After nearly eight years at Typepad -- and a two-year hiatus while I blogged on BlogHer.com as the company CEO and learned to love Twitter -- I've moved my blog to WordPress. My new blog name is Lisa Stone's blog, and you can find me at http://lisastone.co.
In the past few months, fully 15 percent of my BlogHer colleagues who also have children have struggled with that lovely multi-legged gift that crawls up between summer camp and back to school sleepovers: LICE.
Here's my small attempt to help: An excerpt from a a 2006 BlogHer post when my family had lice -- which led to some of the best advice I've ever seen in the comments, so hit the link for the good stuff. Here goes...
My son definitely didn't want it to get around that he had...cooties. So I called his teacher, a note went out to his classmates and I called all his homies but I didn't shave his head. I definitely planned to shave my own, but when I asked the friend who cuts my hair, she talked me out of it. Gorgeous and Beijing-trendy, she looked at me with the eyes of an older sister who's been asked to buy tequila and condoms when I suggested she give me an Annie Lennox look. "NO," she smiled. "Come back next week and we talk."
So, instead, she sheared rather than buzzed me. And by the time this picture was taken, I had washed and combed my hair and my son's with enough chemical nastiness to cause a third foot to grow out of our foreheads. Because getting rid of these little crawly nightmares was hell. HELL. I can confirm that my son's a much better patient than I, that he was nitcombed within an inch of his life while I bitched and moaned every second of the day...more
For fantastic advice (olive oil, no joke) and hilarious stories, don't miss the comments from readers on the original piece here. Now go forth and nit comb, my friends - this too shall pass. :)
When I hear someone say, "Oh, s/he's a marketing genius!" I raise my eyebrow politely and inquiringly. After all, hey, someone thinks they're smart. Depending upon the source of the compliment, I might even check out their Web site.
But when someone calls themselves a marketing genius, I sit up and take notice. Usually these people are wrong...yet entertaining. But Marta Kagan, managing director of integrated marketing agency Espresso, is right -- at least I can vouch for her in this case :) Enjoy.
UPDATE: Wow! Thank you, everyone who has come to BlogHer to share your feedback. Please keep it coming - If you could read my monitor (above), you'd see that Elisa, Jory and I have nearly 200 comments now from people who have terrific ideas on how we can clarify what is official BlogHer programming/parties/panels and what is not, what's great and what needs improving.
My favorite idea so far? A writing track, to which I can only say a glory hallelujah!
And, yes, I will definitely write a wrap-up post of my own. But I'm still marinating in all the feedback. And lying facedown on the lawn in front of BlogHer world hq, in full recovery mode...
I want to acknowledge a very interesting debate that has exploded in the blogosphere this week: the "PR Blackout". This discussion doesn't apply to BlogHer because members of our network already separate editorial from sponsored content and have since 2006. That said, if bloggers care about something -- and whoo, boy, do they care about this idea -- BlogHer covers it.
So we asked Contributing Editor Liz Gumbinner to share her round-up of the
community discussion, so she wrote The Blogger PR Blackout - The good, the bad, and the completely puzzling. She's done an excellent, thoughtful job in covering all sides of the issue -- I hope you enjoy
it! (BTW I'm closing comments here so that we can all comment on her post thanks.)
This debate and Newsweek's article are peripherally related to a larger issue, namely draft digital guidelines published by The Federal Trade Commission for bloggers. BlogHer does have a position on the FTC: I invite you to read more about our standards for great blogging about editorial AND products. If you're attending BlogHer '09, you might be interested in attending the BlogHerAds session at 3 p.m., Saturday, July 25, where we'll talk more about the FTC's new draft guidelines and blogger responsibilities.
Don't miss Mata H on what women are saying about President Carter's statement for The Elders about abuse in the name of God. "Blog after blog by women just reprints the whole essay by Carter. as if to say, "It speaks for itself," writes Mata in her excellent round-up, which includes this YouTube video:
What do I think? I love God. And I agree completely with The Elders.
Now I must out a little personal guilt on the issue: Do I live under such a big rock that I didn't hear about this until the weekend? Could it be the story didn't get much mainstream play? Or is it that I'm, um, a little distracted by a small party we are hosting in Chicago next weekend?
I have nothing against ribbon campaigns, let's get that out of the way. While many women roll their eyes at the pink ribbon used to raise money and awareness for breast cancer, I love it. And if you've read this blog before, you know I'm partial to yellow and red ribbons, too, in support of our troops (whether I roll my eyes at military policy or not) and people with HIV/AIDS.
However, what's a girl to do? I cannot decorate myself with as many ribbons as there are issues I support? How I have longed for a creative solution to yet-another-tired-ribbon campaign. And now some very as-yet-unknown to me creative people at StopHiding.org have a solution: A pink camouflage t-shirt and Singer LeAnn Rimes.
Huh, you say?
StopHiding.org is a campaign to raise awareness about psoriasis sufferers. The creators of this campaign use pink camouflage to show how this really uncomfortable and dramatically misunderstood disease torments people who have it -- particularly, in our vanity-oriented culture, children, as Rimes shares. (Read Catherine Morgan's Q&A with Rimes about trying to hide her skin as a child and the effect it had on her self esteem here.)
In a great use of animation in a video public service announcement (see below), the pink camo metaphor is used to show how this disease can inflame and recede, how it affects more people than one might think AND how Rimes, gorgeous (that matters in this campaign) and confident, strides through life despite it. If I were a little girl who couldn't attend pool parties because of this, I would love this commercial. And if I were a little mean girl who knew someone who had this disease, I might "get it" and back off.
Well done. Now the creators of this site just need to do one more thing: SELL THE DANG T-SHIRT. Because they...don't. The only place I can find another pink camo t-shirt online is in the 2007 archives on Megan's blog, A Girl Must Shop. This t was for breast cancer and, no surprise given the date, is no longer available.
Now I don't have psoriasis and I don't even like pink. But I'd buy one of these to support the cause. Hint.
Here's the video:
I'd love to know if there are any other campaigns out there on the Internet that you've found that also break free from the yet-another-tired-ribbon metaphor? Thanks.
Say you have an idea. So you call on your courage, uproot your life, move a thousand or more miles, and arrive on the scene to...wait a little more.
Have you failed? Or are you just getting started?
In Transplanting, Growing and Thriving: Some Thoughts On Success, Blogger Kelly Ferry unearths rich insight while moving raspberry canes she planted in her mother-in-law's Ohio yard three years ago. Turns out that in the past three growing seasons, the New Yorker who blogs Her Able Hands has learned exactly why her first planting failed and the canes faltered in one part of the yard.
Read more about our BlogHer of the Week. Ferry faces down all the internal voices that tear her down. And in the end? She's left with her enthusiasm for her idea.
If you are one of the five women I spoke with in the past week who was doubting herself -- you know who you are -- read it. Now go for it!
Just when I thought the more Sisyphean elements of this week would undo me, I tuned in to one of my favorite blogs, Surrender Dorothy. This week, Blogger Rita Arens introduced readers to Photographer Dina Goldstein and her extraordinary series Fallen Princesses:
Goldstein, who can write as well as shoot, love that, tells how new motherhood introduced her to fairytales she certainly wasn't seeing come to life around her:
"I began to imagine Disney's perfect Princesses juxtaposed with real issues that were affecting women around me, such as illness, addiction and self-image issues..."
Believe me, you've never seen Beauty, Cinderella, Jasmine or Rapunzel like this.
It's like watching Cindy Sherman take on pop culture for kids, in an accessible, reality-bites kind of way. Why are these images so powerful? The insight that cracked me like an egg was Rita's:
"In real life, happiness is the time spent being thankful you aren't going through hell anymore. In real life, we don't know happy unless we've been sad, really sad, or really angry, or really sick. Once we've been all of those things, we learn to appreciate moments when nothing is wrong --- and see them as happiness instead of the status quo."
Amen. We live, we learn, we grow up, we are thankful, we learn to find our happiness.
Unless, for some reason, we don't.
Rita nails that too when she describes Goldstein's image of a sumptuously pretty Belle going under the knife:
"Some of the princesses seem to have brought things upon themselves and have essentially victimized themselves, such as Belle with the plastic surgery..."
Which brings me to the tough part of this week, Sad Truth: The Story of Little One April. I won't repeat myself here, but you won't understand the rest of this post unless you go read that link.
What to say? As someone working to develop credibility and respect for women who blog about every topic, from tech to table, I'm so frustrated and disappointed by this blogger. But my frustration is forgettable when compared with the fact that she cast a shadow of doubt on the many women and families who have blogged the loss of children and the early lives of babies with severe health issues -- some of whom have grounded me with their compassion for her.
And I can only imagine the hurt and confusion that led her down this path at all.
I'm not a bitter person, it's not the way I roll. But I do occasionally get frustrated. Reading Rita's post helped me remind me of my own paths from sad to happy, through divorce and loss, and to put this week in perspective. So thanks Rita.
Gail Sheehy "Women's liberation is not the end...it is the beginning of a lot of work. There is a whole world out there that needs to be totally transformed so that women and men can create, desire, build and play..."