When Blogging Turns Ugly

I like to hang out on Twitter.

It's a nice place to get to know people more intimately in this huge blog world.

Lately, I've been reading a lot of tweets about ugly blogging. Mom bloggers bad-mouthing other Mom bloggers.

I'm hardly in the know, but I think it has something to do with intertwining product reviews, PR pitches and free trips in with family stories instead of posting those items on a separate review blog of sorts.

Or maybe it's about so-and-so having a bigger house and driving a nicer car. That's what the moms on the school porch talk about.

And then again, it could be about you-know-who at recess taking my best friend from me. That's what my 9 year old daughter complains about.

Frankly, I think it's the age-old girl problem.

It probably won't go away.

I've talked about being an extrovert on my blog and an introvert in real life. But sometimes in this blogworld, I feel disconnected. I feel like an island. 

I'm usually the last to learn of such matters. I like to stay out of blog conflict. I don't know the details. I don't know the names. And I don't want to. It's not that I don't have an opinion either way. I do. I clearly welcome PR pitches (hello, Chick Fil A, we need to talk about unlimited sweet tea).  I'm extremely selective and you won't see a lot of it here. 

Because that's not why I blog. 

(But if that is why you blog, then wear those shoes proudly).

It's important to me to maintain who I am. I can't pretend to write about something I don't care about. 

And that's really the point I'm getting at, why do you blog? 

Define that for yourself.  I'm finding that even though I'm open to marketing that fits me, the amount of offers and enticements and distractions grow everyday. And that's why it's important for me to remember that if it's just me and my keyboard (like it was a year and a half ago), I do this for me. I want to be proud of what I contribute to the blogworld.

So whatever you decide to be, be your best. And give other bloggers (and neighbors with bigger things and girls on the playground) a chance to be themselves. We are all unique. Every blog is different.

But please remember that every word you publish is making an impact. The good and the bad.

And the ugly.


nicole said...

Yes! Kind of makes me glad that I'm a wee, tiny drop in the blog pond and so not attractive to those who give things away. My random voice is all mine.

CanCan (Mom Most Traveled) said...

I'm in this same place as you, mentally.
I'm an introvert by nature and I have never been one to partake in "drama". I wish we could all coexist no matter our blogging agendas!
I blog because I love it when people read what I wrote! That is the bottom line for me! :)

Sarah Mae said...


I think that sums it up.

Vixen said...

I can relate to that outsider 'feeling'. This is not the first debate that has raged since I started blogging, but I always feel on the outside and I try to stay that way. Especially when I have no input, like this one. Since no one has ever asked me to review anything, I have no idea how I would react.

I used to think I blog for me (and I still do), but not just to hear my voice. I think now I do it for the sense of community and support I get out here.

Well said.

Grace @ Sandier Pastures said...

This age-old girl problem becomes a little bit embarassing if those involved are moms. I hope as moms, we all should behave better for the sake of our kids...they can google when they can, you know.

Like you, I am an introvert in real life but actively blogging and interacting with other bloggers (I can't still say I am an extrovert, blogging wise). I don't want to be involved with any mommy wars at all.

A Maui Blog said...

Well said. The important thing is to keep in mind why we blog.

I have moved a little bit from being a "mommy blogger" to my other blog which is moe of a "travel blog". I find that there's less intrigue in there. So yes, this thing you are noticing could be an "old girl squabbles" thing.

I too is an introvert in real life and extrovert in blogworld and twitterville. I think you are doing a wonderful job and I love your blog and tweets - so keep up the good work and just don't get entangled in the mess of what's going on. You be the light and I know you are.

Liza's Eyeview
A Maui Blog

Domestic Spaz said...

Is that really still going on? I guess I'm pretty far outside of the circle cause I've only caught little snips of it. I don't see what the big deal is, honestly. If you don't like someone's blog just don't read it. Isn't that how we were always taught to handle situations like this?

Kim - said...

Great post. I too think it's an age old problem of women being catty. I love how blogs have been able to be a vehicle for increased income for some families. If a person doesn't agree with a blog, or is offended......I think it's best to just stay away....minding our own business is very hard at times, espeically behind the keyboard. I receive many offers, and most I pass on as a giveaway for my readers. But I do keep a few that I just have to have. If I think it's a product I "need" so badly, what's the harm is letting everyone else know about it? I also offer advertising to approved sites. I have only had one person complain about the ad space and I emailed her explaining why I do offer ads.......because it brings in money...that I am lucky and fortunate enough to have a blog that many people enjoy, if they don't enjoy it, it's really OK. There are many blogs out there to meet their needs. She emailed back with some backstepping admiting she wished she too could make money at it. I don't think she was trying to be nasty, but it made me think about how some people think others want to hear their opinon.
So when I see something I don't fancy (a blog with bad parenting or ugly curtains)and it doesn't directly affect me, I move on. It's really none of my business.
Some people, as passionate as they are, really just need to keep it in check.

Anonymous said...

Very well said.

I think I am still wondering why I blog. Is it for me? Or is it for others.

I need to be able to first get my act together before I can pretend to help someone else. Today, this week, I kind of feel like a mess and wonder what in the world I think I am doing trying to help other people "get it together", when I don't feel like I've got it together. :(

This is me, being real. That has been the most popular attribute expressed by my friends. My transparency and authenticity.

Anyways. Good job addressing such a matter. I think it's important. Funny, I thought we moms were all on the same team. What has happened? :(

Miss Meliss said...

I didn't even know people talked about others' blogs like that! I figured if people didn't like a blog, they moved on... I must live under a rock! hahaha

Why do I blog? Well, it started out as the journey to my daughter... writing is cathartic... it was for me. Then it turned into a blog about my daughter and my journey together, for myself and friends/family. But that is sort of odd. I don't feel like I can be as open. But I still do it! And now, I guess I keep in mind others that read my blog. So, it's all those things for me right now. Although, I'm considering writing one where it's a little more anonymous. So I can vent more. LOL. :)

But not about other bloggers. That's not me.


shopannies said...

I feel right with you I love to blog, love making friends, and have lots of fun doing it but there are those times when others get angry for one reason or another not much you can do but keep going

pendy said...

I blog as a way to journal and scrapbook; not many people read it. I do have an extensive blog roll (try to keep it no more than fifty) and do leave comments, which has resulted in a few people visiting my site...and I feel like I've gotten to know some of them. I learned about Compassion International through fellow bloggers and am so grateful.

I have deleted blogs from my blog roll after deciding that they were pretty much just infomercials.

Kris said...

I was actually thinking about blogging on something similar last night. I'm just a small speck in the blogosphere but I do notice quite a few of those 'cliques'....just like in high school....those women that sit and whisper about other women, the ones who have everything and brag about it...etc.....I realize that kindred spirits often connect with each other...but it isn't high school anymore. Why act like it? Blog for whatever reason it is that you blog and be happy with it. Let other people do the same.

Kris said...

p.s. The above comment isn't directed at anyone in particular. As I said, I'm just a speck in the blogosphere...and I don't personally know anyone who's talking about anyone else's blog in a negative way.

Preggo said...

I blog because I can't think straight unless I get all my random, rambling thoughts out on paper. . . . err. . . computer screen. I blog because by the end of the blog sometimes I have come to understand myself better than I did at the beginning of the rant (blog). And I blog because I may not have anything entirely original to say, but at least I have something to say.

Brandi said...

I blog to keep friends/family updated on what is going on in our everyday lives. I only recently went public with my blog and that was simply to make things easier for some of our older family members that didn't want to mess with passwords and such - getting them to use a computer at all was hard enough. However, I have really enjoyed meeting other moms and having a chance to vent (in a fun way) about everyday mundane mom things that we all experience. Being new, I'm not exactly privy all that is going on. I have heard a few bits and pieces here and there, but how 'bout grow up people, and treat others how you would want to be treated - pretty basic. :-)

Jodi said...

I must not be "in the know" either, and I'm surprised to read that this even goes on in bloggy land. I have a separate blog for reviews and and affiliate stuff, so maybe that's why. I have my family blog just to keep up with our family stuff.

I blog, because I enjoy to write, and share photos of what we're up to, plus being a Jersey girl living the rural south, there's just so much to laugh about, why not share with the rest of you, right?

I enjoy reading blogs as much as writing them, and I imagine I will be staying out of any blog mommy wars going on over the internet. Unfortunately, I have found that too many people on the internet are much too opinionated and confrontational than they probably are in real life. I would never say anything to anyone or about anyone on the internet or in my blog that I wouldn't say to his/her face in the real world. I'm as real as my blog sounds. Which, may not always be a good thing, lol...but that's just me!

Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

I blog for the same reasons you do. And I've been at it for 2 years, so things have definitely changed for me over those 2 years. I'm getting more opportunities & perks too & that is great, although I never want it to impact the reasons I blog. I blog because I love to share my interests & passions (all about home), and it's grown a lot. I'm still not as big as those mommy bloggers are, but I'm fine in my medium sized pond. :)

I don't stay on Twitter long enough to follow any controversies, but I agree with you, there's just no need for that. I don't ever want to get sucked into all that, but there is a certain amount of competition in blogging, I've found that out & I guess it's normal, once you grow to a certain size. I'll just keep doing what I do & mind my own business. :)

McFadden Family said...

I think that it is an age old problem of women being chatty and jealous. As I am not a huge name in the bloggy world I can't say that I am concerned. I blog mostly to preserve my memories and keep my family and friends updated on what our small family is up to. I have thought about blogging about life matters, but who am I in the grand scheme of things? I am not jealous of other moms who are successful bloggers, I admire their strength, courage, and talent. :0) However there are a lot of women out there that covet their neighbor's blog (yes I know. . .)

I completely agree with your post.


Rhoda @ Southern Hospitality said...

Oh, and Kristen, I LOVE your new pantry door. That's so cute!

TidyMom said...

I blog because I LOVE to share and talk about the things I LOVE.

I was fortunate to have worked with my Dad for the last 5+ years of his life - almost every day I would walk into work with pictures of the kids and stories to tell - and Dad would chuckle that I always had so much to say. Even as I spent the last week of his life at his bedside, I sat and told him stories about what the kids were up to, what they were saying etc. He would open his eyes every now and then and just smile at me---
So now I blog......I blog to share things with anyone who wants to look and listen - it's what I love to do!

It's such a shame that as grown woman, so many still have to act like jealous junior high girls. Like you, Kristen, I'm an introvert in real life, but extrovert at my keyboard - I try to fly all around blogland daily, and I only have seen a touch of what you are talking about, but I had a good feeling MUCH more is going on than I know about, and it's a shame.

I LOVE reading your blog and tweets Kristen! ♥


Stephanie said...

Well, I'm thankful to be suprised that this kind of stuff is going on. It also makes me sad. I hope my little blog never gets that kind of attention.

everydayMOM said...

Why do women have this tendency to make themselves feel better by saying mean things about other women who are successful?

I was involved in another business where I was very successful, and it wasn't easy. Women wanted to know all my secrets and then they wanted to throw darts at me, too.

I appreciate your positive perspective. You are right... Sometimes we don't think ANYONE is even reading so we feel the freedom to rant about something.

I blog mostly as a creative outlet. I express myself better in writing so it's a fun way to connect with people.

Julie said...

Yeah, I don't necessarily want to get caught up in all that. Like someone else mentioned, if I don't like what I see on a blog, I don't read it anymore! Simple as that.

I blog for me. I needed an outlet for myself. A way to express myself in a way I couldn't do otherwise. A way to organize my thoughts and see myself better. I blog about things important to me. If I try out some new product just because I think it might be cool and I like it, I'll write about it. Just so that other people who might be thinking of trying it have some kind of view on the subject. I blog to understand my life and the world around me and I read other blogs to find new perpectives and new ideas I couldn't find on my own.

I haven't been blogging long, but I love it! I've never been able to express myself like this before! Like you, I'm more of an extrovert on my blog, when I'm definitely introverted in real life.

So thank you to all the bloggers who write for yourselves and give the rest of us great things to read! :o)

Everything Moms said...

Well written! It always amazes me when moms feel the need to turn on one another rather than lift each other up in support. Aren't we all on this crazy (literally sometimes :)) journey together?

I blog simply because I think there is a common thread in motherhood. We are bound together by spit up, temper tantrums, no sleep and the fierce love of our kiddos.

This is not a job for me. I blog for the love of a good story, encouragement for other women and maybe some good ideas so that we can have a 5 minute potty break ....minus visitors!

Maybe those women who are getting so upset about the blog world need to reevaluate where their priorities are!

justusseven said...


I have very strong feelings about this. The reason I have strong feelings is that I am such an imperfect person myself, and I certainly wouldn't want others to focus on my many faults - so why would I do that to them??? If only we worked as hard to find the good as we do to find the bad...but good qualities don't make for juicy tales, I suppose. That's why THE ENQUIRER has such a thriving business right???

So many people are depressed, discouraged and hopeless in this world. Wouldn't it be a greater place if we all believed in each other and ourselves??? Why would we want to be part of the ugliness!!!

Thank you for this well written post!

Staci said...

I love that I am a tiny speck on the blog radar. I blog mainly to document my family. I know that in many years I will be able to look back and read what was going on in my world. Another reason is we recently relocated from TX to Canada with our 3 kids. Our family down south miss us tremendously so the blog allows them to keep up to date on our everyday comings and goings.

Jenn @ Beautiful Calling said...

I've only been blogging since February 2009. I actually wrote a post to help me remember why I do it:

I have been doing some reviews. I was once asked to review hunting knives. While I was a hunter prior to becoming a busy mommy, I didn't think it related much to my blog and politely declined.

It's fun to review things that are relevant to me and my blog but I don't want to sell myself out either. I always do honest reviews because I LIKE TO READ HONEST REVIEWS! I like to know what other mommyies think of products and it helps me to know if it would work for me and our family!

Hopefully your post will serve as a reminder to us all to be careful with our words!!

Sarah said...

I blog to have a place to write. Just to put some thoughts down. That's it. It's been a great way to get to know some people too.

skyesofblue said...

Today of all days you ask the question. I do blog for myself or at least that is what I thought. Since I haven't opened up with family stuff or pictures I really only had my new puppy to focus on. So I never thought people would find that interesting and want to follow me day in and day out.
Then I started reading about Maddie and from their I found myself going from link, to link, to link, reading sad stories. My heart has been touched. So I decide every one in awhile to get on my soapbox or express what I have been feeling about the stories I have read. I don't have many followers yet I have been following and leaving comments on so, so many. But no one seems to visit. So today I posted a, feeling sorry for myself, post saying that if no one wants to read me that is fine because each and everything I have written gives me satisfaction. Does it?
I have to say it does feel good to be followed, I am in awe of the people who have hundreds of followers. Don't we maybe want a little piece of that. I will say this, I have friends that blog about their small children so someday they will have this day by day play of their life. That I think is awesome. Heck, I hardly finished by kids baby books!

Jenny in Utah said...

My whole life I have failed at keeping any type of consistant journal or diary or whatnot. That all changed when I found blogging!!! I blog for me and my posterity, but I have to admit I love the social nature of it, it is a definite perk! But I have been careful as to who I visit in bloggyland ... I like to keep it positive and nice, hmmmm, that's why I have you on my blogroll!

Connie Walsh said...

I have different blogs, one for spiritual growth, one for cooking and one for winning/reviewing swag. I think if we can we should act like grown-ups, but I have realized that for some it is just not possible.

Dorci said...

It's true, we can so easily get distracted from the original reason we had for blogging and go off on some tangent and pretty soon our blog doesn't look anything like we had first purposed.

I have a scripture quoted on my blog that helps first-time readers understand what my blog is about. Sometimes I need to read it again myself, and remember not just what my purpose is, but what God's purpose is.

ShEiLa said...

I am pretty sure I started blogging because it was a way to express myself... in photos and words.

My family that is not close by might even take a gander and get to know me a little bit better.

Most of my kids don't care to read my blog now... but one day when I am gone... maybe it will give them some insight into me.

I have never considered using my blog to get paid to give product reviews or advertise... that doesn't mean I may not try if I choose to.

But I do talk about favorite foods and places to eat out or ones I enjoy visiting.

I mainly enjoy the reality of blogging... I have never been into pretention... or being fake. I like to see posts where everything is not in its place and the laundry is on the sofa... cause that is real.

I also have found friendship and support from my bloggy buddies and blog family in the blog world.

I guess the 'catty woman' sydrome can happen anywhere... the real world or the blogosphere.

This post really made me think. I am probably not done thinking about it... but I better stop writing about it.


♥Mimi♥ said...

People who carp at people are very low in self-esteem. If you don't like something...move's cyberspace. You should see how I look when I'm at my laptop...uhm, no, you don't want to look☺

Anyway, if I hadn't found your blog a while back I wouldn't know about the adorable door for your pantry that you shared with us. It's sweet and will be in my home either this summer or fall.

Keep up the good work and just walk on by all the negative poopie.

I read it and find it, too, and wonder how in the world someone can be critical of someone they've never met...sigh.

Bailey's Leaf said...

Yikes. I can't imagine bad mouthing any other bloggers on my blog. Just ain't nice.

Why do I blog? I blog as a journal for our daughter and for adoption advocacy. Adoption is a super thing and we'd like to help others if we can.

Thanks for blogging about this icky subject. We all need to be on our best behavior, you know!

Have a nice weekend!

Mommyto3K's said...

Well said! Blogging has taken the place of my paper scrapbooking. I love blogging and have become such an addict. I love documenting our everyday life. Maybe be boring to some, but I love capturing and writing about our crazy lives. I also loved that I have stumbled onto your blog. It is a great inspiration.

Bridget said...

I really wasn't aware to the "playground" nastiness going on, although I did get my first "not-so-nice" comment last week. Oh Joy!

I started a blog with my sister to keep up with family, and then started Bake at 350 to share recipes and ideas, and, well, to eat more than I should. :)

I, too, am open to promoting/reviewing products and companies I like and that "fit" with my blog. I love when I see that "just us moms" can actually reach out to companies and have them reach out to us. It's cool! Hellooooo....Hershey's Spa....I'm ready, willing for a visit! :)

Dorci said...

Bridget I can't imagine why in the world anyone would want to leave a bad comment on your blog. That's just not right.

Emily said...

I've managed to avoid the drama so far, and I plan to steer as clear of it as possible. Seriously, girl drama is the worst, no matter how young or old the girl.

I blog for a few reasons:
1. I love to write.
2. I am inconsistent with paper journaling, but keep a great journal of my family's life on my blog.
3. Three years ago I moved 2400 miles from the place where I lived the first 26 years of my life. My blog keeps my life within reach of the friends and family back "home."
4. I hope to give other moms some reading material that makes them laugh, or think, or encourages them.
5. It's a creative outlet where I can be Emily...Emily sometimes gets lost in a world where my first name is usually Mommy. =)

Ann said...

I blog to help people.

I've posted on forums for years... to help people. That is my mission in life; helping others save money.

I am on the fence about reviewing for cash and prizes (and trips and cars and...) It is not my place to judge how someone runs their blog. Heck if the only way to afford a vacation for your family is to write a sponsored review, go for it! Who am I (or anyone else for that matter) to say what is right or wrong. My personal opinion is as long as the blogger is upfront about the review being made on behalf of an in-kind promotion, it is all good.

As someone who has been an avid internet deal poster for the last 10 years, I can tell you the catty, cliquey behavior is not restricted to blogging. Try a deal forum with 500,000 members on for size if you want catty.

Tina said...

All of the recent negativity and drama has really made my heart heavy.

I blog because it's a way to connect with people - whether they're just like me or not. It's certainly not my place to judge what any other blogger does or doesn't do.

I don't understand why others feel the need.

Elizabeth said...

Wow, I don't do Twitter, and I'm pretty new to the blogging world, but I didn't realize that these things were happening. I started blogging for several reasons. I enjoy meeting new people and sharing wisdom and ideas. I have 7 children and I homeschool, and blogging makes me feel like I am reaching out in a way I normally don't have the time to do. I also wanted to have a place to write, as I never find time to do that. I also wanted to have a place where family and friends could come to see what was happening in our homeschool, or our family. So far, I have really enjoyed it, even if almost noone reads my blog. It is for me, and for others if they happen to find me and feel blessed by what I have to say. We are all a work in progress, but Christ wants us to bear each others burdens and build one another up. So, that is my goal, along with just journaling the life of my wonderful family! Thank you for being real, and sharing your thoughts with us!

Kristy K said...

I blog for my grandma :). Seriously... even is she's the only person ever to read my blog, I want her to enjoy it. I want her to know what's going on in my life with my family, since we don't live close. I just try to be honest.

(and she probably IS the only person to read my blog, and that's okay)

Last week, I won a blog giveaway for a free blog makeover. It sounded great at first, but after a day or two, I felt all kinds of pressure. If I was going to have a fancy, new design, then I should start writing more, marketing myself more, etc... All of a sudden it became less about me and my kids and more about making things attractive to others. So I declined the prize (I entered the contest with the hope that I'd win some jewelry or a book). I just like to write. And that's all I want my blog to be... me writing.

grannyann said...

Our local newspaper has a chat forum where they all pick someone to death or argue and be ugly so I quit checking it out. I had to laugh at the oh so righteous ones because a guy they had all been chatting with was arrested AGAIN because he is a sex offender. I knew it and they did too but now they are denying it since the article came out in the paper. they are such phoneys

The Happy Housewife said...

I must have missed out on the twitter nastiness.... oh well. I wrote a similar post on my blog this week regarding paid posts and pr pitches. I totally agree with you, if that is what you blog about, go for it! Just be honest with your readers. Don't deceive people by weaving in product plugs with stories about your children that you were paid to write. I think readers are pretty smart and they can tell when all a blogger does is pitch. If they don't mind they will keep reading, if not there are a million blogs out there to read. My advice is to just be yourself!

Hoosier Homemade said...

Amen to that! I'm new to blogging, I also twitter, but haven't seen any of the negative talk. I guess maybe I'm not on that much. I haven't been lucky enough to be offered a product review or giveaway yet. But, when I do, I will write what I think, not just because they gave me something.
Thanks for the great post!

TCKK said...

Well said!!!

Becca said...

Wow, I haven't seen any mean blogging yet. I think that would really upset me.

Kathy said...


JanMary said...

Amen sister!

I try to avoid blog controversies, and obviously I don't follow the "right/wrong" people in Twitter, because I did not notice it there either.

It is so easy to get sucked into it, but we need to decide what we want our blogs to say about us and our values. Although I am certainly more confident on my blog, I hope that I keep it real enough that if I met a bloggy reader in real life they would be able to recognize me!

If others chose to do things differently I don't really mind, but I will stay out of the drama - life has enough drama without seeking it out!

Great post, and I have loved reading the comments too.

tracy said...

your clearly not the outest of the loop beccause i didnt know there was even such a thing as blog controversies. As for twitter, I just started with twitter and havent really felt a connection there yet...

Why I blog? gosh I dont even know. Ive had giveaways but all things I own and that way I can do it the way I want. I would do a sponsored one if it was the way I wanted to do it... but I guess I blog because I have a big mouth :)


Mel @ A Box of Chocolates said...

So diplomatic and well written. I tend to stay away from the drama in the blogosphere as much as I do in real life. There will always be people who get/have more than you and I think that is the real issue. I welcome PR pitches, take what I like and turn down the rest. Like you pointed out, it is all what you want out of your blog and for me I just want to meet some new people and have some fun. Pretty much the story of my life I suppose! Have a great weekend.

Veggiemomof2 said...

Well said! The spoken word can be erased, but cannot be unread :(

Good Luck on dodging the bad & the ugly :)

Courtney said...

good post! i feel so much of what you are saying!

Hip Mama said...

I started blogging because I was going through some tough stuff and I needed an outlet. I homeschooled for a year and half...then moved 1500 miles from my home for the first time. It's a way for our family to keep up with us and our 4 outlet for me, and honestly the only "social" time I get with being home with the kids.

My blog is mostly about my family and my feelings...however, I'm not opposed to reviews and giveaways, although I wouldn't want it to be the focus. I'd love it if the Lord blessed me with a little income from it, but I'm not all about that. If people want to read, they can, if not then don't. Right?

I can't seem to get with the whole "twitter" thing, so maybe I'll stay away from that and avoid it altogether, who knows?

I enjoy your blog.

PamperingBeki said...

I am so glad you said this!!

I've been thinking the same things lately. I actually have a blog post about it right now, that's still sitting in "draft" mode because I wasn't brave enough to hit publish.

Meredith@MerchantShips said...

I've followed this conversation from its start in February, just after Blissdom. Here's my take:

I don't like being tricked by embedded marketing any more than the next reader, but as a blogger, I'll defend your right to write however you want to. I do not like the idea of a small group of bloggers setting standards for anyone else who falls beneath them.

Personally, I suspect many of these posts are written because they will attract controversy (and thereby traffic.)

All women don't have to agree and get along, but I hate to see one group denigrate another, especially in such a public forum.

Anonymous said...