|The oldest picture I could find of Hannah in front of our comforter|
So I think we've reached the end of our series of posts on BlogHer 2013, but I never promised to be brief on such an amazing experience. This is perhaps the hardest post for me to write, but definitely the one I've thought about the most.
I decided to challenge my thinking a bit going into BlogHer, and see what I might want to do in terms of working with brands, sponsors, and paid content in general here at Busy Since Birth. I attended two parties outside the conference (which is very controversial, apparently), and spent a couple of hours walking around the Expo Hall. Since I didn't chose to buy the conference pass that was at the non-sponsored rate, which was considerably more money, I wanted to give the sponsors my time, and see what might be a good fit for me to tweet/talk about on my blog. For example, I spent time listening to the Yurbuds presentation from Best Buy, headphones that supposedly do not fall out of your ears, and decided they'd be a great addition to my commute, and when I exercise doing something other than Zumba. It was a product I didn't mind telling you I'd found--it was authentically something I would use.
Just tried my fancy new @yurbuds for the first time - awesome! Thanks @BestBuy for being a #BlogHer13 sponsor!But a lot of it felt problematic for me. I just don't use that many "products" in my life, I guess. I watched others talking to this brand or that, and I didn't feel comfortable engaging in the same way. While it's true that women are responsible for the vast majority of purchasing decisions, it's probably not true in my house. Marc does most of the shopping for household goods and groceries, and we've been in our home for long enough that we tend not to buy a lot of extras. When I do buy something, I usually don't spend a ton of time researching it in advance. My time is limited; if it's in front of me, and I like/need it, I'd rather get it done than spend more time on it. Which could help explain why I've had the same blanket on my bed for at least ten years.
— Cheryl P. Stober (@cherylstober) August 4, 2013
Yes, there's a reason for the adorable picture of Hannah above, other than the adorableness of it. As I mentioned in my long "what I learned" post, I attended a session called "The UnMarketing Manifesto," and I've been thinking about it ever since. Panelist Dresden Shumaker said that once a blog starts acting more like a brand than the full range of someone's original voice, post topics tend to become more limited, and she might think of that blog as similar to "the comforter aisle in the big box store." Meaning that it's nice to know the aisle is there, but unless you're looking for a new comforter--an activity that probably doesn't happen all that often--you're not going to visit that blog as much either. I know that's true in my own experience, that when blogs feature a lot of sponsored content and the focus becomes more limited, I don't bother doing a lot of reading...and I'd hate for that to happen here. I buy new comforters far too infrequently.
So, Busy Since Birth, at least for the time being, is going to remain ad-free. However, I hope you'll keep reading when I do find things that I want to share with you. I'd like to be a resource for you to discover new products or services that fit this busy life (like a new app that helps you schedule appointments and activities...), but I can't enthusiastically write about the things that don't fit (...that's only currently available in Los Angeles). I hope you'll trust that anything I'm posting here is worth your while--and mine too.