Nearly four years ago, a young boy by the name of Jeremy Galmon was shot and killed after a second line had passed by, a casualty of people using bullets to settle arguments. The fundraising for Jeremy’s family was held only a few blocks from my home, sponsored by members of the community and by […]
Today we’re profiling Katy Monnot of Bird On The Street blog. Katy describes herself as “a Metry Girl”. She attended St. Martin’s Espiscopal for elementary school and Dominican for High School. She went to LSU for college where she met her husband. He served in the Air Force for five years and they lived in Texas and Arkansas,moving back to the New Orleans area in 2007. Katy is a stay at home mom of infant twin boys and their older special needs brother.
Katy, when and why did you start blogging?
I started blogging in late 2005 on a whim. Shortly after, my husband deployed to the Middle East for four months. Blogging became an outlet for me to interact with others and share my experiences. After my son was born in 2007, I realized I needed blogs to give me a first-hand experience that couldn’t be found anywhere else.
Do you consider yourself a “mommy blogger”? And what does that label mean to you?
I do consider myself a “mommy blogger” even though I was blogging for a while before I became a mom. I prefer the term “parenting blogger” because I think that’s what I actually blog about: parenting, specifically, parenting a child with special needs. Mommy is job title and lots of moms blog and never mention their kids. So yeah, I’m a mom blogger, a parenting blogger, but also what some people call a memoir-style blogger.
Are you trying to connect with a specific demographic?
Yes and no. I consider my main audience to be people who are raising children with special needs. Specifically, I want to provide them with hope and a positive view of what that life can be. As my blog has grown, however, I have discovered that there is a second audience–people who wish to support those with special needs. So I find that I am also writing for them these days.
Why did you choose BlogHer as your blogging platform?
Well, Blogher is just my advertising network. I applied on whim and it was probably years before they contacted me about joining. I control the rest of the site myself.
What do you think are the benefits of utilizing BlogHer over an independent blog?
The greatest thing, from my perspective is the exposure. Once a week, my post’s title appears on other blogs in the Network. It’s a nice way to find new readers. Also, I don’t think I was ever going to solicit my own advertising for the site, and Blogher ads provide a (very) small about of revenue for essentially zero effort.
I know you are the creator of The Louisiana Bloggers Network. Tell us why you started it and what you hope to accomplish.
I’m so glad you asked! The Louisiana Bloggers Network is my attempt to promote, unify, and help bloggers in Louisiana. Right now it’s just getting started, but we’ve already had a Baton Rouge and New Orleans meetup, and we’ve put together a panel for the Rising Tide Conference. My ultimate goal is to have it become a hub of collaboration and assistance. Bloggers can share information, stories, goal. They can band together to seek advertising and sponsorship. They can plan road trips to conferences.
Katy, tell us a little bit about your involvement in the Rising Tide Conference.
Mallory Whitfield organized Rising Tide’s new addition this year: Tech School. She asked me to participate as a representative of The Louisiana Bloggers Network. I was completely intrigued by RT, so I started attending the planning meetings. I wasn’t able to do as much as I would have liked since I had my twins in the middle of June, but I was able to organize a panel on Photography and Graphic Design for your blog. I also live-tweeted Tech School and made some vegan red beans and rice for vegan attendees. Next year I hope to do even more. Rising Tide was created and is organized by old-school bloggers: not people looking to make a buck, but people with something to say. That is still my favorite type of blogger, and I’ll do anything I can to keep that aspect of blogging alive. Don’t get me wrong, I think bloggers can and should make money for their time and energy, but I really love people who do it regardless.
Are you involved in any other online endeavors you’d like to share?
Nothing I can think of, but you never know what project I’ll be up to next!
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This profile of Marcia is the first in a planned series about New Orleans bloggers: who they are, why they blog and what they talk about.
A random roundup of my personal picks of the best from local blogs and other NOLA-related news.
In Treme news, in response to the last episode, Sam Jasper at the Back of Town blog has written a beautiful and thoughtful post about the culture and tradition of place and the inevitability of change, “It Just Don’t Smell Right Up In Here”. Big Chief Albert Lambreaux is showing more of his cantankerous side while in New York recording Indian chants for a proposed record release. The title of the post comes directly from Big Chief’s mouth. Sam writes in part,
“His son has come around to the tradition in his way, but it’s not Albert’s way, and that’s mortality hitting ya in the face. Not just his own, but possibly the old ways, the culture he is so totally self-identified with and by. I know many elderly Native Americans who are terrified that their grandchildren won’t know any of the songs, traditions, creation stories, or medicine ways. In fact, several years ago, I believe it was the Shawnee who were given back sacred objects that had been held at the Smithsonian for a very long time. They let the Smithsonian keep them because no one alive knew what to do with them anymore.”
As an aside,in an earlier thread, Sam talked about the character Aunt MiMi, commenting as how she wanted to be Aunt MiMi. Huh. I’m acquainted with Sam and have heard a few of her stories. I think Aunt MiMi would be thrilled to be her. Sam is one of the most interesting people I’ve ever met. She’s a born teacher and storyteller who shares her knowledge and life experiences with an open heart, bypassing the need to instruct. I highly recommend her personal blog, NOLA Slate, although she doesn’t post nearly enough to feed this starving reader. (Check out this amazing post.)
Former mayor Ray Nagin released his self-published Katrina memoir last week resulting in a frenzy of blog posts, opinions, tweets and grumblings all over town. The best thing I’ve read hands-down is Michael Homan’s post, “Pharaoh Nagin”. No spoilers here – you must go read it.
Local indie designer Kerry Fitts was featured in the Times-Picayune last Thursday. (Sorry I don’t have a link.) After the earthquake in Japan Kerry allocated a portion of her sales from her Etsy shop to ArkBark, a non-profit group that was rescuing pets left behind in the radiation zone. Shortly thereafter she began exchanging emails about a possible fund-raiser and is traveling to Japan in July to participate in that event. She is donating her original designs for dogs and seeking additional donations from other local crafters. For more info about this amazing woman see my interview with her here.
One of my favorite local blogs is “NOLA Details” where the blogger Carla shares a NOLA-related photo every day. My favorite reoccurring theme on this blog is “Fun Porches” and we surely have plenty of those here in NOLA so I don’t anticipate she’ll run out of candidates any time soon! Here’s one of my favorites. Carla has another blog, “Watching NOLA Nature”, described as “Explorations in the urban oasis of New Orleans”. I really like how she zeroes in on the little things that go unnoticed in our every day lives. She reminds us of the wonder of nature and the beauty that is all around us. It’s a great little Zen moment everyday that I really look forward to.
Are you a tweeter? If so, my pick for Tweeter To Follow is @gadboiselensnola for informative up-to-the-minute reports from many of our city services department meetings including the City Council meetings, the City Planning Commission meetings and the Housing and Human Needs Committee meetings (all in the last 12 days!), among many others. Karen has made it so easy for us to keep up with what’s happening it would be a shame not to follow her.
Finally, I want to give a little shout-out to local blog “New Orleans Write Spot” that currently has one of my pieces posted. Susan Prevost (whom I interviewed here) publishes local talent and has the welcome mat out for local writers who are interested in publishing there. It’s a great place to read a bit of poetry and prose and support local talent.
Remember, you can follow us on Twitter and on Delicious to keep up with what we’re talking (also found in the sidebar) about or just wait for here for my random NOLA Noteworthy posts. Take care, y’all.
Update: I just want to add a post on NoLA Rising I read this morning (6/30) about the musical house that’s being created in Bywater. Internationally known artist Swoon is involved along with many local artists. I recently viewed & photographed a scale model of the house from the street (seen below). Go to ReX’s website to read about it and view the video that details this community-minded event.
“In the past five months, Gulf Coast residents have been treated to a number of decisions with direct impact on their lives. They weren’t asked to give input at the time these decisions were made. They weren’t asked how they thought it might affect their future. The decisions occurred above their heads and most times, without their knowledge, but they are the ones now paying the price. This post is the first of three parts having to do with these decisions. Part one will address British Petroleum’s use of the dispersant, Corexit while two and three will be concerned with Bobby Jindal’s sand berms and the federal government’s response, including the amount of control ceded to British Petroleum. All three will address the issue of the courage necessary to change course in the Gulf, the importance of doing so and who will be affected. All three decisions to be looked at had to do with money and politics, and changing course now will affect the back accounts and political standing of the people in charge, but change must happen.”
So begins a fascinating series of posts by Disenfranchised Citizen – a series I highly recommend to everyone living on the Gulf Coast and everyone concerned about the effect of the BP oilspill on our environment and the health of those living along the coast. The first post, Changing Course in the Gulf: Bad Lessons in Money and Politics Pt. 1 – BP and Corexit, discusses the perils of the use of the oil dispersant Corexit and the relationship between BP and Nalco Group, it’s producers.
The second installment, Changing Course in the Gulf: Bad Lessons in Money and Politics Pt. 2 – Bobby Jindal, Sand Berms and the Shaw Group, outlines the folly of Gov Jindal’s sand berm project, his dismissal of any scientific evidence contrary to the project and questions the real motivations behind constructing the berms.
I am eagerly awaiting the final post and I urge you all to go now and read this very intriguing series.
American Zombie also has a good piece up today, Buried in the Outdoor Section, questioning why there isn’t more wide-spread reporting of an alleged thick layer of oil on the sea floor found by a group of scientists on a research vessel in the Gulf.
And, finally and heartbreakingly, we get the news of a huge fish kill reported in Plaquemines Parish “found in an area that has been impacted by the oil from the BP oil spill, the parish said.” (Via Library Chronicles)
News of the oil catastrophe seems to be fading ever more quickly as the days pass but the effects on our environment and the health of our fellow citizens is only in the infancy stage, I fear. We cannot allow this atrocity to fade from our consiousness and, with bloggers like these three men , hopefully it won’t .
Photo by Maringouin
My mamma raised me right so I want to let everyone know formally (wink!) who supported, tweeted, linked to, talked about and shared our Katrina Photo Project how much I appreciate y’all. I think it turned out well and received a lot of good buzz considering it was a last-minute brainchild born of an impulsive mother. I want to say a special thanks to my sister NOLAFemme, Maringouin, for jumping in and saving my ass when I was feeling overwhelmed & wondering why I thought I could get and post 60 days worth of photographs. Well. Shows what I know – I ended up with way more than 60 days worth thanks to the photographers who contributed to this project and I got some posting breaks thanks to Maringouin. But I have to tell ya, it was a little nerve-wracking in the beginning.
Luv, luv, luv to the following people who contributed photos and helped make this a community effort:
The Preservation Resource Center
Huge thanks to those who shared our project with their readers:
The Times Picayune/NOLA.com (Special thanks to Terri Troncale)
and special thanks to a true friend, Editilla of New Orleans Ladder who posted a link to us every single day of the project. You can’t buy support like that.
Big Twitter hugs to everyone who tweeted us – and there were many. I know I’m missing many of you (due to my disorganization–I should have made notes as we went along.) but I do want to recognize the most prolific Tweeters:
As the voice of NOLAFemmes on Twitter, I made many new friends and contacts during this time. If I can stay focused *cough* I want to highlight some of you in future posts here. Again, I need to backtrack to get everyone’s info but here are a few who stood out because they repeatedly showed us the NOLAFemmes luv:
I wish I had kept notes during the 60 days of this project so I wouldn’t have left anyone out. But, duh, that’s me.
However, please know how much it means that each and every one of you read and supported this effort. It was our intention to spotlight NOLA neighborhoods in the five years post-federal flood and not only the homes and hoods still in disarray and disrepair but also the ones that have come back stronger than ever. I hope in our small way, we did that.
ROOTS RUN DEEP HERE