Saturday, February 8, 2014

Dad 2.0 -- Here's What Happened

Last week I went to the Dad 2.0 Summit in New Orleans, and I have a lot to say, and very little idea of how to organize my thoughts clearly.

Here goes:

Let's get that out of the way first: Going to Dad 2.0 has made me want to become a better writer, a better blogger, a more professional Internet user, and most importantly, a better dad. It's billed as a conversation between bloggers and brands, but it's actually a conversation starter between the voices in our heads--between the voices that constantly tell us we're not good enough as writers, that we're not professional enough, that we're not driven enough, and that we don't pay enough attention to our kids, and the other voices, the ones we too often ignore, who point out our achievements as bloggers, who help us realize that something we write can touch someone else's soul, and who notice our successes as dads, rather than our shortcomings. Once the positive voices win over the negative ones, a further conversation with brands, with publishers, and with readers can be made. The short version: It's a conference filled with intelligent people who pave the way when it comes to new media, and who teach each other the meaning of modern fatherhood.

Also, I pet a skunk. If you know what I mean.

Skunk petting

I named him Skunky, and he's my best friend.

I walked around a lot, in a group, with a tour guide that I probably just imagined due to lack of sleep, and by myself, because I need to walk by myself sometimes. While I was walking by myself, a man stopped me on Bourbon Street, to let me know there were a bunch of "girls with your name written all over them inside!" I felt guilty, since they went through all this trouble, but I kept walking anyway. Here's the tour guide, saying something about the French and the damn Yankees:

New Orleans Tour Guide

Jason Katims had a Q&A with Jim Higley of Bobblehead Dad. Katims is the creator of Parenthood and Friday Night Lights, or in other words, the creator of some amazing fatherhood characters. The Q&A, which included clips from his shows, made me want to watch Parenthood. It also made me miss Friday Night Lights, and want to work on fiction--maybe a movie or a show. Everything about Dad 2.0 made me think, "I can do this."

I drank a lot of coffee. After I tweeted a picture of myself with a Starbucks cup, a Starbucks rep gave me a $5 gift certificate. I used it today to buy a Grande Something-Something and a cookie, and the $5 barely covered half. Still, thanks!

Lee Jeans was one of the sponsors, and gave away free jeans. Here's how it looks on me:

George Michael's Butt

OK, that's George Michael in "Faith." But here's my equally impressive butt, next to Chris Routley's (of Daddy Doctrines) butt, as immortalized by butt-artist Krandel Newton:

Our Two Butts

Carter Gaddis from DadScribe refers to blogging dads as a tribe, and I agree. Some of us write to create memories, others use blogs as stepping stones, and others see themselves as representatives of a movement, but we all have one thing in common: we all strive for an ideal of fatherhood. We strive individually to be good dads, and we strive as a tribe, pushing forward into a yet-unknown ideal of fatherhood, an ideal of honesty, and an ideal of a positive Internet in general.

Finally, a thank you to the organizers, as well as to the people who moderated, participated in, and watched our panel. On Saturday morning, as part of a panel about communities of dads, I talked about the Dad Bloggers group we have on Facebook. I take great pride in being the one who started this active group, but very little credit in watching it become--for me and for many of its members--the best thing about Facebook, and truly a must for any blogging dad.

And... Here I am with Aaron from Daddy Files, talking about the Dad Bloggers group. I'm the guy in the middle, with the un-evolved posture:


  1. I really like this recap and it has me thinking differently about the whole conference. I have always had this weird conflicted attitude about the Dad2.0 Summit. Thinking I wouldn't fit in because my experience as a dad is so different than most, and because when I hear about establishing my "brand" or how to better connect with "brands" I want to run in the opposite direction, but most of all because I am insecure about my blogging and how I couldn't possibly fit in with all the cool kids in the class.

    Now I'm thinking that the benefit is just in getting together with other fathers who are sharing their own experiences using social media. If it happens to be close enough for me to drive next year I may just have to look into attending. Looks and soounds like you had a great time, and your post was the one to make me think maybe I would too.

  2. Thanks! I think if you're looking to connect with brands, you can, but for me at least, the goal was more to connect with bloggers and to be with a community that gets me. By the way, maybe I missed it, but I didn't see your name in the Dad Bloggers group. If you're not there, you're very welcome to join:



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