Well, sorta. A couple of the DadCentricians (The Holmes and Croutonboy) are Austinites, so they don’t really count. I’ll be attending SXSWi (that’s “South By Southwest Interactive”, the part of the gargantuan festival that deals with blogs and social media and The Internets) as a presenter/moderator, alongside my boss at Man of The House, the honorable Craig Heimbuch. The title of our presentation: “Are We Not Men? Reaching New American Dads”. Here’s the breakdown:
Men’s media has changed tremendously- almost as much as men and dads have. Today’s dads are active in every aspect of the household, from parenting to chores, and yet, they are largely overlooked as readers and consumers. New American Dads are thirsty for knowledge and a community that speaks their common language – that of the real man. The new language of men helps Jacks of all trades learn how to be better at all of them, retain their essential masculinity and perform well in a new paradigm of family, work and self. Traditional media outlets – those that espouse the virtues of supposedly manly interests ($10,000 suits, rare scotch and women, women, women) are missing an opportunity to serve this emerging male marked. In order to speak ‘Dad,’ media must speak to the realities of his life, his priorities, responsibilities, aspirations and, above all else, be useful. The growing online media directed at the New American Dad understands that service journalism – that which seeks to inform as well as entertain – is the next evolution in the daddy blogger. Blogs have their place, but in order to effect change in men’s media, online resources must engage the reader in a conversation, one in which the consumer walks away feeling better informed than they had before engaging the site. Service journalism – how-tos, how it works and best-of lists – have practical applications in readers’ lives, thus engendering loyalty and creating conversations with a long overlooked population, while developing an audience for whom older media models based on supposed aspiration and stereotype have little meaningful impact. Speak to dads in their language, encourage them to speak back, teach them something they can use and entertain them – this is the next evolution of men’s media.
Pretty heady stuff, no? If you’re attending SXSWi, pop on in and join the conversation. More details about the presentation can be found here, along with my ridiculously self-important bio and heavily photoshopped headshot. Regarding the question “are we not men?”, here’s your answer.