BlogHer - over 3,000 women over 3 days learning, networking, swagging and connecting. It’s not for the faint of heart. But BlogHer is only the star that smaller, hectic events orbit around in a mass of party hopping, celebratory, slightly insane universe. Not content to merely attend BlogHer we Blogging Angels were fortunate enough to team up with a fantastic boutique PR firm, Zebra Partners headed by the supremely talented and knowledgeable Perrin Kaplan and throw a blogger branding breakfast. We invited 50 awesome bloggers across niches and geography to join us for a hands-on branding workshop, learn the ins and out of media appearances, presenting yourself and creating your brand.
We were fortunate to have a slew of great sponsors like Striiv, Zuzee, Qualcomm Snapdragon, Kidzania, Her Interactive and more. Plus two of our favorite brands who supplied us with super cool treats for our guests: Mabels Labels who created personalized twitter handle labels and tags for our bloggers and Crazy Bitch Tea who made sure all of the ladies went home with tea to tame the most frazzled of post-conference nerves.
You can read all about it on the Blogging Angels blog – but listening to the podcast is way better. That’s where you’ll learn all the juicy details, and hear why Eventbrite got my halo and horns this week! Get it together Eventbrite!
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Posted in blogging, blogging angels, BlogHer11, events, podcasts, tagged blogging angels, blogher, feminism, lisa belkin, momblogging, new york times, parenting, podcast on September 13, 2011 |
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There are certain women journalists who have inspired me as an essayist and writer waaaay before the word blogging was invented. Anna Quindlen was one and Lisa Belkin the other. Aside from writing for The New York Times both women had a voice that spoke to me as a young woman starting out in the world – in college and afterwards – as they wrote frankly about work/life balance, feminism and in varying degrees, motherhood. As a Film major and American Studies major in college I was steeped in the cannon of feminist literary, social and film criticism. But few mainstream journalists were talking about the real issues on the ground in a way that made “women’s” issues a normal, worthy part of the public discussion.
I always looked forward to Lisa Belkin’s New York Times Magazine stories and later her Life’s Work columns. When she launched The Motherlode blog on the nytimes.com site I was thrilled. Not only is it an enormously vibrant community but it gives further discussion to so many of ideas and stories in the paper that normally would be a “lifestyle” piece and nothing more. It also has a way of really tapping into the current ethos (and neuroses) of our current state of parenting like nowhere else. Last year I was such a fangirl that Amy Oztan took pity on me and swung me an invite to a lunch Lisa Belkin held for parenting bloggers at the New York Times cafeteria. We’ve been trying to get her on the Blogging Angels podcast ever since, but coordinating schedules is never easy. Then, last month at BlogHer, Nancy Friedman luckily attended the same session as Lisa Belkin and jumped a the chance to have her record with us right there in the hotel in San Diego. Unfortunately Heidi had an outrageously fabulous event to attend at the same time and couldn’t make this podcast, but we did our best and Lisa Belkin was a guest angel extraordinaire!
Listen in and hear all the scoop on the New York Times and bloggers, the future of journalism and all sorts of dishy stuff on parenting, mom blogging and what it all means. Really, all that in a mere 40 minutes. She’s that good.
Lisa Belkin Podcast or listen on iTunes!
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As if BlogHer weren’t awesome enough we threw a huge party for over 300 women bloggers in conjunction with The Big Toy Book. Along with all of the fantastic toy and game sponsors like Adora, Leapfrog, Xbox 360 Kinect, Briarpatch, Shainsware, Activision and many more - we were lucky enough to have Microsoft lend us 6 gorgeous PCs for the event so we could display the kid-generated sponsor reviews all over the party space. As if super cool toys weren’t enough, our guests were also admiring the laptops in funky colors and spectacular displays. If you’re still back to school shopping for a PC check these out!
- Pink Dell Inspiron 14R: 1st generation Intel Core i5 processor, 640GB HDD, 4GB RAM, Starts at $549
- HP Pavilion DV6 in navy blue: 2nd generation Intel Core i5 processor, comes in umber, red, blue, 6GB RAM, 750GB HDD, $749
- Sony VAIO C in neon green: 2nd generation Intel Core i5 processor, up to 750GB HDD, up to 8GB RAM, comes in 6 bright colors, starts at $749
- Acer TimelineX in blue: 2nd generation Intel Core i5 processor , 13.3” display, 4 GB RAM, 500 HDD, $793.23
- ASUS N53JQ: 1st generation Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB RAM, 640GB HDDpremium sound, all aluminum chassis, $900
- Toshiba E305: 2nd generation Intel Core i5 processor, 640GB HDD, 6GB RAM, backlit keyboard, Best Buy Blue Label PC, $849
We loved getting the kid reviews for our sponsors before and after the event and now we have a little taste of what it would be like to be Santa Claus. There is something very rewarding about handing a 30 pound swag bag full of truly awesome products to very happy and excited guests! And we really loved working with the amazing women at The Big Toy Book: Laurie Shacht, Reyne Rice and the outrageously hard working and creative Corine Ingrassia. Next time in New York City!!
Here’s a glimpse of the photostream from the unbelieavably fun and fantastic Sweet Suite 11 Party at BlogHer 11. It was a special night and a great way to kick off BlogHer 11 in San Diego!
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I feel so officially clever after hanging with one of my fab Sony Moms and Clever Girls co-founder Sheila Dowd at our BlogHer dinner. I think the auto soft focus went a little too Barbara Walters, but I guess I looked that tired to the camera! Thanks to Glennia Campbell for the great pic!
My real BlogHer recap is coming soon but I couldn’t resist getting this pic up now.
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This is a post I wrote a year ago for the Westside Independent, but after meeting so many women this weekend at BlogHer who asked me how I could raise my kids in NYC I thought I’d repost it here on Beccarama for a whole new audience.
Are city parents crazy? This is the question that a dad blogger posted on his site last week upon returning home to the Midwest after a four-day trip to New York City. I always think that while I am certainly not crazy, this kind of question always brings out the crazy in me. First I get defensive – the knee jerk well how can YOU live in the cultural, ethnic, culinary wasteland that is the suburbs? Then I go into my why New York City is the best place ever routine – oh the museums, the landmarks, the food, the theater, and the one that always freaks out everyone, we don’t even own a car! But truth be told that routine is getting a little stale. Why do city parents really want to raise their kids here?
All of the reasons I listed above are of course true, but do they really outweigh the small spaces most of us live in, the lack of backyards and basements, the battle for kindergarten admission, the financial costs and the ever-nagging sense that city kids grow up too fast? No, I think there’s more to it.
My daughters are in second grade and their social studies curriculum is all about New York. They happen to attend a great public school that is outrageously field trip happy and this course of study lends itself to exploring neighborhoods. I love this aspect of the curriculum because the strange secret of New Yorkers is that they rarely venture outside of a ten block radius from their homes except to commute to work (and as a writer that would mean the walk to my kitchen table) We eat at the same restaurants over and over again, we go to the same playgrounds every weekend, and we shop at the same grocery and drug stores on a weekly basis. With everything at your fingertips it’s easy to take it for granted and not take advantage of all the things that the city has to offer. It takes effort not to fall into a lazy New York lull of the familiar.
And this is why it’s always so shocking to me when people ask me how I can raise my kids in New York City. I don’t really raise my kids in New York City, I raise them on the Upper West Side. We zip in and out of other areas on weekends – Flushing for dim sum, the East Side to museums and the zoo, Times Square for the theater, downtown for gallery hopping, Chelsea Piers for bowling and ice skating, Brooklyn for old friends and family, and of course Central and Riverside Parks for grass, trees and nature – but at the end of the day we come home to our small town. It’s the best of all worlds. A familiar place called home nestled inside the most exciting city in the world. And that is why I am not crazy to raise my kids in (the Upper West Side of) New York City.
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I originally wrote this post for Mom Blog Magazine a few months back, but in light of all the BlogHer party planning going on I thought I’d reprint it here. Never forget YOU are your brand. So pack your most kick ass shoes and as many business cards as you can carry but don’t leave your manners on the plane…
Back in March an email from Yelp to its “elite” group of Yelpers was leaked to Gawker and caused quite a few laughs. It seems that many of these elite reviewers were behaving embarrassingly badly and Yelp felt the need to send this…
“Much to our chagrin, the staff at several events has commented on the fact that occasionally some members of the Elite Squad at meals can be likened to an Animal Planet feeding frenzy, as certain people descend on appetizers as though they have not eaten in weeks.”
They also scolded reviewers for auctioning off RSVPs, adding plus “fours” and not showing up after RSVP’ing yes. While this is certainly an extreme version of guests behaving badly at an event it does echo some of the stories I’ve heard lately about press junkets where bloggers have left their manners at the door.
When you are invited to an event you are representing yourself, your blog and any other outlets for which you write. If you’re being sponsored at a conference you are also representing a brand. The blogging business can feel very casual and chummy but make no mistake about it if you want to taken seriously you have to act the part. Here are some basic tips that may seem obvious but bear repeating:
- Don’t have that 3rd drink. Or maybe even the 2nd. You may think you are getting more charming with every sip you take but chances are you will be louder, sillier and less professional by the glass. This is a business event not a frat party.
- Don’t monopolize the host or sponsor. If someone is holding a junket or event they are doing so in order to meet and influence as many bloggers/press as possible. Let them. Make a good impression, engage them in genuine conversation and ask some good questions, then let them move on and follow up via email a few days later.
- RSVP either way. It is just common courtesy and good business. Unless the event invite is so egregious and insulting to you (which certainly does happen) you should email your response and let them know if you’re coming. PR reps work on many brands and often move companies, it behooves you to be polite and help them arrange their event as easily as possible.
Finally, if you want your blog to grow and more opportunities to come your way, act like it. If you don’t take yourself seriously no one else will.
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