The Disney Social Media Moms Conference Shouldn't Be the Latest Blogging Scandal
Within the first few minutes of his speech at the Disney Social Media Moms Conference, Chris Brogan chastised female bloggers for being so vicious with each other, so quick to tear each other down. "When you raise other people up," he advised, "you raise yourself up."
A few bristled at his criticism, but many more in the audience, and in the Twittersphere, applauded his advice and called for an end to the frequent drama mama scandals. Yet, even while this positive exchange was going on, the blogosphere was exploding with its latest scandal: allegations that the Disney Social Media Moms Conference and its tweet stream was elitist and reminiscent of high school cliques.
The #NotaDisneyMom hashtag was created and blog posts were written complaining about useless tweets about swag, parties, and the fun participants were having. Complaints were restated about the selection process for the Disney Social Media Moms Conference and bitterness, jealousy, and anger flowed.
There's no doubt that it's annoying to have your tweet stream fill up with the excited messages from people at an event that you're not attending. It creates a feeling that you're left out of the action, but the beauty of Twitter is that it is a free-flowing, constantly moving stream, and that a new event will soon be replacing the one clogging your timeline. And amidst all the shallow tweets about parties and freebies, there usually are valuable announcements and ideas being shared in the heat of the moment, letting you get a glimpse of the conversation taking place far away.
The social media world is filled with exclusive events and conferences. Every week, there are invite-only press junkets and brand events offered to bloggers selected by PR agencies. The selection process is secret and often arbitrary, and bloggers have no control, no way to participate if they are not invited, regardless of what a perfect fit the event is with their niche.
The organizers and advisors of the Disney Social Media Moms Conference could have simply drawn up an invite list of 140 "influential" bloggers to invite to Orlando for the weekend conference, but instead, they offered a chance for bloggers of all niches and influence size to sign up. As the conference is small, many were turned away, but many of the conference attendees were first-timers to the conference with blogs of various sizes and tenure. Bloggers were also given the choice of filling their room with their family or other bloggers, giving interested individuals another chance to come.