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Saturday, May 10, 2008

Mama Bloggers: Exploitists or Family Historians and Community Builders?

Heather Armstrong wrote this great post that I discovered via Lisa, one of my all time favorite bloggers, defending her blogging about her kid. I am in agreement with Heather's point of view that her blogging about her daughter is a celebration of the love and beauty they share in their family. I obviously don't perceive the danger in showing Ellie's picture here to be any greater than taking her out in public in general. I was happy to read Heather's well articulated argument about this.

What do you think?


Lisa said...

heh. Did you see her interview on the Today show? I think it is up on the Today show site if you haven't.

Kathy Lee Gifford interviewed her and made an absolute fool out of herself. First she ages herself and acts like she doesn't even know how to turn a computer on. Then, she criticizes Heather for putting her kid online. It makes her "uncomfortable."

I was like, um, Kathy Lee, haven't like MILLIONS of people seen you talk about and show your kids on National TV for years? WTF are you talking about? It was hilarious. Heather handled it okay, but it would have been nice to see an interviewer who knew what they were doing.

Rob at Kintropy said...

This is a recurring topic with folks we know. Every time we get an odd comment or two on the blog, we think about it, but I really do think the positives outweigh the negatives. We are celebrating our lives together and meeting interesting people from all over the world via our blog. That seems like an OK thing.

Emma said...

It's a very long time since I've read Dooce so it was interesting to go back over there and read those. And it really must have been a long time because I thought her daughter was still like two or something. I think we all need to be careful with our blogging and that some people aren't careful enough. But I don't see putting pictures etc online as dangerous. Obviously I don't have kids but I think blogging as a whole can be a very useful tool and provides access to a truth that wasn't previously available. Particularly with disability bloggers and probably with mommy bloggers too. The only thing is is to pick a limit and stick to it but realise that limits have to be flexible - as dooce says. Personally, my blogging limits/boundaries have recently changed drastically as a result of my inadvertantly causing family issues by blogging.
I agree that blogging positives outweigh the negatives although I am working on some ways of my blog becoming a "safer place"

Kathryn said...

Lisa -Kathy Lee is such an idiot to begin with. I hope Heather set her straight. How Kathy Lee could let anything anyone else does make her uncomfortable is so hypcritical. Isn't she the one whose clothing line was employing child labor in third world companies. The fact that she is still in the public spotlight and that anyone listens to her or takes her seriously at all is a travesty.

True I am not a fan of hers. That said I would love to see that interview just to see Heather .I am going to try to find it.

Rob I agree that the positives outweight the negatives, especially when you are trying charting the unknown waters of disability as a parent.

Emma - I don't know what you wrote or what happened, but don't be too hard on yourself. I agree though, that you have to draw the line and stick to it. For instance I have never mentioned the name of Ellie's school. There are loads of things about our daily life that go unblogged. Loads. Still it's interesting to know what those boundaries are and when I blog I do keep in mind how others might feel reading what I write. However, if you do that too much and try to please everyone the whole essense and therapeutic effect of blogging is lost.


Bird said...

I loved that post that Dooce wrote. I don't usually read her, but that post really resonated with me.

For me, I feel like I have a great opportunity to document my child's growth and development. I'm sure I could just write it in a journal and refer to it, but that's probably not going to happen. If I just glance back at goals from our last IEP I can see the progress that's been made. I hope that one day my space can be a source of inspiration and hope to other parents on the same journey--the way this site and some others are for me.

I have decided that my blog is about me, my husband, and my child. People get weird when they hear about themselves on the net, so I keep it to just my family. I don't think it's an unsafe place--I just don't want to upset people. If people could see my stats I think they'd know that a blog is probably safer than Target.

Kathryn said...

Bird -I am so with you! Your blog rocks and is a source of hope and inspiration. And more than Dooce's argument that it's about mothering and how hard that is, I think it is actually better to say that it's about life and how it can be great no matter what your circumstances and when it isn't great there is allot to learn. Blogging communities like this one and others are a way to share in that learning, happiness and pain.