Hi! I’m DaniGirl, typing madly in Manotick, Canada. That’s just a wee bit south of Ottawa, the nation’s capital. I’ve been blogging about raising a family in Ottawa since 2005. I’m inspired by my three (not so) little boys named Lucas, Simon and Tristan, and my Beloved, who after all these years is still just a little bit mystified by my compulsion to share our lives with the interwebs.
I’m also a freelance photographer. You can see some of my best pictures on my photography site, Mothership Photography. I particularly love candid portraiture and “storytelling” portraits of families and kids, so please do get in touch if you’re looking for a photographer with a playful streak and an overdeveloped sense of the delightful.
More than 700 of my best photographs are also available for license on Getty Images, where they’ve been used as book covers, in magazines like Good Housekeeping and Macleans, by brands like WalMart, Dell Computers, Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, Liberty Mutual Insurance, Sainsbury’s Bank, FedEx, Cosmopolitan, Lonely Planet, Business Week, Microsoft, and the Wall Street Journal, and even on the cover of our local Yellow Pages directory. You can see some of the other ways they’ve been used in my commercial gallery.
In 2009 – 2010, I took one photo each day for an entire year, called it Project 365 and blogged the whole thing. That was so much fun I did it again in 2011. And 2012. And I still try to take or post a new picture every day.
I also have a day job: I manage the social media programs for a big Canadian government department. I’ve been working in government communications for more than a decade, and specializing in social media for a good portion of that time. This is probably where I should include the standard disclaimer: all four million, three hundred thousand and eighty two of these opinions, insecurities and peccadilloes are mine, and do not reflect those of my employer.
I love to teach, to talk and to connect with people. (Actually, I just love a captive audience!) Here are some of the conferences, panels and webinars where I’ve discussed social media from both personal and professional perspectives:
- Social Media Practitioners Summit (moderated a panel discussion with members from Treasury Board Secretariat and the Privy Council Office on the direction of social media in the Government of Canada, April 2014)
- Tips for parenting in an online world: An introduction to Internet safety for kids (a presentation to parents of Centennial Public School via their school council, June 2013)
- Social Capital Conference 2013 (on Copyright in Canada and how to use images on the Web without getting sued)
- Government 2.0 Reaching Canadians Online (one of four government social media panelist in a webinar hosted by CPRS and Cision)
- Social Media in Government Ottawa 2012 (Allied Learning Institute)
- Social Capital Conference 2011 (on choosing the right social media tools for your business)
- Social Media in Government Vancouver 2011 (Allied Learning Institute)
- Social Media in Government Ottawa 2010 (Allied Learning Institute)
- Blog Out Loud Ottawa in 2009, 2010 and 2011
- Third Tuesday Ottawa 2007 (on marketing to “mommy bloggers”)
- Association for Research on Motherings’s Motherlode Conference 2006 (“Mama’s Got a Brand New Blog: The Rise of the Weblog and its Impact on Mothering”)
Here’s a few of the appearances, accolades and awards that the blog and I have garnered:
The blog was shortlisted as one of the top five blogs (among more than a hundred nominations) in both the Best Family and Parenting Blog and Best Blog about Life categories of the 2014 Canadian Weblog Awards.
Capital Parent Newspaper featured Postcards from the Mothership in the column “Parent Blogs We Love” in May 2014. They said, “If you want to be inspired and entertained, there’s no better place on the web to be than Postcards from the Mothership.”
I was invited to contribute an article and photos for the Summer 2013 Ottawa Parenting Times Magazine feature entitled “Why I blog.”
In the fall of 2012, Ottawa Family Living magazine commissioned an article and some photographs, and my article about living in Manotick appeared in the December 2012 edition.
The blog earned a 3rd place finish in the Art and Photography category of the 2012 Ninjamatics Canadian Weblog Awards.
In January 2012, CBC radio’s The Sunday Edition aired a 27-minute documentary by Ira Basen called Monetizing Mommyhood, where I was interviewed along with some bloggers I truly admire. The documentary examined some of the issues around social media, sponsorship and authenticity that I’ve often discussed here on the blog through the years.
In September 2011, Canadian Living magazine named Postcards from the Mothership as blog of the month. They said,
Danielle Donders is a photographer, mother of three, and blogger extraordinaire. Read about her funny adventures in motherhood on Postcards from the Mothership, where she posts almost daily from her home in Manotick, Ontario. Moms in the national capital region will find the blog to be a great resource for local family events.
In January 2011, Postcards from the Mothership won third place in the Humour category of the 2010 Canadian Weblog Awards. It was also nominated in the Best Family Blog and Best Written Blog categories.
In May of 2010, Canadian Family Magazine included Postcards from the Mothership as one of their Top 49 Mommy Blogs. (Back in April of 2009, I was a guest blogger for their Family Jewels blog, and was invited to return as a repeating guest blogger in July of 2010.)
On July 22, 2009 I was interviewed by Adrian Harewood on CBC Radio Ottawa’s afternoon show, All in a Day, about Project 365, my one-photo-every-day-for-a-year project. They asked me back again when I completed the project in January 2010!
In February 2009, I was one of ten finalists in Mabel’s Labels “Send a Blogger to BlogHer” contest
Smuggler’s Notch resort in Vermont was so satisfied with my blog postsof a trip they sponsored in the summer of 2007 that they commissioned an article — my first print publishing credit! — based on my review for their Explore magazine.
The blog and I were featured in “Moms Who Blog,” an article from
Canadian Family Magazine, June 2007
“In vitro we trust” was an article that featured our convoluted (in)fertility history and the state of reproductive technologies in Canada, from Chatelaine magazine, May 2007. (I blogged about it here.)
“Blogging for Dollar$” was an article that referenced my blog and decision whether or not to take advertising, from the Ottawa Citizen, October 2006
In January of 2006, Andrea from a peek inside the fishbowl invited me and two other bloggers to be a part of a feature on the CJOH News at Noon about blogging. That was so much fun that two months later in March of 2006 the host, Leanne Cusack, invited Andrea and Kristina and I back to the CJOH studio to do a call-in panel about blogging for the News at Noon.
I was very proud to be awarded 3rd place in the Best New Blog category (Rick Mercer won it!) and nomination for Best Personal Blog in the 2005 Canadian Blog Awards.
Way, way back, after I had been blogging but a single month, the Ottawa Citizen ran a Saturday article called “New Kid on the Blog,” featuring snippets from 28 mommy and parenting blogs for the 28 days of February – including my first-ever blog entry. (Imagine my delight!) The article has long since disappeared, but I kept a copy for my own personal archives.
(How lucky am I?)