Saturday, August 01, 2009

What I learned at BlogHer'09 when I wasn't stalking famous bloggers

Yesterday I heard about the pledge to blog with integrity. It says everything I've been thinking far better than I ever could. I was going to end this post with the pledge, but I think it is more important than any of my blathering about "what I learned at BlogHer" and I don't want you guys to get so bored reading my verbal ditherings, that I decided to put it first. blather, dither, blather...

So here is the pledge:


By displaying the Blog with Integrity badge or signing the pledge, I assert that the trust of my readers and the blogging community is important to me.

I treat others respectfully, attacking ideas and not people. I also welcome respectful disagreement with my own ideas.

I believe in intellectual property rights, providing links, citing sources, and crediting inspiration where appropriate.

I disclose my material relationships, policies and business practices. My readers will know the difference between editorial, advertorial, and advertising, should I choose to have it. If I do sponsored or paid posts, they are clearly marked.

When collaborating with marketers and PR professionals, I handle myself professionally and abide by basic journalistic standards.

I always present my honest opinions to the best of my ability.

I own my words. Even if I occasionally have to eat them.

You can sign the pledge yourself and get the badge (see my sidebar) at the website.

Now, if you really want to read my you go.

I went to BlogHer with some questions I was hoping to answer and some issues I was hoping to work through. Once again I find myself at a crossroads with the direction I want to take my blog and BlogHer was the perfect vehicle to help me start working through the possibilities.

The sessions I went to were all so good! I chose the sessions I wanted to go to by who was speaking/participating in them, and I was not disappointed by the people or the topics.

One issue that came up was about anonymous blogging and if it was possible. Several people were successful (so far), a few started out anonymously and were found out (with major repercussions) and many were open, but really hoped their neighbors never found them.

Last year I made the decision to rename my blog and stop being anonymous. You may recall I had a few incidents in my real life that forced me to decide if I should shut down my old blog and start a new one (which I did) to try and keep my anonymity (which I tried for a while), or just say fuck it, set up a few boundaries as to what I would blog about, and drop the attempt to hide who I am. After much thought, and discussion with Rich because I felt he should have a say in it too, I decided to stop the attempt to be anonymous and just see what happened.

So far so good. I'm very careful about who I tell in my "real life" about my blog, although the more involved I get in the blogging community the more I want to tell people about what I'm doing. I do NOT want my parents to read my blog, not because I regret anything I have written, but because I know they would not be able to understand it and they would be hurt. Even if we aren't speaking, and I don't see that changing anytime soon, I still don't want to hurt them. If they could actually talk to me about what they read and we could have a discussion about it, it would be one thing, but the likelihood of that actually happening is pretty much equal to the likelihood of one of the cats cleaning his own litter box. I guess one can hope though...

One of the issues I've been considering has to do with how I represent Noah on here, and am I being fair in that representation. I went to a session titled Realllly Personal Blogging - How much info is TMI?. It was incredibly relevant to me as I find myself worrying about Noah's reaction to my blog if he ever reads it. I worry about him finding it sometime (years from now) before I show it to him. I want him to understand why I wrote what I wrote, and read it in context. I want him to read it and feel just how much I love him, even if I'm bitching about how difficult being a parent is. I'm not sure I have it all figured out yet, but some wonderful women offered great advice to me during the session, and if I ever put business cards to faces I'll be able to reconnect with them!

Admit it, when you saw the title of that session you thought I was going to say something about how maybe I shouldn't write about my sex life and vibrators, didn't you! And then you got worried I was going to stop writing about my sex life and vibrators, right? Well no worries, MNT wouldn't be MNT with out a vibe here and there.

And as I said earlier, I went to BlogHer considering where I want to go with my blog. I started it as a way to document Noah's childhood so I didn't forget the funny things he did and said, and as a place for me to just vent. And it moved on from there to also discuss special needs, infertility, pregnancy, donor embryos, etc. And somewhere along the way I got a few readers! I'd like to say that having people actually read my blog is just an added benefit, but it is more than that for me, it was and is damn thrilling! I love knowing that there are people that can relate to what I'm writing and find something I say on here either useful, or reassuring, or just plain funny.

I haven't answered the direction question yet, or even if I need to chose a specific direction or focus, but I did realize over the weekend that there are some aspects of my blog and writing that I want to work on. Like:
  • I realized that the blogs I read that I truly enjoy and think are either incredibly funny, or just damn well written, are in fact, damn well written. These women put considerable time into their writing and EDIT their posts. What a thought, actually letting a post sit for a while and then editing it! I think I might try it!
  • The best blog posts tend to focus on one topic. Although I know some writers that are very skilled at "rambling" I don't think I'm one of them although I know I do it All The Time.
  • I know I want this blog to continue to be my outlet, but I also want to blog with purpose. I want to be more involved in the blogging community and to do this I need to read more and interact more.
  • I do not want to be a "reactionary" blogger or Twitterer. If you don't know what I mean, check out the whole#nikonhatesbabies saga on Twitter and re-read the Blogging with Integrity information at the beginning of this post. If I'm going to have an opinion here or on another blog I want to know I've thought it through and I know both sides of the story (if relevant). It frustrates me when I'm reading comments on a post and the people commenting take a side without considering the facts, especially when the post is criticizing or responding to something on another woman's blog.
  • I've never flamed another blogger, and I never will. If I can't be nice and respectful, I won't say anything at all.
If you made it to this point you must really like me, because I'm not sure I would have kept reading. I wanted to get it down in print though, so I have something to go back to if I feel myself floundering again, like I have been the last few months.

And a little bit of irony about this post? I started writing it early this week and I thought I had it set to publish Friday, but I must have thought I needed to let it sit a bit longer so I could EDIT it. Hah! I almost forgot to go back to it!



  1. I read all the way through...and i am pretty sure i remember how I found your blog...didn't deb do a guest post for you?...anyways thats neither here nor there...bravo on this post...I did a similar post thursday...and i didnt even go to BlogHer just reading the keynotes affected me...

    i will check out the link you provided and i Thank You for sharing what you have

  2. I got to the bottom too!!! I completely agree with the Blog with Integrity pledge. I've been through alot personally lately and started searching for blogs to read that were funny, inspirational, and had a little bit of spunk in their voice. I think that I don't gravitate to those that don't seem to have some sort of integrity, like the pledge has outlined. I hope that makes sense (I'm trying to make that make sense with a kiddo on my lap *helping* me).

    I have just found your blod and look forward to going back and catching up with you, getting to know your voice.


  3. I read it thru too, but in 2 goes. I don't know I came by your blog either, I think you may have commentted on my old blog...