The Original Dad Blogger- What Is A Tagline Worth?

"Come, Sit, Tell Me About America..."   (#1 of 2 - a set)

Friday afternoon, headphones on listening to Otis Redding sing Hard To Handle and thinking about how I’d explain dad blogs and taglines to President Lincoln.

I have no doubt Old Abe would understand tag lines and why people use them after all he wasn’t just appointed president. The office isn’t part of a monarchy where the lucky man just happens to be born into the Royal Family. Nah, you have to run for president, you have to earn it.

Of course if I was speaking with Mr. Lincoln I’d ask what he thinks about campaign finance reform and inquire about his opinion on the SCOTUS ruling about political donations and then I’d rub my eyes and ask him to teach me how to live to be more than two hundred.

How Do Blogs Become Popular?

My current tagline about being the original dad blogger is rooted in sarcasm and snark. It comes from several years back when a series of popularity contests developed and there was a mad race to try to become voted The Best/Most blah blah blah blogger in the blah blah blah blogosphere.

It irked me. Some have said it is because I didn’t win but that is not really it. I am not going to lie and say there have been moments where I felt overlooked and bothered by it.

But what bothered me the most was the impression that the winners were all people who attended the blog conferences and that the judging wasn’t based upon who was a good writer but who was the best marketer.

I am still convinced that some of the best known and most heavily trafficked blogs are that way not because the author is a good writer but because they are a good marketer and I suspect in some cases because they attend the conferences.

That might not be true. I could be wrong but I could be right too.

What I am certain of is that quality of writing is subjective. My favorite example is the disdain Mark Twain had for Jane Austen, but there are lots of examples of “professional authors” dishing out hate upon other authors.

Anyhoo I painted myself into a funny corner where I tell you I don’t care about being popular but want more readers. Did it a long time ago and decided that if I was going to play the game I would try to play it my way and that is part of why I am thinking about taglines again.

What Is A Tagline Worth?

My friend Judy is responsible for making me think about taglines. I am not sure if I ever told her that I have used The Hollywood Guide to a Better Blog Tagline as a reference.

If you don’t make it over there I’ll share part of the comment I left on that post where I shared some of the taglines I considered using here:

“The Condom Broke”

“Larceny, Mutiny and Insanity”

“I Write. You Read. They Buy”

Lately I have been thinking about changing the tagline because I am not sure how effective The Original Dad Blogger is. No one catches the snark and if they did I am not sure it would help and frankly being the original or oldest anything is not always indicative of quality or value.

What Does Your Tagline Do For Your Blog?

If the president and I were sitting on that bench  I mentioned just as soon as we finished talking about the Paleo diet, Crossfit and Tough Mudders I am sure he would ask me to explain how my tagline is helping me.

And if he didn’t I would bring it up and ask him what he thought to see if my concerns were rooted in my own paranoia. I asked the Shmata Queen about it once and she wrapped her arms around my neck, looked deep into my eyes and told me I am a great writer and that I should stop making fun of Cleveland.

I took it to mean that tagline didn’t do much for her.

What Is Your Plan For Your Blog?

What is your plan for your blog? That is not a rhetorical question or one I limit to commenters. For a long while I have sort of straddled the fence of being a dad blogger and a writer/marketer.

I don’t want to be limited. It is part of why I don’t limit myself to one niche and another reason why I am thinking about taglines.

But enough about me. Do you have a tagline? Do you like it? Do you have a plan for your blog or are you just flying by the seat of your pants?

There are no right or wrong answers, I am just curious.

That Bossy Woman Needs To Stop Leaning In

Zoo Parc Beauval

I miss the good old days of the Wild West when you could solve road rage by knocking out a horse. Being a competitive sort of fellow I climbed into the lion pit at the zoo and gave the poor guy in the picture above a hard left and look what happened.

Since I am right handed you can only imagine what would have happened if I had given Leo a taste of five fingers of fury…would have been ugly.

I imagine since the Internet is filled with smart and righteous people someone is dialing PETA right now to express their outrage at Jack the Dad Blogger who so cavalierly talks about beating up a 500 pound beast.

All I have to say to them is you ought to try wearing these vajamas. Yeah, that is a hell of an idea. Let’s describe them as being Vagisoft and because we believe in equality let’s create something more masculine.

Let’s make the Penijamas and describe them as being quite durable. “You’ll have your Penijamas for years because they are as hard as a rock.

The Shmata Queen just snorted her tea straight through her nose. All apologies to my queen, it is hard to be dignified when tea shoots out of your nose, of course it is hard to be dignified when anything shoots out of you.

That is one of G-d’s jokes upon man– if it shoots from a person you guarantee they’re making the kind of face they never want to see immortalized in pictures.

Be The Bigger Man

You might wonder if the our subhead is going to lead us into some sort of size joke but I am here to assure you it is not. There won’t be any comments about the emails we receive that promise us pills that will turn me/you an or your man into someone nicknamed Tripod.

No, I am about to tell you about a conversation I had with my son about the importance of being the bigger man. That kid o’mine is locked in the midst of middle school and some of the things kids do are just nasty.

So we talk about being the bigger man, learning when to stand up for ourselves, when to ignore, when to glare and when to use his own  five fingers of fury. Don’t mess with a Steiner because we come in pairs and it is not because we are schizophrenic.  “Yes, we are! No we are not! Shut Up!

Anyhoo the young master and I have been talking daily about some of the antics of his so called friends and why people act like idiots.

Today I told him about a dear friend of mine who has a very close friend that I can’t stand. I try to be very honest with my son but I couldn’t tell him that I want to give this other guy a box of Ex-Lax brownies and then steal all of the toilet paper from every bathroom within 18 miles because I wouldn’t be the bigger man.

But I couldn’t not tell you fine folks about that particular dream.

And I can tell you quite honestly that even though I find this man to be as endearing as the tag on my underwear I tend to just ignore him because our mutual friend likes him and it is not my place to tell him who to be friends with.

That makes as much sense to me as trying to ban a word that hurts a group of people at the expense of a group of others.

A Comment About Facebook

My brother posted this on his Facebook account and I thought I’d share it with you:

A recent study conducted by the Fouker Institute proved that 3 out of 5 dentists recommend Trident and 19 out of 3 billion people allow Facebook status updates to change their political/religious views.

Have I ever mentioned that guy is an insouciant pain-in-my-ass but I love him anyway.

And now I have to leave you because a spontaneous dance party just broke out here. I’ll see you in the comments. Go on now, dance or comment or do both.

The Definitive Guide To Being a Dad Blogger

Read, Write at Coco Momo

They say that if you ask you shall receive and I have certainly seen that happen to me. An unnamed publisher is paying me a very handsome sum to write The Definitive Guide To Being A Dad Blogger.  If you ask me what I am happiest about I would tell you that it is a handsome sum of money and not something ugly and meaningless.

Or maybe the thing that makes me happiest is that I get to write the Definitive guide and not some cheap unauthorized knock off.  Hell yeah, Jack doesn’t roll with imitation Kate Spade bags or fake Rolex watches. I am so damn cool and suave that the Three card Monty scam artists won’t let me play because I always take their money. Not only that, but the valets pay me to park my car.

How do you like them apples.

Damn if I haven’t gone off on a tear again. I am taking the blogosphere by storm punching out high quality posts that are stamped Grade A. If these were steaks you would call them Kobe and pay exorbitant sums to eat my meat. But I am all helping the common man and woman which is why I provide these words free of charge.

How exciting. How novel. How different.

Some of you are probably wondering how I was discovered and what kind of mojo must reside in my pants pocket. Well I have to tell you that you can’t buy the sort of mojo I have and it is not because I swing to the right, left or center. It is because I am a proud American who has pulled himself up by his bootstraps and created an empire out of a mound of cyber dirt.

My kids walk tall at school and tell all their friends that I am a blogger and then they just smile. Fortunately their old enough to pronounce the word because there was a time when they said that I was a booger and that creates an entirely different sort of image than blogger.

I have so much street cred at that school that the mean mom mafia hides from me. No teacher, parent or student dare cross me because I am armed with a laptop, internet connection and fingers of fury. From my post at the coffee shop I can heap copious amounts of scorn down upon their deserving hides.

Sadly the fine folks at Maybach haven’t figured out how important I am. They don’t take my calls or return my letters and consequently you folks won’t get to read the review of my week driving a Maybach. But I see that as a good opportunity for the other automotive companies to step in.

Drop me a line and we can talk about how this mighty keyword stuffing, SEO hating, semi anonymous dad blogger can take your car for a spin and then write an amazing review that will make people want to buy your vehicle for their own magical mystery tour.  Come correct and do the right thing so that I can do the write thing. Together we can create a Revolution that won’t go Helter Skelter.

Stay tuned to this bat channel my friends and watch as I work my magic. Witness and wonder the majesty of my blogging might which I of course take ever so seriously.

Linkbait, it is whats for dinner.

The Blog That Never Was

This is the story of the blog that never was. It is the true story of how three friends in the midst of a bad economy developed a plan to take control of their destiny by creating a dad blog.

Our story begins in during the spring of 2009. It is a beautiful day in Los Angeles featuring endless blue skies and beautiful women on rollerblades. Our three heroes are seated around a table at an outdoor cafe talking about their lives and wondering how they got to be where they are at.

You see all three are fathers, college educated and homeowners. Each of them got a job straight out of college and has been working steadily ever since, or at least until recently.

Not unlike millions of others a rough economy has impacted all of them. Two out of the three are technically under employed. The third owns his own business but is going through rough times.

They aren’t willing to just let things happen so they seek to take control of life by coming up with ideas for a side venture that they can all work on. They figure that their combination of skills, experience and motivation should be enough to help them build a vehicle that will provide supplemental income and maybe in time become something more.

Numerous ideas are thrown around and bandied about and they come up with the idea to create a group dad blog. They don’t have any misconceptions that it will take time and work to build it but that doesn’t frighten them. Hard work is part of any worthwhile endeavor.

Over the next few weeks they meet again and develop an outline and plan for what the blog should be. Special attention is given to the content because they know that it will be critical. Eventually they finish the plan and begin to set the wheels in motion to get things started.

And then life gets in the way.

Two out of the three men find themselves in the middle of getting divorced and though they swear they will help build the blog it doesn’t happen. The third man is disappointed but he understands. It is a monster mess, divorce and they have their hands full. Between trying to determine custody, who gets what and their other responsibilities the dad blog they planned on building never does happen.

It has become the blog that was and another symbol of why group projects can be so difficult.

One Father Speaks- The Media Does Not Define Me

“These are the days now that we must savor
And we must enjoy as we can
These are the days that will last forever
You’ve got to hold them in your heart.”
These Are The Days- Van Morrison

Those nameless few who make up the people we refer to as “they say” tell me that the mirror doesn’t lie. If that is true than the years haven’t been as kind to me as I might like them to be.

A few lines and creases have attached themselves to my face and some of the hair that used to cover my head has chosen to head elsewhere. The hard body isn’t as hard as it once was and a host of mystery aches seem to have taken up residence. Fortunately a good stretch in the morning sends them running away at high speed.

But none of that is particularly significant or important. That is not to say that I think it is ok to become a complete slop and let my physical health slide because I am adamantly against that.  My real focus is upon how the internal affects the external.

The Media Says…

If you spend time surfing through the dad blogosphere you’ll find an ongoing discussion about how the media portrays us and whether we need to do something about it. My gut feeling is that some of us are missing the boat.

I am not disputing that there are more than a few examples of men/fathers being presented in an unfavorable light and that this could cause issues. However I don’t spend much time worrying about it because my focus is upon my own actions and how I present myself.

People remember how you made them feel first and what you did second. I see both of those as metrics that I can support. They offer a different sort of clout than the Klout so many in social media debate about.

So while I cannot completely discount that stupidity can be contagious I cannot and will not spend all of my time railing about how unfair life can be. You don’t hear every story about the mothers at the park who tell me that they think it is cute to see me “babysit” my children.

That is not the only irritant. When I use a public restroom I know that sometimes a mother is going to come charging in to try and confirm that there are no scary people in there with her children. I am a parent. I get that, but if I am in the stall I am not going to announce my presence or engage in conversation with mom.

Some of the boys are irritated because there is a double standard. My 7 year-old daughter will not use the men’s room. It is not a question and I know that should I dare stick my head in the ladies room there will be an uproar. It is not right and it is not fair but life isn’t fair.

What Is The Point

The point is that we need to pick and choose our battles. We need to focus our energy on the things that matter. For me that primary effort is devoted to my children. It is devoted to making sure that they get a great education and learn how to be productive members of society.

I want them to learn the importance of generosity and gratitude. I want them to appreciate the value of hard work and to understand that we judge people based upon their actions and not their image.

I want them to learn how to distinguish between fighting for pride and principle.There is a time for everything and if they learn those distinctions it will serve them well in life.

All the rest is just commentary.