Stereotypes are never fun, especially not on the internet. One group that has been regularly attacked by such stereotypes is the mommy blogger faction: Women who blog on these typically child-rearing, DIY, home life centered blogs are often deemed as greedy, uneducated, and bitchy, but this stereotype is often a misconception. As a pet blogger, I can relate to the plight of the mommy blogger, as our group sees it's own stereotypes. I also know and love many mommy bloggers (and even got to write a guest post for one of them), and even cite The Bloggess, one of the O.G. mom bloggers, as one of my personal favorites to read.
On another note, on Life with Arie, I try to focus on positive and uplifting topics for the pet parents around me and those interested in animal welfare. This is usually a place for smiles and jokes and fun.
That being said, I just had the displeasure of discovering a fun little group of women who fit that stereotype perfectly, and who gave me a full afternoon of entertainment over their own ignorance and petty behavior. Today I'm afraid we have to discuss poor blog practices through the example of this blogger and her unfortunate audience.
The Back Story?
Today is the big SOPA/PIPA protest. If you don't know about it, you should, as it would probably kill this blog and countless others on the web while harming free speech and the freedom of information. This has been a running topic at work as it could change the very fabric of social discourse and behavior, let alone our jobs completely. While chatting about the protest, one colleague sent me a link to a "Some E Cards" creation on Facebook, while marveling at the seemingly unknowing commentary under it. Here's the card:
Under the photo, people were commenting about how having the internet strike was going to keep them more productive today. While I get the jokes, SOPA and PIPA are not something to joke about, especially if there's a chance you aren't informed, so I decided to comment.
Little did I know that my comment would inspire a riot of mommy blogger wrath. I'm going to have to do this in several screen shots, so bear with me:
So, we're not entirely in dangerous territory....yet.
And the badgering of the angry mommies continues...and gets personal.
Here's where the bad blogger behavior REALLY comes into play:
I'm not usually one to bring a personal issue onto my blog, but for me, this goes beyond personal into good blogger business. When you blog to attract regular readers and even to become a business, it's important to be loyal to your readers. You do this through:
The Underachiever's Guide to Being a Domestic Goddess managed to violate both of these principles in a day. Here's how:
On her feed, the blogger says that she will devote herself to a day of silence for SOPA. "Shutting down for the day..make it a great one! ♥ DG", but after that posts the card that sparked the insults and on her blog discussed pedicures. That's a lot of silence.
In the description of the Facebook page that is a companion to her blog, the writer says this:
" If there is one thing I know, it is that people want to matter. They want to be seen, heard, acknowledged and appreciated. On this page, you will matter...your opinions, your stories, anything you want to share will matter..and I will appreciate you. Let's go have a laugh then, yes? (I must add the footnote - trolls and insulting posts will be poofed - and the user will disappear...this is my page so someone's gotta be the sheriff"
The author herself created the some e card that stemmed the comment chain, and the subject matter of the card was the SOPA/PIPA protest. I voiced my opinion about the subject , card, and comments...and I'm pretty sure she didn't appreciate them. The author also promises that "trolls and insulting posts will be poofed" -- If she found my comment insulting, she could have easily sent me a message with warning. She also did not remove the insulting posts from her readers when they decided to jump on the angry mommy blogger band wagon.
Throughout the conversation under the photo, the blogger managed to poo-poo my comments which were for the most part trying to be informational, and completely ignore the insults hurled by her regular commenters. As a new reader to her blog and page, I was excited to see what she had to say. This is the first post I found a problem with, and as soon as I voiced an opinion, I was discarded like yesterday's trash. To me, this tell me that the writer does not prize new commenters or new interactions; the same old nags will suffice.
All in all, I'm sure that the blogger is a nice person, and I'm sure she means well. This is not meant to talk about what a heinous person she is (though I have to admit I'm a little worried at the fact that some of the comments were written by people with children. Oh next generation, please be different!) Still, When a blogger showcases such a bad behavior, I'm afraid I can't keep my mouth shut.
So friends, what do you think? Was my comment that inflammatory? Am I over reacting about the blogger's behavior? I'd really love to get your opinions.
***Please see an update to this post here: http://lifewitharie.com/2012/03/08/middle-aged-internet-troll-and-cyber-bully/ Thank you.