Saturday, May 17, 2008

Dooce Has Nothing on Blethic

A friend--who knew of what he spoke, having international success as a film-maker and visual artist--once asked the Matron which she would rather have, money or fame? Couldn't be both, as this was a question of the rorschach nature.

She didn't miss a beat: "Fame!"

He said: "Aha! Then you're the real artist. You want your work out there. You want readers."

Mrs. G hit this shiny nail on the head, here.

This is why the Matron blogs, too. Indeed, at this very moment, she is standing on stage, throwing you all kisses. Comments on the dexterity of her prose make her heart go pitter-patter. Knees weak and eyes roll, all that.

The rest of Mrs. G's musings -- particularly on how the popular don't play well with others -- echoes much of the Matron's own sentiments about the ins and outs of this online writing game.

Heather Armstrong does not read this blog--or yours, for that matter.

Dooce isn't the place you pull up a ratty lawn chair and kvetch about the husband. No, Heather Armstrong's blog is a corporation (one that rolls in over 40K a month!). Dooce is industrial strength stuff: codified, in the dictionary.

Now, the Matron enjoys Dooce. Much like she enjoys Vanity Fair or visits Salon. This is different than tooling through the day to day doings of Green Girl or Amy the Mom. Not better, not worse, just different. Dooce is serious business and feels, to this reader, every bit as studied and structured as the introduction of any new product on the market -- only with a blog, product happens nearly every day.

The Matron is using Dooce as an example, but there are plenty of other bloggers who are also one-way destinations. Entities unto themselves.

If thousands of people (instead of numbers stretching toward 200, at the moment) read the Matron's blog, she probably wouldn't be able to stop by and visit everyone, either. But she would want to! (and she might even try)

Perhaps the larger question (because she's an academic, she's sure there is one) is what the goals are? What success is? Why? The Matron prefers reading and writing to direct human contact, so that pretty much sums up her intentions. It's all Flow, darling.

Success is the conversation--from bouncing off Mrs. G to the comments below. Success is pumping out something creative in half an hour, nearly every day. Success is that check for $28 the Matron just got from BlogHer! Success is trying to wipe up the drool and tackling technology: if everyone under thirty lives online, why not give try?

Success? The Matron thinks that would be the codification, the dictionary-ization of her made-up word for blog ethic - blethic, the care and tutelage of one's individual blog. The moral compass, the code. Blethic!

And today's post would be a little riff on that.


SuburbanCorrespondent said...

Fascinating! And I love the conversation, too. Thanks for giving us the fun glimpses of your life, and I hope I'm able to do the same for you.

Actually, probably not. Your posts are much more thoughtful than mine. But if I can make you laugh, why, that suits me just fine.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

Just like your real life friends you're getting a little something different from every person you visit, and who visits you.

Besides wanting to be read, blogging is about community. If I got too big (not much danger of that) to be part of the community, it just wouldn't be blogging anymore.

witchypoo said...

One of the bigger bloggers that I have found to be very approachable is Heather of Ohmystinkingheck.She's generous with her tech knowledge and time as well.
I <3 your blog.

Cheri said...

I love the Matron's brand of blethic. She does it well, very well. Also, I am impressed by the Matron's $28 check AND 200+ readers. Fame or fortune? To H-E-double-hockey-sticks with the question of the Rorschach nature, it IS both! The Matron brings home the tofu and woks it up in a pan.

Noortje said...

In the end, I would really go for the money and be an anonymous blogger. I don't want the responsibility of fame. It would lie heavy on my shoulders. I wish for $28, not bad! Just add some zeros now.

Trudie said...

Dooce reminds me too much of "infomercials" which prevents me from reading her without feeling suspicious of her motives. Her style of writing certainly attracts a lot of people, but I still prefer reading blogs written by someone I could invite to my home full of doghair tumbleweeds!

Mrs. G. said...

Your term "blethic" is one for the books-hey $28 is all most a tank of gas. I am certain that Satan's Familiar could have his own reality show.

Melissa said...

Amen to what Jenn says, you get something different from each blog and I'm in it for the community. "Meeting" y'all and really connecting is such a blast--I'd hate to have a wall of fame & ulterior motive in the way.

But still, $28? Matron, you are worth far more than that!

Optimist said...

40 Freaking K a Month???

I had no idea. Wow.

Jennifer H said...

You've got it exactly right, my friend. It would all feel hollow, if the conversation didn't go two ways (or 100 ways). I love this community and wish I had started blogging long ago (my sister tried to tell me...).

MamaBird said...

Yup, love the community. The convo. The constant subreferencing. Also the coinage of blethic (and did your dh move the vase?!)

Vallen said...

Okay, now I'm beginning to see the issue. When I read Mrs. G's post I wasn't aware of what was happening but reading this I get it. In the craft blog world we have our stars as well, people who show up in magazines and who get 100's of comments everyday. They don't respond to just anyone's comments and for the most part are held on a pedestal, if only in their own minds. I like making friends with the people whose blogs I visit. I try very hard to respond to everyone who leaves a comment, albeit an easier task since they number only in the teens. Having lovely responses to your writing/crafting/parenting/coping is rewarding even if you can count them on only one hand. At the risk of sounding trite - making people smile, however many they may be - keeps me at this blog thing. That and all the presents my blog friends keep sending me.

Angie said...

Very well said, I couldn't agree more.

stephanie said...

Yes on all counts.

I loved writing for my few friends and dear, tolerant husband last year but I get a super charge reaching a couple more people now. It feels good to have your stuff noticed, even if somedays your stuff is a rant about laundry. Or grocery store clerks.

I'm thinking we teachers have a bit of an in on this one - we do a hell of a lot of work that goes largely unnoticed; when someone gives a shout out, it's a bonus. And we grin.

I don't get why Pride has to be a sin.

Kimberly said...

Great post! I'm impressed with your $28! Not bad at all!

I read Dooce, but I feel she's a bit too processed. I like to keep it a little more on the down low myself.