Big Change for BlogHer: A NABLOPOMO Recollection

SheKnows_team
R- L from top R: BlogHer co-founder Lisa Stone, SheKnows’ Philippe Guelton and Samantha Skey, and BlogHer co-founders Jory Des Jardins and Elisa Camahort Page

BlogHer has merged with SheKnows, as Lisa Stone and and AdAge announced this morning.  Since 2006 the wonder that is BlogHer has been a central part of my life.  On this NABLOPOMO day 3, here’s why*:

In 2006, I was working with David Aylward and the National Strategies firm.  He doesn’t know this but there’s a story (If you know me you know there’s almost always a story.)  We had a client who wanted to reach parents.  David hired me to help and I had this big idea about making a parent website to promote them.  Well. David sort of said “What about these blogs I keep hearing about? Would that be better?” I knew so little about blogging that I had to go look it up online. I found a story about this little conference in San Jose called BlogHer, meeting for only its second year. David and I convinced our client that I should attend this mysterious event and off I went along with fliers for our product and real curiosity about who these women were and what they were up to.

Cindy and Kelley croppedCindy and Sarah G croppedStacey and cindy croppedMe with jenn pozner smallerphoto 3

Here is what I received – from BlogHer 2006 and every one since:

1.   Access to an entirely new world of remarkable women (and men too.)   Including ( a little bit of a yearbook list) Elisa Camahort Page and Lisa Stone and Jory Des Jardins and Morra Aarons-Mele and Cooper Munroe and Emily McKhann and Liz Gumbinner and Kristen Chase and Asha Dornfest and Jennifer Burdette Satterwhite and Mary Spivey Tsao and Danielle Wiley and people I haven’t mentioned here (Sorry – some I’m not completely sure who I met in 2006 and who later.) Feels like I’ve known you all forever as well as Sarah Granger and Kelly Wickham and Jill Miller Zimon and Joanne Bamberger and Stacey Ferguson and Cynthia Liu and Anita Sarah Jackson and Jenn Pozner and  Cheryl Contee (and and and)  And that doesn’t count the new (to me) folks like Sharon Hodor Greenthal!.

2.  An entirely new way to communicate and create.

3.   More fun than a barrel of groovy blogger women knew they could deliver. And – here’s the reason I’m writing this post at all:

4.   Another decade at least of being part of and participating in the new parts of the world – online and on screens, instead of watching from the bleachers.

Lots of boomer women have joined me and the other early birds each year and I am certain they feel the same way (I’ve asked several and besides they’ve written about it.)  At a time when many of our friends are settling into a more and more peer-centered life, we have the gift of having broadened, rather than narrowed, our world and hearing the voices of women we never would have known about, much less known for real. So David, thank you for the gift of my entry into this universe and for the imagination and vision that opened your mind to its possibilities.  It’s a beautiful place to hang out and I’ll always remember who sent me through the door.

*This post first appeared on August 2, 2014.

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Cynthia Samuels

Cynthia Samuels is a long-time blogger, writer, producer and Managing Editor. She has an extensive background online, on television and in print, with particular experience developing content for women, parents and families. For the past nine years, that experience has been largely with bloggers, twitter and other social media, most recently at Care2's Causes Channels, which serve 20 million members (13 million when she joined) and cover 16 subject areas. In her three years at Care2 monthly page views grew tenfold, from 450,000 to 4 million. She has been part a member of BlogHer since 2006 years and has spoken at several BlogHer conferences. Among her many other speaking appearances is Politics Online, Fem 2.0 Conference and several other Internet gatherings. She’s also run blogger outreach for clients ranging from EchoDitto to To the Contrary. Earlier, she spent nearly four years with iVillage, the leading Internet site for women; her assignments included the design and supervision of the hugely popular Education Central, a sub-site of Parent Soup that was a soup-to-nuts parent toolkit on K-12 education, designed to support parents as advocates and supporters of their school-age kids. She also served as the iVillage partner for America Links Up, a major corporate Internet safety initiative for parents, ran Click! – the computer channel - and had a long stint as iVillage's Washington editor. In addition, she has developed parent content for Jim Henson Interactive and served as Children’s Book Editor for both Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com. Before moving online, she had a long and distinguished career as a broadcast journalist, as senior national editor of National Public Radio, political and planning producer of NBC's Today Show (whose audience is 75% women) where she worked for nine years (and was also the primary producer on issues relating to child care, education, learning disabilities and child development), and as the first executive producer of Channel One, a daily news broadcast seen in 12,000 U.S. high schools. She has published a children’s book: It’s A Free Country, a Young Person’s Guide to Politics and Elections (Atheneum, 1988) and numerous children’s book reviews in the New York Times Book Review and Washington Post Book World. A creator of online content since 1994, Samuels is a partner at The Cobblestone Team, LLC, is married to a doctor and recent law school graduate and has two grown sons who make video games, two amazing daughters-in-law and three adorable grandsons.

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