Tuesday, May 20, 2008

An Incoherent Rant

For whatever reason, I just cannot seem to find the time to visit your actual sites and comment. I think it has been all the end of the year stuff, coupled with T-ball and all sorts of other things that have been occupying my attention. I am sorry, and I promise to be by soon.

But in the meantime, I am going to write about something that has been on my mind for a while. It will probably be lacking in sense and logic, but that has never stopped me from writing anything before, so why should I let it bother me now?

When I first began writing at my "other blog" I was so excited. I thought, oooh, some sort of legitimacy as a writer. Someone was actually willing to pay me money to write!

And yes, it isn't a normal sort of mommyblog because we are pretty much all over the place, but I kind of like it that way.

Back in November when we were having a contest with over two hundred bucks worth of prizes, my boss directed that I send emails to all of the top mommyblogs, asking nicely if they would mention our contest on their blog. And of course, if they linked to us, we would link to them and all kinds of nicey-nicey stuff like that.

So think of a fairly big name blogger and I probably sent it to her, minus Dooce and finslippy and Fussy. I was pretty sure any email from me would wind up immediately in their spam folder.

And do you know that out of the fifty or so emails I sent out, only ONE site responded? It was acutally 5 Minutes for Mom, which sort of specializes in contests. But still, to be just totally ignored? Did they not want to give their readers a chance to win some good prizes? Were they suspicious of our motives, seeing as how we were a "for profit" sort of site?

And I find that to be the case with practically all of the mommyblogs, except for people who knew us before we began blogging there. No reciprocal links, no "hey, thanks for mentioning me on your link round-up!" All the things they would do if the blogger were a "regular" blogger. But we get nada, zip, zilch. It is like we don't even exist. It is like a link is worth a pound of flesh, too dear to give up.

And for the life of me I can't understand why. As writers, as women, shouldn't we be supporting sites that pay us to write? Instead of shunning us, they should be glad to give recognition to a site where the writers are valued enough to get paid. Which happens not a whole lot here on the internets.

I happen to think that there are fabulous bloggers out there. Better than me, who wirte more interesting and engaging things than what I see in newspapers and magazines. Why shouldn't there be a culture of valuing what we write instead of giving it away? Why is profit such a taboo thing?

Am I crazy? Probably. Am I an A-list blogger? Not in a "pure" mommyblogging sense, I suspect.

But hell, I'll take a paycheck over social acceptance any day.


Margaret said...

Not at all incoherent. Very well done. I think you make a lot of sense.

Anonymous said...

You're not crazy. I think they're just insecure (I refer, of course, to those sites who actually read your emails, not to the ones where they ended up in the spam filter).

The Mommysphere is shockingly self-absorbed. There. I said it. It's "me and my sprog" and that's okay; indeed, it's great, but it totally sucks if you're looking for community. It's a playpen, not a playground.

I should probably put this on TM, just to get a flamewar started. Flamewars are great for hits.

Hope said...

grrrrrrrr you have hit a soft spot here with me. In the past I owned a child care centre, classified as a "for profit" centre," not for profit centres treated us like we like it was some kind of leprosey.
The truth was as a director my "profit" was usually 2/3 of their "wages, WHY.... because my tax dollars, both business and personal were used to prop up their fiscal irresponsibity. Our center was rated the best chilcare program in the city, by licensing.
my current business faces this "non profit" snobbiness as well.In one of these "non profit" businesses, the top three people earn over 150 thousand per year and have a tax free status.
Me..... I have to watch every penny... and if I do say so myself, offers a much better service and have a much happier staff.
Also.... it is saddening how WOMEN often cannot find the generosity of spirit to truly support each other.

Autumn's Mom said...

Well that's a bunch of crap. I'm surprised by it...but I'm naive that way.

Piece of Work said...

It's such a weird, cliquish place, mommyblogland. I think some of the bigger mommybloggers that ARE making money off their blogs or their other blog ventures are probably threatened by any other blog that tries to do the same. Lame.

dgm said...

As the incorrigible Liz Phair sang, "It's nice to be liked, but it's better, by far, to get paid."

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

I'm all for getting paid, but at the same time, to be perfectly honest, I get tired of every minute of my life being people trying to get money out of me. The phone rings, and it's a perfectly good cause, wanting my money. But my money already goes in so many perfectly good directions, there's none left. I watch tv, I read the internet, I listen to public radio, any direction I go, our capitalist society comes after me and my money. Then there's the politicians, also, after my money. So to be honest, I might not link to a new blog that I had never heard of and came and asked.

That being said, I have NOTHING against people making money blogging. I just don't want to really be a part of it, because for me, blogging is my refuge from the constant begging for my money.

And of course, I'm neither a huge mommy blogger who matters, and I know you and count you as a friend, so of course, I linked to the other blog. But if I hadn't known you? I probably wouldn't have.

Gina said...

J, I have to admit I am confused. We weren't asking for money, we were just asking for a link so that their readers had a chance to win some! In fact, the opposite of begging for money, we were giving it away!

Gina said...

I honestly don't see the difference between us and any other blog, to be honest.

Sites like Blogher or Kirtsy or other supposedly "altruistic" blogs are just as willing to make money off their users. Even though they say they are offering a service of some kind, whether it be finding good reads on the web or whatever, they wouldn't be doing it if it wasn't profitable.

Why does no one shun Dooce, then? She is obviously looking to make a profit, what with her calendars and such. And hey, that's fine, but why is it only acceptable for some and not others?

Family Adventure said...

Women...I don't understand us at all. We can never support each other - I notice it more and more the older I get. And it depresses me.

My answer to your question, therefore, is - I don't know. But it sucks.


Py Korry said...

I'm not sure what it is that makes people act the way they do in the case of the two blogs you write for. Perhaps on "Blog A," your persona is that of a friend you can kick it with. On "Blog B," it's like you're visiting that same friend at work. In my own bloggy experience, the people who read my blog are a different group who read my stuff at Popdose. There's very little crossover, even though I'm pretty much the same person on "Blog B."

... Paige said...

My goodness and here I was thinking how priceless it would be to "give up a pound of flesh"
go figure!

J at www.jellyjules.com said...

Gina, I do see your point about wanting to give things away vs. wanting to receive money...

I don't have a problem with people wanting to make money via their blogs at all...as long as they're not asking me to buy something from them (which your other blog does not do). I think I misunderstood your post, or mis-thought my reply.

Regarding putting a link to someone's blog on my blog, I don't link to anyone who asks...I link to blogs that I want to go and look at. I don't use an RSS reader or anything, I just click over from my blogroll. So that's why I would or would not link...if it's not my cup of tea, I wouldn't link to it, no matter how wonderful it is.

Chris said...

I thought your rant was very coherent! I still think you are awesome. I know, my vote doesn't count. I'm just sayin'....It should.

dr sardonicus said...

I have no problem with what you did. But many bloggers seem to believe that there's some law of diminishing returns in the blogosphere, where if you're trying to get readers to visit your blog, you're taking them away from someone else's blog. Some people would also consider the e-mails you sent to be a form of blogwhoring, of which there are many conflicting opinions out there.

It works the same in the political blogosphere. Seems like the bigger the blogger, the less they want to do with you. I haven't had problems like this myself, but I think that's because I'm too small to be a threat to anyone.

Scout said...

Me, too. I would LOVE to paid to write.