Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Why I Read BlogHer Daily (and Write There Too)

I obviously write for BlogHer as a contributing editor, so I'm biased about the site, but underlying that point is the fact that I write for BlogHer. Meaning, for four years, I've dedicated myself to this site other than my own; attended conferences, participated in group projects, and written anywhere from one to seven posts a week. It is quite literally my home away from home on the Internet, and it's my outlet for everything I don't want to put on Stirrup Queens.

At the most basic level, I write there because I like being surrounded by smart, funny, articulate women. The listserv alone is enough to keep me on board, but then you also add in the posts that come out of those listserv discussions and no matter how busy I become, how stretched thin I feel from life, I make the time there because the posts make me think. They make me talk. They piss me off sometimes and I call friends and rant. They make me cry sometimes and I track down the author and write them an email directly. They teach me about lives completely different from my own by opening me up to differing points-of-view.

And then, once we get past that basic level, I write for the site because of initiatives such as Own Your Beauty. A year of people standing up and saying they're beautiful and why -- it is such a powerful message; and it's a balance to the posts we inevitably write about our bodies. It's a message that BlogHer has driven home in the past with projects such as "Letter to My Body." I think women are often taught to put themselves down; we're definitely sent messages that we should be unhappy with our bodies. So anyone counteracting that is a good group to stand behind.

So I guess that's my explanation for why I am so involved with BlogHer. It isn't an accident, it isn't something I do mindlessly. I stand by this organization and site because they do good work. They fight the good fight. Everyone can blog there; and I hope that you do. There are people on staff whose whole job it is to read great posts that go up on BlogHer and move them to the front page and help direct traffic to the post so that people see your words. It levels the playing field and means that a blogger with a small amount of traffic can suddenly have a lot of attention on their ideas.

My favourite part of my job there is that every day, I get to choose one post from the BlogHer Network (meaning, people who are members of the site) and put it up on Facebook and Twitter. Knowing that it makes another person's day to see this spike in traffic coming to their personal blog is a cool thing. And ... okay ... that's another reason why I stand with BlogHer. Because they would think to do that. Because they care if people read your words.

In honour of the site's redesign, they're running sweepstakes of the next three weeks (and yes, I am looking at this as my chance to possibly get my hands on an iPad). This week's sweepstakes is for a full conference pass to BlogHer '11 in San Diego. The contest is open to US and Canadian residents (except Quebec) who are 18 or older. In the upcoming two weeks, they'll have sweepstakes for an iPad, and then another conference pass.

So, why do you love BlogHer? If you don't know BlogHer, go over, check out the site, register, and post a blog entry or two. Who knows, you may find that post on the front page.

1 comment:

Lavender Luz said...

I do love clicking on BlogHer links that you and other CEs point me toward.

The conferences are fantastic, and the group of women associated with BlogHer stretch me, amuse me, make me look at things in new ways.

Count me as one who loves BlogHer.