Monthly Archives: August 2012

Mommy Blogging

CecilyK Does This For Money, You Know

CecilyK, like so many mommy bloggers, has a column over at Babble.com. And like most bloggers she posts teasers and a link to her columns whenever they are posted. Apparently some of her readers are getting tired of her “bait and switch game”, and decided to say so:

“Cecily, I really enjoy your writing and your point of view, but I seriously hate being forced to click over to another website. If I wanted to go to that website, I would just go there…this is a game that I don’t want to play…”

“so, first I have to click over from my reader, then I have to click to yet another website after the first paragraph? Completely ridiculous, and you just lost another reader.”

 Rather than thinking about what her readers are complaining about and coming up with another option for pimping out her other content, Cecily basically said “Shakespeare gotta get paid”:

Um…Cecily honey that’s great that Babble is paying your bills, but it’s not the responsibility of your readers to follow you all over the internet to make sure you can buy your pallet of Red Bull this month. Maybe instead of flipping the double hamflap and saying “sorry YOU feel that way but I need to buy food” you could ask if anyone else feels that way; heck, you could even ask if they have suggestions that would allow you to still cross promote your content while not irritating your readers with teaser linkbaiting.

But this little episode apparently wasn’t enough to get the message across. This past Monday – an entire week later – Cecily felt the need to bring it up all over again and remind everyone that for just one click a day they could feed her family:

Note: some folks have found it frustrating to have to click over to the Uppercase Lowdown from my blog to read the entire posts that I’ve been putting here on Mondays. I totally get that it’s annoying that I’m posting there instead of here; but I’ll tell you what I mentioned to folks in the comment section of my post last Monday.

Writing at this blog is my favorite thing in the world, but it doesn’t pay anything. My column at Babble Voices, however, DOES pay me – in fact, each column buys groceries for the week. So, yes, on Mondays I will be writing there instead of here. I hope you can accept that, and will go ahead and click over.

Also, if you want to avoid the multiple clicks, you can click on the link right in the feed rather than come to my blog and then click over. Okay? Thanks, everyone, for understanding.

Seriously, why can bloggers never just let stuff go? Why bring it up all over again? What exactly does that accomplish? If her position is “tough toodles, it pays my bills, now shut up and click or don’t read it” then what is the point in opening the topic up all over again for a second round of comments? If she’s not going to say “hey readers help me not annoy you”, then it just seems like a pathetic attempt to make herself sound upset in order to get some “don’t listen to those haters, CK!” hug circling from her fans.

Or maybe it’s just another way of her saying YOU DON’T GET A SAY.

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DIY Blogging

Designlovefest Holds Not So Random Giveaway

Bri Emery, of some Designlovefest blog, announced last week that she would be having her “biggest giveaway yet”. The items, totalling over $2,400 dollars, would include “one free spot to blogshop – you can redeem your golden ticket in the city of your choice”, a copy of Photoshop, and a bunch of the usual random blogger giveaway stuff – a book, a scarf, a backpack, a gold iPhone case. Bri told her readers:

we’ll be choosing one random winner on tuesday, august 28th at 10am PST. make sure you leave a way I can reach ya if you win!

Unfortunately when Bri announced the winner, it became clear that it was in fact NOT a “random” winner – the chosen one Taylor also submitted a blog post complete with video detailing “how much I want this”. Bri’s commenters quickly called her on the perceived unfairness of how the winner was actually chosen:

“Seriously love your blog and your creative talent. Never in a million years did I think I would win this giveaway, but didn’t you say the winner would be random? If you’re holding a creative-entry style contest – just say!”

“I thought you said the winner would be chosen at random, so I just have to mention it…and I totally agree that if it was meant to be based on whose entry was the most creative, we should have known that ahead of time so we could get our creativity ON!”

“Bri, I just now saw your response to the question about the winner. I’m sorry, but that’s really disappointing to me. You could have called out her entry and given her some blog-love, but you did say the winner was going to be random.”

Bri’s response was basically a variation of “I’m sorry you’re offended”:

i am sorry you feel like that, it was not the intention. like i said, i thought it was notable that she did go above and beyond without being told, plus entered in multiple ways. we will definitely be having more contests like this in the future. a creative contest sounds fun. let’s not rain on taylor’s parade, please! thanks everyone :)

Commenters continued to say they felt “mislead” by the contest rules despite Bri editing her post to add:

update: i deeply apologize for my mistake here, i’m human and i made an error. i hear all of your comments and i’m doing everything i can to fix this. i announced one more free spot to blogshop on my facebook page. thank you so much for understanding. -bri

I’ve long been suspicious about how “random” blog giveaway winners are actually chosen. Unless the blogger  posts the actual randomizer result screenshot in the winner announcement I always assume they pretty much chose someone they liked. Frankly I’m surprised there are not actual rules in place about these giveaways – bloggers are supposed to disclose c/o items and advertisers, so why aren’t there universal guidelines in place for what is essentially a lottery? Until there is, things like this will keep happening in blogland.

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Fashion Blogging

Gala Darling Finds New Way To Make You Pay For Something You Could Probably Google

Gala Darling, blogging expert and plastic hair wearer, is not new to the game of ‘give me money and I will fill your head with a bunch of crap’. She’s even still peddling her “radical self-love” podcasts for $12 bucks a pop to legions of poor women who think wearing pink glitter will fix their lives.

Well now it seems Gala Darling has rounded up her two BFF’s to present the world with The Blogcademy, a weekend seminar that will teach you “…blogging essentials, like finding inspiration and picking the right topics for your blog, how to discover your own voice and showcase your personality…leveraging social media, dealing with the not-so-nice bits of blogging, PR and networking, branding tips and techniques!” They will also teach you such essentials as how to get a book deal, how to acquire interns, and how to find a blog agent/management/representation.

Yes for the reasonable price of “$550 if you register before September 1st, and $600 after that” attendees will get a personalized blog review from Gala and her blog brain trust, headshots, a meet and greet, snacks and drinks, and goodie bags.

I guess if nothing else we now know how Gala “built a six-figure business in four years” – though apparently they are offering “scholarships” to attend this eyeroll festival. I’m actually curious – is anyone going to take this thing seriously?

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Mommy Blogging

Rebecca Eckler Will Ditch Her Baby

Sanctomommies are pulling out their opinions in preparation for the greatest internet debate since whatever the last debate was about. It seems Rebecca Eckler is “ditching” her 10 week old son for six days in order to “lie around, read, visit the spa, and eat a lot of guacamole”. Rebecca, from the heights of her superiority, huffs “I really don’t understand women who can’t or won’t leave their babies behind for a night, if they have trustworthy help”. And just to make sure we know she’s not leaving the baby with a bowl of water and a newspaper while shouting “Adios” as she breezes out the door, she informs us:

My fiancé’s mother is moving into my house for the week and I have a wonderful nanny as well. It’s not that I’m not going to miss him, because I am dearly. But since I can’t read the mind of a two-month-old baby, I’m not sure he’s really going to miss me.

She goes on to apparently try and preempt any mommy judgement:

I’m sure a lot of people will ask (and I’ve asked this myself) if I’m a coldhearted b***h for leaving a two-month-old behind for almost a week. I’m not. My fiancé and I really wanted a baby. We’re not cold-hearted. What we are is super laid back.

Finally, she spends the last paragraph limply defending her decision:

…I think that it will be good for him. I think that, even from his early age, I’m teaching him a sense of independence. I’m teaching him that he has a lot of people around him who love him and will take care of him. Is me going away and leaving him behind a little selfish at his age? Um, absolutely. I admit that fully. Am I lucky to have such wonderful help? Um, absolutely. Will I miss him? Um, absolutely. But will I enjoy my vacation? Um, absolutely.

Seriously, I’m not sure why she felt the need to write this. It sounds like she’s not nearly as ok with her choice as she would like us to believe. If she’s so secure in her convictions that what she is doing is perfectly fine then just go and do. Nobody cares if you want to dump your son for a tan and margaritas. WASPS have been handing their kids off to nannies the minute they are home from the hospital for 10 generations, and none of them seem to feel the need to justify it. No need to write a weird “talk to the hand” post defending your non-controversial decision.

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Mommy Blogging

Art Of Making A Baby Has Less Selfie Time

Elena, Art of Raising The Most Difficult Baby Ever, has had a terrible few months. Apparently she thought babies would sleep for 2 hours stretches when put down, and she would be able to do what she wanted until she felt like interacting with her meatloaf again. WRONG:

I went from a 24 hour day where I could work and do things I wanted virtually at any time of the day and night to 3 naps a day that lasted anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes…needless to say, I’ve had very very frustrating days in the beginning. I have to admit I’d get VERY frustrated, because I wasn’t getting anything done and I didn’t think it was appropriate for me to do them when Lexi was up.

She has at last pulled herself out of her self-taught baby expert pose and talked to other mothers. Shockingly, she found out she does not have the only baby alive that needs attention and only sleeps in random spurts. She got her husband to take the baby a couple of hours a day so she can blog, and she’s even starting to get stuff done now that her baby is finally settling in for full 40 minute naps. But omg you guys, babies are still like, a lot of work and stuff:

I don’t eat, I don’t drink, I don’t take time to go to the bathroom (unless I can’t hold it)- I just work, work, work. And then when she wakes up, I catch up on all that eating, drinking, peeing business :)…My next goal is to find a way to work out and to do my hair/light make up/moisturize/take a consistent shower in the morning.

It’s awesome that after six months she’s finally figuring out how to balance her time and enjoying motherhood. But this all sounds like fairly typical new mom stuff – stuff she really would have expected had she actually listened to the other mothers who were telling her “it’s going to be crazy at first”, rather than dismissing them with her visions of nursing in a cloud bed and feeding and naps timed as she desired. But really, kudos to her for at least not tossing the kid in the bathroom and ignoring her so she can blog and moisturize. At least she seems to care about being a good mother.

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Mommy Blogging

Dooce Will Expert About Bullying

Heather Armstrong, expert on bullying, is apparently up on the PanelPicker, where people go to vote on speakers or panels they would prefer to see at SXSW. The panel she is listed to share with another woman? “Dumb, Lonely & Fat: Dealing w/Internet Criticism“. The description claims:

Learn coping strategies and hear stories from the front line of internet criticism. Learn how to develop a thicker skin to confidently distribute your work. Join Heather Armstrong from dooce.com and Helen Jane Hearn from helenjane.com for a conversation that will leave you with practical tips for dealing with internet criticism.

That’s right: Dooce will be giving people advice on how to deal with internet criticism. Why would this be at SXSW anyway? That conference is basically a huge boozer full of people comparing their iphones and androids. This sort of ‘panel’ would get a better reception at something like BlogHer or IFB.

Honestly I hope this panel gets upvoted, because I would just love to see what line of bs Heather Armstrong comes up with in response to “What steps can I take after someone says something terrible about me online?” and “…what do I do when I’m ignored online?”  It’s sure to be fantastic advice!

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Lifestyle Blogging

Bleubird Vintage Needs Cuter Baby Boy Things

Miss James, the lowercase writing/homeschooling/hipster urban farmer wannabe running Bleubird Vintage, is expecting her 4th child soon. Even though she already has 3 kids she obviously needs to buy all new things for this one because baby shopping and nursery decorating can be spun into endless blog posts. But it seems she’s having some trouble finding appropriately twee getups for soon-to-be son:

…i found that most of the baby boy stuff out there wasn’t very cute. i was underwhelmed by my options and truth be told, i am not a huge fan of most vintage clothes and things for baby boys, so this was a tricky one to prepare for…

Instead, she decided to go Standard Hipster and managed to gather up all the required “of the now” baby items that all the other pregnant bloggers are buying: the $400 Alma crib, a $55 dollar chevron blanket (from Etsy of course), and a bunch of $34 bucks a piece organic cotton onesies because God forbid her baby wear hand me downs from his sister who has barely grown out of her old onesies.

Now before you go off rolling your eyes and asking “who buys $34 dollar onesies??” Miss James wants you to know that “this is not a sponsored post. however, some of these items have been gifted to us”. As if there was ever any doubt that this baby is not sponsored to the hilt.

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Lifestyle Blogging

That Wife Will Need More Bathrooms

Jenna Cole, mother of Bathroom Baby, is finally done with college. Now that she’s smarter than poor people, she  has a little announcement to make:

To my Father-In-Law: Your first grandchild wasn’t born to a college-educated mother, but your second grandchild will be.

Yes, Jenna finally confirmed what GOMI speculated back in June - she’s carrying baby number 2.  Let’s all hope their new place has large bathrooms.

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Internets Lifestyle Blogging

Brit Morin Will Make Identity Theft Easy

Brit Morin is using her millions to share her brilliantly creative ideas with the world on her “content platform”, Brit & Co. One of the recent great ideas? Store personal identification documents on your phone:

Driver’s License: This is an obvious one. Always keep a shot of your license so you can prove yourself! But really, this is super handy for filling out forms and if you forget your ID at a bar.

Passport: Always good to have a backup of this, and also helpful for having your passport number and expiration date on hand when booking future travel.

Though she includes the caveat that “a lot of this information is incredibly sensitive to your identity, it’s absolutely crucial to activate the passcode feature on your phone” I’d still like to know why keeping this sort of information on your phone is a good idea. People lose phones all the time, and password or no there are ways to see this info.

This is much more ignorant than yoga mat wine corks and “blackout pies“. At least those those ideas don’t include the possibility of identity theft.

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Fashion Blogging

IFB Says Not Enough Women Who Aren’t Thin, Beautiful Have High Quality Blogs

IFB has a history of putting their platformed foot in their mouth lately, but even this is a new low for the site that caters to the blogger hoping to rake in six figures faster than you can say “Messica Moved to Bloomington.” Their latest up is courtesy the stupidest post on blogger body image I’ve read maybe ever.

On the flip side though, it feels like though these bloggers exist, not enough of them take center stage in “popular blog” culture (if that’s a thing). The majority of very visible, successful style bloggers are thin and beautiful – which isn’t their fault, nor should they be chastised for it. They’re “real women” too, just blessed (and perhaps very disciplined). [...]

To break away from these traditional molds of beauty, it’s not an argument of sheer numbers. The numbers, we got. The truth is, these “top tier” bloggers are not only equipped with camera-ready looks, but their blogs are also really good. They have high-quality images, consistent posting schedules, spot-on design and unique style.

In order for a more holistic image of fashionable women to permeate the top tier of blogging as well as traditional fashion media, there needs to be a serious commitment to higher-quality content. Plain and simple – there aren’t enough insanely good blogs that are run by these types of women.

There’s a lot wrong with this article, but let’s start with the incorrect notion that bloggers that aren’t blond, blue-eyed and skinny aren’t putting out high quality blogs.

Take, for example, The Curvy Blogger.

Or how about Franceta? (She was named by Teen Vogue as one of a few “curvy and plus-size fashion bloggers” they love, btw.)

And let’s not forget Allison of Curvy Girl Chic:

These are three. There are probably hundreds of high quality blogs out there featuring girls putting out content who don’t look like Emily Schuman carbon copies. I can’t even believe how insulting it is for IFB to insinuate that they aren’t getting the same press or recognition because of their content. The real reason that blogs featuring a curvy woman or a woman of color aren’t usually “top tier” bloggers like the Cuppys or the Atlantic-Pacifics of the blogging world is only because they don’t fulfill the warped stereotype that defines what fashion and style is for a lot of people. In other words, they aren’t skinny and blond or even just skinny. Whatever is to blame for people liking to look at skinny women or associating fashion with thinness has more to do with the our current culture, the media and the fashion industry.

IFB giving bad advice to bloggers is one thing, but insulting quality bloggers that have great blogs and good style is something else. Something pretty shitty. Don’t throw stones in glass houses, you assholes.

Cross posted via shampuff.com

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Fashion Blogging

What I Wore Is Taking A “Breather”

Jessica Quirk, of What I Wore and Park Slope fame, is apparently exhausted from her full time job posting pictures of her outfits. She announced today that she will be slowing down her blog for rest of the summer:

Hey everyone! How are ya doing?! Hope your weekend was great and this Monday is off to a great start. I’ve actually been feeling really burnt out lately. I’ve hinted to this on twitter in the past week and have so many drafted posts about the subject, but I’m just not ready to go into yet. In short, I’m going to relax a little with What I Wore for the rest of the summer.

Before you question how one can get “burnt out” being a full time fashion blogger, Messica then adds what may be the real reason for the slowdown:

In the meantime, I am really excited about my new fitness routine at bootcamp! It is so difficult, but I feel so much stronger and will hopefully turn this little beer belly into rock hard beach abs! One can hope, right?

As a GOMIer said in the forum, sounds more likely that she just wants to spend more time trying to get thin in time for September Fashion Week, because honestly posting pics of your outfits isn’t exactly burning the candle at both ends. But since she says there are things she’s not “ready to go into yet” it could mean anything from she’s trying to get pregnant to she’s got another book deal (she’s been mentioning that she’s sketching again) to she’s thinking about folding WIW and just doing “That’s Quirky“.

I’m sure Messica will enlighten us later with a detailed, all the feelings post about what’s going on. In the meantime, does anyone even still read What I Wore?

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Lifestyle Blogging

Sweetney Would Also Like Everyone To Know She’s Famous

Sweetney, of Sweetney fame, is so famous that apparently famous people know who she is. And of course bloggers can’t just be recognized and not tell everyone, so Tracey had to instagram and post about the moment a famous person at a blogger party knew her name:

It so happens that Sam Bee also writes a column for Babble, but I’d never met her until that night. When — after one or maybe nine(ty)(-ish) drinks — I’d finally summoned the courage to approach her, she turned toward me, extended her hand, and with a giant smile said, “Tracey?”

Evidently meeting some person who has been on The Daily Show or something was so exciting Tracey was reduced to peeing herself and smashing her keyboard incoherently:

Yeah so that pretty much blew one whole side of my head clear off because, oh my god you guys, SAM BEE KNOWS WHO I AM WHAT THE EVER LOVING f**k? THAT *DID NOT* JUST HAPPEN. IS LEONARD NIMOY AND THE ‘IN SEARCH OF’ TEAM HERE, BECAUSE I THINK I MAY HAVE FINALLY LOST MY GODDAMN GRIP ON REALITY ENTIRELY. fdjfdiauiucjkdkakfkdjkf’ghghghgggaaahhhh ELEVENTY SQUARED!1!!!!

Ok, I get going all fangirl when you meet someone you admire. And I understand the desire to tell your friends “You will never believe what happened!” But why do bloggers feel the need to alert the world that people know who they are? I’ve seen a lot of bloggers do this and it always comes off as bragging to me.

Here’s an idea: instead of posting about how someone recognized you (famous or not) just mention that you met a reader and they were very nice, and mention how grateful you are that people enjoy your blog. Hey if you’re a fangirl of theirs, mention how you love their work. But making the exchange all about you, they knew who you are, it just sounds so “I’m so famous and important, aren’t I cool?” Then again we are talking about bloggers, so I guess everything does comes back to being about them.

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Fashion Blogging

Unabashadly Prep Would Like You To Know He Is Famous

F.E. Castleberry, name sounds like a mystic fiction writer, runs some site called Unabashedly Prep. As far as I can tell, his site is a series of pictures of men in khaki shorts and pink ties, and women wearing stripes. According to his “About” page – written in the third person – he “has unwittingly become a pundit of the preppy aesthetic”.

I don’t know anything about the “preppy aesthetic” (since my aesthetic seems to be “dress like every day is laundry day”) but evidently he is famous. No, really, he is. So famous that people just recognize him on the street, as he took an opportunity to inform us in his last post:

Noteworthy: this young gentleman and I met when he recognized me during the summer film festival at Bryant Park one Monday evening.

I have no idea why it irritates me so much when bloggers talk about being so well known they can’t even go to a movie without people approaching them. We get it, in your little internet niche you’re a celebrity. No need to mention it just so we don’t forget. It seems so self-important/braggy/desperate.

I know, nit picky pet peeve but it just grates me and I had to get it out.

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