BlogHer is a community of women bloggers who blog about everything from cars to health and wellness, technology, green causes, law, social change and dozens of other topics. With over 13,000 members and over 10,000 blogs on their directory, it's a powerhouse of content, expertise, and community building. These women are driven, and influential.
So imagine my frustration - nay, disgust - when the New York Times managed to write a story about their recent BlogHer08 conference and put it on their Fashion and Style page?
It prompted me to write a letter to the editor:
I’m so disappointed that you managed to completely undermine the professional, hardworking group at BlogHer by parking that article on your “Fashion & Style” page. Why not Business? Technology? These women are changing the face of technology and the online world, and you’re parking them off in a trivial corner instead of among the gamechanging minds of Web 2.0 where they belong.That pretty much sums it up for me. I'm thankful that events and communities like BlogHer are garnering recognition in mainstream media for the incredible things they're doing. Blogging and social media are changing the face of marketing, communications, and mainstream media. But I am so distressed that this particular event was treated like it was some cutsie fashion show with a bunch of women getting manicures, drinking tea, and giggling with one another over soap operas. Even the article has a rather condescending tone, as if they NYT was surprised and amused at this little gathering of mommies who blog.
This is exactly why glass ceilings exist. Way to take a legitimate, amazingly powerful event for professionals and treat it as “aw, how cute!”.
Shame on you.
Blogging is a commitment. It takes dedication, passion, and focus to do it well. It is shifting boundaries all over the world about how people, businesses, and media get and share information. And communities like BlogHer are the essence of bringing people together to learn, share, and teach one another (sound like any of the definitions I've given about social media???).
So I repeat, shame on you New York Times. BlogHer members - and all of the evangelists of Web 2.0, social media, and community - deserve better than that.
Image credit: Wendy Piersall of Sparkplugging.com