Some days, us *ancient bloggers get discouraged and weary. Sometimes we question our reasons for sticking around in an industry that gets frequently bashed, has no universally recognized standard of pay and is overcrowded with people who conduct themselves in a less than professional manner. We have seen a lot and I mean A LOT of crap go down in our time (oh my gawd, I sound like I’m 88 years old.) I have admittedly been feeling this way for the past week. However, I know deep down that the good things about blogging outweigh the bad. It is awesome to have a place to share my outlook on life without having to censor myself. I’ve met thousands of amazing people over the past ten years. And then there are the moments that really stand out in my mind as being “Proud to be a blogger” moments. I’ve asked some of my fellow bloggers to share their own proud moments. Here is what we came up with:
Ten Proud Blogger Moments
- The flash mob at BlogHer 2011. This display of unity among bloggers and the sheer number of women who coordinated beforehand to learn the choreography was a great example of how bloggers can collaborate to create something that will stand out in people’s memories for years to come. Nobody got paid to do it. It was just a fun way to bring people together through the universal language of music and dance. Take a look:
- The Hershey’s Better Basket Campaign, created by social strategist and social good advocate, Katja Presnal. I was one of the 540 bloggers who took part in this campaign. We each wrote a post about the project, made Easter baskets for families in our community who needed a little cheering up and then asked other bloggers to write about it as well. Hershey pledged to donate $10 per post to the Children’s Miracle Network and then, because we had so much support from bloggers, raised the donation to $7,000 total! As bloggers, we made a lot of people happy and raised money for a very important cause.
- R Baby Moms PSA.Mom bloggers from all over the US made a video that encourages parents to join the effort to make hospital emergency rooms accountable to be prepared to treat babies and children in the event of an emergency. Our own Dawn Sandomeno took part in this project and had this to say about it:
Participating in RBaby Campaign alongside fellow bloggers and mothers was one of the most meaningful ways I have used my platform. Did you know that your local ER may or may not be prepared to treat your child? 1 in 141 babies die each year. How accurately and quickly even routine illnesses and emergencies are treated can mean the difference between life and death for a baby or young child.
- Friends of Maddie. Purple will always remind me of Maddie. I never met her, but she will always hold a place in my heart because her mom, Heather Spohr, was brave enough to share her story with the world. It is every parent’s worst nightmare to lose a child. Heather and Mike had to live that nightmare. The beauty that came out of a horrifically dark moment was that there was a huge outpouring of love and support from fellow bloggers.
- Anissa Mayhew. I expect to get punched in the vagina by Anissa for writing about this, but it will be worth it. Damn, I love this lady. I love her tenacity. I love her outlook on life. I love that she has gone through so many shitty seasons in her life and has not changed her outlook. She is still every bit as smart ass and bad ass. After Anissa had multiple strokes, I heard her speak at the Type A Conference. Her opening line was, “If one more person comes up and tells me that I’m an inspiration to them, I’m going to punch their baby right in the face.” We all laughed (but I secretly thanked God that my kids were home because she is gangsta like that.) As proud as Anissa makes me to be a blogger, so does the huge show of love that happened when the blogging community found out that Anissa was in a coma. Her husband, Peter, took over the blog to let us all know how things were (or were not) progressing. I honestly do not know how that man had the time, energy or strength to blog, but somehow, he found it. Bloggers brought food, sent money, asked repeatedly what they could do to help. I’m sure if Anissa would have been awake, she would have rolled her eyes at them and told them that if they wanted to help, they should tell her how amazing her boobs looked that day. But it was truly beautiful to watch, as much as our hearts were breaking and our knees hurt from being on them constantly in prayer. I think I actually heard the collective cheer from around the world when Anissa woke up. Every blogger celebrated with the Mayhew family. It showed me that our family is so much bigger than our bloodline. It truly extends out to our blogline as well. *P.S. I had to cuss and use the word “vagina” and “ass” in this particular moment because otherwise, it would do justice to Anissa and she would probably run me over with her wheel chair, truth be told.
- Stephanie Nielson and the Nie Nie Dialogues. I think that Stephanie’s story has reached more people across the US and the globe than most other blogger’s stories. We all have an amazing story to tell and that is why we blog. When Stephanie and her husband got into a plane crash in 2008, she could have hidden from the world and stopped telling her story. She could have let the 80% of her body that got burned, be a reason to become introverted and shy. Instead, she continued to tell her story. She chose to find strength, joy and hope and years later, still does so. In fact, Stephanie wrote a book about it and I love that she did. The whole blogging community rallied around Stephanie as she battled through a coma and the aftermath of the burns and pain. Jennifer Leal says it best, “It made me proud to see a community bring world wide attention and support to their family when they needed strength and courage.” Our community doesn’t run away from tragedy, or turn our heads and look the other way because it is easier to mind our own business and harder to get involved. We rally. We support. We run TO those in need.
- Bloganthropy is a website and a movement that harnesses the “power of social media and the resources of corporate giving.” Co-Founders Debbie Bookstabber and Candace Lindemann join forces with bloggers and businesses to do social good on a regular basis. Not only do they do social good, the recognize others in the blogging community who do social good with an award. Blogger Jill Berry loves Bloganthropy because “People who blog about social causes aren’t doing it for the fame…far from it…they want to raise awareness and share with others what they have learned. I love that bloggers, Debbie Bookstaber and Candice Lindeman, started Bloganthropy to recognize the work done by those who blog for causes. Katherine of Postpartum Progress won the first Bloganthropy award for social good for her passionate work with postpartum depression. Susan Neibur/WhyMommy won the award the second year for her unflagging devotion to two causes near and dear to her…inflammatory breast cancer and planetary research.”
I also love that people find value in recognizing those in our community who strive to use their influence for social good. It inspires others to follow suit and really makes people feel good about the philanthropy that the have done. Here is a clip from the 2011 Bloganthropy awards at the Type A Conference.
- New Jersey Digital Moms. Super Storm Sandy affected so many of our blogging sisters. I clearly remember the devastation in the posts from our group members during and after the storm. I felt so helpless, living on the other side of the country. Elizabeth Norton, founder of the #NJDMoms group, was one of the women I was concerned about. I knew that Elizabeth lived in New Jersey and I felt so bad knowing that her and other bloggers who I cared about, were having their home towns ripped to shreds. Elizabeth, however, had no time for self pity. She was too busy figuring out how to help those in her state who were worse off than her own family! I’m simply amazed at Elizabeth’s love for her home, her community and her willingness to do whatever it takes to help out in times of need. This post was written after she and a few members of #NJDMoms decided to host a dinner for those affected by the storm. The plan was to find a sponsor for the food, bring in residents and offer them a warm meal, encouragement and some hope for a better tomorrow. I’m so honored to know Elizabeth and to be partnering with her and the #NJDMoms for our #JerseyLove trip in five weeks. She has a heart of gold and is a fine example of a blogger who really cares to do good in this world.
- Tide Loads of Hope Blogger Readings at Mom 2.0 Summit. In 2011, Tide joined forces with bloggers at the Mom 2.0 Summit in NOLA, to create something truly inspiring, meaningful and wonderful. Megan Jordan tells it so much more eloquently than I ever could on her blog, but I’ll attempt to explain what happened. And then I’ll fail and let you watch the video of one of the readings because words just cannot do this kind of awesomeness justice. Tide invited bloggers whose lives had been touched by the Loads of Hope project, to share their stories. They were stories of adversity and hope. During the event, anyone who texted “RedCross” to 90999 would donate $10 to disaster relief for New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina hit. It was a touching night and Tide continues to do so much to bring relief to areas and people who have been hit by the wrath of Mother Nature.
- Heart of Haiti Project with BeEverywhere, Fairwinds Trading, Macy’s and blogger supporters like Ana Flores of Latina Bloggers Connect. The whole concept of creating income for residents of Haiti and helping them tell their story of “hope and resilience” just does my heart good to see. I could try to explain the project but the video does a much better job of it.
I love that we can look back on our evolution as bloggers and find bright moments to hold on to when we feel that we are going through a dark blogging period. It gives me hope that we can turn things around, be shining examples of social good and that life as a blogger is indeed good.
*Ancient bloggers: Bloggers who have been around since the very beginning of blogging, or longer than 5 years.