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urbanMamas poster gals for Portland blogging culture

Horn-tootin' time! A few weeks ago, Steve Woodward from the Oregonian emailed asking about just why Portland is such a great town for blogging? Turns out we've been ranked the second best blogging city in the nation (behind Austin, Texas: ironically, the originator of the 'keep Portland weird' campaign. Austin has to be first in everything, waaah!). Today the article was published on the front page of the 'Living' section and I was pleased to see both me and betsywhim (who contributes to, like, 30 blogs) representing the Portland blognoscenti. You can find the article here online but it's lots easier to read in print.

We know why we think Portland is such a good blogging town (and I'll quote myself): because Portland is so rainy and, more often than not, you're stuck inside and can't interact at the playground or the beach -- blogging is a way of connecting. It's also because you all are so non-judgmental and supportive, contrary to what we hear in the news and see on Other Cities' Communities. I think another aspect is that writers are drawn to Portland for its literary scene and bunches of us are spilling out our literary guts in blogs. What do you think?


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Congratulations to Portland. I think Portland is a great place to live and blog, but I do find people being judgmental. UMamas (at least the ones that post) are usually liberal, which sometimes translates into being anti TV, baby wearing, natural birth, anti-immnization, inner PDX folks. While I really do lean to the left and agree with those ideals, I feel like a "righty" because I live just outside of Portland, allow my 2 year old to watch the Backyardigans once a day, shop at Target, etc. Whenever I offer a comment, I have in the past received bitter responses. I've been wanting to say this for awhile. Thanks for giving me the opportunity!

I love Backyardigans. I wish they'd had em when mine was a little. Online mama groups tend to be the worst in terms of judging, IMO, I don't think that is particular to Portland. There is a certain type of mama the UMamas seems to be for. I'm not that mama either, so I take what I use, offer resources or empathy when I can and discard the rest.

I continue to hope that UMamas can be resource for different styl-ee mamas. And while a single mama struggling won't get as many responses as one about chi-chi stuff, at least she gets some love from mamas different than herself.

Mamas have been judging each other over the back fence FOR-EVER. online just makes the fence longer.

I feel you both. Heck, I live in Beaverton -- there, I said it! -- and am currently about the most un-stylee, non-affluent mom on the planet, but, like the previous poster, I try to separate the occasional crop-up of "more-urbane-than-thou" attitude from the truly useful and helpful range of resources and voices here.

Kudos to y'all for speaking up, and to Portland for its blog-tasticness.

So perhaps I'm a little biased... but I think the fact that uM has remained commercial free - save the local stores & services who sponsor the site - is great. So many of the blogs out there went for the $ - national retailers or t-shirts. With so many readers/participants it'd be easy to kick that up a notch. So thanks for making this a real resource where we aren't forced to navigate 1,000 ads to get to the heart of the matter.

I think it's because Portland is such a progressive community, and so many progressive, like-minded thinkers come to live here and celebrate it's uniqueness by blogging about our lives here. As for the urbanMamas community, same thing--I think lots of the mamas who post here are pretty progressive in their thinking. I personally have been so grateful for the insight that I've gotten from the postings here, and the influence it's had on me and the way that I live my own life and raise my babies. I still shop at Target, let my kid watch Diego and wear the Diego outfits that he so adores, and just last night brought home 3 plastic (gasp!) bags full of groceries from Fred Meyer (not New Seasons!). But it's largely because of the urbanMamas community that I have become more aware and thoughtful about things like organic produce/dairy/meat, being a little more eco-friendly in our daily lives by walking more and driving less and bringing our own bags to the store (when we remember!) and thinking more about how and where I shop when I can afford to make the choice. These are small things that I'm happy to integrate into our lives, and I feel good about doing so. I dont feel judged by anyone for not selling my car and shopping and New Seasons exclusively--those are not choices for our family right now but like another poster said, I take what's helpful/useful and leave the rest. I've got friends raising families in different parts of the country, and they all think I've "gone granola" on them since moving to PDX, but the changes we've made in our lifestyle since moving here are changes that I can pretty much guarantee will go "mainstream" in the next 2-4 years anyway...at least hopefully! So cheers to Portland for it's prgressive thinking, I say...

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