Cooper Monroe spoke on how her blog with 200 readers went to 20,000 in 2-3 days when she asked for items to send to the Katrina victims. That's the power ONE women's trusted voice. Truckloads of items were sent because she cared enough to ask for help.

Like always - women turned to women when they needed help. Like never before they are using the power of the blog to expand their influence and change their world forever. Note, I'm not saying that every woman NEEDS to blog anymore than they need to make phone calls, but every woman needs to know HOW a blog works and how to "work" a blog and become part of the greater good conversation.

If you didn't make it to BlogHer 2005 - get active and come to BlogHer 2006.