I sat and pondered this for a day, deciding whether I dared to write it. Â I mean, first of all the few people that still may actually read this are not the people I am talking about. Â (Unless by some chance this gets spread to a few of the “wrong” people… then it may very well become an example of what I am talking about).
After all, I am certainly not an “authority” on blogging, I am not a “social media expert” or any of the other titles that float around so freely these days. Â I’m just a guy that blogs (and for the past year or so barely that). Â But then again… my *brand* is “extra large, extra strong … without being bitter.” Â I am an openly (and probably too loudly)Â opinionated blogger. Â So, if I am going to own my brand… I need to stay loyal to it.
But it also puts me in a bit of aÂ quandary. Â I signed up to attend BlogHer this year, for a couple of reasons. Â One… for the entertainment factor (I can’t wait to see what this years drama and controversy will be). Â Two, to finally get a chance to meet and socialize with some people that are so spectacular in personality in their blogs, I just had to sieze the opportunity to finally get to put a live face to the words (I would love to do that with everybody that I read… maybe someday when I am rich and powerful, but in the mean time Â this is at least an opportunity to meet several at one time). Â And third, is to learn a bit more about what I am missing is the blogging world. Â The “brand building” that I have heard so many people talk, blog, tweet, about in past events. Â I want to learn a bit more… at least I think I do.
I say “think” because, I don’t know if it was the pithy title that set the mob over the edge, but the New York Times article “Honey Don’t Bother Mommy. Â I’m too busy building my brand.” certainly got a section of the MommyBloggers circling their wagons. Â The funny part is, for the most part, the article describes quite well, how MommyBloggers HAVE in fact built their brand… how as a collective they have become a force to be reckoned with (more on that shortly).
But instead, some clearly skimmed the article, others picked it apart selecting passages, others put words in that didn’t exist, and made a story about MommyBlogging to mean no woman can be taken seriously as a writer, and one or two I don’t think read it at all, rather took their cue from others and just wrote based on what they heard was a “wronging” and went from there.
Now, sure I am certain somebody would say, “but you are a guy, you have no idea about being a woman and the struggles it entails.” Â And physically yes that is true, but I also know I pay a lot more attention to those details and am more aware of them than I suspect most would think, because I do worry what barriers of entry my daughter will face in the years ahead of her. Â I also read a lot more mommyblogs that about anything else (well… except for tech blogs… but you get the idea).
My question becomes to these people is… are you trying to build a brand? Â Have you attended panels on how to do this… or have you spoken at them? Â Then why are you so offended by somebody pointing out that this is what you are doing? Â Yes, I will admit the headline was corny… but really, building a brand is what you are doing… own it.
Now maybe I am starting to get a little annoyed because over the past 4 or 5 years, I have watched a certain amount of devolving going on, and it is disappointing. Â Two items in the recent past still stick like a thorn in my pad… The first was the Bullshit “TSA kidnapped my baby” debacle. Â If you dared question this Mommyblogger because her story did not sound right… you wereÂ ridiculedÂ for it, how dare somebody question a Mommy Blogger. Â How date the TSA do this!! Â Except none of it was true. Â No apologies to the beast just moved on looking for its next meal.
The other was the absolutely insane #nikonhatesbabies hashtag party that took place because “how dare Nikon not allow a mother to take an infant to a party… at night… at a bar?” Â These are the same people that try to claim that Bloggy Boot Camp, and BlogHer are “no different” than any other technology conference. Â Really? Â On one side of the coin, I read demands of “if you are going to throw a BlogHer party as a vendor, you should know your crowd, and provide for children at the events.” Â And then, out of the very same mouths comes “this is no different than SXSW or any other tech conference, and shouldn’t be viewed any differently just because it is a conference for women.” Â Make up your minds ladies… Which one is it?
And… once again, one or two twitter messages went out from a couple of people about how sorry they were about the #nikonhatesbabies thing… but for the most part, the beast moved on to its next feeding ground.
Perhaps the arguement several years back at BlogHer was correct, and there needs to be a better definition of what is a “MommyBlogger.” Â Just because you write, and you happen to be a mom, doesn’t necessarily make you a “MommyBlogger.” Â At the same time, just because you are a mom and happen to have a blog, doesn’t make you a MommyBlogger either, nor does it give you an automatic right to ask for things. Â I have now started unfollowing people that have put up tweets such as “I can’t afford to go to BlogHer, what airline wants to sponsor me and send me?” Â and I would think anybody that wants “MommyBloggers” to be taken seriously to spend as much time beating down a person like that as they do when they feel slighted by some corporation, because it reflects poorly on all MommyBloggers. Â Maybe if this can be broken up, then the pieces can each get the recognition they deserve, and each can have their own battle lines drawn, because right now, it looks like MommyBlogging has become the beast with an appetite for destruction that is just insatiable.
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