Thinking about blogging and popularity...again!
A couple of years ago there were some self-appointed queen bee bloggers. They all blogged for a time at Parent Dish, nee Blogging Baby, and they all had very large egos. Some were so busy anointing themselves as the cream of the crop that they started believing their own self-importance. They spent much of their blogging time either plugging their friend's blogs, or self-promoting like crazy. You remember the "I'm here today" controversy. Thankfully, it's pretty much confined to a few bloggers.
Those self-appointed queen bees are mostly not queen bees anymore. I don't know why. I think it some cases they just lost audiences because they wrote the same old same old for years. Blogs get boring without the occasional post that's not about either yourself or your family. In some cases, their audiences changed. In some cases, Google Reader and BlogLines made it easier to just ignore posts that didn't look interesting in the first 3 lines. There's a lot of reasons why they're not such big MommyBlogging stars any more, and far be it from me to analyze why.
Now we've got a new crop of absolute stars. The difference between the new stars and the older ones is that the new stars don't take themselves so seriously. They have humor, they have self-deprecating posts, and they're interesting without self-promotion. Some of the stars are very different than the 'I'm too cool for you' stars of the recent past. Look at three that I think stand out:
Confessions of a Pioneer Woman. This is an incredibly popular blog, one of the most successful personal blogs on the 'net. Ree, the author, is a fabulous photographer, a really great story teller, is hilariously funny, and she's so damn real. Everyone loves her, no matter where you're from. I haven't ever heard one disparaging word about her or her site. She's universally adored. She also raises large sums of money for Special Olympics, takes care of a passel of "punks" and gives us insight onto what's it like to live on a working cattle ranch. Her blog is unique. Even her cooking blog is unique. She uses the most mundane of ingredients bought in a local market she claims carries nothing remotely gourmet, and yet she makes food you just want to gobble right down.
Rocks in My Dryer. Shannon has taken it upon herself to create a really interesting blog filled with a sense of community. While Shannon and I are about as politically and religiously apart as two people can be, I love her blog. I love that she's worked really hard to be very inclusive, to encourage other bloggers to take part in her various weekly blogging events, and I mostly love that she really likes her friends on the 'net. She has created some of the most successful blogging 'events' ever, including her two "Giveaways" where hundreds of people offer items in their own personal contests, and of course, Works for Me Wednesdays. I've taken part in both giveaways, and you wouldn't believe what this did to my stats. I got thousands and thousands of hits during the giveaways. You would have thought I was giving away gold or something. While she does blog about her family, that's not her central theme. Community is her theme, and she's built up the most successful community I've seen on the 'net.
Because I Said So. The title of this blog gives you a hint to Dawn's method of parenting. She's a hoot and a half, and she rarely isn't hilariously funny when she talks about the daily grind of parenting 6 kids. Dawn's new to blogging, starting this blog last June. Dawn was the woman that wrote the hilariously funny Ebay ad selling an old, dirty baseball for over $1100. From there, she has continued to write a fabulously funny entry almost daily, chronicling her kids antics, how she got the book deal she's currently procrastinating writing, her trip to NYC to be on TV, and about how all this success came down to one funny ad on Ebay. Since Dawn first started blogging, she's been able to increase her family's financial intake from her ads, and she's been equally generous in giving to charity and helping to support a family with a dying child. Dawn keeps her audience hopping because you never know what she's going to come out with next. You can always count on it to be funny, though.
Why do these stand out as excellent examples (in my not-so-humble opinion) of mommy-blogging? Because they're all different blogs, they all have a vast following of non-sycophants who aren't telling them how pretty they are and how beautiful their clothing is because they don't freaking NEED to be constantly stroked, they all promote community or charity or good works on the blogs, and they are women who don't need to tell you how 'cool' they are. And most of all, they don't post about American Idol or Dancing with the Stars! That alone gives them huge points on my Best of Blogs list!
To tell you how much I like the direction that the popular blogs are heading would be obvious. I'm thrilled that we finally seem to have gotten beyond the 'I'm so cool you MUST come and shower me with adulation' blogs of the past. I'm loving that the new popular bloggers are getting recognition for being talented writers and photographers, and not for being cool. I like that these are thinking women who aren't stuck on the same story week after week after week. I like that they bring a sense of community to their blogs. I like that they have open comments and yet rarely if ever get even one nasty troll commenter. I like that their commenters talk about the content and not feel the need to tell the poster how pretty they are and how cool their shoes are. I love that these bloggers aren't solely baby-oriented and that these particular bloggers have older kids. Honestly, I just like these blogs a lot because they seem like their written by women who are secure in who they are and don't need their commenters to stroke them continually.
So what about you? What blogs that aren't old time "cool blogs" are you digging these days? Stumble It! JBlog Me