Thursday, July 31, 2008

Before I Get To The Post Where JCPenney Inadvertently Gives Me $500 To Lick Ish's Sweaty Head, A Word About BlogHer And Dooce

Okay, so there is oh-so-much to say about the BlogHer '08 conference that I have to abandon ever doing a thorough job, or ever doing it in one post. Let's just recognize that it'll come out here and there in bits and spurts and go with it.

Two posts down, there were two comments about Dooce:

Bets said...
Can someone please elaborate on the Dooce bitchery of Blogher 2008 for those of us who weren't there?

Anonymous
said...
There is a backlash against Dooce and hate sites on her. At Blogher she was (allegedly) rude to someone at the keynote. K - what is your take on all the hate among female bloggers?


I hate to disappoint, but one of the unavoidable downsides of being responsible for the conference is that I don't have time to attend any of the sessions. So I was not there for the Dooce incident and only have second- (and third- and fourth-...) hand recounts.

My understanding -- and again, I could be entirely mistaken -- is that Dooce/Heather was discussing how she reads every single comment and email she ever receives. She was also discussing how it is (and sometimes isn't) difficult to let the hateful/hurtful/spiteful things said about her roll off her back.

Then she cited a particular blogger who had recently called her a Hobbit.

And, sure, no one wants to be called a Hobbit.

So...when it came time for the question-and-answer part of the session, you can imagine how things got a little uncomfortable when a woman got to the microphone and said something along the lines of, "It was me! I was the one who called you a Hobbit. But I called you an AWESOME Hobbit!"

I am not sure what happened next, but the Tweets were a-flyin. (By the way, did you know you can search what people are Twittering about? Go to www.summize.com and put in #blogher and you'll see all the Tweets from people who were live-Twittering from the event. You can search on "Dooce BlogHer" too.)

I don't think that Heather was very happy about a confrontation with a Hobbit-caller, which makes perfect sense. How do you respond to a personal confrontation while in the spotlight, while all eyes are on you? I don't know. I don't know what she did, exactly. I think she just moved on.

In context, it does seem like it was supposed to be a very flattering thing to say. The blogger -- one of the funniest bloggers I have ever read aside from Dooce and who I will link to now with the understanding that you will never return to my blog because she is just that hilarious -- is Jenny of The Bloggess.

(I have since read Jon Armstrong's post on this situation and find his perspective fascinating, and it kind of makes me wish I'd never opened my mouth on the subject, because my read on what happened is stilted at best, incomplete for sure. Read what he and Heather actually experienced here.)

Anyway... You asked what I think about all the hate among female bloggers.

I don't think there's any more hate among female bloggers than there is among male bloggers. I think women are maybe more transparent when their hate comes from jealousy.

Still, here's my take, for what it's worth: Blogging is SO personal. And so when someone gets more praise or readers or money or opportunities than someone else, it's hard. Especially if you're a super-personal blogger. Because when someone's personal blog is more popular than your personal blog, it can feel as though that person is more popular than you. And then that brings out all kinds of adolescent insecurities. Why do people like her more than me?

I have all kinds of blog envy, but I try and handle it the way I handle envy of anyone's anything. I try and figure out what I can do better, what I'm not doing enough of, what I can change. And then I also realize what I can't, or won't.

I sincerely believe that I would be a better and more popular blogger if I spent a lot more time blogging. But that would require one of two things, if not both: getting a less demanding job, and/or giving up most of my free time. Until I'm willing to do one (or both) of those things -- and suffer the consequences that result -- I am where I am.

And no amount of resentment or bitterness or jealousy on my part is going to change that.

Am I answering the question?

Women bloggers who are hateful of other women bloggers aren't any different from women who are hateful of other women. The internet just makes the hatred easier to spread quickly and anonymously.

Hmm. I don't think that was helpful. Sorry! Maybe you should stick to asking me easier questions about the conference, like Did any attendee make you cry? (yes) or Did you do shots of tequila in the on-site BlogHer office in-between sessions? (sadly, no)

MOST IMPORTANTLY, here is the post about licking my boyfriend's head for the sake of all blogkind. You're welcome.

11 comments:

  1. K said:

    And so when someone gets more praise or readers or money or opportunities than someone else, it's hard. Especially if you're a super-personal blogger. Because when someone's personal blog is more popular than your personal blog, it can feel as though that person is more popular than you. And then that brings out all kinds of adolescent insecurities. Why do people like her more than me? (sorry, I do not know how to do italics)

    I think the reason some of the popular blogs have lots of visitors is because the writers put a lot of effort into makng money on them and pimping the truth. A. lot.

    I think you come across as really nice and genuine and maybe bitchy just sells more?

    You want an easy question - here: did you eat too many carbs at the conference? :)

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  2. I think this is a great recap of this touchy topic AND you make some very valid points. The internet is lightning quick and we can spread hate faster if we want to. I mean Twitter alone is a vehicle for that. That's how I learned there was an earthquake in LA AS IT WAS HAPPENING.

    I was in the room for the keynote and didn't think it was all that bad as people make it out to be. I didn't think Dooce was being bitchy and I do think Jenny/The Bloggess posted that all in good fun. She even said that she had pointedly apologized to Dooce at a party the night before. I think she was more miffed that Dooce kept bringing it up like it was a bad thing when in actuality she meant it as a compliment. Hell, I'd be ok being George from the Beatles. ;-)

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  3. It is really okay that your blog isn't super-slick, full of ads, and super-popular.

    I love it when you post more, though.

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  4. Thanks for this, I was totally out of the loop and didn't know who to ask.

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  5. Here's my fabulous opinion: Jenny WAS trying to be complimentary and was, in her own way, saying that Heather is such a celebrity that she doesn't seem real.

    I think Heather took umbrage with that because 1. She is real and 2. She works very hard to be honest and real in her writing. To me it seems as if she really didn't want to be called out as being something ultra-super-special when she just feels like herself.

    I may be totally wrong about this.

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  6. I think you summed this up well.. And mostly I think the drama came from it just being uncomfortable. Obviously Heather was uncomfortable and while I LOVE THE BLOGGESS (purely platonic) she is hilarious, she made me uncomfortable especially when she told everyone she was drunk (whether or not that was true) while addressing Heather, because then I was way more uncomfortable...

    so to sum up. I was uncomfortable. Other people felt differently...but I still really enjoy both blogs, don't think it summed up my Blogher experience in anyway (Which was great) and as far as the hate thing you nailed it. Some people are hateful, jealous and grumpy. some people aren't. blogging isn't a cause or effect of that....I mean has anyone read jane austen? cuz there were some seriously grumpy, nasty, hateful women in those books and they didn't have the internet..or bras.

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  7. I dunno. I am a mere amoeba (how the heck is that spelled... I'm too tired to look...) in the blog world... So I got nuthin' about the Dooce/Blogess thing. I'm just watching... the advanced life forms sort it out.

    BUT - I love the www.summize.com tip. Right arm!

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  8. Ooh, I want to hear about an attendee who made you cry! And a question of my own: did you, at any point in the ridiculous amount of work that conference was, just decide that you didn't care about how you looked and scrapped makeup altogether?

    (I ask that last one because I am somewhat familiar with the soul-draining tiredness that comes from working trade shows and conferences)

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  9. i've always been baffled by this notion that women are more competitive than men, can't work together, or are "catty" or whatever demeaning thing people like to say.

    i guess it's because i've been really fortunate to have so many amazing women in my life who would never try to undermine my succcess in any area of my life. they've done nothing but support me.

    sure, i've come across some exceptions, but i steer clear of them.

    i am lucky.

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  10. I like you more than Dooce, but then so what. Dooce closes her comments most of the time, so when did the hobbit post occur? In the 15 seconds she had the comment thing up?

    I don't like hatefulness or rudeness and hate that it is happening here in blogland.

    Heck...I'm old and not so hip as everyone else...so whatever. I do enjoy reading your blog and most of the time enjoy writing mine. I don't make any money on mine, because I have like two or three readers,.

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  11. I saw it happen and it was so darn awkward I wanted to crawl under the table. yikes

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