The Today Show recently featured a duo of segments on what they dubbed the “Digital Mom.” Yesterday’s segment overviewed how moms are using modern technology as mothering aids, referring to email/web enabled phones, DVR, blogs and message boards as sources of “salvation.” As one of thousands of moms that employs these tools in my daily life, I agree to an extent with the Today Show’s definition of a Digital Mom. I appreciated that they included Heather Armstrong, Mommyblogger extraordinaire. But in a way, I think Dooce is in a different category, whose online presence almost surpasses the community of moms who blog. What I mean by that is, today’s Digital Mom has an ongoing conversation online with various different forums and outlets. Those forums could include message boards, social networks like Facebook and Myspace, social networks geared directly at moms like Cafemoms, TheMotherhood and Momfaves (my new personal favorite!), photo sharing sites such as Flickr and of course, the almighty blog. The true essence of a digital mom or as some are calling Mom 2.0, is the fact that she’s sharing information as well as retaining it. As with any relationship, it’s a 2-way street. Check out what this mom had to say on this topic.
Because of my background in traditional media and print journalism, my motive to start blogging was a bit different. At my old job, I wrote, researched and reported on a lot of technical and not-so-glamorous topics. And because I craved a different creative outlet, I thought, why not blog? Writing is/was my livelihood PLUS I found it cathartic thus, Babyrific was born as soon as I found out I was pregnant. It became an open-ended source for our family in Va. to know that we’re still nuts and that our child is well on his way to eating us out of house and home. Along the way, just like other moms who blog, people shared a similar interest in our lunacy, either that or they liked to point and laugh at us. And from there, I started to share my thoughts and research about parenting, products and life in general, with the hopes that along the way my sometimes ridiculous anecdotes help/amuse/inform someone else.
Or better yet, I get calls like this from my mom 2 days after a post I’ve written:
This generation of moms is clearly different, with our internets and all. When we were kids, my mom actually talked to moms and interacted with them. Today, I’m plugged in and connected to my mom friends in more ways than I can count. I plan playdates via my local message board. I score sales and deals from my girlfriends on Facebook and a different message board. And most recently, I Twitter with other moms to corporate employees from big brands. Social networking plays a huge part in my daily life, just like it does for many other moms. According to today’s Today Show segment on Digital Moms, 26 million moms are using social networking. That’s a lot of moms chattering about everything from brands they love to their thoughts on parenting to that McDonald’s Filet O’ Fish commercial. (That does its job and actually makes me want to haul ass to the drive thru!)
With all those moms talking, it’s no wonder the information and marketing landscape has forever changed. Remember my year of interviews last year and being unable to get a job as an editor/reporter at another print publication? Along with millions of other veterans in the print publishing field, those jobs are hard to come by, what with advertising dollars shifting to the online sector.
Why and how? Well, a lot of it goes back to moms.
Less and less people turn to magazines and newspapers as THE source of information. We spend our time online. Thus, the advertising dollars follow the consumers to the online marketplace. It’s a vicious cycle, but one that I’m trying to learn.
I definitely appreciated today’s Today Show segment that featured eMom and Consumer Queen, both online resources whose sites garner a lot of traffic because of the great content. What I gathered from the segment was that moms have a powerful voice online, and many entrepreunurial moms are making a business from it. The advertising professional provided great insight, too, but I think her perspective wasn’t as spot on. Not all moms blog for the “free stuff.” Empowering ourselves as moms/consumers and sharing with others in the process is a big motive for me. As a plus, the excitement I get from writing and reporting about things that I’m passionate about helps me from teetering off into crazyland. Well, on most days…
Ok, we’re off to go get our Filet O’ Fish