Last year, I was asked to speak to a group of women about blogging. At the time, it was something I hadn’t done much of.
Instead of sitting here at my computer doing it, I had to actually put on some nice clothes and make-up and talk to a room of about 25 women about the burning question of the blogosphere:
Not just why we do it, but why they should do it. Is it worth the time of women who work for non-profit agencies to spend some time blogging, and networking with bloggers, to get the message out about their missions?
I was specifically asked to talk a little bit about what bloggers are saying online about issues facing low-income women and families and how those issues are being addressed by the remaining presidential candidates.
I thought, easy-peasy! A few quick bloggy searches and I was sure I’d come up with a variety of posts.
You know what — I didn’t find that much.
Yes, I have friends who are dedicated to talking about issues like these, but many of us focus on the things that impact our own lives and those of our friends. And while we’re not a bunch of gazillionaires, many of us are lucky enough not to fall into the category of families who would be seeking out their services.
I told these women that I had not really been able to come up with any conversations about these issues. Sure, we’ve got MomsRising and some other organizational blogs that address some related issues, but I was shocked that we’re not talking more about how we can help low-income women and families get a higher profile for their issues — Head Start programs, school lunch programs, access to reproductive health services, home instruction for preschoolers — especially in an election year. One presidential candidate was, but remaining ones don’t get around to that topic much.
Cooper Monroe and Emily McKhann were on top of helping after Hurricane Katrina. But I wasn’t coming up with much more.
So I told these women, who were mulling over the power of the blogopshere, that they should reach out to us. Not in the way that some for-profit entities have done, sometimes with less skill than you might expect, but in a thoughtful and informed way.
I could see the twinkle in some of their eyes, thinking about how they could enhance the way they help women and children with a little assist from us bloggers. I invited them to all send me information about their programs and I’m hoping they’ll take me up on it.
I suggested they poke around our blogs and see who was talking generally about the things they feel are important for helping families and children, and send us E-mails about their programs. You don’t mind that I’m sending them your way, right?
But I know there must already be some others who are talking about how we can all advance the causes of low-income families. Who am I missing?