6 posts categorized "parents online"

August 04, 2009

Mom 2.0: Meet the Mommyblogger: An Overview of My Essay in Mothering and Blogging: The Radical Act of the MommyBlog

My essay "Mom 2.0: Meet the Mommyblogger" appears in Mothering and Blogging: The Radical Act of the MommyBlog, edited by May Friedman and Shana L. Calixte (Toronto: The Association for Research on Mothering/Demeter Press, May 2009). Here's a brief excerpt which highlights some of the key points raised in my essay.

MotheringandBloggingLg "The online world of mothers is being transformed by marketers with their own specific agendas. These marketers—who are eager to tap into the $1.7 trillion market that mothers represent—have the budgets to ensure that they are able to tap into the conversations of mothers, wherever those conversations happen to be taking place online. Web 2.0 sites are eager to find ways to generate revenue from their operations and marketers are the source of that revenue, so their needs will often eclipse the needs of mothers in online communities....

"Moms have always been generous about sharing their wisdom and ideas with other mothers, but now a third party is privy to those conversations. In the world of Web 2.0, there's a third party sitting (or eavesdropping) at the table—a marketer who is taking notes and looking for ways to use mothers' ideas to sell products back to mothers. More often than not, moms are not being compensated for these intellectual property contributions in any meaningful way. Rather than paying cash -- the traditional currency of business -- marketers and the mega-corporations that they front for offer fleeting fame and freebies. On a per-hour basis, these 'pay rates' can amount to lower rates of compensation than the rates paid to workers in third-world sweat shops --working conditions these mega-corporations to go great lengths to distance themselves from.

"Horizontal violence* between mothers online is the result of the lack of respect shown to mothers by other online users. This type of hostile activity is at its rawest in the blogging community ("the wild west") as compared to in the highly moderated (and much less authentic) world of social networking sites aimed at mothers. When horizontal violence does occur on social networking sites, the social networking tools that are built into the site architecture can be used with merciless effectiveness (at least until a site moderator steps in). Rumors and misinformation can be forwarded to an entire network of contact and on-site and off-site site a mouse click. Deleting someone from a list of friends can be accomplished with equal ease (and, in many cases, that former 'friend' won't even realize that they've been de-friended).

Perhaps the most important conclusion that web-savvy mothers must keep in mind is that horizontal violence will become less of a problem when the status of mothers and women is improved both online and in the real world. Until this happens, it's important for mothers to acknowledge its existence and to work towards collective solutions. In "Horizontal Violence in the Workplace," Carolyn Hastie recommends a series of strategies that appear to be just as practical and relevant to the world of mothers: recognizing and acknowledging that horizontal violence occurs between mothers and using the term 'horizontal violence' to name the problem; raising awareness of this issue and addressing the cultural issues that allow horizontal violence to continue to be a problem between mothers and women; speaking out against instances of horizontal violence whenever they occur; addressing individual attitudes and behaviors; and practicing self-nurturing and self-care so that each woman ins able to 'do the things that help [her] to be healthy and happy in all aspects of [her] human-ness.' Once she applies that age-old common sense to dealing with a computer-age online problem, Mom 2.0 will have more to give her Web 2.0 girlfriends. And it's a 100% product-free solution to boot."

View the full Table of Contents for the book.

*Note: The term horizontal violence is used when members of groups with low status display hostile behaviors toward their fellow group members as opposed to lashing out at their oppressors.


Mom-101: The Year that Shame Died: Mom-101 writes: "Much to my surprise however, what turned out to be the problem at BlogHer was not how the marketers acted, but how so many bloggers acted. Without pulling punches, I will say it was shameful...I am in no way saying that popular bloggers don't like free stuff or that you should be ashamed for wanting some free dish soap. I publish a site that gives away products daily and I love how happy it makes people. What I'm saying that blogging 'success' shouldn't be defined by the amount of stuff you get. It's about what you put out, not what you take in."

Mom-101: Blog With Integrity: We're Taking Our Community Back: Mom-101 writes: "We've put together Blog with Integrity, a voluntary pledge, complete with blog badge, for any and all bloggers (not just parents) who want a way to show their readers, marketers, the PR community, and certainly the press, that we are committed to integrity, responsibility and disclosure, and that a few bad apples do not speak for all of us. Not even close."

Mom-101: Yep, I'm a Mother. Got a Problem With That?: Mom-101 describes the disrespect that mothers have been receiving from certain members of the marketing community post-BlogHer'09.

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.

November 12, 2008

Riding the Waves

Apparently there's a gender gap when it comes to economic worries. That's the scoop from the American Psychological Association, who found that 84 percent of women -- as compared to 75 percent of men -- had fears about what the future might hold for the U.S. economy.

If you want to cause a near panic, try yelling "breastfeeding mother" in a swimming pool in Toronto. Apparently, that's enough to scare some people silly.

October 30, 2008

Mother Musings and More

Parentcentrallogo My latest column over at ParentCentral is a rather from-the-heart post about my metamorphosis as a mother. (Hey, if you're going to do a job like mothering for 20+ years, you'd better learn a few things along the way. I mean, it's not like it's the best paid job on the planet.)

Anyway, while I was searching for relevant links to add to the post (there's nothing more boring than a link-free blog post, after all), I stumbled upon this infertility Q & A I was asked to answer for Sweetmama.ca. The site is edited by Nadine and boasts contributions by some very talented contributors, whose names will be familiar to people who've been reading this blog (meaning its previous blogspot incarnation) for a long time. Nadine even has a piece from my writer-buddy Dr. Joey, who I will continue to adore despite the fact that she disses coffee in this column.

And speaking of nice new parenting sites on the Canadian block, I really like what Sarah and Minnow are doing with ShareSavvy.ca. Moms are naturally inclined to want to share their wisdom with one another. Why not make it easier for moms to find great advice by providing the technical tools to allow this to happen?