Monthly Archives: November 2011

Mommy Blogging

The Mommy Blogging Shame Spiral

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Do mommy bloggers create a pressure-filled environment in which other mothers feel forced to be perfect? From the no-weight-gain pregnancy to the natural birth to the idyllic caretaker role, bloggers are setting a bar that\’s so glossy perfect, reader-moms are questioning every decision they make.

One reader said to GOMI, \”Mommy bloggers never talk about how hard it is unless to say in the same breath how lucky they are too. There is no honesty and no support.\”

So, to you moms out there: have mommy blogs ever made you feel inadequate? We\’ve had a few readers mention that they blame some postpartum depression on the pervasive perfection from the mommy blogs they read. What are mommy bloggers doing wrong? Can mommy bloggers redeem themselves?

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Fashion Blogging

Jessica Quirk Closes Down Comments Again

Jessica Quirk, the brain trust behind that What I Wore blog, has yet again shut down her comments. She has turned them off at least once in the past, instituting a “Code of Comments” (basically you’re only allowed to say nice things from now on thanks!) when she turned them back on. Now Messica has once again decided your comments aren’t worth the trouble to moderate:

Yes, Messica and her intern are just too busy with the super successful full time blog to sit around moderating your mean comments. From now on you should contact her through twitter or facebook!  When informed that it’s inconvenient to come to facebook to comment on an outfit, Messica replied “I prefer to put a face to a name with the comments and connect more one on one!” Translation: take that anonymous meanies! Let’s see you comment now, bidges!

Whatever. Frankly I think she’s better off not allowing comments, since it’s not like they added anything to her blog. There wasn’t any actual discussion or interesting interaction, just a series of fawning gurgles from her fangirls and people commenting just so they could include a link back to their own blog.

And to repeat the only thing I have left to say about Messica at this point: why doesn’t she just fold What I Wore into her stupid That’s Quirky! site already and just go full lifestyle blogger, instead of clinging (halfheartedly) to this “fashion blogger” crap? I really don’t understand why she’s dragging this out.

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Fashion Blogging

Modcloth Would Like You Ladies To Highlight Your Best Feature

Modcloth is well known for its wonderful product descriptions. It seems they’re still producing creative copy; the product page for the No Bones About It tights features not only nearly visible genitalia, but comes with this almost sarcastic text:

You don’t need X-ray goggles to appreciate the quirky style statement made by these skeleton tights – slip them on alongside bright clothes and accessories, and let your inner fashionista show!

Yes ladies, slip into these tights, throw on some accessories, and let your cradle of life air out in style! Nothing like a little beaver fever to warm up the coming cold weather parties. Pair with a “SUDDENLY, VAGINA” tee and wait for Bill Cunningham to immortalize your bold sartorial choice!

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Lifestyle Blogging

Internet Disappointed By That Wife’s Fridge

That Wife’s Jenna Cole is best known as the woman who lets her husband lock up the cheese to help her lose weight. A long cherished dream for hatefans of That Wife came true last week, when they were promised a peek inside the notorious Cheese Locker.

We combed the pics looking for a padlock, a  firebox, a package of Kraft singles fortified with 200 flex cuffs. Alas, though several pics were shared on the “Inside the Fridge” article, no evidence could be found of the cheese safe.

So where is this mysterious place where Jenna’s cheese is locked? The internets demands to know!

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Fashion Blogging

Jessica Quirk Needs A Vacation Apparently

Messy Quirk, of the “personal style expert” Quirks, needs a vacation too. It’s hard work dressing up every day, y’all! (Good thing she has an intern to write fluff posts filled with affiliate links for her since she hasn’t posted an outfit in a week.)

Messy's last outfit post a week ago is definitely one to remember.

Whether Messy realizes it (doubtful), it’s becoming evident to even the most casual of readers which posts are written by the intern and which are not. Sheri seems to have a way with Polyvore and is helping Jessica “I Used To Charge $5K For Sponsorships” Quirk rake in the cash using RewardStyle. What valuable work, Sheri! Earning that college credit one Polyvore set at a time!

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Internets

Rich White Guy Wants You To Stop Whining About Working So Hard

Michael Arrington, the man responsible for trading a bag of money for TechCrunch, is a rich, white, middle aged man who enjoys tweeting at celebrities, protecting the earth, and fighting “evilness” on the intertubes. He is also an enormous blowhard who likes to tell people to shut up a lot.

The current target for Mike’s ire is all you whiney, unappreciative brats who are complaining about working:

Suddenly everyone’s complaining about how unfair things are in Silicon Valley. How hard everyone has to work so darn hard, and how some people don’t get venture capital or a nice sale to Facebook or Google even though lots of other people are getting those things…If you work at a startup and you think you’re working too hard and sacrificing too much, find a job somewhere else that will cater to your needs.

You plebes should stop whining and remember how VERY VERY IMPORTANT Silicon Valley is, and that your pathetic crybaby butt is lucky to be here!

You might be sad that you work long hours and that sometimes your boss yells at you when tensions run high. But you also know that there is nowhere on earth like Silicon Valley.

He then goes on to contemplate the armageddon that awaits if you sobbing coders don’t nut up and work 20 hour days LIKE A BOSS:

[N]ot too long from now people will be talking about maximum working hours, minimum numbers of engineers assigned to complete a given task. And, shudder, unionization of startup workers.

I really hope that doesn’t happen. If it does, all the really necessary people will just leave and do their thing somewhere else.

Work hard. Cry less. And realize you’re part of history.

Listen to the rich white man, kids: work will set you free! If you just stop whining and do your job you too can one day sell your mediocre drama farm/media property and retire, to spend your days posting screeds against those who still have to work for money. Sometimes at jobs they don’t really love, for long hours, for little ROI.

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Mommy Blogging

Bloggers Without Borders Vaguely Blames The Widow

The Widow Donation Scandal that rocked the insular food blogging world continues to be a delicate subject for those involved. After Shauna Ahern of Gluten Free Girl basically put the blame on widow Jennifer Perillo, not much else was heard about the situation. Now BwoB has apparently responded privately to one commenter who had questions:

Dear M,

I am writing to you with regards to the comment you left on our most recent post, “A Fund for Jennie: The Final Update.” I hope you will understand our decision not to publish some comments. Recent developments have indeed been saddening, and we have remained quiet thus far because Bloggers without Borders and its board of directors believe that engaging a public discourse with commenters or even with Jennie herself about recent events would be more hurtful than helpful to all those involved. Our mission has always been to bring community together, not tear it down.

What you should know is this: we would not and could not have embarked on a month-long fundraising campaign without the knowledge and support of the beneficiary. There are e-mails, text messages, Tweets and Facebook updates that not only verify her need at the time but also show that Jennie privately and publicly supported our efforts throughout the campaign. At no time was there a request to modify the language of the post or suspend or cancel our efforts.

When we started this campaign Jennie was a grieving widow with the weight of the world on her shoulders. She still is. We are trying to respect her and her process. While it is our decision not to engage anyone publicly, we do recognize our responsibility to respond to our supporters and other concerned individuals, which we are doing privately.

As for some suggestions to donate the fund or a portion of it to another organization that sincerely helps widows/widowers in dire financial need, it is our understanding that, as a non-profit organization, we are legally bound to transfer any fundraising proceeds to the beneficiary named at the outset of the campaign. However, we are currently consulting with our lawyers regarding any legal alternatives that will satisfy the wishes of any donors who express a desire for such, while remaining within the boundaries of the law.

You should also know that we are working with our board of directors to create clear-cut guidelines and a new protocol, including stricter vetting procedures and establishing reasonable fundraising limits. We are doing our utmost to ensure that situations such as this do not happen in the future, particularly when supporting individual beneficiaries.

Kind regards,
Maggy Keet

In a nutshell it sounds as if BwoB is washing its hands of wrongdoing, since they were just going by what they were told. This seems like an odd way to run a nonprofit. It’s nice that NOW they are putting in vetting procedures but maybe they should have thought of that before opening up their site and begging for funds for a well off widow just because she she was wringing her hands crying “omg I don’t understand personal finance”.

In the end the widow has never apologized for basically misleading people – and she now has almost 80k in the bank to pay for her pretty daughters’ educations and a new apartment full of new furniture. In this economy, we should all be in such tragic circumstances. I hope BwoB’s “board of directors” takes a long hard look at future requests for fundraising and does a little more research than “oh that’s so sad, let’s help”.

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Internets

Sarah Lacy Left TechCrunch And Nobody Cared

Sarah Lacy, of  “what recession?” fame, apparently follows Paul Carr and Michael Arrington out the door over at TechCrunch. Unsurprisingly, the only people who seem to care are TC commenters.

In her personal contribution to the too long, passive aggressive departure post library formerly known as TechCrunch, Sarah basically says she’s successful and important and doesn’t need all this drama:

I’ve bounced between a lot of jobs in the last few years– writing for BusinessWeek, hosting a show for Yahoo Finance, writing two books, and traveling the world to find great entrepreneurs– but TechCrunch was the first place in my career where I felt like I totally fit. It was a place I felt I could stay for a long time.

And then Mike sold the company. Things went better than I expected for the first year. And then this fall, all hell broke loose. You could produce a Lifetime movie of the week about the behind the scenes drama of the last few months. Publicly, I’ve stayed silent during much of it, but it has been every bit as gut wrenching for me as it’s been for my colleagues.

She goes on and on and sums up by saying she doesn’t “think this is the time or the place to talk about what I’m doing next, but the plan isn’t to be a stay-at-home-mom.” Since she doesn’t even understand why people would complain about losing jobs, it’s probably best that she packs her desk and scoots on to “something I’m really excited to do next” so that someone who actually wants a job can have it.

Sarah assures the 11 people who give a crap “Don’t worry, I’m not going far. More on what I’m doing next in a future post. Watch this space.”  She’ll probably be joining Paultatohead Carr over at his sure to be a hit startup. I can’t wait for the lulz that will come out of that  ego ranch of fail.

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Fashion Blogging

Victims Of Grooming Woes Share Horrific Tales Of Hair Drama

Life can be like, way harsh Tai. From imperfect lattes to summoning the strength to shop, the suffering of upper middle class white women never ceases. But thanks to the internet, they can now enjoy the support of a worldwide  ”OMG I KNOW RIGHT?” chorus to ease them through their pain. This week a few of these poor souls have bravely come forward with the most painful of (I don’t have any real) problems: their hair.

Julie of Peanut Butter Fingers can’t figure out how to dry her hair:

While Jenna of Eat Live Run battled the tragedy of a trim:

Casey Culture also cried into her personal pan Thanksgiving Pizza about the emotional strain of hair trims:

I know you’re supposed to get regular haircut/trims with long hair, but I subscribe to the philosophy that these frequent trims tend to stop the growth process and cut hair shorter and shorter.  Or at least most haircut experiences have led me to this belief and I leave salons whimpering like an abused puppy.

Luckily Casey found the John Sahag Workshop which “costs a pretty penny, but if my results are any indication, it is worth it” and managed to exit the salon without waterworks.

Let’s all gather together to support these strong women in overcoming their battles!

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Mommy Blogging

Babies: The Easy Way To Internet Relevance

Ah, babies. The internets just loves babies. Bloggers, both by accident and design, are discovering that baby centered content equals a whole new target audience and can even resuscitate flagging pageviews.

The popular Dooce blogger has allegedly made millions posting about her life, including stories and pictures of her children. Now even Dooce’s daughter “actually runs out of the room when I break out a camera”. But other bloggers continue to document the development and activities of their offspring from pee stick to puberty, and 2012 is shaping up to be The Year Of The Blog Baby.

Caitlin of Healthy Tipping Point has been posting about her pregnancy since the day her dog tested negative. Emily Malone of Daily Garnish is posting regular updates on her baby’s life. Jen Lula has been posting at least monthly updates about her child for over a year. Emily of Emphasis Added and Jordan Reid of Ramshackle Glam are surely noticing that posts featuring pictures of their babies get more notes and comments than any other content. And the oddly uncomfortable-to-watch Art Of Making A Baby has built its entire existence around one thing: getting pregnant, being pregnant, and having a baby.

Most of the mommy bloggers who make negligible monetary rewards will claim they do it to share their lives or find community with other mothers. That’s all fine and dandy, but if the motivation is purely support and sharing, wouldn’t joining one of the many mommy boards be enough? Yes, says one mommy blogger, who wishes to remain anonymous.

“If I just wanted to share pics of my kid I’d just email them,” says the blogger. “[I]f I just wanted chat with other moms there are places for that…I want to make money like Dooce and PW [Pioneer Woman] and stop working my crap job. I do this hoping to make money and my baby is too young to know they are on the internet anyway.” Which basically makes it clear that at least some bloggers probably consider their kids to be more than just a vessel for their genetic code – they can be a commodity.

Comments like those above are starting to leak out and for many readers the perceived motivations of mommy bloggers are becoming tarnished. While many will say it’s the business of the parents to decide what level of privacy their as yet unaware spawn should enjoy many are becoming distressed about what the future will be like for an entire generation of Truman Burbanks.

And now – with increased concerns about dwindling privacy and examples of pic poaching by p**os coming to light – will the days of posting about one’s offspring start to lose its appeal, even become frowned upon? Or is the innocent personal family blog a thing of the past, to be replaced by a new bumper crop of babies-as-revenue websites? And must every life of the next generation be a reality show?

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Lifestyle Blogging

Ex-Googler Brit Morin Launches HelloBrit.com

Brit Morin, a former Googler and Apple omgGEEK, is now a founder of a lifestyle brand aimed at those dying to transform into an iPhone controlled robot Martha Stewart.

“The goal is to help people add order to their chaotic lives in creative ways. It’s clear that people want to make things and do things but they don’t have time, don’t know how or don’t have the right materials,”

How did she know that summer camp worthy crafts are what grown women want to do with their spare time!  Nothing says simplified life like chintzy crafting and monotasking gadgets to add to the cable soup my outlets are already turning into. I suppose it works for her since she quit her job to plan her wedding and blog for a living. Her first major craft project that she still deems her “greatest achievement” consisted of sewing together Capri Sun pouches at age 16. Judging by the content she’s putting out nearly a decade later, I’d have to agree that was indeed probably her finest moment. Hello Brit? More like Hello West Coast Jordan Reid.

If her crafts or gadget recommendations were polished and informed, I can see it going places but the only thing that Brit has perfected to date is taking her terrible crafting abilities too seriously. You can catch the craptastic craft madness on her YouTube channel. Have fun spray painting indoors!

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Lifestyle Blogging

Bleubird Vintage Instagrams Her Way Down The Aisle

“Miss James”, the twee behind the “Bleubird Vintage” blog, FINALLY had her wedding. She spent days burning up her twitter with Instagram photos like the one above (did they have their wedding at Jonestown?) and trying to make her #weddingweek hashtag trend.

Apparently her kids got to take a week off from the intellectual boot camp known as Bleubird’s Homeschooling in order to watch their mom drink beer and post pics of them. It’s not really possible to tell anything about her dress other than there was something silver involved, but based on how many posts she got just from the wedding planning I’m sure she will milk the actual event for at least 3 posts full of hipster filtered, vintage focus pics.

So congrats I guess. Hooray, a wedding play by play on twitter. Since this sort of minute by minute sharing of weddings and births is becoming commonplace now I won’t say anything old ladyish like “whatever happened to just being present in the day”, but seriously whatever happened to just being present in the day?

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Internets

Meanwhile, Around Twitter

First we get an example of cookbook author Gluten Free Girl‘s baking methods:

I’m not what you would call “a person who cooks”, but I’m fairly certain that “it varies” and “stick in oven and keep checking until it seems done” makes for a pretty shitty recipe. Shauna, there’s a reason people mock you and your cookbooks, and this is why.

Elsewhere Jessica Quirk, whose full-time What I Wore blog continues its slide into obscurity, posted this weirdly worded tweet:

Obviously she could be saying she has had a bad period of time spanning the last 24 hours. Taking into account Messica’s talents as a writer, we should probably not assume she’s complaining about a heavy flow or cramps.

And finally Tina, of Carrots N Cake fame, has finally scaled the summit of consumer perfection:

I don’t know what to say about this, other than it seems weird to call a sweater dress the ‘most important’ anything.

I should really stop checking twitter. The more I look around the more wtf I find.

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