Closing a Chapter – and a Group Blog

I discovered not long after I began blogging three years ago that even though I intended to blog primarily about books and reading, I fit into another niche as well: I was a Mom With a Blog. I didn’t see myself as a “mom blogger,” really – the “typical” mom blogger seemed to have younger children and a more intimate approach to communicating on her blog than I wanted for myself – but I did want to share some of my personal life with my readers, and I’ve been a mom for my entire adult life, so I technically qualified.

Many of the other blogging moms I was drawn to weren’t typical mom-bloggers either, as it happened…but I knew I wanted to connect to this community somehow. I also knew I was interested in making some off-line connections with the people I was getting to know online. When the Silicon Valley Moms Group prepared to expand its network of regional blogs into Southern California  in mid-2008, I was quick to apply as a contributor, and excited to be among those selected to launch the Los Angeles Moms Blog.

Los Angeles Moms

I’ve gotten a lot out of my two years of association with SVMG and LA Moms, including those “real-life” connections I’d hoped for; I’m not sure I would have gone to BlogHer’09 if it weren’t for knowing people in those groups. I’ve also had a place to write about things that didn’t really fit in so well here, and exposure to promotional opportunities I’m not sure I would have found otherwise. All the same, though, I’ve felt like a misfit among the mom bloggers for awhile, and deepening my roots in the book-blog community has only intensified those feelings, so I’ve been deliberating about my future with the LA Moms Blog for a few months now. But a couple of weeks ago, a decision was made for me.

On June 14, most of the 400-plus contributors to the 13 regional blogs in the SV Moms Group were stunned by an e-mail they received. The next day, an official press release confirmed the news:

Silicon Valley Moms Group, a leading independent blogging publisher for mothers, today announced that their 13-city mom blogging conglomerate plans to close its network at the end of July.

“Over the past nine months we have been analyzing the most effective way to rationalize this business. We have concluded that, considering the needs of our 400-strong writer group and those of our customers and advertisers, the business is not sustainable without additional financial support,” stated Jill Asher, a co-founder of SV Moms Group. “It is anticipated that it will take approximately three months to complete the process of closure,” stated Ms. Asher. Approximately 22,000 blog posts will remain public and available for the foreseeable future.

“We recognize these are very difficult decisions affecting our writers, their families and the blogging community as a whole,” continued Ms. Asher. “We expect this elite community of bloggers to continue to thrive organically.” SV Moms Group announcing that the brand will be wound down does not exclude the potential for an investor to purchase the company in the short-term. The privately held company is expected halt operations by September.

This is scheduled to be the final week of new posts on the blogs in the SVMG network, although many of its contributors are seeking new ways to continue collaborating, both nationally and in their local communities. My friend Donna Schwartz Mills blogs at SoCal Mom and was one of the charter writers for the LA Moms Blog, and I share her feelings on the end of a chapter in our blogging lives:

SV Moms was a wonderful experience for me, because prior to that, I felt like I was alone in my little part of the blogosphere.  I really envied the community of moms who blog up in Silicon Valley and really longed for some company down here.

We have that now. It may have occurred eventually (especially as Twitter heated up) – but SV Moms definitely hastened the process. I have “sistahs” down here now, and I really feel a lot stronger for it. Fabulous women like Marsha, Liz, Sarah, Amy, April, Jessica, Elise, Yvonne, Kim,and Laura

I want to thank the SV Moms gang for helping me grow as a writer and letting me be a part of something that was truly special. I know there are more exciting things on the horizon for us all (and many of us will continue collaborating on other projects), but I can’t help but mourn the end of a beautiful association.

(Chicago Moms Blog contributor Susan Bearman also has some reflections on the end of SVMG.)

I’ll miss being part of this group, and I’ll continue to value the people I’ve come to know and the things I’ve learned as part of it. I have sometimes linked to or posted excerpts from my LA Moms Blog posts here, but now that it’s closing, I may be publishing some of them in full on this blog (especially while I have the one-handed excuse).

Thanks for the memories, and the opportunities, SV Moms Group, and I hope Donna’s right about this not being good-bye to my fellow LA Moms Bloggers!

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