Yesterday, I went to the Cybermummy 2011 Bloggers Conference in London. There was, in fact, a handful of men at Cybermummy 2011, which makes the picture above a bit misleading (though it is both real and, I though, funny), but it was very much a celebration of women’s experiences, and, primarily, the experience of women as mothers.
A few of the 400+ conference-goers at the Cybermummy 2011 lunch
This is what The Independent says about Cybermummy 2011.
The day was a mix of inspiration and information (and an opportunity, for me, to meet up with several people I know from Twitter). You can get an impression of the feeling from the live tweeting (including mine) on the #cybermummy11 hashtag.
INSPIRATION AT CYBERMUMMY 2011
Sarah Brown, speaker at Cybermummy 2011
For me, the most thoughtful and inspiring speaker was Sarah Brown, who spoke with warmth and honesty about using social media (she chose Twitter primarily, because “140 characters felt about right for my attention-span“t) to amplify the attention and authority she had as the Prime Minister’s wife in order to make a difference. She spoke with eloquence and conviction about the potential for combining blogger and social media audiences and voices to impact on government policy and to influence opinion. She said she’d chosen to focus on the issues surrounding the health and well-being of mothers and children, and spoke about her charity, Piggy Bank Kids and her involvement with The White Ribbon Alliance.
She spoke, too, about the lines she’d chosen to draw between the personal and private on the one hand and the political and private on the other hand. She spoke, for example, about the wave of positive feeling that the appearance of the Brown family had elicited as they’d left Downing Street, and that several people had regretted that they’d not been willing to “use” the image of Gordon Brown as a family man to more effect earlier, but that, for her, the privacy of her children had been paramount, and she was proud of preserving it.
INFORMATION AT CYBERMUMMY 2011
One of the big themes of the day, at least for me, was the importance of multimedia. Like the blogs of many in the room, Nosy Crow’s is a text-based blog. But Lord Richard Allan Director of Facebook’s Public Policy for the European Union, and blogger and entrepreneur Frederic Montagnon both emphasised the importance of video. Frederic Montagnon said that half the time Europeans spent online was now spent watching video. The video blogger Nick Coffer of My Daddy Cooks and Christine Beardell of Britmums gave a masterclass on video blogging.
Meanwhile, photographer Jay Mountford gave a practical class on blog photography (something I needed to attend, as regular visitors to this site will know).
I had a shot at deploying some of her techniques on the mess that greeted me on my return to the house (the children had been baking), but I am not sure I am exactly gifted in this area:
Everything and the kitchen sink post-baking and post my absence at Cybermummy 2011
STILL ABOUT BOOKS
Another interesting point for me as a publisher was that several of the bloggers at Cybermummy 2011 really hoped to have their words published as a book, both as a way of monetising their labour and as a kind of validation of their writing. It was encouraging to see that the book – ebook or print – remains such an important icon even, or perhaps especially, to those who are experimenting with writing in a form that’s only really existed since 1997.
And, finally, my quote of the day was from web designer Sue Davis: “Blogs are like sharks: if they don’t keep moving, they die.”