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Monday, April 30, 2007

What a long great trip it's been! - Wrapping up the THK blog tour

When Meredith Efken approached me in March with the suggestion that we do a "blog tour" to promote Teresa Heinz Kerry's upcoming Pittsburgh conference on Women's Health and the Environment, I had no idea what a blog tour was. To make it more intriguing, I learned from Meredith that a "blog tour" is something more and more book authors are doing to promote their newly released books - but Meredith was suggesting to adapt the technique to promoting the conference. Hmmm. Why not? So with the approval of the good folks at the Heinz Family Philanthropies and Teresa herself, we embarked.

Since 4/14 Teresa has visited 15 blogs, with great answers to interesting and challenging questions at each. In between, she prepared for and delivered (with of course the help of the other wonderful sponsors) the main event, an absolutely great conference on April 20th.

I had the good fortune to attend and live-blog the conference. I must say it surpassed my expectations - I have been to conferences before that left me thinking along the lines of "ok, fascinating, but so what? Will any progress happen because of this conference?" Of course I realize that some of my cynicism is just due to lack of knowledge on my part; it is quite possible that all of those conferences have been plenty productive, but I'm just not insider enough to know about it. But in this case - and maybe it was because I was at the blogger's table, and thanks to a shout out from Jeff Lewis in the introductions everybody knew we were there, we had a chance to meet a lot of people and hear a lot about efforts going on in the real world to put this great information to use. I saw real connections happening that I think will result in information being delivered to people who need it and will use it - eventually, even if not overnight.

The list of great moments at the conference is too long to give recognition to everyone, but I would say that the following were highlights for me:


From the blog tour, it is just impossible for me to select any favorites - every set of questions was interesting, and all the answers were well thought out, detailed, and informative. I learned something at every stop! Here is a list of the stops with direct links to the blog tour posts:



4/14 Culture Kitchen
4/15 Light Up The Darkness
4/16 Democracy Cell Project
4/17 A Dem Fine Woman
4/18 Big Green Purse
4/19 John Kerry Is My Hero
4/20 The Democratic Daily
4/21 Post Carbon Institute
4/22 The Unofficial Kerry Blog
4/23 Culture Kitchen
4/24 We Love John Kerry
4/25 Violet Voices
4/26 Cocking A Snook
4/27 VB Dems
4/28 Tough Enough
4/29 Liberal Values


Finally, I want to close with a list of (a few of the) links that were given out in the conference and the blog tour - these are some key resources we can use as we "continue the conversation" and just as importantly, start taking action in our own lives, to reduce ours and our children's exposure to environmental toxins:
That isn't nearly all the great links that were given out between the conference and the blog tour, but it's getting late and I really should post this. I hope everyone will use the blog tour index given above to find any posts you missed, or just revisit the posts on occasion for all the great information they contain.

Thanks to everyone who joined us on this wonderful trip - I hope you enjoyed yourself! And most especially a heartfelt thank you to Teresa Heinz Kerry, Jeff Lewis, Meredith Efken, Karen & Richard, all the bloggers who asked such great questions and made such great posts, and all those other wonderful souls who helped out in various ways - we couldn't have done this without you. Great job, everyone!

Shall we do it again for the Boston edition of this conference, this fall?

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Comments:
Margaret, thank you so very, very much for all the work YOU have put into making this tour happen, too. I'm so glad you and Jeff and Karen and Richard and Teresa were willing to take a risk on my crazy idea. It was a fun experiment, and I do hope it works out for us to try it again at some point.

I learned a lot from reading all the interviews and checking out the links that Teresa provided for each of us. There's an amazing amount of knowledge contained in these interviews. I liked someone's idea last week of compiling the interviews in one location at some point.
 
Hi Meredith! You're welcome, but I can't take much credit...the real work was done by all the others I mentioned. Mine was a pittance in comparison.

I'm really glad we did this. The conference just blew me away with how much information, energy, dedication and determination those folks have...this blog tour was a way of extending that reach a little further beyond the conference day.

I am really looking forward to the Boston event now. I don't know if we'll try a blog tour again, but I definitely expect to be spreading word about the conference around the blogosphere!
 
Thank you, MH, for this very resourceful wrap up (and yeah, I was thinking a rock and roll reference, too, when thinking about a "blog tour", man). I'll definitely bookmark your post so that I'll have links to all of THK's interviews which were great.

Meredith -- my hat is off to you and your "crazy idea". I actually think presidential candidates should pay attention and go on blog tours themselves. After all, it would put them in touch with the activists whose volunteer work and primary votes will make and break the race.
 
Thank you, MH, Meredith, and all of you who made this blog tour a success. I enjoyed every stop on that tour and was amazed at the thoughtful and intelligent questions and informative answers.
This is defnitely a repeatable experiment.
 
Yup, this was a really great idear (thanks, Meredith!) ... and yr hmbl otr crspndnt was more than glad to be part of it, too.

You know what? We really should do this again sometime...
 
Thank you so much for this summary. Everyone involved in this should be incredibly proud of the information and resources in these blogs.

It is really rare for something to change how you live, but this did. Having both the reasons why it is prudent to make changes and the information needed to easily find healthier alternatives in the same place, makes it easy to make changes.

As one devastated in Nov, 2004 because we would not have the brilliant, moral and wise Senator Kerry as President, I now see that we lost every bit as much by not having the brilliant, moral, and wise THK as first lady. They would have been an incredibly stunning role models for our kids.
 
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