What is it with mothers’ blogging?

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First time at Mumsnet Blogfest [now in it’s third year] and I have come away feeling inspired about blogging and the genuine empowerment it gives to women from all kinds of backgrounds and with all kinds of interests. I met a secret divorcee, a jewellery and crafts maker, a business advisor, a designer, a fashion stylist, someone who does amazing things with vintage fabrics, all of them mothers, most are wives [or exes] and all are dynamic individuals following their passions as women in an age defining activity – blogging. It’s a place where all of us can share our experiences of motherhood and intimate personal relationships – something as women we all share but also express ourselves beyond the tag of mother/wife/partner etc to other like minded souls without leaving the house. Something like approximately 80% of all bloggers are female. So what is it about blogging that attracts women and in particularly mothers? Traditionally ‘stuck at home with the kids’ women can now communicate with a global audience. We can share our interests and passions and experiences and feel connected and validated. Rather than isolated and alone. Is it the ease with which you can take part in wider society while still fulfilling your family commitments? Perhaps. But more than this I think it is about writing. Whatever you’re writing about writing requires a level of reflexivity – of reflection that makes meaning in our lives. Writing allows us to catch hold of at least some of the things we experience everyday and hold it dear. The discipline and structure involved in putting even just a paragraph or two together bring you out of the maelstrom of life – particularly family life – and like a meditation allows you space to think. This might seem like a small deal in the scale things – but life is made up of small things and as I age and life moves faster I value this space to reflect more and more. I started blogging as a way of connecting to my students [I am a writer and lecturer] but since having my now 3 and half year old and 6 month old boys I want to write about my transition into motherhood. I even embarked on a PhD around this subject. [See my about and research pages] I would love to know why you blog? Why did you start blogging? Has your reasons for continuing changed? if so how? Why?

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Mum’s use social media more regularly than general population…

Just came across this report on parenting website babycentre.co.uk. Some interesting findings clearly presented.

http://www.babycentersolutions.com/docs/BabyCentre_2013_UK_Social_Mum_Report.pdf

This report was commissioned to analyse the social media habits of mothers and how that impacts on purchasing habits. It demonstrates what you might suspect – that social networking does indeed drive purchasing decisions – and in particular the consumer habits of mothers. Well why else would advertisers pay popular bloggers, you tubers  and social networking sites to advertise on their pages? Despite this obvious finding there’s much to mull over here. For example [p10 of the pdf] how women adapt their social habit when they become mothers – for instance finding themselves having less in common with friends who don’t have children and feeling more comfortable with friends that do or new friends who are mums because they can talk about their children without fear of boring the other person. Is the world really divided between those who have and those who don’t have children. I’d like to think not but i have to say this point rings true in my experience. What’s your experience? Do the eyes of your friends-without-children glaze over as you discuss little johnny or jana? Also how mothers use social media to enhance their well being by posting about personal, health or professional goals and achievements. A positive thesis. A more negative thesis – one I’ve been reflecting on these past few years is how social media increases social anxiety and stress. Perhaps these are two sides to the same coin. The anxiety or stress we might feel by seemingly not having such beautiful, ambitious, achieving lives as our peers is placated by purchasing the product and services so conveniently placed next to our social activity… mmm.

Anyways – lots more to digest so take a look and if you see anything of a similar nature on your interweb travels do share. THis is all grist to the mill of my PhD.

For a summary:

http://www.babycentre.co.uk/a25006911/mums-wake-up-with-facebook-instead-of-coffee

Found anything else like this? Please share and help me broaden my PhD research net!

Post a link in the comments sections below – or if you’re seeing this on my FB page share with link with #socialmediamums.

THANKS!

Podcasting to the Digital Community and Beyond

Project 4 of the online portfolio you are required to devise, plan, record and upload a Podcast to the Podcast Page of your blog.  A Podcast is

pod·cast  

/ˈpädˌkast/

Noun

A multimedia digital file made available on the Internet for downloading to a portable media player, computer, etc.
Verb

Make (a multimedia digital file) available as a podcast.

Here are some useful and interesting podcast sites for you to look at. Listen/watch a few to get a sense of the format and content presentation of a range of Podcasts on a variety of topics.

BBC Points of View

‘Best of’ UK Podcasts selection

Best of 2012/13 Podcasts [Canada]

A great way to share research and deas:

Aleks Krotoski – researcher and journalist

Digital Human Series 1 and 2

Aleks Krotoski explores the digital world, looking at the urge to capture every image, experience and feeling for online eternity and how technology touches everything people do, both on and offline.

untangling the web – Krotoski book published April 2013

Tricia Wang – sm researcher and sociologist

Danah Boyd – researcher in social media

And finally here’s some exemplary eco-activism use of podcasts and social media to build communities and awareness of environmental issues:

the story of stuff project

That’s plenty to be looking at for now.

E-mail me your ideas and I can give you further direction for your research.

No More Decisive Moments – Just Stream

Thinking about Networked Images and how snapshot or popular photography has changed the way we produce and consume images in this era of cameraphones, photo-blogging and global sharing, this article is a fantastic introduction to the subject offering historical context and many useful references to further research in practice and theory work.

A LIfe More Photographic

Read it and then consider these questions:

What is snapshot photography? Describe its key features.
How has the Internet changed the nature of snapshot photography?
How has the move to screen-based photography transformed the way we take photographs?
How has the practice of photo sharing or photo blogging re-instated the ‘marginalised practice of looking at‘.
What does Lev Manovich describe as ‘a new paradigm to interface reality’ ‘? Why is this significant for understanding the networked images?
Have we lost the ‘decisive moment’ in photography? Substantiate for your answer.
What implication does the artist Paul Frosh’s ideas about stock photography have for networked snapshot photography?
Elsewhere the internet has been described as a ‘network of desire for wealthy countries’.  How might this be considered in light of Rubenstien’s/Sluis’s understanding of ‘the rhetoric of personal photography’.

Be great to know what you think or post any related articles of interest.

‘Positional Vertigo’ launch – much fun!

Thank you to all at Askance for a great night on tuesday and a great publication. So impressed by the quality of the book and the writing. Great to hear some of the short stories read by the other authors.  My Story ‘Carried Away ‘ is subtitled Love, Loss and Tequila. It was Awarded Runner Up Prize in the Askance 2012 Short Story Competition. The story won a small cash prize and will feature in an anthology called Positional Vertigo. More details are on the websiteProceeds of the sale of the anthology will go to support ACT a charity that offer patient support to two main hospitals in Cambridge – Addenbrookes & The Rosie.

 

I am delighted to have won this prize and that my first print fiction publication is about a subject and a place very close to my heart. Over the years I have had many reasons to use Addebrookes and The Rosie and know how hard times of illness can be for individuals and families. When you are dependent on others for support and uncertain of your future you place yourself in the hands of well meaning strangers and say a little prayer. Charities such as ACT play a vital role in providing real support for patients and help them come to terms with the seismic changes – temporary or long term – that ill health bring to their lives.

 

Carried Away is a story loosely based on my own experience of miscarriage. Not so much the tequila – although I’m sure wine played a role somewhere – but more the palpable, visceral sense of grief that comes with losing a wanted child at any stage of pregnancy and the difficulties of marking that loss for someone you loved and that you knew in your imagination but never met.”

You can buy your own copy and support new writers and ACT here: Buy ‘Positional Vertigo’ Truly It’s really rather good! Enjoy! E- book coming out in January 2013.

Why Not Enter The Twitter Fiction Festival?

Twitter are launching the first Twitter fiction festival November 28th. WHy not try your hand at some twitter fiction. Learning to write engaging stories concisely and with impact is a skill every fiction writer could do well in flexing. Think of it as your time in the writing gym, shortreps that will build the necessary writing muscle and craft for tackling any of those bigger projects you have promised to do one day. Oh and you stand a very good chance of completing these

the wired article here adds some interesting comments of how this kind of fiction might well reshape our ideas of what fiction it and how we read it. it also has a bunch more links that are all really interesting.

http://www.wired.com/underwire/2012/10/twitter-fiction-festival/

SLAM

Simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) is a technique used by robots and autonomous vehicles to build up a map within an unknown environment (without a priori knowledge), or to update a map within a known environment (with a priori knowledge from a given map), while at the same time keeping track of their current location. [wikipedia]

This blog is a small blip in the world activity to build a map of our lives interfaced with networked technology…