Friday, May 20, 2011

About Daddy Blogs and Lists

A few months ago, this blog was linked on another blog's "Top 25 dad-blogs" list. At the time, I mentioned it in passing on my Facebook page because it's always nice to be mentioned and acknowledged, even if, in the end, it didn't mean much. It didn't mean I was a better father or a better blogger, just that a particular blogger came across this blog and liked it. He also missed many great bloggers, and when some people commented, he was forced to go on the defensive and explain that, yes, the "Best Of" list didn't mean an included blog was better than the many blogs he excluded.

These "Best Of" lists keep appearing, and we keep falling into the trap. There was recently a list of the best blogging dads. To be in the list, you had to convince people you knew in real life or on the Internet to vote for you every day. Basically, the best "daddy blog" would be the one who brought the most traffic. Now, this is not some evil scam, don't get me wrong. The winning blog would get a badge and everything, after all. But in the end, it was meaningless. It was just another blog praying on our needs for approval. I'm not saying the winning blog wasn't the best blog out there, just that winning didn't make it so.

And now there's been another list published. This time, "The Top 50 Daddy Bloggers" were listed. For this one, bloggers didn't need to send traffic to win, but they did have to be already included in the site's list of PR-Ready-Blogs, and they had to have a high Klout Number, which basically counts the times a blogger has gotten retweeted. This means nothing to a non-Twitter user, and it says nothing about the quality of a blog in general, but the list was still titled, "The Top 50 Daddy Bloggers."

And everyone goes back to the site and complains. Me included (calling myself The Washington DC of Daddy Blogs. Pretty proud of myself for that one). About the metrics, and the research, and the arbitrary nature of such lists, and--

We forget what we're doing here. We look at blogs written by mothers and think we want to do THAT, but OUR way. And we get confused about the THAT part. Mom-Blogs or Mommy-Blogs aren't good because they're better connected with PR people, but because they're better connected with each other. These sites are not good because they have an honest disclosure policy, but because they're honest when they talk about their lives.

There are many, many, many great blogs written by dads. Some of them also try to sell us stuff, which is fine by me, as long as it's not the only thing in the blog. But what makes a good blog is honest writing. I don't need to know everything about your life, but when you write something, I need to know that you mean it.

There will be other lists. Some of us will be included, and some of us won't. Those who get in will mention it. Those who don't will complain or laugh it off. But in the end, it's all meaningless. If you write one paragraph that makes me think I'm not alone and that I'm not the first and only father who dares to say he loves his children or dares to say his best Father's Day present would be a day by himself without the kids, then you're a great blogger. Top 50, even.

But with all this Said and done, I'm still devastated about not being a part of Backpacking Dad's list of "Top 25 Sexiest Dad Bloggers." There is no justice in the world.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Ramble On


Look for me over at Dad of Divas, where I ramble on about my wife, my kids, my Wii, spanking, Buddha, finding balance, self-identity, Cancun, Twitter, Sarah Palin, and Christmas music.

It will make you laugh, it will make you cry. It will make you rethink your life-choices. Well, it will make you rethink the decision to click on the link.

But do it anyway, because I prefer talking to other people than talking to myself.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Father's Business

We decided it was time to send our 3-year-old to pre-school, so we did our research and found one a block away from our house. Literally a two minute walk. It was recommended by friends and co-workers. It looked nice. The teachers looked nice. The kids seemed friendly. The teacher who took me on a tour noticed I had a foreign accent, so she told me the kids came from many different countries because a lot of the parents were students and teachers at Johns Hopkins University. It was all pretty much a no-brainer.

Sure, we did a little rethinking when we found out the kids had a Christmas pageant, but in the end, being Atheists doesn't mean we're anti-religion, so that was fine.

Really, it all looked great.

So I go there just one more time and grab an application. It's a short one, so really there shouldn't be any problem...

fathers business

For me, as a stay-at-home dad, that was a deal-breaker.


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