Parents gaining influence in the blogosphere

The age-old command to "listen to your mother" doesn't end at adolescence. Avid blog followers are learning that they need to "listen to mothers" as well.

The age-old command to “listen to your mother” doesn't end at adolescence. Avid blog followers are learning that they need to “listen to mothers” as well.

As the US continues to see a baby boom (birth rates are higher than they have been in 45 years), parent-focused blogs are becoming highly influential on all sorts of topics, from festivities to food, TV to travel.

BuzzLogic looked to the blogosphere to find out what's being said and who holds the key to online influence. Influence is determined by BuzzLogic's Insights tool, which includes an algorithm that looks at over a dozen different criteria to determine influence, such as links into and out of a post and whether the blogger posts on a topic often.

-On the subject of kids, MomLogic is the most influential blog overall, with posts on a wide variety of parenting and child-related topics such as planning birthday parties and how to get kids to help with chores. The most influential post on kids is from DIY Life, focusing on teaching children to use aromatherapy. The post was driven by an article in Mothering Magazine and offers stress-reducing advice for parents and children alike.

-Travel is a hot topic among the influencers; 18% of the influential posts related to the term “kids” are focused on travel. The Flyaway blog, which has three influential posts related to kids and travel, provided a cheat sheet of the best toys to keep kids occupied on flights and car trips. Other influential sites look at ways to teach children to stay safe when traveling to the beach and tips on traveling with infants.

-Within the conversations around “kids,” 23% of the influencers were concerned with meals at school and include advice on what to put in lunches to keep your children smart (think healthy proteins and veggies) and ways to ensure children are well-fed while in classes. When looking at the “parent” conversations, food allergies is at the top of the food chain. The Fairly Odd Mother blog discusses peanut and milk allergies, offering ways to keep kids safe while not at home.

-The recent marketing campaign for Gossip Girl had influencers in our “parents” search up in arms over the provocative nature of the ads' imagery. Jossip's post on the campaign on July 18 was the most influential conversation, as it described the Parents Television Council's outrage and overall expectations of backlash from parents.

-The most influential post about education, especially around the term “mother” is from the Life Without School blog, discussing the new trend of home school “unschooling”  - learning through experience and not at a desk. Home schooling is the most popular education topic, with 37% of the influential posts.
-And what were the influencers saying about the hoards of new celebrity babies? In a query on “celebrity” and “baby,” we found the most talked about celebrity offspring was not Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's twins (although they came in second). Rather, it was Sunday Rose, Nicole Kidman and Keith Urban's little girl, who scored 12% of the influential posts in July. And the number one influential post was not about a new arrival at all, but rather an expected one: on July 16 CelebrityBabyScoop posted a rumor (now confirmed) that Jennifer Garner is expecting baby number two with husband Ben Affleck.

Parents are very checked-in, vocal, and opinionated. And they are using the blogosphere to debate a variety of topics and gather advice. Influencers are debating both hard-hitting family topics and some fun ones. It seems like the real-world curiosities, stresses, and excitement of raising a family is now also being played out on the Web.

Based on the analysis of 10,786 blog postings from July 1-28, 2008.  Evaluation and analysis by BuzzLogic.

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