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Read all about the adventures of the Tsao Family during the summer of 2012

Monday, June 26, 2006


Berkeley Cybersalon: Mommies Online

As I commented yesterday, the Cybersalon featuring online mommies went well and I did not get sick. It was nice being with other women whom I know and who were presenting viewpoints similar to my own. When I asked Mike if I sounded like a dork, he replied, "No, you sounded like everybody else." Okay. The "everybody else" consisted of Lisa Canter from Lisa's Room, Jenny Lauck from Three Kid Circus, Grace Davis from State of Grace, and Joan Blades from Moms Rising.

If I had been sitting in the audience, I would be able to provide a better recap of the event. When I wasn't worrying about needing to burp and how bad that would be if I did, I remember we discussed the following:

Sylvia Paull opened the discussion and asked each of us what got us into mommyblogging. I'm pretty sure I said something similar to what I wrote here. Jenny told about how she had started blogging after being actively involved with online new mom forums.

Joan spoke about how she was new to blogging, but how excited she was to be able to get the word out about the plight of mothers today, particularly working mothers who have no maternity leave. She spoke about the Motherhood Manifesto, which can be found on her website, Moms Rising. She also has a book.

Other topics we touched upon were the issues of privacy and whether or not we blogged anonymously. Also what are our limits, i.e., what do we *not* blog about. I wasn't surprised to learn that some of the panelists who blog using first and last names and seemingly hold nothing back (Lisa!), admitted to not blogging about everything. I admitted that while I don't blog anonymously, I also don't blog about more of the sordid details of my relationship with Mike. In other words, I try not to bitch online about my husband or talk about our sex life.

Some of the other bloggers don't blog about their teenaged children. Grace does.

We definitely talked about BlogHer and also about Jenny's site Mommybloggers as places where the audience members could go to find more mommybloggers as well as daddybloggers. BlogHer is also a good site to visit to find out more about the conference and to read more from women bloggers all over the world.

There was talk about stats and how our stats confirm that we do have international readers, even if they don't comment. We try to read blogs written by moms in other countries but admitted that we could do a better job reading blogs in other languages, e.g., using translation engines and making more of an effort to seek them out.

All of us saw ourselves blogging even after we no longer considered ourselves mommybloggers. Some of us also saw other writing projects in our futures. Jenny admitted to having a book or two in her. (Go, Jenny!) I confessed to having done NaNoWriMo last year and was reminded by the audience that not everybody knows what NaNoWriMo is. National Novel Writing Month! Go to their site to find out more.

An audience member asked about a disconnect between online media and offline media. I made the comment that I think in the future everybody will have a blog. Grace and Lisa thought otherwise. Lisa mentioned her husband Marc Canter's upcoming software release, which will solve all of the problems in the world. Or something like that. I remember she appologized for not being able to describe it in other than completely technical jargon-y terms. It reminded me of work meetings back when I was a technical writer. I miss that kind of talk.

I'm sorry, I know we talked about more, but all I know is that I didn't fart or burp and I remembered to keep my legs crossed so as not to give the audience a peek at my undies. If the other participants write about the night, I'll link to their posts. In general, it was a good experience and the response from the audience was positive and interested. I was happy to be in such good company and I extend my thanks to Sylvia Paull for inviting me to be on the panel.

Go, mommybloggers!

[Update: Here's Lisa's write up. She remembered other stuff I had completely forgotten! Thanks, Lisa.]

Lisa Canter

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