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I Paid My Dooce Long Ago

Alright, I’ve had enough. I have to speak out about this. Don’t be mad. I’m not going to go as far as making her the star of a Monday post, but I’m getting really frustrated with Dooce. Once upon a time it was my favorite read of the day. It was the first blog I ever heard about, and the one that inspired me to start my own. Heather’s writing, at its best, makes me cry and laugh at the same time. I think I even went back and read her blog from the very beginning, like I did with Sarcastic Journalist (which I finally finished and man, that took a long time. I am so glad I did it though – it’s a great site.)

Now, I always say I’m not one to judge. So here I am not judging her. I am writing because I know a lot of you enjoy her site as well, whether you’ve read for a long time or just recently jumped on the bandwagon. (Because it IS a big bandwagon, what with all that publicity she’s gotten over the past year for being fired for her blog, being depressed and writing about it on her blog, and being a mother and writing about it on her blog.) I think I even hooked up with some of you via the comments section of Dooce. I appreciate her writing and the permission she gave the world to be so open and honest on the internet.

In the past few months, though, the quality of her posts has changed enormously. That isn’t a big deal – it is her blog, after all, she can do what she wants with it. But the fact that she says she’s making a living and supporting her family with her blog because now it has ads on it is what bothers me. If it’s her full time job now, and the primary breadwinner for her family, why then is she posting less often and much less about her family and their everyday hijinks which is what made her blog so popular in the first place? This feels reminiscent of a great band that made great music and then they became famous and started churning out crap (like U2. I know lots of people would disagree with me but really, U2 hasn’t been truly great since “Achtung Baby,” in my opinion).

I have been thinking about writing about this here for a while but I was conflicted. Who am I to say what makes a blog good or bad? I’m just doing this for me and my family, who love it automatically, and it gives me a great thrill when internet friends read and comment and share links to their own and other blogs, too. But I know what I like, and I miss the old Dooce. Today she told us she’s too busy to write a post but please go fill out a survey about the ads on her site. In other words, she doesn’t want to work but she wants us to read her site and keep the dollars coming in from her advertiser. That doesn’t seem fair.

Again, I feel conflicted writing this because who am I to complain? Well, I am now one of the people who visit her site and generate advertising dollars, that’s who. And there may be a time in the near future in which I won’t come back if all I get to read is how drunk she got with the other cool bloggers at SXSW. I was in it for the snot, the poop, the hemorrhoids, the developmental challenges, and the farting. I am not in it for the popularity and the getting rich and the meetings she gets flown to all over the world so companies can consult her about blogging, which she doesn’t even really do that much anymore.

So, Dooce-lovers, hate me. I still love her, but I miss her.

P.S. I emailed Heather directly a few months ago letting her know how I feel about this. Not that she cares, but at least I was up front about it, so don’t go getting your shorts in a bunch because I’m using my blog to complain about her blog.