I told you a couple of weeks ago that my life was about to change in a major way –
Well, now I can FINALLY tell you all of the details.
Some of you may remember the Style Dare column I wrote at one time for Her Nashville magazine. For each column, I publicly tested out some of the most ridiculous hot trends- from the BootyPop to PajamaJeans to the Backtacular- and took photos of the results. The results were generally hilarious, and the column was one of the most popular things I’ve ever written– but I always thought that Style Dare would have been so much better in the form of Internet video episodes. There was only one problem.
Who was willing to fork up the cash for them?
I took the idea to CafeMom about a year ago- The website was a natural fit, since I already write a style/beauty blog over there, and they had, like most major websites, been exploring the idea of video programming. They liked my idea. I guess it went on the list of ‘Video Ideas We Like’ over there. And that’s where it stayed for many, many moons. Because that is often the way things go with ideas.
What I didn’t know was that while I was sitting around waiting, CafeMom was working out an awesome video deal with YouTube. I’m not even going to try to explain it- You can read about it here. What all this meant for ME was that …
Style Dare is becoming a video series! Like, soon! We’re shooting it in just a few weeks!
Now this news was MAJOR. I consider Style Dare to be one of the best ideas I’ve ever had, and to see it become exactly what I’ve always wanted it to become… is the business equivalent of having a baby.
BUT WAIT. THERE’S MORE.
As we were figuring out the final details of Style Dare, I was told that CafeMom would also be launching a major non-partisan initiative in the year leading up to the Presidential election. It would be called Moms Matter 2012, it would provide resources for moms to learn about the candidates and the issues and feel empowered to mobilize and make their opinions known and VOTE next November. And CafeMom was looking for an election correspondent, someone who would travel the country going to the major events leading up to the election and talking to the candidates and talking to real moms about how the issues are affecting them in real life, and making television appearances to talk about our findings. And was I interested?
This totally came out of left field. I thought about it for like, ten seconds, and then I e-mailed back…
So a few weeks ago, I flew to New York City to CafeMom’s offices on Park Avenue, where I was shown into a boardroom, given a glass of water, and told everyone that involved with the project, including CafeMom’s CEO would be joining me in about ten minutes.
“Do you need to plug into the projector?” the CafeMom employee asked me as I sat down at the table.
“What?” I asked.
“Do you have a Power Point presentation?” he said. “Do you need to plug in to our projector?”
“No,” I said. “I.. uh… I don’t have a Power Point presentation.” Outwardly, I remained calm, but inside, I was FREAKING OUT. He left the room and I sat there by myself, thinking, ‘PowerPoint? PowerPoint?!! Power Point PRESENTATION?! Am I supposed to present something?! Is this how it’s done?!’
I considered my options. I could bolt for it, but no matter what I’d have to wait for the elevator, and with the CafeMom receptionist sitting right there, that could be really awkward. I could text my husband and friends for help… HELP I NEED TO MAKE POWERPOINT PRESENTATION. But I now only had eight minutes and I didn’t know how to use the PowerPoint software on my laptop. I probably couldn’t do much more than come up with a white screen that said, HI MY NAME IS LINDSAY FERRIER. And I could just tell them that, right? And wait, didn’t they already know my name?
Oh this was bad. This was very, very bad.
A few more minutes passed and the room began filling with people. Thank God Tracy Odell was presiding. She has a very calming presence and she immediately put me at ease. Mostly because she didn’t ask me anything about my Power Point presentation, and called the meeting a ‘brainstorming session.’ Now brainstorming I could do. I am an expert brainstormer!
So that’s what we did for the next few hours, and by the end of it, I was offered the job! And I took it!
And I feel right now like my life is playing out in some kind of novel — because seriously? There couldn’t be a job out there that I feel better about doing. As most of you know, I did television news for ten years (including a stint as a political reporter), and then produced and wrote shows for major cable networks for a few years after that, before becoming a mom. And of course, as far as the blogging end of things goes, I’M ALL OVER IT.
I feel like the sky’s the limit with this job. As many have mentioned to me over the last few weeks, the Internet is still the wild west, particularly when it comes to video, and we have a chance with this project to do things differently. So I’m coming at this job not only as a trained, experienced journalist, but also as a fellow mom and voter. Like so many of you, I’m also frustrated with the state of the government and the economy and I also get the urge, as so many of my friends have mentioned to me lately, to put down the newspapers, turn off the television, and tune out of this election altogether.
Here’s the thing, though: We can’t.
Moms are a large and important bloc of voters, and we have a chance now to make sure that the candidates take note of that fact and address our concerns. That’s what Moms Matter 2012 is all about. It doesn’t matter which candidate you’re rooting for — the point is that you feel empowered to talk about the issues with your friends and neighbors and then show up at the polls and make an informed decision. I love having the chance to help millions of moms feel this way.
Of course, that means life here at home will change, but I’ll save that for my next post…. In the meantime, I’m getting ready to head to Iowa Thursday for an upcoming Republican Presidential debate.
Oh, the adventures we’re going to have now.
Image via Ben Becker/Flickr