I'm not a big-time blogger, nor do I aspire to be. I love writing and taking pictures, and so I do, simple as that. I am beyond appreciative of those of you that read along and join me on the journey.
The first panel was about business bloggers, full of marketing people and a business owner, talking about how they further business connections via Twitter and blogs. Next up was the food blogger panel. To be clear, this was a "foodie" panel, and I never fully realized the difference between "foodie" and "person who likes to cook" until listening to this group. Because I do have a food blog, I was looking forward to this panel, but most of the discussion was about wine (which I don't drink and know nothing about) and restaurants I can't afford. Kinda disappointed, but I was too shy to speak up with my own questions, so it's what I got.
The last panel I attended yesterday was originally called the "Mom Bloggers Panel" but the discussion turned into women bloggers (and blog readers) in general, and how they differ from everyone and everything else we've heard at this conference. Some of the points made:
- "Mommy bloggers" is not a valid description of all women who blog. This may be obvious to you. I'm a woman who blogs about home and family stuff, but I'm not a mom. There are moms who blog about things other than being a mom, and they don't fall under the "Mommy Blogger" label either. Even those that do blog about their kids don't necessarily like the "Mommy Blogger" label.
- Women online are a force to be reckoned with. Women make a huge percentage of a household's purchasing decisions, so figuring out how to market to them, how to reach them, and how they spend their time online should matter to marketing folk. It was sad, to me, to see that the auditorium emptied out for this panel- all the men who had been hearing about online marketing strategies for the last 3 days didn't see the value in hearing from influential bloggers from a segment of the population that carries the nation's pocketbooks. To me, it goes to show how big the disconnect between men and women online is, as I think the moms panel felt discounted and set aside for the Serious Man Talk of SEO and CSS and other, more important acronyms.
- Women blog to connect. Each and every panelist said they first started reading blogs, first got online, and first started blogging to find people going through the same things they were. They blog to relate, to be in and find community, and to be known- and know they're not alone in their experience. Many of the blogs by men I see exist to share information, while blogs by women share stories. Disclaimer: I know this is a generalization and not true for everyone- just an empirical observation.
Stories matter. They help us make sense of life, and connect with others' lives, I'm thankful for my friends who let me share in their stories, both online and off.