Michelle Obama Writing For BlogHer

Seems appropriate that this week is taking the shape of BlogHer week, since the gathering of women bloggers descends on San Francisco in 3… 2… 1…. NOW.

The big news this morning, of course, a day before the BlogHer conference kicks off, is that Michelle Obama has contributed her first article to the BlogHer.com. Entitled, “Let’s Talk”, is commentary on raising the Obama girls, and life on the campaign trail as a mother. It’s actually rather endearing.

However, I’m disappointed by the “stumping” nature of the post. If there is one thing I like about reading blogs instead of the paper is that the readers are able to escape the dry journalistic reporting style and find personality. While Mrs. Obama’s first post certainly carries personality, it borders a bit on frustrating for people who are tired of politics as usual.

At the risk of infuriating Obama supporters, lines like this remind me of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

I’ve heard from mothers struggling to make ends meet because their salaries aren’t keeping up with the cost of groceries. But if they take a second job, they can’t afford the additional cost of childcare. Or the moms who are nervous about taking time from their jobs to care for a sick child. Or the moms-to-be who are scared of getting fired if the boss finds out they’re pregnant.

Still, though, this carries on the theme that we’ve been covering at Technosailor regarding the transparency of government and the use of the web. I’m encouraged to see the Obama campaign willing to engage Michelle with the massive women voting block. I’d like to see Cindy McCain offered (and take) the same kind of deal so the appearance of rubber-stamping a president doesn’t come into question.

BlogHer: Women on the Move (And With Money)

There’s a wrinkle in the space-time continuum, in case you hadn’t noticed. It’s a very powerful horde (plethora, group, pack?) of women who are average bloggers like most of us, who are suddenly very present in the social media space.

To be fair, they’ve been here but many people simply didn’t realize quite how influential they were. In some cases, the oblivion stemmed from a general obliviousness in the blogosphere where bloggers and social media aficionados simply never stepped foot outside of their sphere of influence. In other cases, if rhetoric is to be believed, the oblivion has been an intentional misogynistic mentality.

I don’t quite think it’s as nefarious as the latter, but I do think that women have been taken for granted and probably not given enough credit in a world that is largely powered by geek boys of all ages and types.

In case you missed the news this morning though, this group of women under the BlogHer umbrella, made a pretty bold statement about their mainstream appeal with a $5M series B funding and content syndication deal with NBC Universal. (Press Release)

The content syndication deal would involve BlogHer content, written by over 2200 bloggers, being syndicated across three women-oriented NBC properties, iVillage, BravoTV.com and Oxygen.com.

In addition to content syndication, NBC Universal and BlogHer will collaborate on joint advertising sales, a space currently dominated by Glam Media.

And of course, BlogHer has their annual BlogHer Conference happening this weekend in San Francisco. Festivities begin tomorrow night and continue through Saturday. If you can’t be in San Francisco, the BlogHer Second Life Conference is happening in conjunction. You know… if you don’t have a first life. ;-)

If there’s one thing this deal accentuates, it’s that women are a force to be reckoned with on the internet. While I may not like the insular nature of BlogHer, and the inability to address the fact that never having any man speak at the main conference is off-putting, aggressive and offensive to some, I have a tremendous amount of respect for the hard work the women behind the site have put into organizing, instructing, and educating many women bloggers and providing a venue for their voices to be heard. And they have underscoed that by getting NBC to sign on.

So congratulations, ladies. Your hard work has paid off.