Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Friday, August 08, 2008

Stormy today

I'm not talking about the weather. I'm talking about the blogging community. Something has been amiss for quite some time and it seems to be coming to a head. Blogs I have read for years have shut down. Blogs that I lurk on because I have nothing in common with the blogger other than to be amazed at her licking skillage put up posts that say she's been accused of being untrustworthy and other nefarious acts. A husband blog about how we all owe our blogging to his wife. People are angry, people are hurt, and once again Blogher has brought out a bunch of negativity and bad feelings. Even people that were big on that damn "conference" have come out and said some disappointing words about this year's experience. The keynote closing caused a literal shit storm (although I watched the video and didn't see anything near what other people mentioned in subsequent posts and comments).

Once again, the view that blogging in the parenting arena is rainbows and sparkles, with all our darling bee-u-ti-ful babies who are both brilliant and well behaved has revealed some darkness behind the curtain. You can't all be nice all of the time. But the people who profess to be nice are often the ones that are the biggest bitches behind the scenes. I've seen it, other people have seen it, or experienced it, and right now a bit more of the nastiness and unpleasantry is coming to the surface.

While I am so not surprised, having been more than vocal about what a joke I think Blogher is, with it's sorority rush feeling and the "you can't sit at my table" mean girls attitude. What is this, the 4th year and it's STILL like that? Why people keep signing up to waste their money when they can create their own better, more fun, less pressure meetups themselves is beyond me.

What does bother me is that some of the people who are the angriest and feeling the most hurt are really good bloggers, long time popular bloggers, and they are getting the feel for the first time of what so many of us have experienced for years.

People, listen to this carefully. Just because a blog makes money and is popular DOES NOT MEAN that the blogger behind it is nice.

There are plenty of writers out there that are real assholes in person, but write beautifully and earn a good living doing so. Earning money blogging means absolutely nothing other than you have identified a niche, filled it with an audience you have culled, and thus have gotten PR firms interested in you. There is nowhere in the blogging contract that says you have to be a nice person, or you have to be honest, or you have to be anything but a good story teller. Many of the most popular blogs have really unpleasant people behind them. There is one infamous blogger that is a bitch incarnate, but people read her blog in droves. She's not even a good blogger anymore, but during her heyday, which has long since passed, the stories about how she had the most miserable life in the world were priceless. Man, that woman could complain better than anyone I've ever come across. Didn't make her nice. But people kept reading, didn't they?

Conversely, there are a lot of bloggers out there, like me, who appear to be unpleasant and mean-spirited. I can assure you that I am far from that. I can't speak for other bloggers with strong opinions other than the ones I know, but I'm not bitchy, I'm not judgemental, and I certainly desire to do good for others. I cannot say that of the A-listers. For the most part they're in it for themselves. I'm not. Of course, I love to blog, but look at the range of things I bitch and moan about. My local mayor, our insideously expensive new high school, special education regarding both my own kids and my clients, politics on a local, national, and international level, Israel, Judaism, sports, books, infertility, cats, bipolar disease and mental illness, heart disease, knitting, money, local daytrips, Oprah and my hatred of her and Dr Phil, parenting, religion, national and international news as well as local news, movies and tv, travel, weight loss, health, and my kids. That's quite the list. I'm not just complaining about my kids, although I do plenty of that. I also mention all the time how much I love them and how proud I am of them. But my interests are varied and I share my opinions and feelings with my readers here.

Sometimes I'm funny, sometimes I'm morose, sometimes I'm furious. But you always get me. The real me. Not some phoney that pretends to be something when in fact she's just the opposite in person. What you see here is what you get. I'm smart, opinionated, interested in everything around me, and I like to share my opinions with you guys. You will never ever find me kowtowing to advertisers (just ask Blogher) or to increase readership.

When I check my stats, I often find people that start these nasty Trainwreck-type sites. They'll link to me and accuse me of faking my illness (as if), begging for money, being a nasty person, and most often, being crazy. I am SO not crazy. It cracks me up because those sites almost always choose A-listers to pick on, and yet I end up there. I am SO not an A-list blogger. I think mid-century modern furniture and accessories is crappy cheap stuff that only poor people liked in the 50's. I was alive then. I remember it. Ugly then, ugly now. I think that most of the stuff sold on those Mighty sites are horrible. I do not know why anyone would even begin to think ugly garage sale junk is worth the prices they ask. But that's just cheap old me. I don't like the majority of A-list blogs. I think they are boring. How many times can you listen to a mother talk about how naughty her ape and bird are? When in fact I see most of the issues stem from rigid and inflexible parenting. Like that works. Heh. How a many times can you read about someone who apparently doesn't like her children? Me, I'm done with that crap.

I love real stuff. I want pain. I want to empathize with someone's hardships and trials. I don't think they should be made into little funny vignets for the amusement of readers and of course, to boost ad revenue. That's not real.

What is real is that so many people are unhappy right now, way beyond my little circle, and it makes me very sad. I hate to see people being hurt. I hate to see people being confused by unpleasantness and accusations. I hate to see the whole "incrowd" fight to defend Blogher over and over rather than to LOOK and LISTEN to what people say about that organization. So 1000 women went. Hundreds of thousands of women bloggers stayed away in droves. Why do you think that is?

Let us just try to be more honest. Having a crapola day? Tell us about it. We won't judge you. At least I won't. Had enough of your kids, your husband, your job, your life? Well, hell, who doesn't feel like that? We all do.

Instead of sniping behind people's backs, just get it out in the open. Be honest, people. And stop being so mean that you make people consider quitting.

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Blogger Daisy said...

That's one thing I like about you -- you're you. There doesn't seem to be an act in putting the blog out there. Besides, how could I stop reading a mom who deals with issues as difficult and more difficult that those my kiddo has? We moms of disabled teens have more in common than any "babymommybloggers" could imagine.

8/8/08 9:32 PM  
Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said...

These things seem to happen in waves. Waves, I may add, that I'm happy to step aside and let pass by me. I've got enough drama with these kiddos---don't need it onine as well, yk?

8/8/08 9:33 PM  
Blogger margalit said...

FOM, This drama had nothing to do with me, but it infected so many of the blogs I love. It wasn't just one or two, it was a LOT of them. And some of the 'infected blogs' are by people that just don't deserve the crap that is dished out about them. I'm tired of it. I'm tired of pretending that everything is sweetness and light when the opposite is so true often enough.

This time I didn't comment, didn't even email anyone. I just kept reading the stuff and getting more and more annoyed. I hate backstabbing. Happens to me often enough (Hello Molly whomever you are) but some people are the absolute best and to snipe on them gets me PISSED OFF.

9/8/08 12:38 AM  
Blogger Mommy Cracked said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9/8/08 11:53 AM  
Blogger Mommy Cracked said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

9/8/08 11:55 AM  
Blogger Blog Antagonist said...

I am clueless, because I've made an effort to be. I don't know what's going on, and I don't care.

Because of an experience I had a couple of years ago, I realized that any online community comprised mostly of women is fraught with drama, volatility and conflict. They are populated with Queen Bees, mean girls and drama queens.

SO, when I ventured into the blogosphere, I resolved NOT to get involved in any of that crapola, and I haven't.

That said, I agree with you about Blogher. They are masquerading as a beneficient and magnanimous entity, while profiting from our creativity. They are a marketing machine, not a humanitarian outfit. That's all I'll say about that.

Whatever happened, it will blow over and those involved will come away a little wiser for the experience. Sometimes, it takes somehting like that to teach people that the internet is a dog eat dog place.

I'm not an a-lister, and I'll admit, for a while, it bothered me that they got so many comments, while some really excellent writeres languished in relative anonymity.

But it is what it is. I don't have to like what it is, but if I can't change what it is, I either accept it or I get out.

Lately, I have been considering the latter quite a bit. I think blogging has run it's course for me. Not because of anything that's happened, just because the novelty has worn off, and because I wonder what I could accomplish if I put half as much effort into "real" writing, as I do into blogging.

Thought provoking post. Sorry for the epic comment.

9/8/08 2:17 PM  
Blogger margalit said...

BA, if you left blogging it would leave a huge hole in the 'community'. I value your blog and your writing more than just about any other blogger. You're honest, you're so freaking smart and thoughtful, and you write beautifully. That you aren't an A-lister speaks to how GOOD you are.

They don't know what they're missing. Really. And if you do end up writing a book, it's gonna do a lot better than the books that have come out of blogher, NONE of which have sold. Jen Lancaster, who WAS on the best seller list, has been completely dissed and ignored by Blogher. Dooce, everyone's goddess. Her book kinda sucked. And yes, I read it. A compliation of a bunch of bloggers she likes. What a surprise! Quelle expected. Ditto for that Sleep is for the Weak book. Same writers. Same mediocre writing. Same lack of sales. But OMG, BlogHer tried to sell that book so hard. All 1000 copies of it.

Hey, Waiter Rant's book just made the NYT best seller list, too. He's not in any way affiliated with Blogher. Notice the pattern?

Smarmily yours,


9/8/08 5:06 PM  
Blogger margalit said...

OMG, I just saw this on the BlogHer feed.

"There's a roiling BlogHer-on-BlogHer debate going on here, inspired not in small part by the popularity of Elizabeth Edwards, blogger and BlogHer '07 keynoter."

Talk about a HUGELY inflated ego, Ms Lisa Stone. Like people can't have an opinion outside of Blogher? I swear it, that woman deserves to be garroted. She is just evil incarnate. And no, I'm NOT talking about Elizabeth Edwards.

9/8/08 6:19 PM  
Blogger Serendipity said...

wow, I have no idea this is going on...I'm not one for groupies...I hate the meaness of it. It's probably why I don't get visitors in my blog.

Fame is a two-edge sword. My grandpa told me.

1/10/08 10:32 AM  

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