SXSW: Grokking Bloggers: It’s about Love and Underpants

Elisa Camahort Page.

Co-founder of BlogHer. Grok is to deeply know and understand something so well it’s internalized.

What’s going on in the blogosphere? Talked about BlogHer benchmark survey.

Blogs are now mainstream, addictive, and trusted. 53% of U. S. online women are participating in the blogosphere either reading or writing or both. Blogging is a part of daily life meaning less time on radio, TV, newspapers, etc. Time-shift to blog reading instead of other media is in the double digits.

Number who consider blogs trustworthy shows importance of community. Blogs have about 60% influence on purchasing decisions.

Blogging is more a cultural revolution than a commercial one. People are finding they are in love with what they can do with the blogging technology.

The underpants relate to a South Park episode where they convince a character that there is an underpants gnome who steals underpants. Phase one: collect underpants. Phase three: profit. Gnomes had no idea what phase two is. She wants to tell stories about phase two.

Blogging changes the way we survive, grieve, take action, make history, live. She showed some heath related blogs. Diabetes Mine and others. Gives a patients point of view, becomes influential in the medical community and design of medical devices. Sense of contribution and community.

Grieve. Find online community for help with surviving grief. Looney Tune. Her Bad Mother. Matt, Liz and Madeline. Amazing writing and online community come together to achieve other goals such as nonprofits and support groups.

The way we age. My Mom’s Blog. Forstalls mental decline by keeping you actively involved in creating media.

Changing history. Most history has been driven by war, government and commerce. Male dominated. Now people, ordinary people, are writing personal stories about how they live. Don’t need to make sweeping statements about policies and decisions: people are telling us what they are thinking.

Elisa talked about her grandmother, who fled from the Nazi’s in the 1940s. She said none of the stories around this bit of family history are known. No oral history. But now we are getting history from difficult places and difficult times from people who are finding a way to blog. It changes what we can retain about our own life stories.

Mommy bloggers are taking off the rose colored glasses and writing about the whole truth of motherhood.

Changing the way we make a living. The professionalism of the blogosphere. Simply Recipes makes a living from her blog. The blog is about food as a way to spread and share love. Most successful bloggers are writing about something they love and who can keep at it.

Changing how we take action. Galvanize people on line. The election, Hurricane Katrina. Grace Davis’s blog Hurricane Disaster Direct Relief. It’s a form of power. Fundraise, raise awareness.

Power to be heard, power to build your own playing field, power to participate, power to change the world, power to empower your user.

It’s the evolution of community. Trust is important in building an online world. What are you doing to be trustworthy?

New BlogHer benchmark survey will be released soon. These figures are for 2008.

Opened for questions.

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