How Dooce Changed My Twitter Reputation
Apr 8 2009

dooce-8apr09I went to Heather Armstrong’s (a.k.a. Dooce) book signing for It Sucked and Then I Cried: How I Had a Baby, a Breakdown, and a Much Needed Margaritatonight only because one of the interns, Laura Benold, at my day job happened to tell me about it.  She’s been following Dooce since she was 18 years old.  She’s not much older now, but still.

Yes, I was feeling kind of pathetic since I’m sort of a mommy blogger and Dooce is the top mommy blogger on the planet making reportedly up to $500K per year from her blog.   I am grateful that Laura took an interest in what I was trying to do with Babble Soft and asked me if I knew about it.  And my lame excuse is I’m doing way too much, have two kids, thankfully no pets, and I haven’t found a way to get her blog to come to me in email form like the other blogs I read.  Believe me I have tried several times to figure out how to get her blog in email…I’m going to blame it on the proverbial ‘mommy brain syndrome.’

I almost didn’t make it because our son has been home sick the last couple of days.  I was thinking about taking him and our daughter with me and I am SO glad I didn’t.   Fortunately their dad was able to rearrange his schedule to watch them.  It would not have been fun at all because they would have lost their patience and my son would have been worn out in say 20 minutes.

Heather is an awesome and hilarious writer!  She curses profusely, swears, and talks about all the things people don’t talk about but should on the topic of motherhood and life.  So I began tweeting about some of the things she was saying and reading from her book and here are some of the more colorful tweets (corrected for iPhone typing errors):

@dooce about to talk about sex after vaginal birth.

Took 7 months after baby born before they had sex. 6 weeks is bs. Says @dooce

Her vagina was ready after she wore a tampax and her husband wrote a thank you letter to them.

Then @dooce says she got a urinary tract infection.

@dooce now talking about her dog called Satan and when they took the dog coco hunting.

All of a sudden I started getting tweets and direct messages on twitter asking what was going on with me.  A few people thought my account was hacked since the tweets were very out of character for me.  I was sure I had lost some followers, but I think I actually gained a few.

I’m so glad I went!  I met her husband Jon (@blurb on twitter) and chatting with him for a while.  He is on tour with her and manages the back end of her website.  He was so cute and funny about how he took pictures of her and then sat in the audience listening to what I assume has to be the umpteenth time she’s spoken at a book signing on this tour.  He participated a bit in the Q&A portion and then stood off to the side while she signed books.  I checked his twitter stream when I got back and saw that his two tweets were:

@dooce is lookin fine. Damn fine.

@dooce kicking ass! http://twitpic.com/30ynn

I went to chat with him for a while and gave him some gift subscriptions to Babble Soft web and mobile software (which is iPhone ready – I noticed Heather was reading something to the audience from her pink cased iPhone), and he seemed genuinely interested in checking it out.  I gave him extra ones to give to any of their friends or readers if they wanted to.

I was in the 3rd group of people to get the book signed and somewhere around 8:30 p.m., I knew I was not going to make it to 9:30 after having been most of the day with a sick kid, and I started to leave.  I was almost out the door when I said to myself, I don’t really want to leave without a signature at all do I?  So I went back up the stairs and asked Jon if he would sign it since I had to go, and he graciously did!

So I’m wondering how many people have a copy of It Sucked and Then I Cried: How I Had a Baby, a Breakdown, and a Much Needed Margaritasigned by Dooce’s husband!  That’s got to be extremely valuable. :-)

Author: | Filed under: entrepreneurship, working mom, working mother | Tags: , | 9 Comments »

The Blogger Mom, In Your Face
Apr 12 2008

The Wall Street Journal ran a piece on Thursday, April 10, 2008 called The Blogger Mom, In Your Face written by Sue Shellenbarger featuring none other than the most well known mom blogger on the Internet today: Dooce.  She has been blogging for close to 7 years now…before most people (including myself) even knew what a blog was!  I got the opportunity to meet Heather Armstrong (a.k.a Dooce) at SXSW and exchange a few words with her after she finished her panel.  She is such a down to earth person.

I think it’s great that the WSJ has chosen to highlight a mommy blogger who according to the article might be making as much as $40,000 per month on ad revenue for her blog!  Wow!! It’s not without its downfalls though because full time blogging for that kind of money is a crazy, often stressful job.  I blog very part time (3 or so posts per week) so I can’t say I can relate to the stress of full time professional blogging, but I can certainly imagine it…especially if I had to post original, often personal content every day like Dooce does.

According to the WSJ article, “Among the Web’s 200,000-plus bloggers on parenting and family, few have succeeded to the extent of Ms. Armstrong; countless at-home parents would love to be in her position. But less obvious is the behind-the-scenes price an at-home mom pays to shoulder her way to prominence in the blogosphere — giving up her privacy, sustained time off and any remnants of work-family boundaries at all.”

Sue Shellenbarger did a fantastic job with this article by illustrating both the ups and downs of professional blogging, unlike the recent New York Times article called In Web World of 24/7 Stress, Writers Blog Till They Drop which emphasized primarily the negative aspects of blogging as a profession and inferred that full time blogging can be fatal.  If they had mentioned how many journalists had died in the same period, then I think it might have made the article a bit less biased against blogging.  Check out Marc Andreessen’s funny take on this article called The New York Times Covers Blogging including statements like “Bloggers Have Bad Breath,” “Bloggers Have Herpes,” “Hitler Probably Blogged,” and “The Bloggers Have WMD.”

Other mommy bloggers that were highlighted in the WSJ article are:

5minutesformom.com
designmom.com
parenthacks.com
scribbit.blogspot.com
fussy.org
notesfromthetrenches.com
stirrup-queens.blogspot.com
izzymom.com
suburbanbliss.net

Asha Dornfest at Parent Hacks linked to a guest post on my blog about traveling with a baby and I saw a significant amount of traffic because of her mention, which goes to show that she definitely deserves to be on this list!

If you think there are a lot of mommy bloggers, you should check out Twitter because there are a ton of mommy tweeters out there.  In fact, Wendy Piersall at eMoms at Home just did a post listing the Moms on Twitter and the list is still growing! 

I have to say it’s much easier sometimes to come up with 140 character or less tweets than full blog posts!  I wonder if we can monetize our tweets.   Anyone want to pay me $10, $5, $1, 25 cents for a tweet? :D   Twitter are you listening reading?

Oh and if you haven’t already done so, please subscribe to my feed because if I survive the next 5 years of motherhood, maybe I’ll end up being one of the top mommy/entrepreneur bloggers!  Unlike Dooce, however, I will have to hire someone other than my husband to help me figure out how to monetize my blog…

Author: | Filed under: blogging, mom, mother, twitter, working mom, working mother | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

SXSW Interactive – Monday, March 10, 2008
Mar 10 2008

It’s been a long, fun filled day at SXSW Interactive today.  So this post won’t be as meaty as my previous SXSW post.  I met tons of people today and many people who know me and who I know from twitter.  It was so cool to have so many people come up to me and say, ‘hey, aren’t you @aruni on twitter?’  I guess I kind of stand out in a crowd. :-)  I probably gained about 30 followers just from tweeting about the panels I attended.  Here’s a quick overview because honestly I’m kinda worn out:

The Care and Feeding of Your Startup
This panel was made up of some local entrepreneurs from Unwired Nation as well as a venture capitalist from Texas based DFJ Mercury and a couple of others.  Some key insights:

  • Someone needs to serve as the “Belief Engine” for your startup which I took to mean the “evangelist” but I thought that was a unique way of saying it.
  • Make sure your product fits into your users way of life and they don’t have to drastically change what they are doing
  • Understand if your concept is a feature or a business.  It could be a feature that expands into a business.
  • You should aim to exceed investor’s expectations.
  • 9 out of 10 entrepreneurs can’t go the distance so they really should identify a strong mentor.
  • Make sure the people you hire have ‘karmic velcro’ which means they have the fortitude to stick around when the going gets tough.
  • There are 3 key people you need in a start-up.  1 in charge of product, 1 handling business development who can close the early deals, and 1 evangelist.
  • It’s not appropriate to go to VCs in the first 2 years of a business, because in the first 2 years you are still assessing the market risk.  Almost all the VC deals that occurred with Web companies in early stage have not worked out and they are struggling to get their money back.
  • Keep two sets of books.  One you show your investors and one with even more aggressive numbers that you aim for internally.

True Stories from Social Media Sites

This panel was moderated by Guy Kawasaki, who was so kind to put my blog near the top of his new AllTop Moms site.  It was notably a panel of 5 women and 1 guy.  Two of the women were twitter pals so when I got up to ask a question and say ‘hi’ one of them was tweeting about me.

I had my son with me at this panel because he’s home for Spring Break so I wasn’t able to take a lot of notes or do many tweets because half way through he wanted to play a game on my phone!  He actually did really well, scribbled a bit, and then drew a funny looking dinosaur who he felt the need to show was pooping.  Such a funny kid!  He wanted me to go up to the mic and say something, but when I tried to get him to come with me, he got shy…he is only afterall 5 1/2.

The panelists discussed their great and not-so-great experiences using social media.  What funny and sometimes unbelievable stories they shared!

I met up with my husband after that panel and we took our son for a late lunch at Bennigan’s and then he took him home, and I went to the BlogHaus to network with more bloggers.

Online Adulation: Use Don’t Abuse Your Fans

This panel had an editor from CNET as moderator and some pretty fabulous bloggers including the infamous Dooce whose current post is called Fueled Entirely by Advil.  

I was sitting next to Wendy Piersall from eMoms at Home during this panel and she was twittering away.  She had her laptop so she could do it much faster than I could so I let her take over so go read her twitter stream if you want to read all about it.

Went back to the Bloghaus after this panel and met none other than Darren Rowse (aka Problogger).  Someone took a picture of us and said he’d email it to me so I’ll post it when I get it…assuming he remembers.

Conversation Starters

This event was hosted by DELL and Federated Media and they booked the entire Iron Cactus restaurant on 6th and Trinity.  Richard at DELL was the lead blogging rep from DELL, who I had met a few weeks earlier at an Austin Tweet Up.

Because I’m twitter friends with Kim Haynes, I volunteered to help with registration since it was an RSVP only event.  Of course, that meant I had access to extra drink tickets and people wanted to get to know me! 

The key speakers were top blogger and FastCompany.tv producer Robert Scoble (aka Scobleizer) and Shel Israel of Global Neighborhoods.

I met so many twitter buds at Conversation Starters, including the famous Chris Brogan, and throughout the day that it would take me all night to type up their names.  Already, this post is longer than I thought it would be!

Stay tuned for my next SXSWi post on Tuesday’s events.

Author: | Filed under: blogging, conferences, entrepreneurship, networking, social media | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »