Last night I was invited to a blogger summit (that’s, “blogger summit”) by WNBC in New York. These means a few things:
1. Free cheese cubes
2. Feeling like the littlest fish in a very big pond. Or smaller. More like a microbe on a zit on a goiter of the littlest fish in a very big pond. Who’s eating cheese cubes.
You sort of know you’re out of your league when the moderator opens by asking the 130 or so of us “Who here writes a business blog? Politics? Local news? Real estate? Tech? Sports? Gossip? Okay then! So let’s begin…”
Wooden furniture making? Vegan dessert recipes? Analysis of poetry from cross-dressing heterosexuals? Apparently all above the ranks of personal blogging; to say nothing of parenting bloggers specifically. I mean hell, he didn’t even mention shopping or design. And this is New York City. Shopping is our religion.
When the majority of attendeess have nametags identifying them with Gawker and Gothamist and guy who invented all the tools you blog with, they’re sort of the prom kings and queens to my nerdy wallflower for the night. One woman stared at my nametag identifying me with Mom101 and Cool Mom Picks and asked what kind of blog Mom101 was. I told her. Blank stare. I said, well maybe I should just start introducing myself as Dooce, hahaha. Blank stare. Heather Armstrong? Huge blog? CNN guest? Urban dictionary entry?
Man, it would have gone over huge at BlogHer.
Luckily I had the charming, hilarious and delightful Laid-off Dad by my side the whole night. Little did he know, even if he had wanted to stray more than a foot from me at any given time, he couldn’t. I crazy glued our jacket sleeves together.
The point of the evening seemed to be encouraging all of us to give WNBC free stories. I’m still not entirely sure what we were promised in return. I do recall at one point hearing a guy in a suit use the phrase, “link love.” Although I do give them credit for reaching out to the blogging world in a formal way like this. It’s something broadcast media, particularly local news channels have been so slow to do (if at all) that it was actually fairly revolutionary if you crossed your eyes and squinted and looked at it hard.
We had access to the reporters and the producers and news directors and anchors. It was fascinating (and a bit heart-wrenching) to talk to reporter Jonathan Dienst who told me about working 9:30 to midnight five days a week while trying to carve out time for his three young kids. Or David Ushery who was so excited to talk to LOD I thought he was going to lick him at one point.
And funny enough, when I mentioned to their family and education producer that NBC’s Today Show was on the lips of every parenting blogger this week, she had no idea what I was talking about. Guess cocktail playdates really are the non-issue I was hoping they would be. Sometimes it’s good to spend time in a bigger pond, even if it’s only for a night.
But I was happy to have been able to pitch the idea to some of the news directors that they should go beyond the political, sports, business blogs for scoop. I mean Izzy demanding her local Publix get those Maxims up high where they belong? That’s a story. Badgermama’s assessment of kids schilling crap for their schools? That’s a story. Parental outrage over an ad on the N-spot? That’s a story.
I know none of them involve arson or pedophilia or the limbs of dead prostitutes in freezers, but something tells me I could live without that garbage on the news ever again.
Lowlight of the night: Sitting in studio 6A, aka the Conan O’Brien studio all night, waiting for the “really big surprise” we’d been promised only to find out it was not a visit from Conan O’Brien, but a hat.
Highlight of the night: Learning from one of the Gawker editors that Padma Lakshmi is allegedly a big pothead.
Which reminded me I couldn’t stay for a non-alcoholic beverage with the A listers – I had to run home to watch the Top Chef finale.