Monday, January 24, 2011

A Tale of Two Launch Parties & Finding Myself as a Blogger

I started this blog over a year ago as a way to write about some food I cooked for my family or restaurants we dined in. I barely knew what wordpress was, nevermind the fact that a mommy and foodie blogosphere existed. I looked to several mommy and food blogs for inspiration, but it is only recently have I discovered the distinct circles these two blogging worlds exist in.

So here I am, a year later, asking myself "am I a food blogger or mommy blogger?" Do I chronicle the trials and tribulations of potty training a toddler? Or photograph step-by-step instructions on how to braise fennel? I needed to figure out where I fit in and what better way to do that than to immerse myself in both worlds. So I joined a parent blogger and food blogger network, hoping to find bloggers like me. The Boston Food Bloggers and the Boston Parent Bloggers both held launch parties last week and two months ago respectively. It was my chance to meet local bloggers and hopefully figure out what defined me as a blogger.

Boston Food Bloggers Launch Party

Boston Food Bloggers Launch Party at The Gallows

The Boston Food Bloggers held their launch party at The Gallows in the South End last week. The brain child of Rachel Leah Blumenthal of Fork it over, Boston!, Boston Food Bloggers is an online resource for food and drink bloggers in and around Boston, Massachusetts. Its mission: To help local bloggers network and grow. If Monday's launch party is any indication of progress toward realizing its mission, BFB is off to fabulous start.

The place was mobbed with local food and drink bloggers, enjoying snacks provided by The Gallows, SoCo Creamery, Pretty Things, and Geoff & Drew's. My only regret that night was not trying all the goodies that were passed around (d'oh - it was a food blogging event!). I was so intent on chatting it up with fellow bloggers, I did not have a moment to eat - even the Bacon Caramel Chex Mix. That's right. Bacon. Caramel. Chex. Mix. I did "force" myself to the back of the room to try the insanely good dirty chocolate ice cream by SoCo Creamery.

I had the chance to meet food bloggers that have been blogging about food for years and others that were only at it for a few months. Everywhere I looked I saw people happy to see old friends and new. I met the nicest people that night (it was so packed, it was hard to get around to everyone). I even got some positive feedback on the name of my blog. I would describe the Boston food blog scene as a young, fun, supportive community. Yeah, this was my kind of scene.
 
Boston Parent Bloggers Launch Party

Boston Parent Bloggers Launch Party at Barefoot Books

The Boston Parent Bloggers held their launch event back in November at the Barefoot Books flagship store in Concord, MA. Founded by Christy Matte of More than Mommy and Jodi Grundig of Multitasking Mommy, Boston Parent Bloggers is a resource for local bloggers interested in networking with others who focus on issues of importance to parents and families.

If you haven't been to the Barefoot Books Store in Concord, go now. It is the most enchanting, fun, colorful, children's bookstore this side of Lilliput. There was a spread of cold cuts and fruit and veggies provided by Peapod. Wine was free-flowing, and so was the conversation. Over 50+ members gathered to meet with fellow bloggers and sponsors, including Stonyfield Farm, Isis Parenting, Barefoot Books and more.

I finally had the chance to meet some bloggers I have been following for a while. Laughed with some newbies on finding time to shower, nevermind time to blog. The giveaways were insane and the ideas for Christmas gifts were never-ending thanks to the venue. Everyone was super friendly, relaxed and supportive of each other. I could get used to this.

Foodie or Mommy?
I realize it will take more than a couple of parties to define who I am as a blogger. But here are a few things I do know two launch parties later:
  • I do not need to explain the meaning (or pronunciation) of umommy with food bloggers
  • I need to explain what umommy means and how to pronounce it with most parent bloggers
  • I can complain about having to get back home to the sitter and not get blank stares with parent bloggers
  • I will probably be too tired to attend any after parties with food bloggers
  • I am equally as giddy to receive a swag bag full of snacks and coupons to local restaurants as I am to get swag bags full of books, games, and coupons for packaged goods
  • Most bloggers (food or 'mommy') are funny, nice, creative, and supportive 
I've come to realize I am not your typical mommy or foodie blogger. I'm somewhere in the middle. Sure I might write about the ups and downs of parenting or find joy in photographing the perfect roast chicken.  I know I will try to keep being true to me. And as long as I get the chance to meet engaging people and have fun along the way, then maybe it really doesn't matter what kind of blogger I am.

3 comments:

  1. Right there with you! Having a mini-identity crisis after last week . . . but I love your blog and it was great to meet you at The Gallows!

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  2. Thanks Sarah! It was great meeting you last week and hear that I wasn't alone in trying to figure out the blogosphere. It's meeting bloggers like you that help me realize it is just as much about community as it is about content.

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  3. Nice post and thanks for the nod! I don't think you need to choose. Boston Parent Bloggers isn't just for people who blog about parenting; it's for parents who blog. We have green bloggers, coupon bloggers, travel bloggers and other foodies. In fact, I hope to be able to collaborate occasionally with Boston Food Bloggers. Obviously you'll need to decide what kind of posts you want on your blog, but you'll be welcome whether or not you blog about potty training.

    I have to add that I had no idea how to pronounce umommy... despite several years' of Japanese study, I didn't make the connection. Clearly NOT a food blogger, although occasionally mistaken as one!

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