Saturday, February 20, 2010

MOM 2.0 Summit: Reflections on Day One

So, why am I writing about the MOM 2.0 Summit on Second Seating rather than on Rockbridge Times? Simple answer. I never got around to ordering those new Moo business cards, so all weekend long I'll be sharing Second Seating cards with other bloggers. That visual arts installation called Second Seating that permeated my 2009 is over and gone. New projects are looming and well yes, it really is time for a new business card.
I have to say that I am happy to be at the MOM 2.0 Summit. Friday's breakout sessions were informative and I met some really interesting women. And I sure was deluged with a series of moments exemplifying generational 'ah-as' and technology 'ah-as'. The whole day was like being surrounded by my daughters and their friends, all sleek with great hair cuts and wearing lots of terrific little dresses. No Chico's jackets that work because they cover so much.
The conference, in its second year at the Four Seasons in downtown Houston, brings together moms and marketers for 2 1/2 days of networking with a chance to mix and mingle with keynote bloggers like Douce as well as several dozen blogger panelists for the three-track breakout sessions. It works a little like BlogHer, but on a smaller scale and with a simpler focus.
Gwen Bell is a panelist. I met her at BlogHer in San Francisco a couple of summers ago and was floored by her 'web connectedness.' Katherine Center is a panelist, hometown Houston mom and author who went to school with friends of my daughters.
Gretchen Rubin, author and blogger of The Happiness Project, shared Friday morning's keynote with Heloise. Yes, that Heloise whom you can read about on Wikipedia. The lady who's been giving hints for over 30 years on spot cleaning and thousands of other topics we wished we knew more about. (That photo on the right was taken after Heloise removed a raspberry stain from this blogger's white pants. In the nick of time too. Just before her panel discussion.)Heloise's mom was the original Heloise way back in the day and after she died, this daughter carried on. She has quite a story and yet, I think it might have resonated more with women who actually lived those days when young women were urged to get a teaching degree so if 'they had to work, they'd have something to fall back on.'

Gretchen and Heloise's speaking styles were so generationally different. The 'turns of phrase,' their references, the context from which each spoke was a chasm apart and yet, both women did a similar thing. They each ran with a good idea and both reach huge audiences.
Gretchen Rubin speaks to the now and began The Happiness Project as a blogger, after serving as Sandra Day O'Connor's law clerk and writing two other books. They come with such different perspectives, grew up in such different times.
Heloise speaks from many, many decades of life and experience. She is of the Good Housekeeping era and is still a contributor to the magazine. Good Housekeeping was my mom's magazine for way more than sixty years. I am sure that the women at this conference read Real Simple.
Breakout sessions included topics such as creating a strategy plan for one's blog, using design as a core component of your brand, assessing usability and user perceptions of your website and then at the end of the afternoon, a session on clearing out mental clutter. This last topic was described thusly: "So many of us are rocking out on social media, but we are still struggling with managing a crazed schedule and creating a balanced life. News Flash: the world our Mother’s taught us how to be women in, is as ancient as the dinosaurs! Innovation is the name of the game when attempting to clear our schedules and our heads."
After sitting in on this session, I am not sure the program description is entirely on target. Dinosaurs? I am as crazed as my daughters, but without continuous texting or small child care. We'd all benefit from yoga three times a week and quiet moments each morning for setting our intentions for the day. However, the panelists for this session were great and so were the audience questions. Mental clutter is ubiquitous.

So, onward into the second and final day of the conference. We'll hear from Heather Armstrong over breakfast. Not a bad way to begin the morning.

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