Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

It's finally time to talk about money

I promised a post about money a few days ago and then life got in the way. Boy, did it get in the way. However, what I've been thinking about besides the craziness of life around here is the whole money situation with blogging, bloggers, and blogher.

The question is, how come it's perfectly OK to post an appeal for money to get to blogher and nobody gets all up in arms or preachy about how you spend your money. How come it's so OK that people jump in and send money hand over fist for those poor poor folks that can't afford to attend a pseudo conference that is much more about drinking and socializing than it is about any learning? As in, they don't even have a keynote speaker. As in they started begging for money for the October blog tour last month but have no speakers and no agenda lined up.

I honestly do not get it. Are you bloghers so mesmerized with this organization that you refuse to see the flaws? That you will not only pay for your own plane fare, hotel, and conference fees, which must add up to at least $1000 for a weekend, but that you will send money to other women to attend as well?

And again, why is it OK to beg for money to get to this ridiculous drinkfest, but it isn't OK to have items on a wish list or to ask for help because you can't feed your children? Just where are the frigging priorities, people? When a blogger posts for help because of circumstances beyond their control, like illness, gas prices, food prices, etc. they get ignored. I've seen it over and over again, and I'm not talking about myself here. But if they want to go to this stupid "conference", oh boy, let's get out the checkbook and write a check. Nobody can miss this!

It's weird. To me, it seems really twisted. I've seen amazing things away from the mommybloggers domain on raising money for people in need. On the anniversary of NYC Watchdog's son PuppyMeister's death I'm reminded on how that corner of the blogosphere lept into action and donated an amazing amount of money. I donated. It was the right thing to do, even with my financial situation. But I've also seen bloggers being torn apart for being poor. Heck, I experienced that in spades a while back on Karen Rani's old blog. People telling me how to run my life, people who didn't even care about my health telling me to get a job, people telling me how to feed my childen. What the f is that all about, anyhow?

It's OK to attack people left and right for things that they have little to no control over (my health, my work situation) but God forbid anyone should have an ounce of empathy for someone living in poverty. Poverty is shameful amoungst the mommybloggers. Nobody gets that often it is unavoidable. They assume that if you're sick, you're faking. If you are on SSDI, you're on welfare. The craziness of the blogosphere on finances just confounds me.

And yet... "I can't go to Blogher this year" is the rallying cry to sharpen our credit cards and start heading over to paypal en mass.

What the f?

Is it just me, or has blogher zombified into believing that it's a requirement for blogging? Because I don't get it otherwise. A conference filled with unprofessional speakers. A conference that can't even find a keynote. A conference that does not show it's members it's financial statements. Can't anyone SEE what a hoax this all is?

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OpenID CharmingBitch said...

I was BLOWN AWAY by what happened on that particular blog or rather that post, it was nothing short of disgusting. I was caught up in it for the first post and then just had to walk away because it was too much head meeting brick-wall and frankly, if you've never had to juggle between utilities/prescriptions/food/rent in reality, there isn't anything you can say about those who do it month to month. All of the, ''well I KNOW if I was ever in that situation I would ALWAYS/NEVER (insert judgment here)'' doesn't wash with me because if you don't know - you don't have any business judging.

Deep breath - Exhale. That whole thing still gets to me even to this day.

Anyway, yes, I agree - Some of the pleas/requests/blatantly coercive disguised as persuasive posts about why BlogHer is Oh So Important make me squirm. Obviously people are free to donate their dollars as they see fit but I don't understand how financing someone else's trip to BlogHer is a worthwhile cause.

Not that I don't know people who have attended to learn (not just to socialize) and who walked away feeling like they learned something - I know several who have done that exactly and that is great for them. But it was also important enough to them to build it into their budget/make sacrifices/prioritize it to make it happen.

To see someone with a legitimate need sandbagged for asking for help while others post about day-to-day luxuries then put their hand out for air-fare and hotels costs is puzzling. And maddening.

21/6/08 7:40 PM  
Blogger Daisy said...

Isn't it terrible that people consider poverty a personal failing? I'll never forget handing my son's Medical Assistance card to the pharmacy clerk and getting a dirty look when I bought toy along with it. Oh, my, the nerve -- to be covered by a state/fed program and want to buy a toy for the kid!

22/6/08 7:39 PM  
Blogger Eileen said...

You made some great points. I had no idea other bloggers were asking for money to attend this. I don't know that much about it, except I have visited some of the blogs of the people slated to speak. This was an eye opener for me.

Anyway, I wanted to thank you (and send major cyber hugs) for your visit to my blog today. You have no idea how much your words touched me. I so appreciate your honesty and input. I am looking into residential as a next step, as her younger sister had to go in the hospital, due to the stress of it all. I felt so alone with these issues, so it felt so good to get support.

I hope we keep in contact!


22/6/08 8:04 PM  
Blogger kristi said...

This bugs me too. I have seen it a few times. We don't have a lot of extra $$ but I would never ask anybody for money on my blog.

23/6/08 12:53 PM  
Blogger Shash said...

I went to BlogHer last year and I had a great time. If you have an opportunity to go one time, I highly recommend it.

I did want to go back again this year, but only because Kelly is speaking and they finally have a panel of mothers with special needs children, and I was really interested in what they had to say.

When I found out I didn't get a scholarship to BlogHer, I made a choice to just not go. I'm trying to go back to college, and if my blog was solely for moneymaking purposes (which it is SO not), I would consider it more.

I would never ask for people to help pay my way (Besides BlogHer) because it is not their job to do so. I WILL miss seeing some wonderful people, but it's not the end of the world. If you have the means, and you want to go, then by all means do so.

This year, I'm staying home. And I am actually okay with that.

23/6/08 4:47 PM  

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