About me: I'm 42 and added another gherkin to our pickle party of a family. My husband Chuck, our 9-year-old Junior, our 6-year-old Everett, our toddler and I live in a town in Connecticut I affectionately call Mulletville Lite (aka my childhood hometown). My friends call me Nutjob, and they're right. In my husband's spare time he dresses up as a Viking and chases ghosts (and I'm the nutjob?). When I'm not busy working as a graphic designer, I lie in a ball in the corner.
Monday, March 15, 2010
It must be that time of the month: I have strong opinions
Yowsers. Have you read this article and all the irate responses to it? If you didn’t, don’t worry. I’ll tell you everything you need to know.
A mommy blogger/New York Times reporter named Veronica Noone went to a blogging conference, Bloggy Boot Camp, organized by Tiffany Romero and Heather Blair, the founders of the Secret Is in the Sauce. Some have found her ensuing article to be offensive. While I agree with some of what’s being said, I also think there's some truth to the article. But I'll get to that in a minute.
Noone starts her article with this: “The topics on that day’s agenda included search-engine optimization, building a ‘comment tribe’ and how to create an effective media kit. There would be much talk of defining your 'brand' and driving up page views. You know. For your blog.”
Clearly, she’s nailed patronizing. She makes blogs sound like poodles in designer handbags; ergo their creators—mommy bloggers—seem vapid and silly. I get that. What follows is a not-so-nice description of bloggers clickety-clacking away at the conference while drinking mimosas from “brightly colored plastic sippy cups.”
And she continues with: “Heed the speaker’s advice, and you, too, might get 28,549 views of your tutu-making tutorial!”
Mmm. Because the depth of a blogger’s content is in direct proportion to her sewing skills. And I like how Noone makes it seem like Romero and Blair are making money off podunk women whose only talent is as Susie Homemaker.
Golly, Billy Bob! Maybe we can finally fix dat dang tractor with my blog 'ernuns.
She’s pretty bitchy. I’ll give her that.
But can we be honest? Despite the fact that Romero rebutted on her own blog with “I run a conference whose entire goal is to make women feel included, empowered and connected” can’t we clean off our lenses a bit and admit the obvious? Romero and Blair organized a conference to help women make money from their blogs; a conference from which Romero and Blair made money themselves.
Feeling “included, empowered and connected” is nice, but if that was the sole purpose of the conference, it could have taken place in any living room for free. I’m not begrudging the organizers for their conference (they seem like genuine, motivated woman and I enjoy the SITS site immensely), but there’s money in blogging and everyone has his or her angle.
Take the marketers. Mommy bloggers wield a lot of power, and marketers want a piece of the action. I’ve only been blogging for two years but holy shit, times have changed. You have to weed through the clearance racks to find genuine content. And the product placement is getting harder to detect. It's creeping into content.
My favorite part of the article is the quote from Pamela Parker, a senior manager with Federated Media. She’s quoted as saying, “The blogosphere is where authentic conversation is happening...Marketers are recognizing that they want to be there, associated with that authentic conversation.”
Bwahahahaahahahahahha. That’s the funniest fucking thing I’ve ever read. Marketers want to be associated with authentic conversation? Side splitting. Marketers don’t give a shit about anyone. They want to be associated with your 1,000+ twitter followers, 300+ Blogger fans and 400+ Facebook fans. You’re an insta-network. They want access to your posse. When they get it, they’re golden.
I’ll say this once: The best advertisement is one that people don’t know is an advertisement. If your blog is strong enough to have become a brand that people trust, marketers will want to screw your blog brains out. You’re their Trojan horse.
Now, I’d be a hypocrite if I didn’t acknowledge that there are perks to landing a sponsor or ad money from your blog. I myself have made about $500 over the last two years from various sources—and won some great goat soap. Obviously, others have had greater success. Some moms have landed book deals or brought in enough money that they could quit their day jobs.
I say, more power to them. I envy them. I hate working full-time. I’d love to stay home and write. But I want to write the real stuff, not the product-laden stuff. Writing marketing copy is the worst pity fuck there is: You’re not in it for love, and you have to keep doing it over and over.
I hope I haven’t offended anyone. That wasn’t my intent. I just wish we could own up to the fact that some bloggers are blogging to make money, while posing as a pauper—or worse, a friend. We should throw our cards on the table.
As for Noone, way to demoralize your gender. Just when I think women have infiltrated the parlor room and poured themselves a celebratory glass of brandy alongside the good ole boys, bitches like you come and smash all the glasses.
I mean brightly colored plastic sippy cups. Oops. Giggle, crosshatch, giggle.