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?
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