Full disclosure... I will be speaking at Bloggy Boot Camp in Phoenix on May 1. That being said...
The New York Times can suck it.
Last Monday night, I snuggled into my place on the couch to watch my favorite narcissist, House. His patient was a blogger who was updating her readers from her hospital bed about the doctors and her situation. In between all the drama, a Taco Bell ad came on with an actor playing the part of, what looked like, a travel journalist speaking to the camera. Turns out, he was playing the part of a "Shrimp Blogger". The next day, our two segments on Mommy Blogging aired.
So all of the sudden, we're the "it" thing.
And just like every fad (I say fad for the attention that's being given... many of us have been "wearing" blogs way before they were trendy), The New York Times Style section decided to finally weigh in. Way to be on top of things, Gray Lady. And the *cough*journalist *cough* that did the weighing was definitely tipping the scales with snark. The title itself made me stop and take a deep breath: Honey, Don't Bother Mommy. I'm Building My Brand.
She comes right out of the gates making fun of my wonderful friend, Tiffany and her traveling conferences, Bloggy Boot Camp. She seems to question why moms would want to learn about marketing and web design because obviously, all we should want to know is how to keep a better home and garden, right? She mocked Tiffany's personality in a way that reminded me of the mean girls in high school ganging up on the nice girl just because a boy looked at her, not them. Somewhere in the middle, she says, "Oh yeah... by the way... I'm a blogger, too."
The journalist brings up some valid points... points that we've all made. How we sometimes miss the old days of just writing. How we're all trying to figure out how to balance blogging and business. How we're all trying to work with companies without selling our souls. (Great quotes from other bloggy buddies, Ciaran Blumenfeld and Amy Lupold-Bair.) But her snarky attitude towards Tiffany and blogging moms was completely unnecessary and left me feeling a lot uneasy.
As did her repeated use of the word kaffeeklatsch.
Tiffany deserves praise for her ingenuity; for seeing a need and meeting it. She created Bloggy Boot Camp as a way for newbies to get all the how-tos from bloggers that have been there without having all of the other worries to deal with. She hosts them in cities all over the country in the hopes that participants would be able to find affordable ways to get there. And her all-in-one-day format is designed so that someone could come in, learn from veterans, connect with others like herself, have some fun, and get back home. (A blogger just starting out would have a hard time explaining to her husband why she needs to buy a $300-400 conference pass, an expensive plane ticket to travel across the country, pay for four days in a hotel, and oh yeah,he has to watch the kids... just so she can learn a bunch of tricks for her new hobby. )
Tiffany deserves a big pat on the back for showing us that you can be a savvy business woman AND build community without sacrificing integrity. What she got was a bit of a slap in the face from another woman.
A mom who blogs.
I can't imagine how it feels to be mocked after all the hard work and all the worry that goes on in order to put even a small conference together. I can't imagine what it must be like to think that someone sat there all day, dissecting your every move rather than seeing all your hard work. You would think that a freelance writer who is also a mom would be more sympathetic.
Tiffany, my sister... I am here to say: You rock!!
Thank you for creating a site that gives unknown bloggers a chance to be discovered and loved. Thank you for giving newbies a place to learn the ropes without breaking the bank. Thank you for always connecting women to other women that "get it." Thank you, personally, for being on the other end of the phone when I needed you. And above all, thank you, dear lady, for showing us all that you can gain notoriety by lifting others up rather than smacking anyone down with snark.
And to you, New York Times... your link bait stinks a little. Smells like desperation.
Tiffany's response: Honey, I Just Want to Connect Women