Tag Archives: BlogHer

The Politics of Elder Blogging

Susan Swartz is a retirement-resistant journalist friend who has written a book and now writes a delightful blog, both called “Juicy Tomatoes.” They extol the virtues and occasionally give a nod to the vices of the second half-century of life.

I ran into Susan at the Blogher conference her in New York earlier this month, when she ran up to me after I appeared on the closing keynote and asked me if I’d ever heard the term “elder blogger.” I had not, though admittedly blogging in general has the air of youth about it.

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Blogher 2010 Conference

At the 2010 Blogher Conference, I was a keynote speaker on closing panel, called “How to Use Your Voice, Your Platform and Your Power.” Need to Know PBS anchor Alison Stewart moderated a powerhouse panel: Marie Wilson, Founder and President of The White House Project (and creator of Take Our Daughters to Work Day), and P. Simran Sethi, Emmy Award-winning journalist, blogger and environmentalist.

Empowerment is a constant theme at and on BlogHer. All signs point to others recognizing our power – as a group and as a demographic. How are we leveraging that power as individuals? How should we be?

Now that we know marketers and advertisers seek the opinions of women (who make over 80% of consumer purchases) and their blogs, how can we control what we are being sold? Now that we know having a unique presence online has turned us into “personal brands,” how can we use it to our best professional advantage? Now that we’re each part of the large BlogHer community and many sub-communities, how can we harness and strategically focus that collective power? How and when and for what can and should we turn on the power spigot?

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“Omaba Caint” Post Sure Could Get Blog Buzz Going

Seems like my last post, “Obama Caint Choose Kaine”, riled some folks up.

Erin Kotecki Vest, who blogs at BlogHer and Queen of Spain, got on my case with several arguments worthy of response. I have great respect for Erin, and am pleased for this excuse to congratulate her in public on becoming BlogHer’s Producer of Special Projects (high five here!).

However, I learned from hard knocks on the political frontlines that her argument on behalf of Gov. Kaine is self-defeating. Sadly, it also demonstrates how we can make it so incredibly hard to hold politicians’ feet to the fire about reproductive rights, health, and justice, and how women are often entirely too well behaved to make history turn out the way we want it.

True, the issues of birth control, sex education, reproductive rights, and abortion have been so polarized by the media’s false balance (someone else used that phrase on HuffPo last week, but I made it up when I wrote The War on Choice) that both the facts and the framing get skewed in public discourse. That’s frustrating to be sure. But, the deal is, whoever defines the terms of the debate is probably going to win it. And you can’t ever win at all if you don’t stay in the game.

If you haven’t already, please read “Obama Caint Chose Kaine” for my key points about Obama’s veep pick, which I won’t reiterate here. Here’s an excerpt of Erin’s reaction:

We could go through and talk about Kaine’s repeated his position supporting Roe and what he’s done as Governor…however, let’s just put all that aside too.

Let’s deal with the realities of this country. The reality of government. The reality of America in 2008.

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