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6 posts from January 2009

January 31, 2009

It's Hip to Be Ethical

Babble.com has been making a splash ever since it launched its self-described website for hipster parents. But it has attracted its fair share of controversy for veering from the ethical path in a rather nasty way, one that was disrepectful to both parents and members of the creative community. That led to a nasty backlash by members of the Babble community, proving that as much as parents want their websites to be hip, they also want them to be ethical.

This week, Babble.com announced its intention to become the dominant parenting website, overtaking iVillage.com, Parents.com, and BabyCenter.com, and other top websites. My advice to Rufus Griscom -- not that he's likely to pay attention to what I have to say -- is to pay attention to the small and seemingly unimportant ethical details. These things do matter with parents. And they can take on a life of their own if parents think that a corporation has behaved badly. Just ask my friend Julie, who recently gave a piece of her mind to Motrin.

I'd like to be able to wish Babble.com all the best, but right now I have an ethical bone to pick with them. It's an issue they've been ignoring for the past year-and-a-half.

What bone could I possibly have to pick with Babble.com? If you take a look at the banner which was published in yesterday's New York Times article about Babble.com's plans to become the parenting website category killer, you will note that the accompanying screen shot features the Strollerderby banner. And the Strollerderby banner features a catchy little tagline: "The Mother of All Parenting Blogs."

As you might suspect, I have a bit of a problem with Babble branding Strollerderby with a subhead that incorporates

1. the title of one of my parenting books, with "books" being replaced by "blogs" to reflect the context (The Mother of All Parenting Books -- part of THE MOTHER OF ALL series I launched with Wiley Canada in 2000; and was published for American parents by Wiley Publishing Inc. in 2004),
2. a trademark I hold both in the US and in Canada (THE MOTHER OF ALL) Note: there are numerous other related trademarks,
3. a blog name that is very similar to the name of a parenting blog I have been publishing since 2004 (The Mother of All Blogs).

Strollerderbying over someone else's intellectual property rights may be the hip way to run a business. But it certainly isn't the ethical way to run a business.

Surely the creative types at Babble.com can come up with a catchy tagline for Strollerderby that doesn't involve taking something of mine.

I'm tempted to hold a contest to come up with a substitute alternative tagline for Strollerderby. What do you think? Anyone want to play for free books? (Free books for the top ten non-rights infringing names. Winners can choose from any of these titles. If you're Canadian, I'll substitute the Canadian edition, if you'd like.)

January 15, 2009

Upcoming Literacy Day Presentation in Peterborough, Ontario: "Books Run in My Family"

This will be a bit of a hike for anyone living beyond Peterborough or the GTA, but I wanted to extend a personal invitation nonetheless. You just never know who is going to be passing through a particular part of the province on any given weekend.)

Fun With Twitter

Sometimes being part of Twitter feels like jamming with a group of people who share the same passion. You start riffing off of an idea sparked by someone else and, next thing you know, you've created something uniquely your own. That's how this post on the mega-city pregnancy came about.

January 08, 2009

Breastfeeding Photos Censored on Facebook - The Parenting.com Blogs

Breastfeeding Photos Censored on Facebook - The Parenting.com Blogs.

Is this the same Facebook where less clothing is more in most profile pics?

People act beyond bizarrely when it comes to breastfeeding. And I think attitudes are more repressive than when I breastfed my first 20 years ago.

We've come a long way baby. Yeah, right.

January 05, 2009

Parenting Predictions, Trends, Etc.

2009 was very much on my mind last week, so once I found my crystal ball underneath the pile of winter coats in the front hall, I took a stab at predicting what the year might have in store for parents and kids of various ages. I even tossed in a prediction for celebrity parents-to-be. (I do try to be inclusive, you know.)

I also looked in the rear-view mirror, taking stock of the crazy year that was 2008. Yahoo Canada! will be running my articles summarizing some of the more memorable parenting and pregnancy news stories of the year during the days ahead. I'll post the links here as I spot the stories.

Here's wishing you and your family a wonderful year. I've got a lot of exciting things planned for my ParentCentral.ca and Yahoo! Canada blogs (very different things for each blog because they both attract very different audiences), so stay tuned during the weeks ahead as I introduce some new topics and blog features.

January 01, 2009

MPR: Podcasts: How's the Family?

I just discovered that Nanci Olesen (who created the fabulous MOMbo website and series of radio shows and all the wondrous things that spun out of that) has a new radio show on Minnesota Public Radio.

The show -- How's the Family? -- is available via podcast. You'll find a full list of show topics as well as information about subscribing via the show's home page, MPR: Podcasts: How's the Family?

You can also subscribe directly via iTunes.

Just as an aside, Nanci recently dedicated MOMbo to the memory of a young mother who left this world far too soon. You can read that story and watch the "Bye Bye, Mombo" movie by following the links on the site's home page.