Monday, March 23, 2009

Dear Mom Bloggers: Stop Apologizing for Being Awesome!

I've had it. I'm sick and tired of the notion that Mom Bloggers should not be making money off their blogs. There are far too many people out there wanting to suggest that it makes them dirty unethical whores, to reap any rewards for their endeavors.

It doesn't actually matter who's pointing the finger of blame - other moms, traditional media, deadbeat exes or jealous neighbors. Enough already! Why should anyone and everyone else make money from their time, effort and talents and not Moms? Being paid for your work is not shocking or unethical. Expecting people to work for free and to only suffer for their art? Might be.

I got so fed up with the dirty rumors circulating about unethical mom bloggers that I wrote an article over the weekend for LA Moms Blog -
"The Dirty Whores of Blog Dot Mom". In it I described 2 unethical mom bloggers ("whore a & whore b") stereotypes that have evolved into near Urban Legend Status. I thought I'd make these legenday blog whores some badges while I was at it.

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I also made a badge for all the Mom Bloggers who recieve compensation for their efforts and feel that this is a source of pride, not shame. It's time we stop apologizing for our success.

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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Instant Momification

Moms are not only taking over the internet, they are taking over the dictionary. Lately I've been seeing so many mommified words being bandied about that I thought I'd start keeping an informal dictionary. Got a new one for me? Leave a comment and I will add it!

Momarazzi - the legion of moms taking pictures at every school event
Momtourage - you and your backup
Mompreneur - mommy with a biz
Momfluential - Hey! That's Me!
Momnesia - I forget what this one was
Mamanista - fashionable mama
Momedy - mom comedy
Momentum - when a bunch of moms get going...
Momnicient - moms who know it all
Momumentary - a film about moms
Momversation - converstation between moms
Momcierge - mom who makes dinner reservations
Sanctimommy - mommmy with a stick up her butt who never gives her kids junk food
Mommified - being utterly wrapped up in mom culture
Mominee - the poor sucker who was nominated to collect $ for the class party
Mominate/tion - the process by which the poor sucker was elected
Momsense - something only a mother would understand
Momtastical - things a mom makes or says
Momakin - a woman who wears a bathing suit within a month of birthing
Momtini - martini with a pacifier in it, drunk during a playdate
Momkini - bikini with a kinder cut, tankini
Momnificent - her royal momness
Mamalicious - haute mommy, yummy mummy
Mamaste - yoga mommy
Momnipotent - because mom said so
Mompetition - my kid's in the 99% ile. And yours?
Momocrat (tm) - Demo moms
Momjeans - the 80's called and wants their high rise back
Momisode - your own mommy reality show
Mamarama - too many moms at mommy and me
Mamapalooza - too many moms at drunco bunco

Monday, March 16, 2009

Too Much of a Good Ning. The Strip Mall Effect.

No, I don't hate Ning. Or strip malls even. I've even been known to pop over to ours and get my nails done, pick up the dry cleaning and buy last minute party supplies at the party chain store.

But I don't really hang out there with my friends.

When Ning first showed up on the scene, it was a lot like when our community finally got a grocery store, Hairmasters, Starbucks and gas station. Elated. We finally had somewhere to go! Shyly we ventured out to get coffee hoping to to make friends and make this town our own.

But before the paint had even dried we started to notice something. Our little So Cal town? Looked a hell of a lot like the one our cousins in Northern Va. call home. Down to the same couch and artwork at Starbucks. The Hairmasters Salon was identical to the one two towns over. It was the old "there's no there there" problem. Strip malls strip communities of their individuality.

I am now experiencing the online version on this phenomenon with the mushroomlike growth of Ning communities. One after another they are popping up. With irritating similarity. There are times when I forget which site I am actually on. Different sites, same themes and structure, and often the same people. We're like me and my desperate neighbors. Clearly we want to hang out. But once we realize our digs have no charm, no uniqueness, we move on. I've even made up a name for my frustration with this. I call it Annoyning.

At the same time I see why this is happening. It's just so *easy* to get your community up and running with the Ning platform. It's too tempting. Gone are the days when you had to hire someone to build a costly custom community that took months to get up and running. You can get your community up in under an hour with Ning. It's instant gratification. And for some sites, it's enough. They can build a thriving community on the Ning platform. Some small niche groups are making happy hermit-crab like moves from forums/boards to Ning as well. But for others? Is all this Ning-ing too much of a good thing?

I'll be interested to see what happens to Ning communities in the coming year. I predict that the ease of building communities will lead to a plethora of them and a backlash that is not at all dissimilar to the backlash against strip malls.

It's tricky biz. We can't all be Old Town Pasadena. But where would you rather hang out? Pasadena or somewhere between the Generic Dry Cleaners, Karate Place and KFC?