Friday, June 22, 2012

Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Make Sex Tapes.

There's only one way to stop people from saying "mean" things about your blog: don't have a blog. 


Part of being a blogger is running the risk that people will disparage you via comments on a post, a bulletin board discussion, a message on Twitter, an email, a parody blog or to your face. In most blog niches (science, medicine, academic, political, pop culture, religion, finance, fashion, gaming, cooking, etc) this is an accepted fact.  Not so in the Mommy Blogosphere


Recently, several high profile mommy bloggers have written posts lamenting the rise of sites and communities that skewer, question, satirize, parody and mock blogs. I can understand being angry or embarrassed by these critiques, but hurt? Shocked? Defensive? No. Did these women not realize there was a downside to profiting from placing their private lives in the public domain? Were they unaware that they were aping Kate Gosselin and Kris Jenner? 


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If you are considering starting a mommy blog, here are five ways to cope with the possibility (or rather, eventuality) of critical feedback:
1. do not blog,
2. from the get-go set clear limits about what you will reveal on your blog and weigh every post with an eye to protecting your privacy or opening yourself up to criticism,
3. blog about whatever you want whenever the mood strikes with nary a care about privacy and don't give your detractors a second thought,
4. blog every private thought and intimate moment you have, lap up the compliments of strangers like it's mother's milk, and when people snark about you freak the fuck out and behave like a wounded animal, or 
5. blog exclusively about your cats. 


Option #2 is the one that I use. Though some days I can see the merit of #5. I think #1 is the safest bet for most people. Kudos to everyone who goes with #3, you are braver than I. As for #4 on the list...


FOR THE LOVE OF YOUR GOD, DO NOT CHOOSE #4! Please, I'm begging you. Do not broadcast your life, reap financial benefits, enjoy the notoriety, and glory in the gratification of strangers then get self-righteously indignant when you belatedly realize that not everyone on the planet is enamoured of your online persona. If you want to star in the internet equivalent of a reality television show, go ahead. But don't complain about it. Instead, go back to the above list and pick a different style of blog.


While you're thinking that through, here are some photos of my cats. They are SO CUTE!





(Did you see the creepy big bug on the outside window sill?)












19 comments:

  1. I struggle with how much to reveal about my kids. Because I want the blog to be a record of their lives & mine with them, but I also don't want them to be hurt or embarrassed by it someday. It's tough.

    My husband though - he's fair game. He reads the blog now. He told me if I ever crossed the line, he'd let me know. Hasn't happened yet.

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    1. I agree: it is tough. I think that some people think I'm paranoid because I keep personal and geographic details vague, but it's really about the idea that I don't to embarrass my kids. On line. I'm embarrassing enough in real life.

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  2. I saw the bug. I love your blog. I'd never be snarky to you!

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    1. Isn't he a big bug?! So creepy. When I saw it I closed and locked the nearby window -- because it looked like it was big enough to kick in the screen.

      Thanks for loving my blog, please feel free to snark. It comes with the territory.

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  3. That bug is so distracting, prehistoric maybe. Anyway. You can do no wrong in my book and I love the point of how when everyone is reaping the benefits it is fine, but take issue with anything and it is a huge problem.

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    1. This is definitely a "live by the sword, die by the sword" scenario.

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  4. hello!! Very interesting discussion glad that I came across such informative post. Keep up the good work friend. Glad to be part of your net community.

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    1. Dear Internet -- I am so glad that after 17 years together you are FINALLY acknowledging my existence. And my net community.

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  5. Oh my god, you got a comment from the Internet. I wish my posts were thought of as "informative".

    Yeah, it's tough. I try to record some of the things my kids do, but I don't want to put anything there that is going to make them hate me one day. You know?

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    1. I suspect when my kids reach the teen years they will have a long list of reasons to hate me. Beginning with "she homeschools us" and ending with "she owns her own Star Trek uniform."

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  6. I mainly agree with you, although I think it's hard not to be hurt by mean things said about you even when you know you're a fair target. I always talk big about only wishing I was well-known enough to get trolls, but I know if I ever really got trolled I'd be whimpering like a big wienie in the corner. And I would never intentionally put something in my blog about my kids to embarrass them, but I do write about them, because it's a record of my life and they're part of my life. Of course, like every other principle I hold, I will hold it firm until some wayward breeze comes along and changes my mind, and then I'll be all 'omg! you blog about your kids? SO WRONG!'

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    1. You don't get trolls? SERIOUSLY?!?!

      I'm not excusing the content of these sites -- because they are often brutal -- I'm just saying that it's a fact for ALL bloggers and well-paid, famous mommy bloggers should not expect to be spared.

      I will however acknowledge that I LOVE when a blogger's moral turpitude is exposed.

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    2. I believe that she doesn't get trolls. I've only ever had two, and I've been blogging since 2005. Which either means I'm not interesting enough to warrant trolls, or just that I'm lucky enough to have a good group of readers / commenters and we can chat about things without getting too worked up.

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    3. @Hannah -- now that I think about it, I tend to get trolls on my political posts. It's not going to stop me from posting about politics.

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  7. Am I a three? Haha, I don't even know!

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  8. You forgot the choice where you blog fairly openly, but stay anonymous by the means of having only four people read it. That's my choice and it works for me. :-)

    I'm so curious though, you need to email me a few links to these whiny blogger posts. I love that stuff. I actually was just thinking yesterday about posting about angry commenters and fake blogs that parody real ones. As if they have been FORCED to read the crap on a blog they don't like. That's what I don't get. I can't imagine being so angered by someone's farm and recipe blog that I have to make up my own to make fun of it. I don't really get that. Except the stuff that makes fun of Goop. That's just good fun and I think Gwyneth is fair game.

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  9. Your blog just ate my very long comment and I am sad. Maybe I'll be able to recreate it later, but for now I'm just going to log off and take it very personally, as if The Internet just chose to delete my comment.

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    1. PSYCH! Sorry, I had comments on moderation while I was out of town. I just sent you a very, very long email.

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