Monday, January 08, 2007

Spreading the love and the free shampoo

When I was an editorial assistant at a big women's magazine (my first job out of college), I had to survive in New York City's insane housing market on a salary that would barely have kept me afloat here in Mayberry. I was the only one in our class of 7 or 8 assistants who actually paid rent--all of my fellow assistants lived with parents or other family members, if that gives you an idea.

I learned to eat cheap, my parents were generous, and the perks of the job helped a lot. Every day, messengers delivered shopping bags filled with beauty products, accessories, food--once even a goldfish in a bowl--to our offices, sent by PR agencies angling for placement of their products in the pages of our magazine. (You did see The Devil Wears Prada, right?) The beauty editors skimmed off the best stuff, of course, but even they couldn't come close to using it all. Once I made friends with the right people, I could shop the beauty closet anytime I needed shampoo, moisturizer, make-up, or even a birthday gift for a friend (shhh).

When I switched from the magazine world to the Web, the perks became a lot less perky (I pretty much missed that whole dot-com boom, foosball and free pizza in the office moment), and of course dried up entirely once I moved out here. (Except for the random stuff my husband brings home.)

So how thrilled was I to be invited to join The Parent Bloggers Network? This new venture (only Kristen would start a new business days before giving birth) connects bloggers with businesses that want feedback from parents on their products, in the form of online reviews. Free samples for bloggers, good publicity for the companies, useful info for readers. Win, win, win--I'm in. (I'm also honored to be today's featured blogger.) I doubt any Prada shoes will be coming our way, but who knows? Maybe Stride Rite will tap the network. And those suckers ain't cheap either.

Updated to mention ... that I just added a slew of new writers to my blogroll--everyone on the PBN. I look forward to getting to know you all.

9 comments:

Kate said...

Wow, congrats! That looks like a cool site :) Blogging is so much fun. And apparently quite a business.

I loved your NYC stories. I started fresh out of college in the advertising commercial production world as an assistant/glorified receiptionist at $275/week. (All that money for college really paid off, right??!) Hardly income to survive on, because I, too, didn't return home after college and lived on East 85th/York in a small studio. My cat ate better than me.

Karianna said...

Yeah, I went to grad school in NYC. I got fat on pizza. You would have supposed med school would have had healthful freebies, but, no.

Suzanne said...

I can't wait to hear more stories about life as an EA at a big magazine. (Hint, hint...) I bet it was a lot more exciting than working as an EA for a medical journal, my first job!

Lisa said...

Love, love, LOVE your blog.

(I hail from a small midwestern town in Illinois... Cow-town USA.)

Now excuse me while I root around in your archives. :-)

Lady M said...

The Parent Bloggers site sounds great - congrats!

The Devil Wears Prada is on my Netflix list. I think I will have to bump it higher on the list, to see more about those perks. ;)

Damselfly said...

Whee! I saw you featured at the Parent Bloggers Network and thought I'd come to congratulate you for being the latest one featured. And here you are blogging about it! Chicky Chicky Baby also is blogging about the network, and you're both mentioning the days of good swag at work. Ah, fun times before the dot-com bubble burst....

Jenifer said...

I wish I had known!! But the open call for bloggers is apparently over! I'll have to keep an eye out, and congrats on being accepted!!

mothergoosemouse said...

PBN is going to be awesome - we're so excited about it!

And you've reminded me of Meghan Daum's chapter "Publishing and Other Near Death Experiences". I know it wasn't easy, but you're one of a handful of people who even got to that point, let alone survived on her own.

Mrs. Chicken said...

PBN should be a blast - thanks for the linky love!