Mommyblog superstar Heather "Dooce" Armstrong can use "a lewd word" on her masthead and hold onto her J.C. Penney sponsorship. Why can't the rest of the ladybloggers cash in while cussing? Venture capitalist Tim Draper puts it best: “I love women. Women are more than half the population, and they do most of the shopping." Your womanblog is only worth something if you type one-handed, a shopping bag clutched in the other.Armstrong makes for a nice story, but she's far from exemplary. The Times gets this much right: So long as women bloggers stick to topics that publishers know they can sell ads against, they're in business:
Slate's family correspondent Emily Bazelon was relieved recently to learn that her 8-year-old son has no hits on Google. Not for lack of trying! She writes about her young son, Eli, occasionally, but obviously she doesn't want her child to be an Internet Persona, Fair Game for bloggers and commenters. But then, she's writing about him in Slate. And her husband's name, which is presumably her son's last name, is readily available on Wikipedia. She's dangerously close to crossing into the territory of the chronic familial oversharers whose crimes against their children she ponders in her essay. Like remember Neal Pollack? "His young son Elijah's bathroom habits are fair game for Pollack's blog, but his son's discovery of his sexuality, Pollack says, is not." Jesus, Neal, you just did it again. Dear internet: blogging about your children is child abuse.
Dooce author Heather Armstrong "says she has sought therapy to cope with vitriolic posts," writes the Journal. Before anyone uses that to validate the "blogging kills" meme, remember that the famous mommy-blogger had already been in a mental hospital. So it's hard to take this line seriously: "She adds she can understand why 'famous people turn to drugs or commit suicide.'" [Wall Street Journal]
Two non-Silicon Valley bloggers speak at SXSW today — Heather Armstrong of Dooce and Jason Kottke of kottke.org, who rule the blogosphere, Valley and off-Valley, from basement desks in Salt Lake City and NYC. Jason funded his blog through reader contributions; Heather through advertising. They're doing an overstuffed-chair interview (so Oprah!) now. Choppy highlights follow.