October 01, 2005

So, you want to be in The Cotillion?

We've received a lot of questions about how one becomes part of our little group of bloggers. In the interest of clarity and time (and often-fragile blogger egos), I'll explain it here.

The Cotillion was formed from my weariness at the meme "where are all the women bloggers," that seems to go around every few months or so, and particularly the idea that the big blogs generally link more to male bloggers. My opinion was (as it is about most things), rather than complain, let's DO something.

Jody and Janette loved the idea and were immediately on board and we started scheming planning. We invited some of our favorite bloggers, and some others that filled a particular niche or that we considered essential to any blogroll. Most accepted, and some did not because they simply didn't have time, and a few did not because they didn't want to engage in any gender-based affiliation (which I do understand, even though I think they're missing out).

So why isn't it just open to any female blogger? Well, for one thing, we're a pretty active bunch, and "managing" the carnival and other things we do as a group takes a LOT of time and effort. Basically, I'd have to quit my own blog to manage many more. But it's more than just that, of course.

We want to include women who, as I said, fill an important niche or are otherwise considered "essential reads." Someone those "big blogs" need to notice. Not that you aren't, of course! You might very well be one of those, but WE DON'T KNOW YOU.

So how do you get an invitation?

First, like I said, it's not for everyone. We do ask for ACTIVE PARTICIPATION. This means more than sending in a link for a carnival when you're reminded to do so. It's a LOT more than getting listed on a blogroll. There are a lot of other "coalitions" in the blogosphere that require little more than a link or posting the blogroll, and we expect much more than that. We actively promote each other's work by linking to one another's posts and sharing ideas in our busy Yahoo email group. This takes time and effort, so it may not be what you want to do. We've even lost a few original members due to the time and effort we ask for.

Second, if we don't know you, we can't exactly invite you. An email to one of us asking "can I join" doesn't tell us anything. If you want to make yourself known to any bloggers, you pretty much need to MAKE yourself known, whether in comments at a blog or by linking to and sending trackbacks to a blogger's posts. (And it goes without saying, not having the blogger on YOUR blogroll is just poor form if you're asking for something.) If you make the effort to promote yourself, then we will promote you. Simple as that. Again, an email alone doesn't cut it. Notice how I didn't link Jody or Janette's names above? It's because if you don't know who they are, you don't really know about our group.

The Cotillion isn't about a "clique," as some disgruntled whiners bloggers have complained. It's simply what I said it is--a group of female bloggers that work to promote one another's work. We DO want to be somewhat "exclusive," though; as noted above, we're not just a blogroll.

If you're a hard-working blogger and are interested in what the others in Cotillion are doing and saying, and want to help promote the others in exchange for our helping promote you, then you are who we want.

So, if you are up to the work and we know you, yes, you probably will get an invitation. And yes, even if you're a "small" blog or a newer one.

Posted by Beth at October 1, 2005 06:05 PM