Gasp! The Mummy bloggers are fighting! It's like when you get called to the principal's office at school. As one, the rest of the class...."ooooohhhhh". And it doesn't matter that you know you've been called up because it's time to take your puffer. Everyone's determined to read something scandalous into it.
Who am I to get in the way of a good story? Have at it. We're fighting. There's hair pulling and scratching and pillow fights and....oh, wait. That's a whole other stereotype.
And to be honest, I'm more than a little ticked off. It's such crap. Seriously. Obviously I don't speak for other bloggers. But I was there the night of the big 'twitter war' (not nearly as good as the Rift Wars). It wasn't an attack so much as it was a discussion. I'll own, some bloggers were a little incredulous about the launch of "The Remarkables".
But it had nothing to do with anyone thinking those bloggers were selling out. And anyone who says otherwise is a liar and should shut the hell up. There are few people in the blogging world who are vehemently opposed to monetising blogs. There are plenty of people who don't do it. They have their reasons.
I don't do it. But not because of integrity. How on earth is accepting money for your writing a mark against your integrity? How is it any different to writing for a magazine, a newspaper, writing a book (and allowing someone to edit it)? It's not. It's all writing.
I don't monetise at this point because I hate sponsored posts. It's that simple. They bore me to tears. They sound like sponsored posts. They read like sponsored posts. And while I've not objection to anyone doing them, it's not why I visit the blog. I don't read certain bloggers because brands love them. I don't read certain blogs because they have marketing managers.
(Warning. Love fest coming. I love these people. And a whole lot more).
I read them because I am blown away by their writing (Averil*, Jenn, Eden, Kirrily, Kristin,Veronica,Lori, Tiffany). There, I said it. I don't shy away from naming names, lol. These are, in my opinion the best written blogs in Australia right now. FOR ME. For my style, my preference. I adore them. There are others I read daily, because I feel a personal connection to the blogger ( eg - Mrs Woog, Tina Grey, Naomi @ Seven Cherubs, Katrina @The Organised Housewife, Maxabella, Suger Coat It, Tork, Trae @ Where's my Glow?....and literally hundreds more). These are bloggers, men and women who I liked...on 'site'. The first time I read them, I knew I'd love their blogs.
Some of them monetise. Some of them don't. For the life of me, at this moment - I couldn't tell you for sure which ones were which. Because I'm not really paying a whole lot of attention.
But this morning, yet another ridiculous newspaper article (read: poorly researched and written by people who don't like 'new media' and would prefer we all just went away so they could keep their jobs).
...Critics have raised the ethical issue of paid blogging, sponsored posts and the elitist idea of choosing just five top bloggers and elevating them to superhero status by branding them "The Remarkables".
"I just want to know who the F thought "the Remarkables" was a good name?" wrote one angry commenter. "The assumption that bloggers don't know how to ethically engage with brands is quite inflammatory to those of us that do it," wrote another.
Zoey Martin of Good Googs blog was supportive of the group but questioned the approach of the Remarkables, in particular the suggestion that being part of an agency makes bloggers more ethical.
Oh. Oops. Sorry, I've just taken a snippet out of what the article says (there is a link though). I'm sure they'd never stoop to such a thing.
First of all, again. I don't think that this is about monetising. I personally don't have a problem with a blog agency. I think it's a great idea, especially for the big bloggers who get overwhelmed by the sheer number of requests they get. And I think that (though I only follow 4 of the 5) the bloggers they chose to be a part of the group were the logical choices to start with.
I don't know where this other issue comes from - as though accepting payment for blogging might not be ethical. Nobody should have any issue with a person making a living, or extra income to help the family. Small, large...whatever they are able. I don't think blogging is different. Time and effort go into blog posts. Often research and a lot of rewriting goes into blog posts. Why should bloggers not be paid for that?
I did take issue with the chosen name. I'm pretty sure that the quote "I want to know who the F thought "The Remarkables" was a good name?" was me. I can't find it on my twitter, but I remember writing it. It wasn't an angry commenter. Just me. Asking a question. It was more bemused than angry. But hell, apparently the writer's vocabulary doesn't stretch to 'bemused'. But not because Eden and Sarah and Beth and Mrs Woog (and the other blogger, Nikki, I'm sure) aren't remarkable. In fact, I believe they are. I love their dedication and approach to blogging. I love their honesty and their humour and the heart they're prepared to share). I just don't think that they're the only ones.
And I guess there's the rub. By elevating 5 people and saying "Of all Australian bloggers, these 5 are 'The Remarkables' ", are you therefore implying that the rest are not? I think this is the issue others have. At least, it was the issue I had. And again, not on my own behalf. As I mentioned, I'm not advertising, at this point I have no immediate plans to do so. I at present am far too busy with my nose in books to give my blog the attention it would need to even think about that kind of thing. I'm a tiny, tiny fish in a huge ocean. I'm just saying that before the usual "You're just upset because you weren't picked". Believe me, I've heard it. But the thing is, almost noone who has issue with the naming of the group, or the way it was launched has a problem because they weren't chosen. Mostly, it had to do with the perception of a divide. The haves and the have nots.
And really, what most of us want? Is to just get on with it. To stop hearing old media tear us apart for fun because they are feeling a little threatened by the reach of new media. To stop having people question ethics or morals. To stop suggesting we'd be better served looking after our children (because clearly none of us could possibly have children in school, day care, sleeping or could possibly be writing at night or first thing in the morning - when in fact, most of us write) than writing about them.
While I'm at it - I'd also love it if people recognised that not that many "Mummy Bloggers" actually write all that much about their children. But that should we choose to, that is our business, and not anyone else's. That in fact, we have minds and skills and talents and may want to write about any manner of things. It's ok. We're not chasing your jobs. We're not saying you shouldn't be able to write for your newspapers or work for the people you work for. We're simply saying we have opinions too. And we're more than ready to share them.
*Sorry. She's on hiatus. And it's killing me, but her muse has spoken and she's busy writing away...actually brave enough to work on a book. I cannot wait to read it.