“No, the world is not blogging…the world is listening to bloggers.”
-Tina Sharkey, Chairman and Global President, BabyCenter LLC.
I think Camp Baby was an overall success from both the standpoint of the attendees and the Johnson & Johnson representatives. I was impressed with all the extra details, from GM providing transportation during the event to the bag of Neutrogena products we received upon arrival at the Heldrich, which was a fabulous place to stay. There was a feedback session Thursday and there seemed to be genuine interest in our concerns about how products are made, the ingredients that are used, and what influences our purchasing decisions. I think an overriding message from the bloggers to J&J was, “do not underestimate the influence and intelligence of moms.”
I had the chance to meet great women like Erika from Plain Jane Mom, Stacy DeBroff from Mom Central (I joked with her about being her groupie as I love her book) Amy and Susan from Working Moms Without Guilt, Christine from Dates to Diapers, Jill from Silicon Valley Moms, Kari from Karianna Spectrum, Liz from This Full House, Carmen from Mom to the Screaming Masses, Socal Mom, Susan from Friday Playdate, Dawn from Because I Said So, Jenn from Jenn’s Journal, Devra and Aviva from Parentopia, Y from Joy Unexpected, and Sarah from Sarah and the Goon Squad, just to name a few. I ate breakfast on Thursday with Colleen from Classy Mommy, Amy from The Ladybug and Her Blogging Mama, and Amy from MomAdvice.
Lori Dolginoff, Global Director of Communications, oversaw the event and got a big round of applause from all of us. Everything went smoothly, although I had a meltdown at the airport in front of Belinda (God bless her soul) Friday when a Continental agent told me my return flight had been canceled and there wasn’t an available flight for another 24 hours. Thankfully a 6 a.m. flight opened up and J&J is reimbursing me for my hotel room.
The dinner at The Frog and the Peach was awesome and I had a foodgasm over the chocolate cake. Nintendo was the official gaming sponsor and we all left with DS game systems, which I am graciously hiding for Santa. Ahem.
Sleep expert Dr. Jodi Mindell opened the sessions on Thursday and told us the keys to sleep success are sleep schedule, bedtime routine, and teaching babies to fall asleep independently (she is a proponent of the paci/binki/foofie…as mother to a former paci addict, I silently shouted hurrah at that nugget of advice.)
We also heard from germ expert Dr. Charles Gerba, a professor of environmental microbiology at the University of Arizona. Dr. Germ won me over when he quipped, “To me the only good germs are the ones that make beer, wine, and alcohol.” Luckily Johnson & Johnson makes Purell and I grabbed a few bottles at the product expo Friday since I will never see hotel TV remotes or my kitchen sink quite the same way after this presentation.
The most “interesting” afternoon session was entitled, “What’s Happening Down There?” which was led by two women urogynecologists. Most memorable quote? “Imagine this room is a vagina” or something like that. Who knew the trauma the female bladder and other female parts must endure post-childbirth! I did leave with two small light up compact mirrors for the girls, although they are imprinted with “What’s Happening Down There?” so I’m not sure I want them toting them to school. I mean do I really want to flaunt the state of my pelvic floor?
Tina Sharkey, chairman and global president of BabyCenter, LLC, which is owned by Johnson & Johnson, gave a fabulous presentation. A pioneer in new media, she was a a founder of Village, served as group president of Sesame Workshop’s Online Services, and helped rebuild AIM.
Some highlights of her session:
- Blog readers and bloggers are part of the Mom 2.0 Tribe
- 86% of U.S. moms access the Internet regularly
- 88% of moms use a broadband connection
- 70% of moms participate in online communities
- Moms and moms-to-be have on average 109 conversations in a week that are marketing relevant.
Whether you get 50 hits or 500 hits or 5,000 hits on your blog or website, you are part of an online “conversation renaissance,” Sharkey said.
Camp Baby links and resources:
- Online sleep tool for parents
- Information about cosmetic product ingredients
- InfantSEE, which provides no-cost access to an optometrist
- Kilmer House (J&J’s corporate history blog)
- J&J blog (Hanging With the Mommy Bloggers)
- J&J blog (We’ve Come a Long Way – Camp Baby)
- Belinda/Ninja Poodles’ Arkansas Times post about J&J
- Sleep Deprived No More, by Dr. Jodi Mindell, giveaway at MomAdvice