BlogHer11: Sat this One Out

I didn’t make it to BlogHer11 this year, but watched it very closely (some would say compulsively) from afar. I tried to read between the lines of Tweets and Facebook updates to see what was working and what wasn’t. After reading the recaps from bloggers I admire like @Redneckmommy and @Mom101 I’m glad to say that this year seemed to have gotten back to its roots.

Way less talk of swag frenzy and the VIP competition that plagued last year in New York and more conversation about learning, support and inspiration. Some of it may have had to do with the awesome and laid back San Diego location – attendees just seemed less frenetic to see everything and do everything.

I made my beef with last year’s conference public in an op-ed for Adweek. My criticism was not with the hard working, well intentioned organizers of the conference but with the marketers who delegated away the task of interacting with bloggers, who stole attendees for off premise VIP events that fed into a divisive hierarchy that can emerge among bloggers and of swamping the joint with swag that had little meaning or measurable ROI.

Adweek reported on the conference this week and while I’m disappointed that “this time, there were at least a couple of brand managers and executives on the floor” I am glad to see that the conference felt rewarding to both bloggers and sponsors.

See you at BlogHer12.

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“Bribing” Bloggers to give Positive Reviews

So Brandweek writes that General Mills recruited bloggers through their site so General Mills could send free products and coupons to bloggers for their reviews. Sounds reasonable, right? Well what about the part where bloggers have to agree basically to only write positive/neutral things about their products.  Actual language … “If you feel you cannot write a positive post regarding the product or service, please contact the MyBlogSpark team before posting any content.”

Why is this wrong?

  • Because it gives bloggers a bad name as shills for free swag. Liz from Mom 101 describes this phenomenon best in a plea to mom bloggers to act like professionals
  • Because they also don’t insist that the bloggers tell their readers that they are getting the products for free

So kudos to General Mills for the effort to engage new media but I think it is back to the drawing board on policies.

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May 27, 2022
by Mary Lou Quinlan

A look at an early production of WORK


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The God Box Goes Global!

“The God Box” has grown to include an app, audio book, philanthropic venture and solo show performed by Mary Lou across the US. Now The God Box Project goes global to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
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press & praise