Welcome to the Dad 2.014 Summit Live Blog, presented courtesy of Microsoft Surface 2. This is the live-blog session for The House(s) That Dad Built.
The topic: They say the best way to predict the future is to create it. And more men are making more time to be more active in their kids’ lives, and proactive in their strategies for enhancing their online experience. As a result, dad networks are thriving all over the world, and the participants are benefiting, both personally and financially. Our panelists, each at a different stage of construction, will discuss their passions, methods, and resources for building viable brands and encouraging more dads to seize the opportunities that await them.
The moderator is: Laura Mayes (@lmayes).
The panel members are: Isabel Kallman (@alphamom), James Kline (@TriangleDads),
Oren Miller (@bloggerfather), and Tommy Riles (@lifeofdadshow).
You may follow the Dad 2.0 Summit on Twitter using #Dad2Summit.
James: Runs local community-based dad network. Has 230+ dads in Raleigh/Chapell Hill, NC, network that gathers for meetup events. Started Triangle Dads 3 years ago, they have meetup events almost every day now. Started at a personal need – he was a SAHD and was looking for social outlet for dads to gather with kids. Also have “dad only” events: skeet shooting, beer tastings – some members only show for these events which came about from member input. Built some initial membership by passing out business cards at Target to guys that “looked like stay-at-home dads”
Oren: Started Dad Bloggers Facebook group with more than 600 members. Invitation only. Started with seeing link to Dad 2.0 dad bloggers talking to Doug Flutie at Dove Mens+Care event, decided what to get more involved. Was member of coupon blogger FB group and liked that type of community. Didn’t want to wait for someone else to do it, so he started group to start building a active community of dads talking to each other. Sometimes there are arguments, people get passionate about things, but has been self-managing for most part.
Tommy: Life of Dad network. Started as a personal blog with medical updates on his daughter who has a heart condition. Start merging in humor, videos. Met David Guest on jury duty, who followed his blog. Decided to partner and make it a site about all dads. Now have podcasts, some original/some syndicated, network for social and sponsor campaigns.
Laura: Take away so far on starting network — First rule: Do it. Second rule: Find your people. Third: build your team to help you get it done.
Tommy: Lets each guy on team do own thing they do best. We adapted and created as we went along rather than formal business plan. Do weekly and monthly goals and if all goes well you have a great year.
Isabel: Started AlphaMom.com in 2006 as much bigger site but has gotten smaller by design. Started after 10 year career on Wall Street. Originally launched AlphaMom TV – first parent network, a video-on-demand channel on cable – in 2005. Economics couldn’t sustain it but found she enjoyed editing rather than video, and discovered online community. Did a parenting search on Google and found a mom blog No. 2 on search, Internet at time lacking in personal stories on parenting so saw as a need that needed to be filled.
Started by populating with evergreen info (teething facts told through personal story). Pays contributors every dollar invested for this evergreen material is not just for moment but for long-term as that content maintains draw for new audiences that come along.
BTW: the Dad 2.014 Summit Live Blog is presented courtesy of Microsoft Surface 2 which has a full HD display and a nifty detachable keyboard cover; however, no Corinthian leather seats.
Laura: Find what works for you best – Isabel went from video to writing/editing because that what she preferred and excelled at.
Isabel: Very proud of writers and their content. One post about pre-term labor has saved four lives that I know about.
Isabel: Mothering instincts didn’t get in initially for me. Instead of running to grandma, I ran to Google for help and information.
Laura: What’s next for all of you?
James: Olympics of Dads – we are hosting a team of 100 to 200 guys. Looking for sponsors to help host convention of SAHDs in Raleigh area. Moved to do so after attending national at-home dads network convention in DC two years ago.
Oren: Group is where it needs to be. Talk of group started to promote advertisers who promote fathers in good light. Pressure mom-centric parenting media to give dads equal time, better representation. Member sometimes crowd-source for info or contributors for dad-based writing/research projects.
Tommy: Want to get better at everything: quality of videos, writing, podcast, etc. Would love to expand one day – TV show, national radio show. Doing fun campaigns with sponsors. One member is doing series in teaching 7-year-old son how to do computer code. Started doing G+ hangouts with other Dad bloggers.
Laura: Takeaway — do good things. Create quality work for future.
Isabel: Want to launch a new thing every 100 days. One writer did live week-by-week pregnancy calendar years ago, wants to start a drip campaign to get people to start own.
Feel I haven’t taken enough risks. Want to take more chances, regardless of failure possibility.
Tommy: Agrees. Daughters illness affected him in that way. Worst has happened, must try to do more and take more chances. Whatever idea you have just do it – what’s the worse that could happen?
Isabel: If it fails – just move on to something else.
Oren: Trying to Baltimore blogger to promote an event for Jewish museum. Found a Maryland bloggers group on Facebook. He has now become a point person for them in connecting PR people with group.
Isabel: Sit down, and think real hard about what indicates success for you. Don’t let others dictate what a success is to you. figure what’s your path/lane in life and stay on/in it. If you spend too much time looking over shoulder/to side, you will run into a light pole.
Tommy: Looking for dad bloggers for After Life podcast. Want to help out others.
Dad Blogger FB group now starting to share opportunities for sponsorship, paid gigs with each other.
Isabel: Create good content, learn to optimize it well so it gets out there. Stay with it. It really is a marathon. Internet is only place you get credit for staying around a long time. Do it at a pace that makes sense for you.
Laura: Ain’t nothing to it, just do it.