Kidlitosphere Conference Loot
George Mechem was Right

Kidlitosphere Yahoo Group

As some of you know, Robin Brande set up a Yahoo Group for the people attending the 1st Annual Kidlitosphere Conference. After the conference, Farida Dowler (aka Alkelda the Gleeful) of the Saints and Spinners blog noticed that people were using that group to discuss more general question about children's book blogging. (The most recent topic has been about how to setup and maintain blog feeds.)

Farida graciously took up the task of renaming the group to be more general and opening it up to other bloggers. If you were on the conference list, your membership has automatically been transferred. If you weren't on the conference list, and would like to join this fun and dynamic group, you can do that in one of two ways:

  1. Go to the Yahoo groups site and type "Kidlitosphere" in the search box, and follow directions to sign up. There is a verification question about your favorite children's books, but Alkelda promises not to judge.
  2. You can email Farida directly at alkelda [the] gleeful [at] gmail [dot] com (editing to make it a real email address, of course).

Farida notes that "People should be able to hide their email addresses from the rest of the group, but that means that they won't be able to post in the forum." Your choice. I've found it a very safe group so far.

Please don't link directly to the Yahoo group on your blog, or post Farida's full email address. She's making a valiant effort to minimize spam to the group, having had some prior negative experiences.

And yes, I know that there are some issues with the term Kidlitosphere (at the conference, some authors voiced their dislike of the term, because KidLit has been used in some derogatory contexts). But here's the thing:

  • First of all, the term already has a lot of momentum. People are used to it, and, at least within the community of people blog about children's and young adult books, people know what it means.
  • Second, the people using it in this community are not using it a derogatory manner. At all.
  • Third, I for one couldn't come up with a better term than "kidlit" for use in blogging. Children's and Young Adult Literature is quite a mouthful. CYA has other connotations. Anne Levy did a great job coming up with an acronym for the Cybils, but that's already in use for that particular award, and I don't think that it would be at all appropriate to try to generalize it. To just talk about children's literature would marginalize the young adult authors and bloggers. So, until someone else can come up with a name that's short (see also Gwenda's comments on this), descriptive, and inclusive of children's and young adult bloggers and podcasters (anyone? Bueller?), I think Kidlitosphere is going to remain.

Melissa Wiley (creator of the Carnival of Children's Literature, and author of the Martha and Charlotte Little House books) coined the term on her blog in June of 2006, and it's taken off like wildfire. Today, Google shows some 28,000 hits.

Anyway, if you'd like to join the group, and participate in discussions on blogging about children's and young adult literature, follow one of the two steps above. Hope to see you there!