13 March 2010

Honey, Don’t Bother Mommy. I’m Too Busy With My Blog and Building My Brand. - NYTimes.com

Honey, Don’t Bother Mommy. I’m Too Busy With My Blog and Building My Brand. - NYTimes.com: "ON a brisk Saturday morning this month, a dedicated crew of about 90 women, most in their 30s or thereabouts, arrived at a waterfront hotel here, prepared for a daylong conference that offered to school them in the latest must-have skill set for the minivan crowd.

Teaching your baby to read? Please. How to hide vegetables in your children’s food? Oh, that’s so 2008.

The topics on that day’s agenda included search-engine optimization, building a “comment tribe” and how to create an effective media kit. There would be much talk of defining your “brand” and driving up page views.

You know. For your blog."

I didn't realize how much of a chick I've become, confirming my friend's suspicions. Men will sometimes call a friend a "chick" to cast an aspersion or vituperative blow, e.g., "Freakin' Smitty. Dude is such a chick sometimes!" These the same men who guiltily enjoyed Devil Wears Prada and Bridget Jones's Diary. Don't get me wrong, although I have lots of guy friends (I still hang out regularly with several best friends from kindergarten and elementary school), I find myself routinely hanging with women. All the time: coffee, drinks, Thai or sushi. Couch time watching a video. I'm comfortable in my skin, and don't have to have a side of best friend with benefits to mark my manhood. Just chillin' with a good friend y'all. I did, after all, have 3 women roommates in college, which maybe explains my preternatural comfort level with those of the estrogen tribe (in fact, all of our cycles would synch and we'd all get good and bitchy) ... though I did like dating their best friends. So maybe that's a best friend with benefits of a best friend? Yuck. We've gone off the rails here. Where was I?

So, when some of my friends teased (wait, let's use a stronger, more masculine word here), er, mocked me last year for starting this writer's experiment (FatScribe.com), I didn't realize I was embarking atop the the next craze/wave of scrapbooking by becoming (gulp) a male blogger. As someone who has started several websites (NeoPolitique [now defunct, though I recently bought back the URL], LuxeMont, LuxeVegas, and others) I profoundly appreciate a well-designed blog. TheSartorialist is a great example of a clean, highly trafficked blog -- by a dude nonetheless. Many of the blogs I subscribe-to or follow over there on the right-hand side (browse through them, btw, they're terrific, really) are also clean and nicely designed. And, yes, many also by men. I will say, though, that the strongest designers I've worked with over the last 11 years helping me put flesh and bones to my vision for various websites have been women. I appreciate their keen artist's approach to the (often thankless) work at hand.

Although some of my best friends are women (insert joke here), let me say that the NY Times article (atop the page) is a really fun read, and to see that almost a billion (yes, BILLION) dollars in ad revenues are coursing through these oft-feminine blogger pages is such a tip of the cap to Milton Friedman and Adam Smith that it does the heart of the ole porkster good!

These crafty women (some perhaps reading this post) who have launched their own blogs just to jump-start a career or transition an avocation into a full-blown career are amazing. I salute them, these Proverbs 31 women. Proverbs 31:10-31

10 A wife of noble character who can find?
She is worth far more than rubies.
11 Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
12 She brings him good, not harm,
all the days of her life.
13 She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
14 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
15 She gets up while it is still dark;
she provides food for her family
and portions for her servant girls.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17 She sets about her work vigorously;
her arms are strong for her tasks.
18 She sees that her trading is profitable,
and her lamp does not go out at night.
19 In her hand she holds the distaff
and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
20 She opens her arms to the poor
and extends her hands to the needy.
21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;
for all of them are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes coverings for her bed;
she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is respected at the city gate,
where he takes his seat among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them,
and supplies the merchants with sashes.
25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children arise and call her blessed;
her husband also, and he praises her:
29 "Many women do noble things,
but you surpass them all."
30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.
31 Give her the reward she has earned,

and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

For those about to blog, we salute you! (apologies to AC/DC.) Blog on party people. Blog on.


Caleb S. Garcia said...

Love it! If blogging makes me feminine then I'm going shopping, grabbing a frozen yogurt and throwing in Sex and the City...oh wait.

Dumbwit Tellher said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dumbwit Tellher said...

Proverbs 31: 10-31 makes me proud to be a woman. I hope that I for-fill half of 21. Did you notice in my recent handing out of my blog awards that 4 out of 7 went to men? I appreciate the male point of view and I encourage men to blog. Blogging needs to be a level playing field. Guys make fabulous friends, far less complicated than us women.
I'm terrified by the comparison of 'scrapbooking' to blogging. Please tell me that's not true?! Have you ever watched an episode of HGTV's (likely not) House Hunters where the wife won't buy a house unless there's a room that she can designate to scrapbooking? Frightening...
Another great read J Greg & hope your weekend was just as great?!

Toad said...

I'm building my brand has become my new catch phrase. Thank you god for giving us women.

Jg. for FatScribe said...

Caleb -- you and me, bud. and i got that "oh, wait" b/c i know you love "sex and the city"

Deb -- why am i not surprised that you have so many guy (blogger) friends. you're too cool for school. and, yes, i've seen some of those HGTV shows ... at my friend Mat's house when his wife Christi Jo is watching!

Toad -- "building my brand" is a classic line. and, i've been a TM/brand consultant for a dozen years or so and have never used that one!

Emm said...

Ha ha. Nice rewording of the AC/DC line! I came to blogging via Livejournal and I would say that there was pretty much a 50/50 split between men and women there. At least you're not a Mommy Blogger, Fats, although there is nothing wrong with Mommy Bloggers per se.

lisa golightly said...

3 things ...
1) Kudos to you for with being comfortable and secure enough to proclaim your feminine side ( a few guys could learn something here ! ). Ironically, that is kind of manly in and of itself !
2) Ok, that proverbs 31 woman ... Who is she and where can I meet her and what does she eat for breakfast ? Always wondered how she would translate in today's world. A bit intimidating, but, better to be held to a high standard rather than low. No ?
3) I am a woman and a mother and I blog, and trying to define a look and feel ( wont say that "B" word ! ) BUT I am proud to admit all of my photos are in shoeboxes and I do not drive a minivan. So I'm cool. ( right? .... right ?? )

right ?

Jg. for FatScribe said...

Emm -- I'm just trying to be a writer (of sorts), and this humble website keeps me writing a certain number of words. However, Mommy Bloggers, not that there's anything wrong with that, slaughter me when it comes to counting comments and blog views, etc.!!

Your website(s) is a great travel/wanderlust website that is a pleasure to visit (you blogger of note, you).

Ms. Gorightry -- okay. five minutes later, and i'm still chuckling at your comment. "right?"! yes, you are an artisan with a terrific website who just happens to use ALL social media to her advantage, regardless of where your photos are housed!

Emm said...

You'll get there. Maybe you'll be Blogger of Note one day yourself? I wonder if they accept nominations from self-hosted blogs?