Getting Personal on the Intimate Net
0 comment Tuesday, June 24, 2014 |
Dallas is in a dither. Seems there's a sexy new blog out there called "The Real Housewives of Collin County." Four women using anonymous avatars write about booze, boobs, bitches and blow jobs. Topics like these gin up a lot of buzz, naturally.
Indeed these gals made the front page of the Dallas Morning News, on New Year's Day, no less. A few housewives up in Frisco (a suburb north of Dallas) started Real Housewives back in June and it's apparently gone viral.
The writing is raw and raunchy -- an unlikely purple vibrator managed to appear in their Pilates review -- and, presumably, it's true. The blog is an anonymous spill all, if you're into that kind of thing. And a lot of people are.
The buzzing around this suburban blog prompted me to think about mom blogs in general. Which ones are popular, and why? Do you have to tell all to get big in the mom blogging world?
Some of the heavily-followed moms do get awfully personal. Take Heather Armstrong and her blog Dooce.
Did you know Armstrong blogged about her four-day stint in the mental ward where she was treated for severe postpartum depression? That in one phase of her pre-blogging life, she lived as "an unemployed drunk"?
No fooling. But umm, and no judgment, revealing things like these would be over-sharing, at least for me. And I'm already prone to over-sharing, particularly if I've been over-served.
But maybe some over-sharing is necessary if the goal is mom-blog stardom. The judiciously sharing, yet still fame-gaining Stiletto Mom and I talked about this a few weekends ago.
It came up when we talked about why advertisers are now so keen to appear on mom blogs. Stiletto explained that mom blogs are surging in popularity and advertisers are starting to notice. But why the exponential increase in mom blog readership, I wanted to know.
Unlike a column in the New York Times, Stiletto explained, blogs are personal. It's almost like a one-on-one exchange, whether you are writing the post or reading it. And it's that intimacy readers enjoy. Stiletto is insightful and she's also right.
Erma Bombeck, Stiletto pointed out to me, was one of the first "mom bloggers." Granted she wrote a column, not a blog, but she gave readers personal snapshots of real life, her life and their own. Her unvarnished family tales made Bombeck universally beloved. We felt like we really knew her.
This would explain why I adore Prudence Mackintosh. It explains why Oprah can make a book, and why some mom bloggers are becoming king-makers, too. When Armstrong wrote about a particular purse she liked, she plucked a plodding handbag designer out of obscurity.
To write about parenting is, by its very nature, to reveal. The closeness we feel with fellow moms -- because of their revelations -- is the reason for their blogs' exploding popularity. Advertisers want to tap this market.
If you stop to think about it, it's easy to see why. Mom bloggers feel like our friends, and oftentimes they are. When we get a recommendation from a friend, it is independently persuasive, instantly credible.
What to tell, and how and when to tell it, are individual calls each of us have to make. For me, blogging about a trip to the looney bin would be too much, though I still wrestle with finding the right balance. Especially when I'm angry. Like I am right now. With my office landlord.
Hell, I'll just veer off course right here. We had a knock-down drag-out screaming match over the phone, as I sat outside a toy store, virgin ears streaming by.
The guy has been paying my office water bill since my lease started in 2004; I thought nothing of it, figured it came with the rent. Five years later he now says it was my responsibility all along. He just realized he'd been paying it, he'd made a mistake. Except it's a whopping $5,500.00 mistake and he's demanding I pay it all, in full, or . . . else. So, umm, yeah, I'm pretty steamed.
We'd exchanged a few letters about this but we'd not actually spoken until yesterday. I was at Froggie's Five & Dime for kids with Mr. M (he had $11.00 to blow and was covering every agonizing inch of the store) when the inopportune call came.
I stepped outside to talk to him and things rapidly escalated. "Fine," I finally told him, "Or else me," as we exchanged profanities.
Earlier I'd noticed two lawyer chicks in the store doing everything they could to ensure everyone knew they were lawyers, saying things like "mandamus" extra-loud. Please. Playing to a captive audience is pathetic. I never wonder why people hate lawyers.
Anyway, as the lawyer chicks were leaving the store, I was sprawled on the sidewalk gesticulating wildly, my ear piece firmly in place. The fight was at a full crescendo. "It's called ratification. Estoppel. WAIVER!" I screamed at 20 decibels. The lawyer chicks did a double-take. I shot them a bird. They had really bad timing.
Alrighty then. For my next over-sharing foray, maybe I'll write about my adventures with the FDA, the accidental pregnancy I managed to survive because of an experimental drug.
This week, in fact, I'll be in Washington D.C. to argue for its approval and "tell my story" to the FDA. When I get back, maybe I'll fortify myself with a bottle of wine and blog all about it. I figure if I can bare my soul to a government agency, tell them about my death-defying pregnancy, I can share it here, on my itty bitty blog.