Blog Post # 3
As rumours that teens are moving away from Facebook continue to circulate, social media sites continue to attract members from other demographic groups. If you think about it, teens are one of the groups with the most non-media social opportunities. They can connect with one another off line at school, at sports events, or just hanging out together.
The groups now emerging as heavy users of social media are those with fewer face-to-face social opportunities who can create or maintain communities online. Seniors, for example, tend to use Facebook to stay in touch with family members who may be far away. But stay at home mothers probably best exemplify this trend of socializing through social media.
It’s true that they are one of the biggest users of Meetup, using the social media tool to set up events for some of the face-to-face socializing that was easier to arrange in the days when there were fewer families with both parents working outside of the home.
But the proliferation of mommy blogs suggests that a significant amount of conversation and sharing happens online. These blogs allow mothers to share expertise – most are focused on a specific philosophy of family rearing or offering tips on running a household – and allow many to make money through product reviews and click through ads. There is a blog out there where a stay at home mom can find validation and a sense of shared values for any approach to raising a family, allowing individuals who may feel isolated to connect to like-minded parents beyond their local community. This weekend, for example, the Globe and Mail featured an interview with a 3-parent family, and one of the two moms writes a mommy blog. Some writers focus on home schooling or saving money or craft projects, and there are a number of skilled writers with thousands of followers.
To me, mommy blogs exemplify the power of social media to give a voice to those who might not be heard in the regular media channels and to connect those who might be isolated in their day-to-day life to a social circle.
Reference: Clay Shirky, Here Comes Everybody