February 17, 2006

Blogging Your Way To A Nobel Prize?

Looking past the glare of the NY Times spotlight last week [fyi, the article was apparently just republished in the Chicago Tribune, in case you don't want to give $2.95 to the Times to read about me going to the bathroom.], I found a column from CBS News about blogs, and in a section on daddy blogs, the writer visits Start-up Dad, and promptly takes a dump on his carpet:

Some fathers publicize their babys latest party tricks. "Kaden now waves, claps, knows to back himself down stairs, and, get this, he WALKS," Start-Up Dad blogs. "He's tromping all around the house falling and getting back up and falling again." I'm hoping his audience is mostly family members.
Well, considering that he specifically says his blog is to keep people updated on Kaden without bombarding them with photos and emails, it probably is. So what's your point? That said, sharing pictures and stories from a kid's daily life with a closeknit audience of family and friends is about as noble a reason for keeping a blog as I can imagine. There are a million valid reasons why people decide to write a blog, and most of them don't involve becoming famous, making a million dollars or $25 million [hi, Blogging Baby!], or with pushing their creative expression to the limit. Personally, there are a lot easier ways than blogging for me to make $2/hour. I do it because it's fun, it helps me become a better, more thoughtful parent, and because I like the idea of my own experience being of use to other people.

With media dogpiling on blogs as the supposed second coming of the dotcom boom, I'd like to hear why dads (or parents) really keep blogs, and who they envision/hope will read them. If you post (or posted) about your motivations, throw a link into the comments below. And then just sit back and wait for some reporter to come along and misread the whole thing.

Blogophile: The Daddy Track [cbsnews.com, scroll down]


Odd to be one of the first people commenting on this, but I actually don't have a blog. We preferred just to set up a picture website for the twins. All our friends have that address and we resend it to them every couple of months. But since we're so busy with our own lives, it also helps force our friends and family to reach out to us and say "hey, how's it going, tell us about the girls!"

It's not perfect, but it also means I can spend more time on daddytypes. heh. Plus, we just sadly don't have the time.

I find it somewhat therapeutic to float experiences, both good and bad, out in the ether and receive feedback from people in the same boat. If nothing else, people can always use my site to learn from my many parenting mistakes.

It's definitely not to update friends & family. My friends and family don't know about the site. Why? That way I'm free to write about them!

Just recently I've kept a password-only blog for family and friends to show them new pictures and bring them up-to-date on my son's progress. I'm not ambitious about it (although I think my kid just may be the most charismatic kid ever), but I do try to make it fun to read, and also to keep it from looking like the several dreaded family newsletters you tear up each holiday season. Most of our communication about our son was going out through my wife's phone conversations, so I feel like this gives me some balance, too.

i've been blogging for awhile. i do it because it's fun, and because that writing every day -- or almost every day -- is a good practice for writers, and i have found that i don't keep up this practice unless i have an audience.

when i got pregnant, i decided to start a separate baby blog so that my original blog wouldn't become all-baby all-the-time. i know how boring that is for people who don't care about kids, and i feel it's important for me to continue to cover other critical topics like liberal politics and james frey and the shameful decline of The OC.

most of the traffic on my baby blog is friends and people who google "mariska hargitay" and "pregnant." that's just fine with me. it's nice to make 30 cents or so everytime someone buys a book i recommend, and everybody luvs hits, but i never expected blogging to be a major source of income or fame.

Bloggity blog blog .. blog. You always impress me with the pace of posts here Greg and the solid daily content. Christ. I hope all the papers keep writing about you! But maybe you don't?

This post has really stuck with me. Thank god a blogger I can read without feeling that he does -- or will -- want my money. My damn favorite thing about blogging is that it is social aspect to an Interweb that is otherwise almost entirely commercialized. I guess for latecomers, and the growing number of adults younger than me.. this is no whoop at all. Uhm, wasn't the web always about branding? UHM, no people it wasn't. Don't get me wrong I am not rotting in my birkenstocks hooked up to a solar powered generator at the moment.... but, I just find developing stock options on the ratio of parental to infant bowel movements and other journal entries a bit weird.

[uh, thanks, but you might want to reserve the right to reel back a little of that praise when I add a couple of ads to the site. nothing freaky, but they just keep asking... -ed.]

I really don't know the reason I blog. I just started one last week after reading a few (your's included) for the last year or so. I guess it's more or less a way to let myself, my son, and others know what's been going on. I don't do it for the fame, glammor or money.

My wife keeps a baby book that I just can't bring myself to write in.

As for me, I'm a writer. A writer-turned-mom-turned-blogger, whereas for most people it seems to be the other way around.

It's the perfect medium for me because it compells me to write daily, encouraged by a loyal (if still small) readership who offer immediate feedback and the support that we insecure writing types crave. One day, who knows. A book? Screenplay? David Sedaris on my speed dial? For now, I'm just writing for today.

I'm a newly single mom. I blog about my kids and food. One night, while very drunk, I wrote
a post

(novella) on why I blog. For those who want to skip the drunken ramblings, the last paragraph kind of summarized my thoughts on the subject:

So, why do I have a blog? Because I like to be one of the first. Because I like to share my thoughts, and maybe help someone else going through the same crap that I am going through. Because I am a narcissist. Because I need to write everyday. So, to those of you wondering why I am doing this? Now you know. Kind of. :-)

I don't get why everyone's so down on mommy/daddy blogs. If you don't like it, don't read it! jeesh.

My husband and I started blogging to keep family and friends, particularly those out-of-town, updated on the changes in our lives - mostly baby related. But now it's become valuable and fun to give and recieve feedback within the little parent blog community. It's also fun to work on our writing skills and have a creative outlet to capture both the excitement and mundaneness of our new baby-filled lives.

And re. the ads...I guess I feel that if it doesn't change the content quality then it doesn't reall make a difference. Maybe it should bother me? But it doesn't.

[this comment is brought to you by The Writer's Workshop, with over 650 on-line courses available to help you bec-- just kidding. -ed.]

I blog so that articles about blogs can refer to me but have the link refer to some other punk whose mentioned in the same sentence. Such a feeling of pure satisfaction.

[lol, I saw that! If it's any consolation, since the NYT article, my site traffic trends have been almost entirely unchanged. Since there are a few thousand people clicking through from the NYT, I have to assume there are the same number who stopped coming because I am a publicity whore. Of course, now that we have The Blogfathers, the only thing left underblogged is my press clippings. -ed.]

I've had a personal blog for years now, most as a way to entertain myself and my friends. When my husband and I began trying to have a baby, I started up a private blog that only a couple of family members and friends knew of. It was a difficult and painful time, and I wanted a record of it. When our first child was born, I ended that blog and began my daughter's blog. Her blog is definitely intended to be a way for us to keep distant family members and friends up to date on her health and life. I still have my personal blog, but it's not updated nearly as often these days. It's a happy trade-off for having an adorable 1 year old.

Before baby we kept up with everyone via phone and/or email.The number/duration of calls from informing the interested parties about the pregnancy indicated we needed a batch solution. So we sent emails. The number of tech support calls to us resulting from batch emailing indicated we needed something easier than opening/saving attachments and .jpg files. The best option really was a blog as everyone can use a browser and click a link. So I started my blog to make my social life easier and for practical reasons relating to user skill level.

arg- of course cbs would take something totally out of context to make their point.

a. lot. of. blogs announce every time junior takes a poo

but a few,like daddytypes, and hopefully like mine one day, do their best to incorporate parenting, news, trends, humor, good writing, and their own personal interests to make something really goos.

I keep my blog for family and friends, but also random strangers, or people I know from online. I like the idea of sharing my experience (the most joyous one at that) with people, to see their reactions, their comments, sometimes their suggestions.

- Jon
- Daddy Detective
- www.daddydetective.com

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