BlogHer ’10 Recap
Candace and I recently returned from the BlogHer Conference in New York. Thanks to the amazing generosity of Corolle Dolls, we were able to have a booth at the BlogHer conference!
I am so grateful for the opportunity to exhibit at BlogHer. During the conference, we spoke with hundreds of bloggers about the accomplishments of the five Bloganthropy Awards finalists. We also heard from bloggers about how they are using their influence to support causes and charities they are passionate about through their blogs and Twitter and Facebook accounts.
Hopefully the mainstream coverage of BlogHer 2010 will focus on the best of the blogging community instead of the out-of-character actions of a few misguided individuals (like last year’s coverage of what was termed “SwagHer”). What do I mean by “best of the blogging community?”
For starters, check out Tutus for Tanner.
I had the opportunity to meet Catherine from HerBadMother.com at BlogHer. Catherine is the woman behind Tutus for Tanner. She’s an amazing writer, but (more importantly!) she’s also an amazing person. Catherine is raising awareness about Duchennes Muscular Dystrophy as well as funds to fight the disease and to enable Tanner to live at home rather than in the hospital. I saw so many people making and wearing tutus at BlogHer in support of Catherine’s nephew Tanner who has DMD. But the most amazing thing happened on Twitter immediately before the conference. Air Canada damaged Tanner’s electric wheelchair and refused to get him a replacement. Tanner would have been without a wheelchair for several days and would have missed the 5k run in his honor. Clearly this was an unacceptable way to treat a dying boy. Thousands of bloggers took to Twitter to protest, and Tanner received a replacement wheelchair in time. It was wonderful to see how bloggers united in support of this incredible little boys, and I suspect Air Canada learned an important lesson about how to treat its wheelchair-bound passengers in the future.
A highlight of the conference was meeting the Bloganthropy Award finalists. I am still in awe of their accomplishments, and I thrilled to see this group of women receive some recognition for their accomplishments. (Click here to read more about them.)
Did you know that the team behind Passports with Purpose is going to build a village in Southern India? I’m not kidding here. They built a school last year are actually building an entire village this year! Please check out their site and contribute to their fundraising effort if you can.
Kristine Brite McCormick of Cora’s Story has already saved the lives of several babies by raising awareness of congenital heart defects and educating parents about the importance of pulse oximetry screening. How many of us can actually say that we’ve saved a life? Kristine can, and I think she is truly heroic! As her organization grows, I know many more lives will be saved through her efforts.
Maggie from Violence Unsilenced gives survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault a voice. During the conference, I met several women who told me how Violence Unsilenced helped them heal and thanked us for honoring Maggie for her incredible work building the community and raising awareness about the epidemic of domestic violence and sexual assault in our country.
Megan from Velveteen Mind wrote a post saying she was honored “but distinctly out of place” compared to the other nominees. Her numerous admirers at BlogHer would disagree. Megan has used her blog to bring attention and donations to Hurricane Katrina survivors and the people impacted by the oil spill in the Gulf. She promoted Tide Loads of Hope and worked on a recent campaign to donate nearly 70,000 meals to Feeding America.
Long before Brooke Shields wrote her famous book on her experience with PPD and had her famous battle with Tom Cruise, Katherine Stone of Postpartum Progress was working tirelessly to help women with PPD and other perinatal and antenatal mood disorders. Postpartum depression and perinatal mood disorders affect over 800,000 women annually in the United States alone. Increased awareness of PPD is critical to early diagnosis and treatment. For six years, Katherine Stone solely supported Postpartum Progress, helping countless women through her efforts. She recently incorporated as a non-profit with the goal of expanding the organization’s reach and effectiveness. We hope that recognition as the first annual Bloganthropy Award Winner and the prize money donated by P & G GIVE HEALTH will help Katherine Stone to accomplish this worthy goal.
Katherine Stone of Postpartum Progress won the first annual Bloganthropy Award at the awards dinner sponsored by Child’s Play Communications on August 5th. Stephanie Azzarone of Child’s Play Communications was the “fairy godmother” behind the Bloganthropy Awards dinner. I cannot thank her enough for all of her hard work on the event, contributions, and pro-bono PR support. She has been incredibly supportive of our efforts to build Bloganthropy.
I had a chance to share the stories of all these amazing women with Jennifer Brandt of Momversation, thanks to “performance with a purpose” from PepsiCo. Click here to see Momversation’s excerpts from this interview.
And I was so proud to see the efforts of the ever effervescent Lori Holton Nash, a member of our Bloganthropy Blogger Advisory Board, for Go Red for Women, which “celebrates the energy, passion and power we have as women to band together to wipe out heart disease and stroke”.
BlogHer is truly a community of women, lifting each other up.
You might also be surprised that many bloggers donate the infamous “Swag” to charities or to people in need in their community. For example, I’m donating mine to a local family who just lost their house to a fire. This family had five children and no fire insurance, and they needed help. I actually found out about them from a friend of mine, via her blog.
At the thredUP booth, they took an approach we wholeheartedly appreciate. A sign on the table said: “Looking for Swag? We’ve got something better… Make a Green School Year Pledge and thredUP will donate $1 to Cradles to Crayons.” Karen told us that bloggers were very supportive of the “no swag”, eco-friendly charity pledge. They are at $840 right now so why not go and add to the donation?
This is what bloggers do best. They use their blogs to reach out and inspire others to make the world a better place.