Alison wrote a bit about how her blog is more a reflection of her personal interests. If you read her blog, however, you see the very clear signals she's sending to businesses and to consumers. She also spent some time discussing one of her favorite causes, net radio. Here's Alison's Q&A:
Why do you blog?
I started blogging as a means to express myself. I liked typing more than writing in a paper diary. For a time, my blog was like free therapy. Threeyears on I still enjoy it. It's like talking to a bunch of friends!
I noticed your blog is "ad-free." Why this position?
First, I don't like a cluttered blog. Second, I don't have the traffic it would take to earn any money if I did have ads on the site. Third, nothing is sacred anymore. I enjoy having a place that is free of corporate sponsorship. Of course, if I had a huge readership, my views on this would probably change. I do admire Dooce, who supports her family with her blog. What a dream job!
I also noticed you're a big supporter of net radio. Do you see this as supporting the small business against the big corporations, or are you just looking for outlets that have the programming you like, or is it a little of both?
It's a little of both. I've been listening to net radio for four years now,and I've heard music that never gets airplay on corporate radio, either here or in France ('cause I used to live there). I also hate the idea of huge companies like Clear Channel controlling most of the airwaves in this country. I don't want them to decide what I should be listening to. Internet radio is a bright spot in the music world.
Finally, does it creep you out a little that PR flacks are trolling the internet looking for bloggers to pitch? Have you ever gotten a request from a pr person asking you to write about a product or service?
Mmm...I wouldn't say it creeps me out. I know one blogger who occasionally writes a post about a product, and he gets to keep the stuff. He's gotten some cool toys that way! I've never gotten a request to do any PR. I would probably say yes, depending on the product, of course. I doubt it will happen, though -- again, I just don't have the readership that these people are looking for.
(note to the PR and marketing folks who read this blog -- Please be nice to Alison.)
Sharon Tessandori is a small business owner who sets herself apart from the competition by blogging. (I met Sharon through my wife, who shares a mutual friend with Sharon. My wife used to teach yoga once a week at Sharon's studio.) Like most small business owners, Sharon was busy and only had a minute or two, and got straight to the point. She was very gracious and her comments demonstrate how important her customers are to her and how effective the blog can be to stay in touch with them.
Why do you blog?
To promote my eco-friendly yoga studio, share my thoughts about life and work, and showcase my photography. That hits on all the things. Blogging is like a great big conversation with the world. You never know who will be reading. And that is appealing to me. I also love that my yoga students keep up with the blog. Some of them offer support and encouragement by leaving comments on the blog and others comment in class, letting me know that even if they haven't been in class, they've been keeping up with what's going via the Barefoot Works Blog.
Tomorrow, I'll start sharing the conversations with the "global" mom-trepreneurs.