Dad 2.0 Summit for Houston Dads Clubs and Dad Bloggers


 by Bernadette Verzosa

Editor's Note: is a Media Partner of the Dad 2.0 Summit in Houston.

      A Houston dad is behind a breakthrough event for fathers in America. John Pacini is co-founder of the Dad 2.0 Summit that spotlights issues that are relevant to the nearly 68 million fathers in the United States.

     The Dad 2.0 Summit is a major force in what's being called The Fatherhood Movement. Many modern dads say they're more engaged with their children and more involved with household tasks than previous generations of dads. Therefore, they are trying to influence the mainstream media's depiction of the modern dad.

     Many dad bloggers note that men are often commercially portrayed as discombobulated or neglectful when caring for children. They are joining forces to correct these misperceptions. Recently, they used cyberspace to retaliate against a television advertisement that showed dads who could not even change diapers properly. Through an online petition, they successfully lobbied the company to pull the ad and change it.

      The inaugural Dad 2.0 Summit was in Austin last year. This year's conference is being held at the Four Seasons Hotel in downtown Houston from January 31-February 2, 2013. More than 60 speakers are on the schedule for keynote addresses and breakout sessions. About 200 Dads, Dad Bloggers, Marketers and Social Media Leaders from around the country are expected to attend. caught up with John Pacini as he was finalizing details for the three-day Dad 2.0 Summit.


ParentsPost:  Why is this event needed?


JOHN PACINI:  We are building a community, a platform for Dads that can grow and flourish and inform the marketing structure. The modern dad is very engaged. The face of fatherhood is changing for the better and we are passionate and proud to be providing this framework for the movement. There are now hundreds of dads who blog. The Dad 2.0 Summit helps them support each other's content, gives them the ability to garner high-quality content and attract brands and business models. There is power and influence in creating awareness. 


ParentsPost:  Why are there more dads online?

JOHN PACINI:  One factor was the recent recession. Men have been disproportionately downsized the last four years. What that created were more households where the wife was the primary breadwinner and the husband was the primary caregiver. It was a role reversal. There has been more stay at home dads in the last decade, especially in the last five to six years. A lot of these men created an online presence, a voice, following women's path in blogging and using social media as a branding tool.


ParentsPost:  How does this compare to the annual Mom 2.0 Summit that was created by your wife Carrie Pacini?


JOHN PACINI:  We have seen a remarkable growth in the mom blogging community in the last five to seven years that has dramatically shaped the marketing targeted to moms. There are billions spent every year to reach them as a consumer market. The Mom 2.0 Summit allowed mom bloggers to band together. They had a new online voice and a way to express those voices. They shape the marketing dialogue. Dad 2.0 Summit is trying to do the same for dads. The most influential mom bloggers are doing infomercials. Dads aren't there yet.  




ParentsPost:  Tell me about The New Yorker magazine cover that you say reflects today's dads.


JOHN PACINI:  That cover of The New Yorker Magazine, an issue from sometime last year, was an acknowledgement that things are changing. You see a mom with a stroller at the gate of an urban park. She's standing there watching all the dads with their young children in the park.


ParentsPost:  What is the stereotypical image of dads that you are trying to change?  


JOHN PACINI:  Dads are portrayed as hopeless idiots. The ads are pandering to moms, and pitting moms against dads. Well, we're all parents. We all care about our children. We all want the best for our children. We want to move beyond the mom versus dad marketing mantra regarding marital dynamics and family dynamics. Moms and dads are both active and engaged parents and we're trying to help marketers understand that. We're trying to help brands get it right the first time and understand what matters to dads. The face of dad is changing and the face of parenthood is changing with it.


ParentsPost:  How did the modern dad evolve through the decades?


JOHN PACINI:  It's been a long transition. We look back at each generation's definitions. Every generation's experience informs how dads interact with their kids. So men who came back from World War II and men who grew up during the Great Depression, those experiences affected how they are with their families. There has been evolution through the 1960s peace and love movement and through the 1970s when women achieved a whole new level of professional growth. Where we are today we've seen several generations of very much the dad who is the head of the household, called the shots and was the breadwinner. That's outdated. What you're seeing today are parents who grew up in dual income environments that left them feeling like they want to do something different with their kids.


ParentsPost:  How does the modern dad arrive at his parenting style?


JOHN PACINI:  It's a thought process. What you do is take stock of what it means to you as a parent, you analyze how your parents' choices affected you as an adult. What mattered to me when I was a kid? What did I love and what did I not love? Many of us want to be better parents, give our children a better experience. Then our children may be able to raise the bar even further in this thought process, and they can give their kids a better life than what they had. That can be the family legacy.


CLICK HERE for a complete conference schedule for the Dad 2.0 Summit.

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