how would you find moms to quote? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 06-18-2008, 07:35 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am starting off freelancing and I am confused about how writers contact everyday people to quote in their stories. I'm talking about something like:

Jill Bowers, of Bend, OR, says that her son was a picky eater until he was 5 years old. "He basically made his mind up for himself that he was a big boy now and ready to eat different foods", she says.

Specifically, I am writing a story on diapering advice and need to find people willing to give basic quotes like the one above.

Thanks for your help!
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#2 of 16 Old 06-18-2008, 08:27 PM
 
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This is is one of those big challenges... Writers often rely on other writers because we know how hard it is to find a 'guy on the street'. This is also how I came to be quoted in a CNN article about severed feet yesterday - sigh... I sound like such a dork, but I digress...

Anyhow, I typically email something like this to everyone in my address book:

Looking for an interview subject - diapering

Hi everyone,
I'm working on a story for xy magazine about cloth diapers and need a parent who recently switched from disposables to cloth or who decided to use cloth right off the bat. I need a quick phone interview and permission to identify you. Please feel free to forward this to anyone you know who might fit the bill and who lives in the following regions. My deadline for interviews is June 25.
contact info...

Then I do a google search for yahoo/facebook groups and forums on the topic and post the same basic request.

Diane
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#3 of 16 Old 06-18-2008, 11:06 PM
 
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I've been having good luck with craigslist. I've been looking for interviewees for a book, not articles, but I've been getting a decent number of responses by posting in the volunteer section.
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#4 of 16 Old 06-18-2008, 11:35 PM
 
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Why not PM someone from MDC? We have a diaper forum, after all. Find a quote you like and ask for permission to quote it and a few personal details ('Jane Doe from Ohio, who has cloth-diapered all five of her children'). Or find a mama who posts on that forum a lot and PM her with a couple of 'interview' questions. Or start a thread specifically asking the kinds of questions you want statements about, and pick the best 'sound bites' (asking for permission and details, again, of course). I'm sure no-one will mind!

If decomposition persists please see your necromancer.

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#5 of 16 Old 06-18-2008, 11:59 PM
 
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I do these stories all the time and am constantly finding people to quote.

I email friends and ask if they know of anyone. I will just google and find people's blogs. I have also found several mamas on MDC who have been great and have ended up in some major publications.

Welcome to the Real World she said to me, condescendingly, take a seat. Take your life; plot it out in black and white.
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#6 of 16 Old 06-19-2008, 12:00 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post
Why not PM someone from MDC? We have a diaper forum, after all. Find a quote you like and ask for permission to quote it and a few personal details ('Jane Doe from Ohio, who has cloth-diapered all five of her children'). Or find a mama who posts on that forum a lot and PM her with a couple of 'interview' questions. Or start a thread specifically asking the kinds of questions you want statements about, and pick the best 'sound bites' (asking for permission and details, again, of course). I'm sure no-one will mind!
Um, I discovered this may be against the user agreement.
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#7 of 16 Old 06-19-2008, 12:05 AM
 
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well then, by all means I didn't do that

I personally don't see what's wrong with approaching people via pm. They can ignore if they want to. If they are interested, then we usually chat via phone.

Welcome to the Real World she said to me, condescendingly, take a seat. Take your life; plot it out in black and white.
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#8 of 16 Old 06-19-2008, 12:22 AM
 
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Quote:
Um, the moderators seem to mind. I got slapped for doing the very thing you are describing
No kidding?! Sorry! I didn't know. (Not that I've done it myself yet, but I was planning to).

Why on earth would they care? It's not like we're aggressively promoting our articles or asking MDC members to do our homework. We have so many articulate and passionate ladies here who seem like they'd be happy to get information out there and share their experiences.

If decomposition persists please see your necromancer.

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#9 of 16 Old 06-19-2008, 01:15 AM
 
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I did it a bunch of times before I got in trouble and thought I was doing a good thing too. I write for some mainstream parenting mags, so always try to make sure my subjects are breastfeeding, cloth diapering, home birthing types - for balance
Apparently though this can be a problem.
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#10 of 16 Old 06-19-2008, 10:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks for all your advice, everyone. I recently was BANNED from an online fourm because I had PM'd a member who I was interested in quoting. I said that if they would like to be quoted I would need their real name, where they are from, and their email for verification purposes. When I went to check my reply PM, I was banned forever from the site! I would be crushed if that happened on MDC, so I emailed Jacque the administrator the other day asking about etiquette regarding this issue. Haven't heard back yet. However, I appreciate all the suggestions! keep 'em coming if anyone has more ideas!
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#11 of 16 Old 06-19-2008, 11:43 AM
 
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I think you could consider paid signature advertizing here on MDC: http://www.mothering.com/discussions/payments.php

You could then put something like "Looking to interview cloth diapering moms" or something with a link to your blog or website. Perhaps you should check the rules though before you do this.

Mama to DS1 and DS2
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#12 of 16 Old 06-19-2008, 06:15 PM
 
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Well, colour me stunned. That's really... I mean, that's just.. *splutters*

Hmph.

If decomposition persists please see your necromancer.

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#13 of 16 Old 06-24-2008, 06:15 PM
 
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Huh.

I'm lurking.

Huh.
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#14 of 16 Old 06-26-2008, 10:53 AM
 
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Wow, I'm glad I saw this thread, I was just getting ready to PM someone about getting a quote for my proposal. Would hate to be banned for that!

Man, now I'm stumped as to how to find quotes if you can't PM people on message boards.

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#15 of 16 Old 06-26-2008, 04:44 PM
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DH said something pithy in the comments of a finance blog and a writer commented asking him for a quote. The writer left his email address (in the comments) for DH to email him. The article was published in Business Week about 6 months ago.

Let us know what you find out about comments here.
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#16 of 16 Old 07-01-2008, 07:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Hey, everyone. I still haven't heard from the adminstrator on this issue, but maybe I'll try emailing her again. I would really like to know the official answer to my question! thanks everyone for your help and comments.
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