Rise of the mummy blogger
There is an online revolution occurring with women taking to the blogsphere at a phenomenal rate.
They are connecting, supporting, sharing, creating and doing business with people they probably have never met.
It is a new wave of feminism.
This past weekend in Chicago, 1500 people attended the largest women blogging conference in the world at BlogHer. It was sold out with a waiting list.
The size of the conference has doubled since 2006 when 700 bloggers attended.
Women blog on a variety of topics including politics, food, craft, diet and exercise, sex, and fashion.
However a portion of these women online are mummy bloggers. At the Blogher 2005 conference Alice Bradley who writes the blog Finslippy said “Mommy blogging is a radical act.“ She was reacting to comments from other bloggers where it was suggested if the “mummy’s” added in some political comment in their blogs they may find a wider audience.
What Bradley meant by “radical” was a woman writing about her life could be beneficial to other mothers. She felt that prior to blogging it was very hard to get to the truth of the “both its hilarious and horrifying moment.”
Mummy blog topics vary from the mundane like the boredom of doing the laundry, and the best way to use the leftover roast chicken, to the more complex like coping with post-natal depression or living with a child who has autism.
To find out you are not a mothering freak of nature because you are bored by your gurgling baby can be a relief. To know your toddler is not the only child that will only eat two types of vegetable is reassuring, and that you are not the only person who sometimes (ok all the time) lets their child watch too much TV takes away some of the mother guilt.
Linking through cyberspace lessens the isolation a women can feel once they are having to spend more time at home. It is also entertaining to interact with interesting woman who you would not get to meet in your daily life.
It would be interesting to know if any studies have been done on whether woman who obtain support online through blogs or other social media are more likely to avoid post-natal and other types of depression, or if their depressive episodes are less severe and shorter in length.
In the US the mummy blogger is a cultural and marketing phenomenon. Heather Armstrong who writes the blog Dooce has been named by Forbes as one of the top thirty influential persons in the media.
Her open and honest writing style was always popular but she gained a new level of readership when she blogged about her struggle with post-natal depression.
In the US marketers are keen to link up with popular mummy bloggers to promote their products. These bloggers normally have gained credibility with their readership over a number of years so an endorsement can lead to increase sales. However, there is currently a debate on the ethics of this product endorsement, known as blog-ola, and whether the blogger should acknowledge they have been given a product or have been paid to write the review. My view is they should.
In Australia the number of mummy bloggers are on the rise and they are gathering readership in Australian and overseas.
Some of the more popular ones are:
- Magneto bold who writes about her awesomeness, and her son who is autistic;
- Miscmum , who started her blog after she was diagnosed with post natal depression;
- Pickle bums
- And one of my personal favourites All Consuming who writes about her four boys, one with special needs, and her battle with depression all with a wry sense of humour.
These bloggers and many more make me laugh, I feel their frustrations, I rejoice in their achievements, and they also make me think and reflect. Other women bloggers have helped me decide which restaurants to go to, which books to read, given me a different perspective on media and political issues, and helped me with what to cook for dinner. My life has been enriched by my cyber community, and just maybe one day in Australia we too could have a women’s blogging conference where interesting, and creative women can get together to share their knowledge and inspire each other.
Emma Ashton is a mother and she blogs at www.realityravings.com
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