So What Did a Political Mom Learn at Mom 2.0?

Wed, February 25, 2009

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I’m not the typical “mommyblogger.” But then you probably already knew that. Actually, I get a little uncomfortable when people use that phrase to refer to what I do. Yes, I made a conscious decision to put the word “mom” in my blog name, but that’s because there are so few pundits or political analysts who approach to world of issues and politics from that perspective. I figured it was a good niche.

Turns out, it’s been something of a mixed bag, because marketers don’t really know what to do with me. I have many friends who are more traditionally what people think of as mommybloggers — writing more generally about their lives and their parenting experiences than approaching their view of the world through a political lens. And many of them have struck a mother lode, of sorts, in terms of connecting with those marketers and starting to carve out a way to make some money for their family’s bottom line.

When it comes right down to it, business is business and marketers will go where the people are. For better or worse, women online hang out more where the parenting and fashion and products are, rather than in a space where a wonky mom gets all worked up about issues.

So I wondered as I was sitting at the Mom 2.0 conference this past weekend, “How does a political mom blogger use these tools to enhance her ability to get more women interested and involved? How can we use these techniques to get the attention of those we want to influence when it comes to policy?”

I know it’s not because moms aren’t interested. I don’t think I’ve ever met a mom who doesn’t get riled up about something political. But I sense that the outrage gets pushed to the bottom of our to-do lists. I get that — some days I don’t even know where I’m going to carve out the time to write a quick blog post, get to school for pick-up, manage homework and dinner, and pay a few bills, let alone have the energy to focus on the political world.

Things intervene more than we’d like, including the unexpected. For example, someone asked on Twitter last night why I wasn’t tweeting during Obama’s speech. Let’s just say there’s a little something going around PunditGirl’s school that I hope no one else has to endure. That’s just one example of getting sidelined in a way we’d rather not.

But there has to be a way. We’ve built these social communities and marketers are starting to acknowledge the power and influence we have. So how do we take the next step to convince the policy makers and politicos of that, as well?

If anyone has an epiphany, let me know.

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5 Responses to “So What Did a Political Mom Learn at Mom 2.0?”

  1. Natalie Says:

    I completely agree with your post. I write about politics b/c I enjoy talking about the issues and hearing what other people think about them. But I’m coming to believe that people don’t care much about politics if it isn’t an election year. So where does that leave us?

    I’m not sure, but I’d love to make just a little bit of money so I can justify all the time it takes to write a thoughtful, engaging and fact filled political blog. It would be easier to write about my boy peeing on the wall or the girl crying about cereal, but instead I spend a lot of time researching topics, bills, etc so that I can try and present the best possible information.

    In the end…there’s not too much that’s sexy about issues. Marketers are more interested in the peeing on the wall stories. Sad, but true.

    By the way, I’m a conservative republican, but I enjoy reading your blog and following you on Twitter. I really like hearing differing opinions and being stretched in my own thinking.

  2. Ashley Martins Says:

    I really thought that I was one of the only political Mom’s around. Being only 25 and a mother to two young children makes me busy and tired, but those are not good enough excuses for me to not be knowledgeable about my government. It’s important to me to have a gov’t that is representing me and what I want.

    I can admit that I have only recently became so adamant about my views and my need to feel heard. Love what you are doing and am glad I found you on twitter

  3. anniegirl1138 Says:

    I am awed by women who are single-minded and focused in their blogging. I couldn’t do it if I tried and I don’t think I would enjoy blogging at all if I did anyway, which is why I have a small audience and the marketing world doesn’t know a thing about me.

    Can we expect to be taken seriously if we call ourselves “mommy-bloggers” or lead with our offspring in any way? What does motherhood have to do with it anyway? Our passion for politics or clean air or climate change or reviewing books or whatever it is that drives us to blog. Was it the passion or the motherhood that brought us to the web and compelled us to start blogs and keeps us at the keyboard for years?

    The blogging communities that are the most welcoming, in my experience, tend to be mixed – topics and gender. Women, again my experience, are still cliquish and maybe this is what keeps us from being women bloggers as opposed to “mommy” bloggers.

  4. PunditMom Says:

    Ladies, it’s so great to hear from you! Even when we don’t agree on all issues, it’s so great to get women talking more politics!

  5. Gina Chen Says:

    I think you raise an important point — are women just not interested in politics. I think no.

    I think women are interested, but they are holding their families who world together, so they don’t have a lot of time for reading about what’s going on outside the kitchen.

    Plus so much of what’s reported in politics is geared toward men. (That’s why I love your blog so much because it’s geared toward women.)

    I think mareketers just play to the stereotype that all women care about is giveaways and product reviews. And I think women tend to fall into stereotypical patterns because they don’t know how to break them. (An academic friend of mine calls this “negotiated resignation.”)

    Sorry I’m getting kind of philosphical here, but PunditMom, keep doing what you’re doing. Be the voice in the darkness!


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