Boston's Blogging Hub

boston-magazine-article.jpgAs I noted in yesterday’s year in review post, it has been a remarkable and humbling year for press and accolades. And 2010 started in a similarly humbling fashion when I hit the grocery store this weekend, picked up the January issue of Boston Magazine, and followed the front page teaser to see myself as the story lead in Elizabeth Elfman’s article on Boston mommy bloggers. Elfman did well capturing my story in the context of the amazing proliferation of local mommy blogs, and the potential relation to highly educated and savvy Hub women turning towards blogging following (late) motherhood. However, the concluding paragraphs drew my concern and I wanted to address that here.
Elfman segues from describing the Boston mommy blogging landscape as a highly opinionated one to the development of Blog with Integrity – a campaign that offers bloggers (all bloggers, not just mommy ones) a means to express commitment to a simple code of blogging conduct. As a stickler for ethics and standards, I was thrilled to learn about BWI before it went public; in fact, I was so on board with their mission that I designed the logo and website gratis. However, that (plus signing the pledge and posting the badge) is where my involvement with BWI ended.

That disclosure aside, here's my concern. Aside from the fact that Susan Getgood actually is the only local co-founder (the other three are based in New York City, Atlanta, and Denver), BWI is described as an initiative that has been met with a “tepid response” -- presumably a conclusion drawn from the accompanying statements that the campaign launched at BlogHer Chicago with 15,000 attendees, and that fewer than 2,000 BWI pledges have been signed.

However, the attendance at BlogHer was 1,500, not 15,000. And while not everyone who has signed the BWI pledge was at BlogHer, using the 1,500 number in parallel paints a very different picture. And if one takes into consideration BWI’s active engagement with the community via social media (responding to both positive and negative responses) and the various press they have drawn, and the fact that engaging the pledge requires voluntary blogger action (signing the pledge and/or taking the time to post a badge on your site), it’s pretty safe to say that the response -- both from the blogging community and the media -- has been anything but tepid.

You may be wondering why I care enough to post about this; I received incredible press, shouldn’t I just let it go? Yes, I’m truly grateful to be included in the article and I think that most of the article is really well executed. However, a critical error (re: BlogHer attendance and BWI pledge takers) led to a highly flawed conclusion. Second, once I got over my initial excitement about the article and expressed my concern about the BWI errors to Jon, he astutely pointed out that I have a way to address this issue that is easier and faster than submitting then waiting for a correction to be printed in a follow up issue of Boston Magazine. And third, as I mentioned, I'm a stickler for ethics and standards. I believe in Blog with Integrity and am grateful to be part of an amazing community replete with bloggers who are deeply committed to and passionate about ethical editorial standards.

In keeping with the understandably Boston-centric tone of the article, perhaps a more fitting conclusion would be that the response to BWI has been impressive, and that a lot of bloggers in Boston's blogging hub have opted to be part of that impressive initiative.

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Image credit: From the Boston Magazine article - illustration by David Brinley