I didn’t know blogging could change the world

Last weekend I attended Mumsnet’s Blogfest 2016. It was my first blogging conference, and I was a massive noob as I’ve only been blogging for about 4 months. I attended thinking I was going to learn how to grow and promote my blog. But I left with something much more important – a renewed sense of purpose.

Before I began blogging, I didn’t really know what it was all about. I thought people just wrote diaries about their daily lives and didn’t mind if strangers read them. I started my blog to offer advice about how to plan successful days out and holidays with young children in tow. I was going to keep it impersonal and apolitical, but my plans changed very early on.

I soon learned about the amazing community of parenting bloggers. These were intelligent, talented people who were writing about things for which they cared deeply. Parenting is not a walk in the park, and they were honestly sharing their achievements and failures in a way that could make others feel not so alone.

They were writing about important issues such as coping with miscarriages. They were removing the stigma from PND and other mental health issues by sharing their stories and coping strategies. They were standing up for others – both those like themselves and those who were different. They were campaigning for equal rights for all.

The other bloggers changed my goals for my blog and I started writing about issues I cared about too.

So I shouldn’t have been surprised to find that Blogfest was not just about beautiful photography and great SEO. It was about how blogging can make a difference.

We are living in a time when politics are making people feel uncertain about the future of the world. One of the drawbacks of social media is that it can filter out alternative voices, making it easier for people to only see what they want to. We’re living in a world where the truth belongs to whoever is powerful enough to propagate their version of it.

In such a world, bloggers have a surprising amount of power and responsibility. We are in a privileged position because we have the resources to publish our views and the skills to communicate them effectively.

That gives us the opportunity to campaign for what is right. We can speak up when others might fall silent. We can speak truth to power.

Blogfest was about so much more than monetizing your blog or increasing your pageviews. It was about a beautiful community of women and men who, unusually compared to so many other professions, support each other more often than they compete with each other. Who defend each other’s right to speak even when they disagree.

So as I look forward to continuing my blog, I will try not to obsess over stats or which brands I’m working with. I will focus on whether the things I’m saying will make a difference. I’ll add my voice to the many who are challenging dominant narratives. I will not be silent when I see injustice. And if that helps just one person feel less alone, or makes just one person reevaluate their thinking, then that makes it all worthwhile.

I’m going to leave you with this YouTube video that they played during the campaigning session at Blogfest. It was a speech from Obama during his 2008 presidential campaign, about how one voice can effect change. The speech may be 8 years old, but I’m more fired up and ready to go than ever.

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36 thoughts on “I didn’t know blogging could change the world

  1. This was the message I took away from it too. I am going to start writing more about me and my struggles in the hope that my voice will actually help someone or change something. It was really empowering for me.

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  2. Hey Nicole – lovely to have met you! Glad you also had a fab time at #Blogfest16 Love today’s blogpost. I’m so happy to hear that blogging may be helping to remove the stigma of PND and other mental health issues. That sounds promising. I started my blog to help with me PND (it helped me heaps and still does). Blogging also taught me its ok to be open about the rubbish stuff in life. Thanks for an inspiring post, keep in touch anyway xx

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  3. #eatsleepblogrt ohhh now I feel part of a revolution – fired up is
    Contagious! I agree, stay true to your word and you will change people’s moods, that will alter their days actions and boom the world will be fluffy clouds 🙂 simples

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  4. Great post and so nice to hear what you took away from it rather than a review of the day. It was lovely meeting you, and having a few wines. Claire x

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wonderful post! It’s actually nice to read an alternative perspective on BlogFest. I’ve never been to a blogging conference but it does always seem to be around getting sponsorship and improving readership. Which are completely legitimate reasons to want to go to a conference, but aren’t something that are a core focus for me. I love your perspective on seeing the value blogging can bring and building a community! #FamilyFun

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  6. I’ve never seen that speech before but it’s brilliant. Definitely fired up! Also makes me sad for America at the same time!! But that’s a different comment for a different blog. #familyfun

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  7. That is fantastic that you had such a great first blog conference experience! Some people get really put off by them because they are so new. 4 months! Your writing style is great and I really enjoy your blog!!!!!! Carry on my lovely. Thanks for linking up to #Familyfun, you are always welcome!

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  8. Ah it sounds like Blogfest was amazing – I was so hoping to attend but unfortunately Mr Pud had to work! Still its great that you have come back a renewed sense of purpose. I agree that blogging voices can really help to change points of view or bring issues to the forefront #eatsleepblogrt

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  9. I love this, really love this. I am guilty of getting bit self involved in my blog and where it is going but this is spot on. There is so much more to it and it is a privilege to be able to blog and share my opinions – whether people want to hear them or not. I will definitely be taking this away with me. Thank you for sharing at #Familyfun xx

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  10. Love this post, you’re very right. I started blogging just over 4 months ago and I was astonished about how many powerful people there are in the blogging world. Unfortunately I couldn’t attend Blogfest and sold my ticket at the last minute. I wish I’d gone because it sounded incredible. Blogging gives me a voice, and although I’m a very open & honest person anyway – it gives me a space where I can write about my shitty day, or giving an opinion. I’m so glad I’m a part of a community where everyone is so caring and supportive. #kcacols xxxx

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  11. Thank you so so much for this and for the video which Ive missed the first bit of Planet Earth to watch! What in inspiration and I feel Fired Up and Ready to Go to fight injustice too. Good Night and take care Jo x #KCACOLS

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  12. I LOVED this video of Obama, it’s one of the things that really inspired me from Blogfest, and I’ve since watched it back at home! #kcacols

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  13. this is one of the massive pros for me re blogging – hearing from ordinary people about every day stuff. and not sugar coated like so many social media platforms offer. I love the honesty. #KCACOLS

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  14. I love it when people read my blog and tell me that they have started to look at access issues in a different way now, especially with regard to toilets, which are a big issue for us. #KCACOLS

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