Archives for September 2010

Stuff That is Worth Reading

The posts are fast and furious around here. Got some new material coming shortly, topics include middle school, dad blogs and why a beach requires salt water.

In the interim take a moments to check out some of the recent material here. There are more than a few nuggets to read this week.

2010 Is Still the Year Of The Daddy Blogger

My six year-old has been running around asking everyone she knows if they know the meaning behind “Friends, Romans and Countrymen, lend me your ears.”  Since she is a clearly a child prodigy I asked her to tell me why 2010 is NOT the year of the daddy blogger. And then my beautiful, witty and extremely bright girl said, “what is a blogger.”

Apparently, I a self proclaimed daddy blogger have failed to educate her in the ways of social media. She doesn’t know what a blog is, doesn’t have a Twitter account or a Facebook page. The girl hasn’t the foggiest idea what it means to be LinkedIn, StumbledUpon, or Reddit.

But say Inigo Montoya and she’ll join you in saying “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to Die!” And I have got to tell you that I appreciate knowing that she is serious so be smart and don’t kill me or you will face her terrible wrath and I’ll probably haunt you.

So my friend the blogger with the Superman fetish wrote a post in which he regaled us with his recollection of what happened at the Type A Mom Conference and why 2010 is not the year of the daddy blogger. Over at DadLabs more fuel was tossed on the mighty fire a post called Do DadBloggers Suck?

And just when I began to gag on it all Backpacking Dad produced the piece Why don’t dads read dad blogs? And so I find myself shaking my head at my colleagues wondering what the hell they are thinking. In between large puffs of my cigar and copious amounts a brandy that you can’t afford I decided that I must respond.

Gentlemen in the old country we would have called this conversation, narishkeit or nonsense. But that is ok because part of the joy of being a blogger is getting to engage in all sorts of nonsense and oodles of mischief. You see we are taking ourselves far too seriously and we are missing the point. So if the three people who are still reading this will bear with me I’ll transition into a more serious post.

What is the goal of blogging? If the goal is to become professional bloggers who earn an income from blogging the question is how to do so. The answer is relatively simple. Provide brands with access to their target demographic ideally during a time and place when they are making purchasing decisions. That is all you have to do, show those prospective sponsors that you can help them reach prospective customers.

In a professional setting anyone selling sponsorships has a media kit that they provide to prospective advertisers. The standard kit usually contains an editorial calendar and demographic information regarding the readers.Sometimes that comes from an audit conducted by an impartial third party and other times it is based upon user surveys or registrations conducted by the publication.

If you want to make your dad blog into a professional venture you can do so. You can build your blog into something that has a media kit that you can present to potential sponsors. But before you get there you need to remember that no business is built overnight. You need to remember that building a blog requires time and energy.

Last year I wrote a post about Why Some Blogs Fail in which I cited a survey which said that 95% of all blogs are abandoned. You can look at that statistic from a negative perspective or you can see it as opportunity.

I see it as opportunity. This past Sunday I tweeted about the influx of “dad blogs” this year and made a prediction regarding how many would still be around in 2010.

I stand by my tweet. If I have learned one thing in 6.5 years of blogging it is that most bloggers don’t last. That Technorati survey just proves my point, but that doesn’t really matter. The real point here is that I think that it is premature and silly to say that dad bloggers can’t share the success of the mom bloggers.

It is not a competition and even if it was smart brands/bloggers recognize that the genders are different and how you market to them is sometimes going to be different. But that is neither here nor there. In fact, at 1:30 AM I wonder what I am rambling on about.

Oh yes, dad blogs, brands and bucks. I don’t care if the CNN guy was supportive, a jerk or something else. He doesn’t define me. Frankly I don’t care if television and movies portray dads as bumbling fools because they don’t define me either. I do that.

And if I want to make this corner of cyberspace into something that generates more than coffee money I will do that because the tools and resources exist. I’ll take those tools and use them to differentiate and distinguish myself as a valuable content provider who can put you Mr. Advertiser in front of your target audience in a unique and cost effective way.

Related links

The Daddy Blogger Community
The Rules of Blogging- How To Make Money Part 1
I Don’t Want To Be A Mommy Blogger
Dear Angry Mommy Blogger

Jericho

(For Fragments of Fiction- new dad blog post coming later this evening)

I met Jericho in a time and place that no longer exist. The people we were are long since gone. Now they drift through time and space in a place that I call memory or perhaps it is just my imagination. If you ask Jericho she’d probably push for imagination. She’d want to say that what I remember has been obscured by my own desire for the future. She’d tell you that it was never as good as I remember it.

But if you took her aside and caught her in one of those moments she’d admit that it was exactly the way I remember. She’d admit that as the queen of low expectations it is easier to think of things that way. She’d tell you that to really remember is too painful, too tragic. So old Jericho set up those walls, long and tall, deep and wide.

She lies in wait behind those walls waiting for the future to come. She lies behind those walls and watches the days pass in front of her. There are some really happy times, some good moments that make her think that she can do this for a while. Good things come and she smiles and thinks that life might not be exactly what she wants it to be, but for now this will work.

And me, well I stand outside and stare at the wall. I stand and look and wonder how they grew to be so tall. Too stubborn or too dumb to give up I continue my assault upon them. Every day I look for a way to breach them. Every day I search for a nook or cranny that I can use to start weakening more sections.

Sometimes I see Jericho looking out at me. Sometimes I see her staring at me, a wistful smile on her face. Sometimes I catch her shaking her head. She wonders if I am going to continue to live in denial about the circumstances that placed us here. But I think that she knows that I am not the sort to give up. I…keep….moving…forward….

I have a mental diary of the tactics I have used to try and breach Jericho’s walls. There was a frontal assault that was used to try and gauge the strength of the defenses. Some progress was made by eventually the defense asserted itself and we withdrew. There were flanking movements that had minor success, but still didn’t amount to much. An attempt to climb over failed as did the tunnel beneath.

In between the attempts I have continued to pepper Jericho with reminders of what could be and paintings of the dream. It has been slow going, but I am ultimately a patient man. Those walls will come down, of that I am certain. What I had to remind myself was that Jericho erected those walls for a reason. I may disagree with the reason, but the smart move is to bide my time.

A well planned siege can work. There is no need to plan my own D-Day.

So I remind myself that the current situation is just a moment in time. A moment in time that can become nothing more than a memory or it can become reality. With this in mind I have made a point of mixing up my tactics. Sometimes I withdraw all of my forces and take some R&R. Inevitably Jericho’s natural curiosity drives her out of the tower and she engages in her own reconnaisance. She always finds me.

Life may be a series of random acts but some things seem to be more than coincidence. It is a discussion that Jericho and I have had more than once. One day I suppose I’ll have the chance to look back upon this life and determine whether I was right or wrong about that belief.

In the meantime you can find me at my post watching and waiting. One day, one way or another those walls are going to come tumbling down.

A Word To The Wives

Here is some friendly advice that I like to call a word to the wives, specifically those of you who enjoy blogging. A blog is a wonderful tool that you can use to build relationships with others, express your thoughts and learn about yourself. When you are upset it is useful to use your blog as a place to vent and certainly if you have friends in the blogosphere it is a good place to find support.

However, I recommend that you not use it as a place to write stories about how your husband pisses you off. You may think that it is funny to paint him as a buffoon or moron. You may find that it feels good to have a good laugh at his expense. You may find that sharing your stories is cathartic and that you resent him less for whatever it is that he is doing to irritate you.

If you choose to do this you should bear in mind that it might not serve you as well as you would like. He might find your stories to be less than cute. He might decide that it makes him angry for you to share these stories and as a result your venting creates a brand new issue to deal with. It is the sort of trouble that you can easily avoid.

We’re not perfect. Men find all sorts of way to create problems and issues for ourselves. I know this because I happen to be an expert at wreaking havoc. Still, we try to teach our children not to get involved in this kind of nonsense and that is what it is…nonsense.

It is your relationship so do what you want, but don’t be surprised if he surprises you with more behavior that you don’t like or his own set of posts documenting all of the stupid crap that you do. It may seem like we are oblivious to a lot of things but our silence isn’t always indicative of lack of awareness. Like you we sometimes hold back because we don’t want to fight. Like you we sometimes choose to be quiet because we don’t think that the outcome is worth it.

But don’t think that we don’t notice or that we don’t sometimes talk to the fellows about what happens. I have been part of conversations where the guys share stories or ask questions. There is a reason why some topics never appear on this blog. It is not because I am so smart- but I just don’t need the additional chaos in my life.

So the next time you share a story about how incapable your husband is remember he might be telling his pal stories that would piss you off too. That old phrase, “If Mama Ain’t Happy, Ain’t Nobody Happy” goes both directions.

Cosby- Children are Brain Damaged

If you are not of a certain age you may not be aware that Bill Cosby was a comic. As a father I appreciate a number of his bits:

Brain damage

Parents

Chocolate cake for breakfast