Dear Ask Mormon Girl:
What is your take on Mormon women’s domination of the blogworld? (I’m thinking about Dooce, Nienie, and Taza and a few others…) I find myself totally addicted to their blogs as well for reasons I can’t quite articulate.
It’s true, JJZ, that Mormon girls are dominating, well, if not the whole blogworld, at least the 25 – 34 college-educated white female demographic. Salt Lake City-based Heather Armstrong’s tell-all Dooce.com gets at least 50,000 visitors a day; a jaw-dropping 1.6 million people follow Dooce on Twitter. Arizona-based Stephanie Nielson, mother of four, near-fatal plane crash survivor, also pulls heavy traffic on her site Nienie Dialogues, as does Washington D.C.-based ingénue newlywed fashionista Naomi Megan who blogs at Rockstar Diaries.
But oh, JJZ, I’m afraid you know the less-than-half of it. For impeccably-styled Dooce, Nienie, and Taza are just the popular ones, the Mormon girl bloggers with crossover appeal. There is an entire Mormon mommy blog underworld (satirized memorably here) populated by thousands-upon-thousands of snowbound women who right now are popping the Lilo and Stitch DVD into the player one more time just so they can keep the kids occupied long enough to download the latest backgrounds and blinkies from shabbyblogs.com. And most of their sites log weekly traffic in the single digits. Sigh.
How to explain this Mormon mommy blog explosion? I have my theories.
First, do not underestimate the bandwith appetite of 25 – 34 year old white college-educated stay-at-home moms, a webdemographic that may just be dominated by our people. Because when you have three babes under five, your glowing computer screen is a magic escape portal into a much sweeter, less vomit-encrusted version of reality, one festooned with web-ads for unachievable levels of handcrafted cuteness for home and self and child! Giveaways! Giveaways! Click! Click! Click!
Second, do not forget the power of Mormon homemaking. For decades upon decades Mormon girls have been verily commanded to make the homeplace a work of art. Thirty years ago, our aunties were tole painting bonneted geese on wall brackets and stacking them with silk flower arrangements. Now, Mormon girls craft impeccable digital worlds with camera and pixels, never setting a foot outside the homespace. Blogging is homemaking 2.0.
But these are just my amateur theories. For the real story, JJZ, I knew I had to take your question straight to the source: the Godmother, the Undisputed Heavyweight of the Mommy Blog world, and perhaps the most important Mormon female entrepreneur in history: Dooce.
Dooce, I asked, why do you rule?
And she wrote:
I was in the right place at the right time, combined with the fact that I’ve written candidly about some crazy events in my life (getting fired for my website, checking myself into a psych ward for postpartum depression), combined with working my *%% off for nine years straight at this. Plus I understand the medium and how to make it work.
Yes, that’s all true. But is there a Mormon angle to your ruler-ship?
In church, we were always encouraged to write our own personal and family histories. Wasn’t journaling drilled into our heads from the moment we could write a word? And my blog has definitely replaced scrap booking, not that I ever engaged in that verb, scrap booking, but now I have a visual history of the last nine years of my life. And my first daughter gets to read about everything from the first six years of her life. There’s also that Mormon pioneer work ethic. Like, hell, if they could trek through snow in Iowa all those months, then I can damn well update my &#%$! website.
So there you have it, JJZ. The secret to the Mo-girl-blog-domination, straight from the Almighty Dooce Herself: Journaling. And our Mormon pioneer heritage. Cue the pioneers!
Thank you, Heather.
And readers, what say you? Are you a denizen of the mom-bloggernacle? How do you account for Mormon mommy blog domination?
Send your question to firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow askmormongirl on Twitter.
7 responses to “Why do Mormon girls rule the blogosphere?”
Has Dooce (Heather Armstrong) returned to Mormonism? I absolutely love her writing style and photography but I don’t know that I’d call her a “Mormon Girl” blogger.
That’s one of the interesting things about Mormon culture. If you’re a Catholic or a Jew (or even an Evangelical Christian) just being raised in the religion is enough to be a Catholic or Jew for life, regardless of your observance.
If you’re raised Mormon, once you’ve skipped church for three straight Sundays, you’re in a separate category.
That being said, and partially because of this fact, LDS people who have “left the church” often wouldn’t classify themselves as Mormon either. But as far as I’m concerned, being raised Mormon kind of makes you Mormon forever, because it colors your worldview.
I think mormons in general are just taking over the world (oh heaven help us!) one step at a time, blogging, facebook, DWTS, SYTYCD, AI, etsy.com, Mitt Romney–etc etc
I think mormom mothers are THEE busiest people hands down. Between raising families, continuing their education, cubscouts, church responsibilies (that seem ENDLESS!), finance budget queens, tech savvy, etc etc- blogging is a way to encourage and educate oneself on all of the responsibilites that is put upon a mormom mother-and YET it is always done with HUMOR, because mothers SO NEED HUMOR to not harm their young ones or their hubbies.
As a wife to a recent quad (4 years ago) and 4 daughters from 5-12–blogging lets people view my crazy world and how I managed to not give up on my life just because crap showed up on my doorstep.
If anything-things like Facebook & blogging help to strengthen our relationships with others, and be encouraged by others and help to encourage others out there in the world.
In the end I have learned that no matter what your religion-we all have the same hopes & dreams (have a family, raise good children, have joy & happiness in our lives..oh and nice money!). Our purpose on the Earth is to strengthen relationships with one another no matter what the religion etc–Blogging & Facebook are the perfect tool.
As aforementioned, most Mormon mommy bloggers are college educated; additionally, many hold even higher degrees. A shift in responsibilities from educating oneself and managing a heavy social calendar (trying to get married…), even moving away from full-time professional careers once family begins, create a situation of isolation and boredom. Not that there is a lot of boring down time, just a lot of boring not-really-using-my-adult-educated-mind time.
I’ll say we at this point–We have crafted our minds and characters, and then taken that progress into a workforce that demands further honing in order to compete. NOT to mention the emphasis in our faith to constantly push ourselves into life learning opportunities. The result is awesome; however, during the very early years of child raising and home making, many lessons learned and attributes/talents developed go unused.
So we blog. Yes, to journal. Yes, to compete with the Smiths’. Yes, to keep in touch. Yes, to produce tactile proof of net worth in productivity. Yes, to create something beautiful, something of worth, while learning new skills and discovery new hobbies. Yes, to record the humorous moments so we don’t violate the 7th (commandment).
But also, we are a generation of moms that feel comfortable typing and clicking. And so we will. Type. And. Click. Our Merry Blog Way Along.
I’ve been impressed at the way Mormon women have “taken over the Internet” — at least in what I read, which is definitely slanted. I can’t explain our love for communications except that blogging offers that same support Relief Society tries to. The Internets enable a connection with so many and the ability to make friends with common interests so easily.
don’t forget designmom.com
My theory is:
1)Many of these ladies have babies, babies, babies. And, boy do they love talking about them. It’s a virtual baby book.
2)These ladies don’t drink, don’t smoke, don’t do drugs, and for the most part stay at home during the day with their kids and stay at home with the husbands (many of whom are in college/university) at night. (Not that this is a bad thing.)
3)It’s how they escape the banalities of everyday life.