I'm so happy to be home. Home, back in Little Rock, and home, back on Notes. Don't get me wrong. I love to travel. I enjoyed every minute of Houston, New York, Quebec and New Orleans. To the hilt, and then some.
And I've enjoyed posting on my new review blog, Noteworthy.
I think it will be a fun place for me to play show-and-tell with owls
, and accent pillows
, without interrupting the narrative here. It's a nice place to visit, as the saying goes. But on the internet, I live here.
The panel I sat on at the Mom 2.0 marketing summit
in Houston was described as "Building Communities: The future of success building relationships and engaging communities as you grow your business, image and reputation online." I was joined by Susan Getgood of Marketing Roadmaps
and Nelly Yusupova of WebGrrls
, and I'm grateful to both of them for letting me coast in the wake of their considerable knowledge and expertise. They were the actual experts. I was the Kumbaya chorus, offering up vague and earnest statements about the "sacred trust" between a blog writer and her readers.
I don't know if my presence added anything or not, but I passionately believe in that trust, in that relationship. I spent my entire Sunday morning yesterday, reading and responding to reader email because I believe in, and value it.
So I'm very interested in the conversation that's taking place on Mom101
and Suburban Turmoil
about where the line is between the business side of blogging (we are, after all, in publishing) and selling out. I'd love to hear what you think about it.
I've turned down many an offer to use this space to mention someone's product. Our trip to Quebec was the first time I said yes. Obviously, it was a great gig, that fairly compensated me for having to stay up past midnight every night blogging. Nobody (but Patrick) heard me complain. But there were other factors that made it easy to accept. For one, when I get to do it, travel is something I blog about anyway. This blog was germinated from a family vacation travelogue. As a writing prompt, it fit. Secondly, I have a lot of respect and trust in the integrity of my ad network, Blogher,
who set it up. Nobody was asking me to bury the details of the sponsorship. In fact, it was mandated that I set up a separate blog to publish the review. Transparency, I wrote in Mom101's comments section, is key.
So is authenticity. There's a clear difference between sharing my latest etsy
obsession, and writing sponsored testimonials for disinfectant wipes. I'm a woman, and a mom, and I love pretty things, helpful gadgets and interesting places. But if I wouldn't drop it into a face-to-face conversation, I'm not going to drop it into this one.
The distinction is less clear when the product is suggested by a marketer, but is something I'm genuinely interested in. That's where the third criteria, relevance, comes in. For example, I have an offer in my inbox for a household gadget I've heard about and was already curious about. If I reviewed it on Noteworthy,
I'd naturally disclose its provenance. So transparency and authenticity are covered. But I don't think it's relevant to anything I normally write about, nor is it an especially interesting writing prompt, so I'll probably pass.
I've got a book to write, after all. I don't see posting anything to Noteworthy more than once a week, and I won't ordinarily link to it, except as a sidebar item. If accent pillows, good books and owls are your cuppa, that's where they'll be. Above all, I want you to know that I respect your attention, the time and energy you bring here.
Labels: streaking the quad
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