by Susan Getgood on April 29, 2008

in BlogHer, Charity, Parent bloggers

crossposted to Marketing Roadmaps. Warning: long post

Power. Of the collective. Of the parent. Of the blogger. That’s today’s topic.

Let’s start with what the collective can achieve when we come together. In this case, for charity. As you may recall, about two weeks ago, in one of my Camp Baby case study posts, I suggested that companies interested in reaching women bloggers put their money into the charities that we care about. Not that we don’t like schwag or free products, or hell, even some link love. But I have yet to meet a parent blogger that doesn’t contribute what she or he can to charity. It’s why BlogHers Act has such resonance for the community.

Which is why I was thrilled to get an email from Kristen Chase this morning telling me about the latest Parent Bloggers Network BlogBlast campaign. PBN has teamed up with Johnson’s to promote Johnson’s Baby Cause, the company’s new charitable giving site to support the health and well-being of mothers and children worldwide. Details of the promotion are on the PBN post, but short version, blog about how you’d like to be recognized on Mother’s Day. Both Johnson’s and PBN are donating prizes; I love the PBN prize — a $25 credit to donate to the cause of your choice at Baby Cause. Ten winners. There’s also a charity auction for gently used celebrity baby goods on eBay that will benefit Baby Cause.

Why do I like this so much? To start with, charity. That will get me EVERY TIME. Which I am sure Kristen knew when she emailed me. And then there’s the Johnson’s component. I absolutely love that this Parent Bloggers Network campaign came about as a result of Lori Dolginoff from Johnson’s and Kristen meeting at Camp Baby, a fact which I confirmed with Lori before posting tonight. (And perhaps of Lori and Julie Marsh, Kristen’s partner in PBN, not meeting for all the reasons we already know.)

I’m sure the broader charity effort was well underway before Camp Baby earlier this month but as a direct result of the event, Johnson’s decided to team up with PBN to promote it. In short, it learned how valuable it is to work with people within the community, and that, my friends, is worth the price of admission.

Okay, you get here for free, but you know what I mean.

Another way we exercise our power as bloggers is when we help build our community. As Kim Moldofsky did today with a “link love” post for her Camp Baby friends on parentcenter. Yet another consequence, and hopefully not unintended, of getting 56 women with common interests together.

The power of the collective to effect change. Use it. Write a post. Help a friend with a little link love. Donate, to Baby Cause or BlogHers Act. But I’m thinking, buy a new diaper bag.

Parent bloggers have power. And that’s the segue into my next topic, which is to tell you about a project that launched its public beta today called ParentPower. Full disclosure: I’ve been consulting for the company developing ParentPower, advising them about the parent blogger space.

What is ParentPower? It’s an application for parenting blogs. There’s a lot to it – a desktop widget, an index of top parenting blogs, links to sites we visit all the time like Flickr, Twitter and parenting sites, an RSS reader, the weather, and more. More details in the overview on the site.

Why do I like this project? Because Active Access, the company that developed the app, asked. And they listened. And not just to me and my colleague Kami Huyse, who brought me into the project. They did focus groups with parent bloggers. They’ve started talking in Twitter. We’re talking with BlogHer about the best way to work with the community. And we are asking for even more feedback in the beta process. So if you decide to download the app, please complete the Polldaddy survey or send email to myvoice@parentpowerindex.com

As everyone who reads my Marketing Roadmaps blog knows, I have my concerns about indexes, but Active Access has done a good job here. There’s no subjective component in the Parent Power index and blogs that score the same get the same rank.

Personally, I’m LMAO that my personal/parent blog Snapshot Chronicles, which isn’t even a year old and has a very small number of loyal, wonderful subscribers, currently has a better ranking on ParentPower than Marketing Roadmaps (three+ years old, 1000 plus subscribers) has on the AdAge Power150. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions, but (hint hint) I think the ParentPower algorithm is better (no offense meant, AdAge 150), and hope those parent bloggers whose blogs are not yet included in ParentPower will add them and knock me down the pegs I probably deserve.

The power of parents. That’s truly what the folks behind ParentPower want to support, and I urge you to give your feedback. On the application, on the index, on whatever floats your boat. The feedback from the parent blogger focus groups was invaluable, and really, we just want “more, more…”

And finally, power. As in laptop power supply. Marketing Roadmaps readers will remember my sad tale, posted on April 3, of a broken iGo power supply during my trip to NYC for BlogHer, the 4-hour search for parts and the $130 I spent on new cables because, contrary to the information provided by iGo support, neither Best Buy nor RadioShack stocked the part I needed. Well, today I got an email from a marketing manager at iGo offering to replace my broken part. While I am tickled pink? purple? some other color? at the fact that finally, a company actually read my frakking blog and responded, customer support already sent a replacement part at no charge to my home. Which is great and much appreciated, but does not compensate for the added costs or the wasted time while I was in NY. Nothing really can, but if they respond back to my reply, I will tell them that I’d be thrilled with some free product to give away on Snapshot Chronicles. (Sorry Roadmaps readers, all giveaways happen on the personal blog.)

We do have power as bloggers. Our opinions of companies do matter, as this study by SNCR demonstrates, and companies are starting to listen. Slowly.

So use that power wisely. Don’t bitch to hear the sound of your own voice or read the melody of your own words.

Write to change things for the better.

That’s power.

Addendum – credit where credit is due (4/30/08)

Kim Moldofsky wanted to make sure everyone knows that credit for the weekly post sharing idea goes to Jodi at www.momsfavoritestuff.com

In my zeal to be transparent about my small part in the ParentPower project, it came across to some readers as though this was my project. While I think ParentPower is a great product and hope folks try it out, I simply provided some advice about the parent blogger space. ParentPower was developed by Active Access. Livingston Communications and Kami Huyse led the product marketing, strategy and PR, and Shannon Whitley developed the Index algorithm.

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