At BlogHer ’09, we’ll be hosting a contest to encourage new users to sign up for springpad and invite their “Go-To Girls” to join, too! The contest is in conjunction with four of our favorite bloggers: @deliciousbaby, @momisodes, @mommyniri and @paninihappy and supported by our featured product sponsor: Magic Beans.
A Go-To Girl (or Guy) is that person you turn to when you need advice. Need an idea for a recipe for an upcoming party? Need to find out the hottest new restaurant? Need to pick out a birthday present for your nephew? The people you turn to for answers to these burning questions are your Go-To network. Using springpad makes it easy for you to connect with your network, which is likely spread across the internet, to share ideas & advice!
We look forward to seeing you at BlogHer’09 (and helping you simplify your life)!
BlogHer was founded in 2005 to create opportunities for women who blog to pursue exposure, education, community, and economic empowerment. Since then, it’s become a successful and vibrant community. We’re pleased to support these amazing women who somehow manage to balance busy lives as parents, spouses, community leaders and online mavens with Springpad, our online personal organizer that helps them get things done. We’re excited to be sponsoring and exhibiting at this week’s annual conference in Chicago.
Magic beans is a locally-owned retail business in Boston, started for parents by parents with the mission of finding products that make life easier for parents and more fun for kids. As part of the 31 days of giveaways, Magic beans is giving away $10,000 worth of free products in July, anyone can enter at www.mbeans.com.
Chris Anderson recently talked about how a passionate amateur almost always beats a bored professional:
They choose to spend their time on what they do, and they go exactly where their passions, interests, knowledge and personality takes them–no further. If they lose interest they move on and are replaced by someone bursting with fresh energy. Self-selection ensures engagement.
When I attended BlogHer over the summer, I discovered some pretty awesome amateur writers in the form of bloggers. They write on topics ranging from health to food to politics to parenting, and sometimes go on an entertaining rant or two. And, I am embarrassed to admit that prior to discovering the large world of bloggers, my main online sources were limited mostly to CNN for news, AOL for celeb gossip & Epicurious for recipes. But, I am proud to say that I am not likely to ever go back.
So, yes, I agree with Chris. Passion is the secret ingredient that makes online content great, it’s the je ne sais quoi that ropes in the reader & commits him or her for life. A few examples: Vegan Yum Yum’ recent post on food photography for bloggers, The Simple Dollar’s post about what he learned as a first time home buyer and ten simple ways to live a less stressful life from zenhabits.
But, don’t just take it from me. Every media company under the sun is working to harness the passion of bloggers. Real Simple has put their Simply Stated blogs front and center, CNN is looking to the public to write the news through iReport, Martha Stewart has her own set of blogs in addition to a circle of featured bloggers who are part of her ad network, and even USA Today has members of its staff writing content in the form of blogs.
So, does the increasingly blurry line between media conglomerates & independent bloggers really benefit the reader? The answer is yes, in the sense that media companies are trying new ways to engage with their readers. And a double yes, in the sense that amateurs are now being legitimized by media companies and sponsors alike, and in turn discovered by more and more committed readers like me.
Hi, I’m Katin, a Segment Manager at Spring Partners. My job is to understand our target customers – their needs and wants – so that I can be sure we are building a product that they will love. To this end, I attended BlogHer ’08 in San Francisco this past weekend. It would be putting it lightly to say that I learned a ton.
A swarming mass of lady bloggers (and a few fellas) descended on the Westin in SF for a 3-day event focused on all things blog, featuring informative sessions, interesting keynotes addresses, stimulating panels, fun social events and tons of schwag! Each session was “live blogged” – check out the notes. Many attendees ”live tweeted” the sessions – it was pretty awesome to have so many conversations going at once! Some of the best: @ccarfi (blog), @gwenbell (blog), @wiredprworks (site).
Why did I attend BlogHer ’08?
BlogHer is a great organization, not just because of all of the alignment they are creating in their community, but also because bloghers are gifted at reaching the masses of ‘regular’ people out there, not just the techie elite that we are so used to hearing from.
My goals in attending the convention included building a network of bloggers, beginning to learn what’s important to them, and test-running the springpad offering to them. Oh, and I also wanted to learn some new tricks for our blog, thesimpleme.
Bloggers are awesome:
At BlogHer, I identified two main groups of bloggers. First there are those who write about their own lives, their personal experiences and perspectives, and the things for which they hold much passion. I found this group to be really interesting, and not only for their desire & ability to share their innermost thoughts with the larger world; They often straddle the line between whimsy & heart-wrench, and somehow do it with a ton of class. The second group are those bloggers who aim to create useful content & advice for readers to consume, regardless of whether they come from a more traditional journalism background or are the lucky part of our population that grew up with the web. This group was equally compelling, mostly due to their laser-sharp focus on quality.
Feedback on the product we’re building, springpad:
When I described both the springpad concept and a few tangible uses of the web app, the responses were mixed, from “I totally need that!” to “What does it do again?” to “Oooh, I could be a life expert.” Generally, though, I walked away from BlogHer with the sense that we are on the right track:
- Bloggers are just like regular people – some use the internet for everything & some still only use it for smaller tasks. We are targeting those users who are not only comfortable with the web, but also expect a lot from it.
- It’s important that we build a product for the typical web user, not the uber-tech geek.
- Life is hectic, and many of us need help organizing it. Our tool has got to immediately provide that help.
- There are lots of people putting great advice on the web and lots of people out there looking for it. We will try to bring those people together.
- Many of us are comfortable living our lives online, but we’ve got a growing desire to make it personal, secure and even more useful. Our product will be all three!
- I’ve got to find a way to be more succinct in my explanation of springpad & its uses.
I’ll be writing more on these topics in the weeks to come.
Best moment of the weekend:
The BlogHer Community Keynote – On Friday night 21 bloggers stood at the front of the ballroom & read their posts. The writing was superb & the delivery even better. The crowd went from teary eyes to roaring laughter. It then hit me that this is what BlogHer is all about – it was such a unifying moment for all of us in the room. Oh, and then there was the session with Dooce!
I truly appreciated the opportunity to attend BlogHer, to join this community and to meet so many amazing women! (I’ll be in touch) Would love to hear your comments on the conference or my observations.