Social Media Conferences Are Business Trips. Period.Jeannette Kaplun
As soon as I read the headline and the lede, I cringed. I know Katherine Stone. What could have been a wonderful opportunity for her has made her feel like crawling under a rock and had her apologizing to husbands and mom bloggers everywhere.
Thanks to the Wall Street Journal, I learned that the social media conferences that I attend are really just an excuse for me to get away from my family. I also think it showed blogging still is seen with contempt. According to the article’s cartoon (because it was not an infographic), I also get to sleep in past 8:45 am. I wish that were true. During the most recent conference I attended, Hispanicize, events began at 7:30 am.
Regardless of whether bloggers enjoy a break in their routine while attending social media conferences (there is nothing wrong with that), the Wall Street Journal trivialized the travel many of us do. I couldn’t help but feel it was a way to chastise working moms again. Why doesn’t the WSJ question men when they travel on business? Why isn’t anybody asking men about whether they feel daddy guilt? What about the women who attend conferences that don’t have children? Why are we singling out women, especially moms? Why are people that aren’t our kids calling us mommy?
I cannot even recall an article from mainstream media addressing daddy guilt or daddy business trips or why daddy might like to get away from his family. At least dad blogger Fred Goodall wrote a great post about how business travel also affects men. “My duties as a parent continue whether I’m at home or in a conference room 1000 miles away,” he said. My husband, who also travels for business quite a lot, would agree with him. As a mom, I feel the same.
Maybe focusing on the business opportunities, the networking that brings in new clients or how empowering social media conferences are, would not have been controversial, but at least it would have been more accurate. Getting to see your friends in real life, meeting your clients face to face and growing your business are the main reasons I attend conferences like Mom 2.0, BlogHer, Blissdom, Blogalicious, Latism or Hispanicize. Not because I want to get away from my family or avoid making my bed. Actually, I will be attending events and conferences in spite of having to travel.
As if mom bloggers needed excuses to travel. Chances are that if your make a living out of blogging, you spend a lot of time on the road already.
Traveling for business is always grueling, even if you go to exciting and beautiful places. Especially if you’re attending a conference. You will be constantly “on”, pitching, learning, networking and trying to keep your business running while running from conference rooms, to meetings, to social events. Add in all the stress related to ensuring everything’s organized at home, plus the catching up that you will have to do once you are back, and you won’t crave a business trip that much.
Because that is what a social media conference is in the end: a business trip. It might be sprinkled with fun, but in the end, it’s not really an excuse to get away from your family or a vacation. And in case you were wondering, yes, blogging is a full time job and does not stop because you are traveling.
If you want to read more about this discussion, here are other great posts:
MORE ON BABBLE: