Posts Tagged ‘ Wall Street Journal ’

Going to Mom2Summit: I’m Outta Here!

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

It’s my turn!! I get to go out of town today. I get to sleep in high thread count sheets at the Ritz. I get to order room service and have two precious nights of uninterrupted sleep.

Since we moved to LA, Phil hasn’t had to travel nearly as much as when we lived in NYC. As a screenwriter, he was hopping on planes all the time to the west coast. Which is one of the reasons we moved here when I became pregnant with our second baby, Emmett. We both wanted to cut down on his time away from home.

However, he’s had a few trips. A couple different ones to London (he even got snapped by the paparazzi) and recently an 8-day trip to Atlanta where his latest movie is shooting.

So when Parents asked me a couple weeks ago if I could go to Mom2Summit in the beautiful area of Laguna Niguel, about 90 minutes from my home, I told them my bags were already packed.

Then I started reading about the conference and saw there was a whole lot of crazy/silly controversy surrounding it. The Wall Street Journal wrote an article called “The Mommy Business Trip.” I didn’t find the article as offensive as some did.  Though the comments were pretty brutal. I mean the title is a bit demeaning, and some of the piece suggests that conferences like these are one big excuse for moms who have pretend careers as “mommy bloggers” to get out of town and party.  I think because we carry “mommy” in our title as bloggers, people don’t take us as seriously. But they should. We moms are the demo most advertisers want. We DO matter.

One of my best friends is a businesswoman. When I told her I was going to a “mommy blogger” conference she scoffed a bit and a laughed. I had to explain to her that these are real conferences with thousands of attendees and corporate sponsors. But I didn’t take offense to my friend. She just isn’t in my world.

For most of us, including myself, being a “mommy blogger” isn’t what pays the bills. But as my good friend Liz Gumbinner put in her popular blog Mom-101, a blog… “is rarely the end–it’s the means.

“…your blog can be a platform for visibility, a place to connect with your community, a demonstration of your writing chops or digital prowess–all of which can lead to those actual career opportunities.”

She is absolutely right. And for some of us, it’s just an extension of our career. She mentions me as an example, since I have had a television career for the past 20 years and blogging for me, is a natural progression of not only that, but for whatever I have to come. Be it a book, a show, etc. For now, I have put many of my career aspirations on hold in lieu of changing diapers–something that is my choice and my luxury, since Phil can carry the bills (Sheryl Sandberg would be disgusted. As if I care…). Phil and I have always had a mutual give and take relationship. I put him through film school; he is putting me through motherhood. I love the trade-off. But I digress…

For me, going on a trip is exciting in my post-kid world for all the legitimate and plain fun (i.e. illegitimate) reasons. Which is the same as any businessman or woman who travel on occasion. I don’t need to justify this to anyone. I’m just flattered Parents asked me to go and that I have a husband who can take the reigns for a couple days. I may even get really crazy tonight and take an Ambien since I don’t have to listen to the baby monitor. Ahh, the little joys in life.

Best of all, since the conference is close to home, should anything go wrong without me, since I’m a total control freak and expect everything to fall apart, I can just hop in my car and come home. But really, I don’t anticipate that.

Stay tuned for some cool updates. Most will come next week as I’m going to try and really enjoy myself.  I think I’ll also be posting an interview I’ve been asked to do as well (with a surprise keynote speaker).

Okay, hitting the road! More to come…

 

Pic of business woman via Shutterstock

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Does It Take a Digital Village?

Wednesday, June 13th, 2012

I now believe in twitter. And the power of social media. Doesn’t mean I like doing it. But I do think there is something to it.

Case in point: a few weeks ago, my editors at Parents sent me an article from the Wall Street Journal on Oversharenting. They asked if I wanted to blog about it. I did. I tweeted it out with a slew of other stuff. From that tweet, I began a “twitter conversation” (is that what you call it?) with a producer at KCBS. Next thing I know, he was asking if they could interview me for a story on Oversharenting. (click here to view.) 

I connected with another woman on twitter by posting about Emmett’s reflux. She happens to be a nurse who works in pediatrics. She gave me some amazing information and now we email advice and updates.

I wrote a post about my angst over the alleged allegations of former Penn State football coach Jerry Sandusky. I went to Penn State and grew up in State College, so the story really hit home. (His trial is going on right now.) That landed me a segment on Fox LA. 

I still don’t have that many followers, but it’s growing. I have a woman helping me navigate the waters and she’s great. She isn’t putting pressure on me, but what she does is point out articles I’m interested in. I’m a huge fan of Nicholas Kristof’s columns in the New York Times. He takes on the bravest of topics, often writing about the impoverished women and children of the world. She helps flag some for me to retweet to my small flock. You hope over time, you start to make a difference.

This all sounds like a big, gross blog on self-promotion. But it’s not. It really comes down to my resistance of trying something new.  Then, getting over that resistance, embracing it with baby steps, and seeing first hand results.

Does it mean I get a better spot in the universe? No. Do more followers mean I’m more important? No. But if the point of my career is to write, it’s nice to have readers, conversation and feedback. When Parents posts my blogs on their Facebook page, I get to see real-time responses. Two years ago I didn’t even have a Facebook page.

I am quickly realizing in the digital age, it takes a digital village.  The key is how to manage it. There is definitely an art to this, and it does take time. I’m not ready to let it rule my life, but I have seen it work.

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Are Modern Parents Guilty of “Oversharenting”?

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

I know I overshare on my blog. Hell, I even posted during pregnancy about my ugly vag problem. I’m sure my pious mother-in-law was horrified by that one, though we’ve never discussed it. I keep thinking maybe she didn’t read it. I know my husband only reads posts I flag for him. Otherwise I think he’d be horrified too. He’s a private person. So private in fact that he, get this, doesn’t even have a Facebook page. Yes, you read that correctly. He will occasionally go on mine to surf and post obnoxious comments that I then have to go undo/overexplain to my “friends.”

All this to say that there is a new term. It’s called oversharenting.

I cringed when I read parts of this Wall Street Journal article. As in, “God I hope I’m not oversharenting everything I post.” When it comes to my kids, I’d like to think they won’t be horrified by my blogs in 15 years. I keep telling myself that since everything is so instant, everything is also instantly forgotten, right? But what if it’s not?

Will Fia care that her first boyfriend can find a picture about her first poop? Will Emmett care that the world knows he’s not circumcised? I don’t dare ask my husband this because I think his gut feeling is I reveal too much. He would probably be okay if my blog went away. He’s supportive of my writing—he just doesn’t want our family to have anything to do with it. But I’m a mommy blogger. So what line do I walk? My family is my blog. And it gives me a creative outlet that I cherish.

When it comes to social media like Twitter and Facebook, I’m pretty lame compared to most moms. I have less than 600 twitter followers (please follow me! @jillcordes) and I have a small fan base on Facebook (please like me!). I’m so bad at putting my links up that I have someone helping/teaching me to do it.  As ridiculous as it sounds, somehow this makes me feel like a superior parent in the online world. Well, I may be posting naked pictures of my babies, but at least I don’t live on the computer all day.

Ahh, we humans can justify anything, can’t we?

I have no right or wrong answers for oversharenting. I don’t know if anyone does because we don’t know where the digital age is leading us. Will our kids and grandkids be more open about issues? Will there be less passive aggressive behavior in the world because we call everyone out on everything? (That would help many an in-law relationship, no?) Or will we end up raising robots? Or worse—kids who hate us for all we’ve revealed?

I joke that when Fia and Emmett become tweens, we’ll all move to rural New Zealand and become sheepherders. But something tells me there will be a wireless connection there, too.

Where do we draw the line in dealing with online? Tell me. Help me. Share your thoughts for the world to see.

 

Picture of mom and baby on computer via Shutterstock

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