BlogHer of the Week: Mom-101

BlogHer Original Post

Did you know we have a woman on the inside in the roiling debate over how bloggers work with marketers, write about products and disclose advertising relationships to readers?

If you've ever read her blog, you've likely figured out that Mom-101 has a day job. What you may not know is that Blogger Liz Gumbinner is a pro advertising writer with an inside line on what marketers and ad agencies really think of social media, of blogging, of paid reviews, and, yes, of "mommybloggers."

In Mommybloggings Part Deux: The marketers are here to stay. Are we?, Liz nails the parenting community's hot debate over these topics and shares her insight on how some bloggers look to marketers these days.

It's educational. With tight prose and a dose of self-deprecating snark, Mom-101 begins with a retrospective and then boils down the current controversy:

"Now people are fighting. Turf wars! Mommy gangland! The lines are drawn, the shivs have been whittled out of Fisher Price toddler spoons, the FTC is on the case, and it hasn't been pretty.

"One one side you've got the earlier "mommybloggers" (who I still choose to call parenting bloggers), people like Erin and Lindsay who have been outspoken about their distaste for the blurred distinction between editorial and compensated posts, among other things.

"On the other side, you've got the moms who are very excited to share their opinions on the new Turtle Wax Miracle Towel or whatnot (provided they get one for free and an identical one for their readers which they'll give away in a twitter contest) who say What do you care what I write about? You're not the boss of me....And they'd be right."

Mom-101's willingness to roll her eyes at everyone, beginning with herself, infuses her writing with a pleasing edge. Via a tightly-written link-blogging that lives up to her name, Liz educates her reader about multiple warring camps on the topic -- who said what about what's writing, what's advertising, what's both? By the time she concludes, "Which means guess what? Pretty much everyone is in bed with a marketer to some degree. Whores, all of us!" the reader may indeed concede her point.

Preamble finished, Mom-101 takes the discussion to higher ground: "So I've been reading all these posts over the past few weeks, asking myself why should I care?" Her answers are revealing and she does an admirable job of not pulling out her soapbox. Even if you spend your days writing on this topic like we do, we think you'll find her articulate a new perspective -- one that has thus far been missing in this roiling debate:

"The truth of the matter is, I do care.

"I care because how we behave in this space impacts one another. It affects the community as it is currently defined - that one with all of us in it together....

"I care because I hate seeing moms demean themselves and accept less than they're worth - and I hate seeing them make demands that make us all worth a little less.

"I care because I love this space. And I value the fact that that we can discuss--out in the open and with our real names attached--the issues that affect us. And because I think it's worthwhile to put other perspectives out there than the one out there that suggests bloggers should spend their days writing to PR folks in search of free stuff "for review." Because those PR people are horrified. And they are freaked out. And they are trying to figure out how to handle it, all the while floating phrases like shameless and unprofessional about our community--the community I love--behind closed doors..."

That's just a taster -- there's a wealth of experience and insight in just about every sentence. Well played, Mom-101. Thank you!

And thanks to everyone for continuing to send in your nominated posts.
Remember to nominate individual posts, not entire blogs, and keep them
coming! If you want to check out all the BlogHer of the Week posts, check out the BlogHer of the Week archive.

Best,
Lisa

For Elisa, Jory and Lisa
BlogHer Co-founders

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