LA Times Article on Mom Bloggers = Not Original

A few weeks after I returned from the “controversial” Nestle Healthy, Happy Family Event, I was contacted by Stacy Katz of Katz Media Consulting about a potential interview by the LA Times on “Twitter terrorism”.  After speaking on the phone with Ms. Katz, she expressed that a reporter, P.J. Huffstutter, from the LA Times was writing a piece on Twitter bullying, and she wanted to speak to me about the backlash I experienced on Twitter regarding the Nestle event.  Although the term “Twitter terrorism” was a bit dramatic in my opinion, I did believe a piece on adult Twitter bullying was a newsworthy article, and wanted to be a part of it.

The conference call between Ms. Katz, Ms. Huffstutter, and myself occurred on Monday, October 25th.  At the beginning of the call, Ms. Huffstutter expressed that the article had transformed into a piece regarding food corporation sponsored events involving mom bloggers.  Uh, okay?  Throughout the interview, I was asked very little about my “Twitter terrorism” experience with Nestle, but instead about which hotel I stayed, swag I received, and where I ate for dinner.  It was obvious where this interview was headed, but I still answered each question honestly in hopes that my side would be expressed in the article.

Here is the finished article.

Obviously, none of my quotes were included.   I honestly wasn’t disappointed that I wasn’t a part of the story, but that the entire focus of the article was regarding FREE STUFF that these events may provide.  Seriously, this issue, again???  I expressed in my interview that there is so much more to these events than freebies, but none of this was expressed in the article.  I think the media does not realize that WE ARE WORKING AT THESE EVENTS.  Yes, we are.  Between the sponsored hot lunch and free bag of candy, we are collaborating, having important discussions and engaging in feedback sessions.  We are learning.  We are getting to know the brands that we, our families, and readers purchase from and consume.  Our online and offline mom community trust our recommendations and experiences with brands, so these events provide ways for us to truly LEARN and take back our knowledge, both good and bad, to our audience.  We rearrange our family’s schedule and work schedule to make it possible to even attend events like Nestle, and THEY ARE NOT AS GLAMOROUS AS PORTRAYED BY THE MEDIA.  There is so much more depth worked into gatherings like the Nestle Happy, Healthy Family event that isn’t being written about.  It doesn’t make for controversial story, I guess?  I challenge a national article to take this side, just for once.  By the way, Nestle asked NOTHING IN RETURN for bringing us out to the event, just in case anyone was wondering.

Honestly, this issue is so beyond old and played out that I’m surprised the LA Times even picked it up.   Saying that, the  article could have included the behind the scenes of what mom bloggers are actually doing at these events, other than filling their purses full of chocolate bars. (/sarcasm)  Seriously though, why aren’t we reading the agendas of corporate sponsored events, or the topics that were discussed or debated?  Also, why are we just singling out the mom blogging community?  When I worked for the state department, I was sent to all types of training seminars and conferences which provided attendees with free meals and travel.  Why or how is this any different?  Again, why just mom bloggers?  Are journalists starting to feel threatened by our voices?  Honestly, the original piece on adult Twitter bullying was a solid, valid story that could have been an eye-opening piece.  This whole experience makes me question if “Twitter terrorism” was ever the intended topic of discussion, but instead used as a way to get me in.

Let me make myself very clear.  I am, in NO way, enamored by freebies I receive at events or conferences.  I can purchase these items myself, and the majority of swag or samples I receive are donated to friends, family or readers who are not able to participate in such functions.  For example, the swag at the BlogHer event was so over the top, almost comical, that I donated 90% of what I received.  I could not care less if I receive one crumb of a chocolate bar, and at the same time, I do not judge a company who offers it.  My intentions and goals of meeting with brands, companies and other bloggers is to connect, learn, and take back to my family and readers.  Is that really so outrageous?

Oh, and not-so-surprisingly, I dealt with this same issue on a Blog Catalog interview a few weeks ago.  Once again, how original, right?

As I have said, time and time again, there are bad apples in the mom blogging community as there are in every community, so PLEASE DO NOT LUMP ME WITHIN A CATEGORY.  I’m sure there are “swag whores” and freebie lovers out there, but I can guarantee you that the majority of us are not.  The stereotyping HAS TO STOP.  Also, why are blogging moms made out to be so stupid?  It’s as if we are so distracted by shiny things that we throw our ethics and character out the window.  Maybe some are, but not me, so again, don’t lump me in that category.

Just for the record-

  • There were two dad bloggers at the Nestle event.
  • There was a cancellation by a blogger invited to the Nestle event.

 

Christine Young’s husband wrote a post on the issue as well.

I foresee a follow-up post on this, so look for more in the next week or so.  Love to hear your thoughts.


[ad#large-rectangle-adsense]

If you enjoyed this post, follow us on Facebook for more goodness.

   Pin It

Amy Bellgardt

AMY BELLGARDT is a wife and mom of two boys, as well as founder and lead blogger at Mom Spark. Amy also manages Mom Spark Media, a social media marketing firm.

59 Responses to “LA Times Article on Mom Bloggers = Not Original”

  1. #
    Toni — November 15, 2009 at 10:16 pm

    Absolutely wonderful article Amy!!!! I 100% agree they do not know what we do at these events, it seems to me they simply think we go, sit in our hotel rooms and go out to dinner and that is the just of it. HOW extremely wrong they are, if they took as much time to really talk to us about WHAT happens at these events as they did asking about what we received then maybe just maybe people would see that those of us attending are there to learn and offer opinions on products, services and much more.

    Unfortunately controversy sells (or gets page hits) and in the end to them that’s what counts, not the truth and to be frank it pisses me off. I am interested in the company not the free stuff, no amount of free stuff would suffice if it were a company I was not intersted in. I mean if Bass Pro Shop offered to put me up in a 5 star resort with a weeks worth of 5 star meals I would happily smile and say thanks but NO THANKS because frankly they are not my market and I would not shop there. Now my husband on the other hand would LOL but I wouldn’t even take it just for him.

    For me to work with a company they have to appeal to me and the products I would already use or be a company I actually want to learn more about. Sigh I am getting tired of this too, but you know what I am holding my head high and proud to be associated with Nestle now just as I was before, they are a company I have loved and after the even love more and it sucks people are continually going back to “it’s because of the free stuff” moot point rather than actually realize that there are people out there who want to work with companies free stuff or not.

    Sigh..

    [Reply]

  2. #
    Annie @ PhD in Parenting — November 15, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    I agree that the article could have gone into more depth on some issues, but I recognize that the writer was working with a limited word count as many traditional media writers often are.

    With regards to the changing subject matter, I think that is normal. As a writer begins to do interviews and understand the issues better, the focus of the article will shift. I’m glad that the reporter realized during the process that there was more to this than mudslinging. That there were real underlying issues of importance and that despite a few people on either side going too far, that the whole situation was primarily a discussion about what is appropriate and not appropriate rather than a bullying or terrorism incident.

    [Reply]

    • Amy Bellgardt replied: — November 16th, 2009 @ 10:46 am

      I understand that stories can morph into a completely different topic. I was just disappointed that they chose this topic.

      [Reply]

  3. #
    tanyetta — November 15, 2009 at 10:24 pm

    Once the conversation appeared to lean towards something other than twitter bullying then, I would have called a time out and recalled that
    Ms. Katz informed me that Ms. Huffstutter was supposed to interview me about the twitter bullying.

    If the conversation continued to go in a direction that I wasn’t comfortable then my friend Mr. Dial Tone would have been implemented.

    [Reply]

    • Amy Bellgardt replied: — November 15th, 2009 @ 10:27 pm

      Tanyetta- I honestly thought I could still make the interview work, and was hoping to get my side included. I totally get your point, though, and very well could have ended the interview right off the bat.

      [Reply]

  4. #
    Momma D — November 15, 2009 at 11:00 pm

    I attended my first company sponsored mom blogger event ten days ago. Yes, I got a gift bag and lunch. But I also spent hours traveling to and from and an entire morning learning about the company hosting the event, asked questions of them that were answered professionally and got to meet many other moms like me! If I was to spend the time and … Read Moremoney to just drive down and pick up a bag of free stuff it would definitely NOT be worth my time and effort (let alone the gas and on the road meal I paid for myself!)

    [Reply]

    • Amy Bellgardt replied: — November 15th, 2009 @ 11:03 pm

      Momma D- Thank you for commenting here and on Facebook. Yes, and I didn’t even include this in my post, but many of us bloggers actually spend money to attend free events after babysitting costs and the loss of working hours. We go to these events for reasons that don’t include freebies.

      [Reply]

      • Momma D replied: — November 15th, 2009 @ 11:11 pm

        Absolutely, I just came back to add that! The amount of juggling of babysitters and making sure everybody was getting to and from school on time was incredible! But it was a great experience and was wonderful to meet others and step outside my box a little. Every day I am the SAHM of four, for one day I got to meet people who do the same “jobs” as me…being mom and writing about my experiences and hopefully reaching others like me!

  5. #
    Bridgette — November 15, 2009 at 11:32 pm

    I really enjoyed your article, Amy (and meeting you at the Nestle event). While we did take home some “freebies”, I think what Nestle actually gained from the event was so much more valuable that the money they spent to provide travel, etc for us. I definitely felt like I earned my keep on that trip while we provided social media consulting, product feedback and future product suggestions to Nestle executives.

    Do people really expect that while I am providing these services for any company, I should go into the hallway and purchase a bottle of water? Would anyone not offer a guest a cup of coffee or snack if they came into their home?

    It’s really time for the media to take a new angle. I agree, it’s getting OLD.

    [Reply]

    • Amy Bellgardt replied: — November 16th, 2009 @ 12:17 am

      Yes, Bridgette, all great points. Nobody wants to hear the details, unfortunately. Nobody wants to hear the positive experiences and work involved for all.

      [Reply]

  6. #
    Emily — November 16, 2009 at 12:10 am

    HAHA! We just thought we were out of jr high!
    Why is it that tons (and I mean TONS) of other jobs have ALL KINDS of perks and no one ever raises an eye brow. But for some reason when a woman tries to create her own brand, she gets a bottle of water given to her and the LA TIMES had to look into it. GIVE ME A BREAK!

    Great article, Amy. I’m totally supportive of you. No matter how many NESTLE tours you get to go to. :)

    [Reply]

    • Amy Bellgardt replied: — November 16th, 2009 @ 12:16 am

      Emily- You are so awesome. I know, huh? Why the focus on us by the media, FTC, etc.? I’ll tell you why- we are easy targets. We can set a blogs and people will come and read. We don’t need a degree or resume to do it, and some do not like this, so they grasp at anything to take us down. Thing is, if you take away our swag, we don’t give a crap, we’ll still connect with brands and blog about our recommendations and whatever the heck else we want. AND people will still listen because they trust us, because we are real and relative, unlike traditional media.

      [Reply]

      • Emily replied: — November 16th, 2009 @ 3:23 pm

        I think the media would prefer for the power and influence to stay with them and celebrities. Parents pitching ideas and products to other parents infringes on what little influence these media outlets have left.

        Thankfully, we live in America and we can still choose to write about whatever we want.

        One other thought: I think it shows how totally and completely out of touch some of these big media outlets are with regular American families.

  7. #
    Georgie — November 16, 2009 at 1:23 am

    seriously? wow is all I can say…i dont get invited to tours, i get the rare PR pitch and i am still trying to figure twitter!

    i enjoyed your post, your honesty!

    [Reply]

  8. #
    Christine — November 16, 2009 at 2:30 am

    All great points, Amy.

    Traditional media outlets are intimidated and threatened by us, and are grasping at straws to find a way to bring us down…

    We can’t let ‘em!! We must stand proud and tall and keep on keepin’ on!

    [Reply]

  9. #
    Christine — November 16, 2009 at 2:30 am

    Oh, thanks for the linky love! You rawk!!

    [Reply]

    • Amy Bellgardt replied: — November 16th, 2009 @ 10:47 am

      Of course, Christine! After reading the LA Times piece and your hubby’s post, I had to express myself as well. Couldn’t leave you out. :)

      [Reply]

  10. #
    Mary@Everyday Baby Steps — November 16, 2009 at 6:31 am

    You’ve inspired me, Amy. I’ve been working on pitching an article on how many mom bloggers have turned their blogs into small businesses and other profitable ventures, and I’ve been hoping this kind of a story would be picked up by a large market so that a positive side of mommy blogging could be seen. I’m afraid that big markets only want to see the negative. I don’t plan to stop trying to get the story out there, but I do think I’ll go ahead and publish that piece at Type-A Mom. We have our own blogs and the online outlets we write for. Like you, I need to take advantage of that to get the story out instead of waiting for a large market to pick it up. Thanks for the motivation!

    [Reply]

    • Amy Bellgardt replied: — November 16th, 2009 @ 10:49 am

      I wish you the best, Mary. I would LOVE to see the media pick up a story from this angle. Why is it so hard to support and inspire, instead of name bash and accuse? Doesn’t sell papers, perhaps? Keep me posted.

      [Reply]

  11. #
    Andrea @ Mommy Snacks.net — November 16, 2009 at 9:06 am

    Amy, GREAT post!

    I know you and I were the first ones to speak to PJ. And, like you, I thought the focus was more on the twitter terrorism we experienced as a result of attending the Nestle event.

    And, like you, I felt like the direction it was going could work. There was SO MUCH that I shared that wasn’t included in the article and I do understand their word limits. But, I guess – as with everything – the controversial stuff sells more. Although, if that’s the case I am really surprised they didn’t include some of the ridiculous things we were called and attacked thanks to the hash tag spammers! And, possibly the way their viewpoints were forced upon us. hmmm……

    And you were SO totally right on with the BlogHer swag. It was crazy the amount we got. And, then I’m not sure how to take the BlogHer co-founder’s comments on *pornography*?? That one just thoroughly confused me!

    [Reply]

  12. #
    ohamanda — November 16, 2009 at 9:39 am

    I don’t know how I’m just seeing this LA Times article.

    WHAT in the world?

    First of all, anyone could have written that article by following the #nestlefamily hashtag. I didn’t see ANY new information in the article AT ALL.

    They had YOU, Christine AND Andrea on the phone and did not give ANY more details about what “really” happened there than we put on our own blogs. What was the purpose of the article?

    I’m starting to lean more and more towards some weird vendetta against mom bloggers. Like maybe it’s cool to bash mommy bloggers?!

    Regardless, I still don’t understand why it matters. Like Bridgette said, If I had someone to my house I’d give them a cup of coffee and a snack! The last time I went to the Race for the Cure, I got more swag than I got at some bloggy events. And they were supposed to be raising money for CHARITY! They should have saved their money on swag and given it to Susan G Komen, right?

    I’m with you guys—I’m SO OVER this conversation. So sorry I don’t have anything worthwhile to add. Great article, Amy!

    Best swag at Nestle: Good Friends! :)

    [Reply]

  13. #
    Nicole Feliciano — November 16, 2009 at 10:40 am

    these mommy blogger stories are so redundant. would love for the media to pick a new angle!

    [Reply]

  14. #
    mandi @ it's come to this — November 16, 2009 at 10:59 am

    Good article Amy (yours, not the LA times one!). Honestly I’ve struggled with this whole issue – reviews, swag, paid trips, unpaid consulting, etc. At the end of the day everyone has to make their own decisions and no one should be judged for doing something with their blog that they want to do!! Can I only offer this one additional thought – I think when “mom bloggers” start saying how ‘hard it was to go on a certain trip’ it kind of makes others wonder well then why did they go? And one possible answer might be the ‘free stuff’. As in, wow – it must have been an awesome hotel, great meals, incredible opportunity, & lots of great swag for them to find childcare, pay for the gas, rearange their family lives, etc. etc. I think that comes b/c attendees sometimes feel the need to justify their actions b/c they’re being treated so badly!! So again, to each their own! Sorry the interview didn’t go down like it should have though:(

    [Reply]

    • Amy Bellgardt replied: — November 16th, 2009 @ 11:10 am

      Mandi-I totally get what you are saying, and can see why it may look that way. I can only speak for myself, but meeting with brands like Nestle is a special opportunity that I value as a blogger because it informs my audience. In addition, by providing brands with my input, as a mother, I am informing them as well. Rearranging my schedule to make opportunities like this work are for the benefit of my blog, audience, and the brand itself. The swag is inconsequential.

      [Reply]

      • mandi @ it's come to this replied: — November 16th, 2009 @ 11:18 am

        Amy,
        I’m so glad you get what I was trying to say! And I should have clarified (although I think you got it) that I don’t agree w/those feelings. I just often wonder if that’s where some of the backlash must come from. Although isn’t jealousy almost always the root of all evil:)

        • Amy Bellgardt replied: — November 16th, 2009 @ 11:20 am

          Oh, no, I totally think you had a valid point. Yes, I have often wondered if jealousy plays a part, and what exactly are people jealous of?

  15. #
    Christy — November 16, 2009 at 11:11 am

    Great response, Amy. This article was disappointing on many levels. First of all, it was all over the map. I never figured out what the “point” was. Is it that food companies are wooing mom bloggers? Is it that mom bloggers are selling out? Is it that mom bloggers don’t write negative reviews? I was then annoyed by two of the comments that had no counter-remarks. Annie’s (PhD in Parenting) remark about bloggers not doing due-diligence is presumptuous, and Liz’s (Mom101) comments about bloggers being naive came off insulting (although I’d like to believe she didn’t intend it that way). If you put those questions in front of one of the many intelligent review bloggers out there, they could have easily countered those remarks.

    I agree that journalists, doctors, celebrities and others have, for years on end, received all manner of free trips, swag and pampering and no one cares. Mom bloggers get nothing compared to the luxuries piled on other groups, so I’m not sure why the media can’t let it go. Go bug the celebrities whose swag bags at events are worth enough to feed a small nation.

    [Reply]

    • Amy Bellgardt replied: — November 16th, 2009 @ 11:18 am

      Christy- Yes, yes, and yes! Excellent comment, and I had the same reaction.

      [Reply]

    • Mom101 replied: — November 16th, 2009 @ 5:03 pm

      Christy, I was not being insulting. I said it and I meant it.

      Bloggers – including me, which I stated on my post about this yesterday – are still figuring out what it is exactly we’re doing at these events, and what we’re giving (or expected to give) to brands in return. Of course there is naivite in the blogworld when it comes to dealing with brands. I see it daily.

      Haven’t we all attended conferences where bloggers admit they don’t write negative reviews because they fear they won’t get more opportunities? Haven’t we all seen press releases reprinted and passed off as “reviews?” Or moms so burnt out on hosting giveaways in exchange for free products that they organize a PR blackout? I don’t believe these are situations created by greed – but by an evolving understanding of how to manage these brand relationships.

      Maybe a better word would have been “learning,” as in “Bloggers are not all brand whores. Some are just still learning.”

      [Reply]

  16. #
    melissa from girlymama — November 16, 2009 at 1:20 pm

    Wonderful post, Amy

    I just attended the Bloggers Brunch last week, where pr companies and mom bloggers had a panel discussion about these various issues. It was great to get these issues out – and to remind PR people that 99% of us are NOT like those horror stories!
    While I did attend that event and enjoy a free brunch, meet some super blogging ladies – and pick up a few gifts – I also had to find childcare, pay for my travel up to NYC, rearrange my family’s schedule and write up the event afterward. It probably barely evened out in the end!

    Sorry you were a part of that twitter storm! It was horrible to watch!

    [Reply]

  17. #
    Susan (5 Minutes for Mom) — November 16, 2009 at 1:21 pm

    These reporters are so obviously threatened by bloggers and they love to devalue ‘Mom Bloggers’ and even use the term ‘Mommy Blogger’ as some type of insult.

    I find it ridiculous that people assume because a woman has born children, that she somehow lost her brain and all her experience.

    Reporters will constantly assume that mom bloggers have no real value and never do any real work. They are threatened by us, it’s as simple as that.

    [Reply]

    • Annie @ PhD in Parenting replied: — November 16th, 2009 @ 1:33 pm

      Susan:

      I didn’t feel that this article devalued all Mom bloggers. While it lacked detail in some areas, there were a variety of different mom bloggers represented and depicted in very different lights in this article. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I felt the quote and the representation of me and my blog in the article was fair and appropriate.

      I also want to point out that while some reporters may feel threatened by bloggers, I have also been fortunate to work with some wonderful ones.

      [Reply]

    • Evan replied: — November 16th, 2009 @ 3:45 pm

      I think that one of the most important persons in the world are mothers- blogger or not. Moms are the most experienced hard-working persons I know. These people that say mom bloggers lack experience need to be in these motehrs’ shoes to be able to understand what it’s really like.

      [Reply]

  18. #
    melissa — November 16, 2009 at 1:55 pm

    great article amy. i’m in the process of writing my little opinion, because i always have one!!
    what’s going on is becoming so boring, isn’t it? i wish the media would get a life.

    [Reply]

  19. #
    Melanie @ Mel, A Dramatic Mommy — November 16, 2009 at 2:11 pm

    LA Times article makes me fearful of speaking to “traditional” media. This topic is done. Stick a fork in it and move on already!

    You’re right, no one talks about what happens during these trips, just the controversy surrounding them.

    [Reply]

  20. #
    OHmommy — November 16, 2009 at 3:59 pm

    I too was interviewed. She used a HUGE idea I had, about the 50s housewife accepting detergent for a jingle she wrote, and failed to quote me. I guess it was her thought and not mine. Ha.

    I understand there was a word constraint for the article but don’t understand why the article was all over the place. Can anyone reading it tell me in once sentence the main point? Excuse the middle school teacher inside of me raging.

    [Reply]

    • Amy Bellgardt replied: — November 16th, 2009 @ 4:57 pm

      Wow, I didn’t even know that, Pauline, I need to add that to my post. Yes, the article was all over the place.

      [Reply]

  21. #
    shannon — November 16, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    Great Job Amy..
    The article would have been much better if it just focused on Twitter problems, etc.. I just read the article and I am in shock, can I scense Jealousy of the reporter of the “mommy bloggers” I mean really.. we do have thoughts, feelings and opinions!

    What about Mom Bloggers, or should we say Bloggers in general are just out to help people, help themselves journal through difficult life circumstances, and just having fun socializing online, meeting new friends, and sharing common interests. Personally, I am tired of the biased media anyways. I would much rather get information from another blogger then a commercial on tv any day.

    Learning about companies beliefs, practices, and ways they are making their products better for the consumers, families and more. What a better way to get unbiased information then through, Bloggers.

    Why don’t we focus on Jon and Kate, Sports idols, actors and actress’ they get free trips, free food, high dollar clothing, etc.. all the time. Sometimes they even get Cars.. can’t wait for the time a “mommy blogger” gets a free mini van.. just wait reporters, I am sure this will happen in the near future! LOL..

    [Reply]

  22. #
    Brett Bumeter — November 16, 2009 at 4:48 pm

    The LA Times have a long biased history covering this topic and engaging in slash and burn tactics to get interviews.

    No worries, their business model is dying rapidly. I won’t really miss them when they are gone and Ms. HuffyStuff is trying to figure out how to relaunch her career in a market flooded with journalistic hacks that never figured out how to own their own content and stop working as corporate news schills. :)

    [Reply]

    • Amy Bellgardt replied: — November 16th, 2009 @ 4:59 pm

      Brett-Thank you. Yes, I believe the true issue lies in the fear journalists have of bloggers being accepted as real writers.

      [Reply]

  23. #
    niri — November 16, 2009 at 7:10 pm

    You know, it is pretty tough to defend bloggers to others when there are bloggers that instead of embracing the diversity pick and prod on about how others are doing it different (aka wrong to them). The biggest issue we have is that we are not on the same page ourself and feel like there should be one blanket way in which we all conduct ourself. I agree with Liz (mom101) about this being an evolving field but I also field that those who have reached a level of success should not sit in judgement of those who work differently.

    At the end of the day if we focus and just do what we do we can (and I so believe it) become the strongest force to contend with. Strongest nations have fallen with the divide and conquer ideology. You may not like how a blogger operates but can we try and all show some respect?

    [Reply]

    • Mom101 replied: — November 17th, 2009 @ 12:07 am

      Is all blogging inherently good? Is all diversity a positive thing? Is it possible that by discussing the issues openly and working through this together, that we collectively get to a better place? And are there any rules of conduct that we can agree on, regardless of what kinds of blogs we write? I think there are.

      [Reply]

      • niri replied: — November 19th, 2009 @ 10:51 pm

        Good or bad all blogging is freedom of speech. But in truth “a better place” can mean a different thing to different people, right? I am not sure who decides what is good and what is not. Rules of conduct, I believe, are those same rules of general good behavior. Yes, I would like a person to behave in a certain manner is different from me making a rule they behave in that manner. That is more like like to control people. I still people, people can have their own blogs, if it is bad/insulting/poor taste, it’s own fate will fall, — if it is breaking laws (legal laws not someone’s rules) they will pay that price too.

  24. #
    janet — November 16, 2009 at 7:35 pm

    my read of that article in the newspaper i write for is this: if bloggers are writers informing others of facts then conflict of interest really does apply. there are rules that govern such coverage. if everything is opinion, – i.e. an endorsement – then that’s a new world, and the blogging world should figure out what exactly they’re attempting to do. have some guidelines. is it OK to accept money and/or products for blogging on a company’s product? how yes and how no and in what circumstances? pay for play has long been out in JO. advertising and pr will always make their headways in any system unless stopped.

    advertising, media, journalism, reporting, blogging, social media, pr – letting everything meld into one cateogry without a rule of system is only damaging to all.

    bloggers and the blogging world are evolving, yes, but are strong and influencial enough that they might well consider making strong efforts to gather together on the same page of ethics.

    [Reply]

  25. #
    Janice (5 Minutes for Mom) — November 17, 2009 at 1:48 am

    Great post Amy!

    There are so many things that bother me about this overdone topic, but perhaps one of the biggest is the fact that when a journalist or “old media” is sent to a junket, they are “working.” When bloggers, “new media,” are sent to a junket, we are supposedly NOT working and just lapping up all the “free stuff” we can get!

    I turn down SO many trips! I am a BUSY, WORKING mother! (Yes – my blogging is my work. I work over 50 hours a week and work hard to bring in advertising dollars to cover my time and pay my staff.)

    I am so sick of people thinking that I interrupt my family’s life, leave my children, leave my HUGE to do list, get on a plane and work my butt off at a media event for a free hotel room and a bag of swag I often leave in the hotel room!

    I go on these trips because they are about relationship building, networking, learning about a company with whom I may or may not decide to work in the future, and increasing the communication between company and consumer. I am learning, the companies are learning and I am bringing the information to my readers.

    Yes, I have fun when I am on trips because I have fun almost everywhere I go — especially when I am with my fellow bloggers.

    But we give SO much to the companies in feedback, consulting, focus groups etc, not to mention that we spread the word IF and when we are pleased with what we learn. And IF I am pleased with a company, then I will consider or continue having them as advertisers and sponsors on my site.

    I have no shame that I have to have advertisers to keep my site running. How does the LA Times keep running?? Advertising! I am my ad dept, my writing dept, my marketing dept, etc.

    BTW, did our LA Times writer get paid to write her article? I think she did! Am I calling her a whore? No.

    For some bloggers, being paid in product helps them feed their families.

    Personally, I work hard to build a quality site that brings in advertising dollars. Just the same as any other media outlet. I just wear a lot more hats. And the fact that one of those hats is of a mother doesn’t not make me less valuable.

    But really, I don’t want to argue or rant at anyone. Susan and I are about empowering other moms online. We are about unity even in differences.

    Not all moms make the same decisions about parenting issues and not all moms are going to make the same decisions about blogging issues. But hopefully we can all focus on the collective good.

    I just want the nonsense to stop.

    Honestly, I think it has been fading and this article is OLD news (which really is not news at all.)

    So lets get back to focusing on the INCREDIBLE things that women are doing online!!! We are forming meaningful connections and friendships, we are growing businesses and selling products, we are learning and teaching — and we are having FUN! And some of us are doing it while staying close to home so we still get to nurse our babies and change dirty diapers.

    [Reply]

    • Andrea @ Mommy Snacks.net replied: — November 17th, 2009 @ 11:37 am

      Janice, WELL SAID! And, it’s so sad that controversial topics are what the media wants to publish, unfortunately. I find it amusing that the reporter failed to mentioned the good things I shared.

      There are SO MANY good things we all do as a result of our blogging efforts. But that’s not newsworthy, is it? We are influencing change not only in our immediately geographical community, but thousands of communities our blogs touch every single day.

      Oh, but that would so not be newsworthy…so annoying!

      [Reply]

  26. #
    Elizabeth — November 17, 2009 at 11:30 am

    Dear L.A. Times,

    Please email John Chow, Aaron Brazell, Chris Brogan, and Mike Arrington, otherwise known as “so-called guy bloggers”, and ask them what compensation they receive when they are flown to an event. Ask them if they think they are just doing it “for the free stuff”.

    The person who wrote this did some of the worst research I’ve ever seen. Shameful.

    [Reply]

  27. #
    Julie @ Angry Julie Monday — November 19, 2009 at 12:39 am

    I think that the traditional media outlets are grasping for straws right now. People are not reading print media as much as they used to. We don’t have time for that. I have at least 10 unread magazines on my desk that I haven’t read yet. I read tons of information daily on my iPhone, via Twitter, and through other informational websites. I’m mobile, I’m on the go, and I’m busy.

    Media HAS ALWAYS received perks i.e. trips, tickets, vouchers, etc. for their stories,may it be to get them to the actual event, or for reviews and/or ads. This is nothing new. So what if I don’t have a Journalism Degree, I didn’t slave away chasing stories 24 hours a day for $6 an hour. That doesn’t make me not some type of media and/or writer.

    Haven’t they heard of SOCIAL MEDIA? I mean really, I heard about Michael Jackson’s Death on Twitter, at least 20 minutes before it hit the news. People who print newspapers can’t keep up with that, and they are freaking.

    I’m seeing newspapers and magazines close up shop, left and right. I’m tired of these nasty stories to drum up drama to get more attention. My poor mother read this story Sunday morning. She called me shrieking. She was like, these bloggers, they go to all these events…

    I had to tell my mom, umm yea, remember Tuesday, that event I’m going to. It’s local, but really it’s the same thing.

    But like everyone else has said, there are some bad seeds out there. I’ve gone to events recently, and cringed when people have said, “oh it’s a mom blogger thing, mom bloggers do this, etc… etc…. Please don’t loop me into that type of stereotype. I have a Masters Degree, I work full-time, I have a child, I’m married…please don’t make me look like an idiot, by your lack of etiquette.

    [Reply]

  28. #
    **Nicole** — November 20, 2009 at 4:04 pm

    Totally agree with you!! What a bunch of baloney! And my question is why don’t actors get a bad rap for the swag bags worth thousands of dollars they get at events?! I mean, come on! Even if Mom Bloggers are excited about getting fun freebies what on earth is wrong with that?! Seriously! Dummies head (lol, ok that was mature..but they’re acting that way!)

    [Reply]

  29. #
    Angie Knutson — November 20, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    You hit it out of the park – again! Thanks Amy!

    [Reply]

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Pingback: The BlogCatalog Interview | Mom Spark - A Blog for Moms

  2. Pingback: uberVU - social comments

  3. Pingback: Twitted by TipJunkie

  4. Pingback: TwittLink - Your headlines on Twitter

  5. Pingback: Apparently Mom Bloggers Are Interested in Only One Thing » Home with the Kids

  6. Pingback: Twitted by ILoveAGoodSale

  7. Pingback: You have a voice. What are you going to do with it? | Mom Spark - A Blog for Moms

  8. Pingback: Stouffer’s Sponsors BlogHer 2010 | Mom Spark™ - A Blog for Moms

Leave a Comment