Social Media Atlanta hosts ‘Mommy Blog-Off'

When news about Bristol Palin’s pregnancy broke during the 2008 presidential campaign, Denene Millner was struck by the gentle reaction, with so many considering it a private matter.

“They were right. It was personal,” said Millner, a 42-year-old mother of three. “But the conversation would’ve gone down very differently had it been Michelle and Malia Obama. We would have been talking about welfare, poverty, all the touchstone issues people attach to African-American moms and moms of color.”

Anxious to weigh-in on the discussion, Millner launched http://mybrownbaby.blogspot.com.

MyBrownBaby, which opines on issues through an African-American maternal lens, is one of dozens of blogs written by Atlanta area moms to be celebrated this week during what is being billed as a Mommy Blog-Off.

The event on Thursday is one of several scheduled as part of the inaugural Social Media Atlanta, which got under way Monday. It is intended to showcase Atlanta’s involvement in social media across industries, state and local governments, communities and cultures.

“There are so many people out there who are curious about blogging,” said Tracey Christensen, manager of MomsLikeMe.Com at 11Alive. “This is an opportunity to come and learn about blogging from the people who do it.”

Bert DuMars, one of the brains behind Social Media Atlanta, said the goal is to train a spotlight on social media success.

“Most people don’t realize we’re one of the top social media users both personally and professionally in the United States,” said DuMars. “We’re a top-five city in the U.S. ."

According to Christensen, about 150 mom bloggers and their fans are expected to participate in the blog-off, with the bloggers asked to write about such topics as bargains and their best mommy moments. The free event is open to the public and is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m. at the 11Alive studios, located at One Monroe Place in Atlanta.

Christensen, whose blog has more than 22,000 registered users, said, “We’re delighted to offer them a fun outing where they can put those skills to the test against their friendly competitors in the blogosphere.”

Two years after launching MyBrownBaby, Millner said, the blog has grown to 1,548 e-mail subscribers and 842 Google followers. She also blogs for parenting.com, dove.com and ivillage.com and in about a month she plans to switch to a dot-com and add Latina and Asian voices to the blog.

Other local mommy blogs include http://enjoyceinglife.blogspot.com/;  www.fieldtripswithsue.com and http://momsdealsandsteals.blogspot.com/.

Joyce Davis, a 39-year-old single College Park mom, started blogging in 2005 because it was a lot easier to stay in touch with the 400 people on her e-mail list.

Years later when she decided to use the media to “spur my creative writing and talk about issues I care about,” Davis said she upped the ante and created http://enjoyceinglife.blogspot.com/.

“I love blogging,” said Davis, who posts two to five times a month. “I wish I had the time to do it more.”

Sue Rodman writes www.fieldtripswithsue.com about things to do with kids in metro Atlanta and the Southeast.

The 42-year-old mother of three launched fieldtrips two years ago as a way to meld her work and family life. Last year it won a Nickelodeon Parents’ Picks Award.

“I think it just shows the strength of the social media community in Atlanta,” said Rodman, who plans to participate in the blog-off. “It’s been lots of fun and extended my reach far beyond what I’d be able to do in my normal interactions.”

Not all the bloggers will be mothers, however.

Kindred Howard, a of Powder Springs, also plans to participate. He started writing dadlosophies.com last year to muse about his three children.

“I have no idea how blog-offs work, but I plan to be there to hold up the testosterone side of things,” he said.

For information, see www.socialmediaatlanta.org

Tips for launching a successful blog:

Choose your URL carefully and stick to it.

Choose the subject of your blog so that it mirrors your passion and knowledge on the subject.

Post high-quality content consistently to keep readers engaged and make them come back for more.

Market your blog on social networking sites like Orkut, Twitter and Facebook, breeding grounds for finding prospective readers.

Invest time in learning web technology that can give the blog the uniqueness, user-friendliness and functionality that’ll make it a standout.

Source: Problogger.net