Glam Media, a company specializing in “curated social media,” has just launched their parenting site Tend.com. I signed up using my Twitter account so I could take a look around, and I found a nice looking website with only 339 members and solid but sparse content. It reminds me of a dressed up version of the early days of Cafe Mom, when community was paramount and blogging content took a backseat. I like the promise of what the site could be: a place for smart parents (let’s be honest, mothers) to go and discuss their concerns about child rearing. That could be an asset, especially considering that just today I had to Google “6-year-old wants to breastfeed” to make sure I’m not the only mother whose ever experienced that particular oddity. (I mean, it was one thing when she was just obsessed with breasts, but looking to latch on for lunch is a whole nuther story.) I’d love to have a safe and informed community where I could ask, “Am I the only person who finds themselves saying, ‘My body is my own and boobies are only for babies’?” and get great answers, free of snark.
Of course, I could write a blog post about the issue and share it here on Strollerderby (and I guess I’m essentially doing that now), but writing a post isn’t the same as participating in a discussion, no matter how fruitful the comments section becomes. I find that people are more likely to be dismissive of and argumentative toward each other in the comments section of a blog post than they would be in a community, so I think the idea of starting a community discussion the way you can on Tend is great. (That may just be wishful thinking and lack of experience, tho, since I’m not really a member of any online parenting communities outside of Babble.) The question is, am I willing to maintain another social media profile? Not really.
As a content creator, I’m under a lot of pressure to cultivate “followers” on every social media platform in existence, and while Tend might offer me yet another opportunity to share my writing with a target audience, that feels like it might be a violation of what the Tend community is trying to achieve. If you’re looking for a space to share photos and stories with strangers (but why would you be?), you might be interested in creating a profile. They have some interesting articles on the site that you can only access right now by signing up, which seems a shame since similar content is available on sites that don’t require that kind of commitment. I suppose that’s the whole point, though; Glam Media is all about curating community, so signing up makes it feel exclusive, I suppose. If you give the site a whirl, let me know what you think!