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Nine Moons » Blog Archive : The Importance of Defining Your Terms » The Importance of Defining Your Terms

The Importance of Defining Your Terms

MCQ - February 26, 2009

Well, it had to happen, I guess.  Even the term “Bloggernacle” has now become the subject of a turf war of sorts over at BCC.  Apparently, some hack reporter wrote an article about the phenomenon of Mormon Mommy Blogs and got the story of the origin and definition of the Bloggernacle all wrong.  Ronan pointed this out in his post, and then, somewhat surprisingly, some Mormon Mommy Bloggers showed up with enormous chips on their shoulders and dared everyone not to take them seriously as the big, huge, enormous, serious and superior bloggers that they are.  Some, me included, were only too happy to oblige.  The strangest comments were the ones from Sue, who seemed intent on starting a fight over whose blog is bigger where none ever existed before.  Sue maintains the Mormon Mommy Blogs site, with the provocative tagline: “Taking over the Bloggernacle one blog at a time.”  I thought that was intended to be funny, but now, I’m not so sure:

If you think T&S or ANY of the old school bloggernacle blogs get more hits than CJane, you’re DREAMING. My own blog gets thousands of unique hits per day, and my technorati authority for both blogs eclipses all of the “big” ldsblogs.org. I get so irritated by the dismissive, uninformed male bloggers dismissing the mommy bloggers who are KICKING THEIR TRASH.

Then later:

The term “bloggernacle” definitely came from this corner of the world.

On the other hand, mormon blogging as it exists today has almost nothing to do with what is going on here in the old school Bloggernacle. It isn’t even on the radar of most mormon bloggers. You may have coined the term, and there is definitely a great community here, but it’s not all that relevant to the current mormon blogging phenomenon.

I have my own largish blog. A few months ago I started the Mormon Mommy Bloggers site – mostly to prove a point. The attitude of some bloggers over here seems to be, “oh – look how cute, those mormon moms are blogging!” (and there ARE blogs that fit into the “oh look, how cute” category, undoubtedly) but the reality is that a lot of those mormon moms are absolutely KICKING YOUR TRASH – in technorati authority, traffic, and subscribers.

Then this:

My point was that the NAME the Bloggernacle came from this neck of the woods, but the mormon blogging phenom did not. You can’t take credit for starting the mormon blogging phenom as it exists today, just because you started the name. If you were to trace the biggest mormon blogs in existence today (the ones that represent mormon blogging to the outside world), most of them have no connection to the bloggernacle.

And finally, the pièce de résistance:

Whether or not Steve and J. want to believe it or not, many of these personal blogs are much larger than any of the traditional ‘nacle blogs. CJane’s blog is not just one of the largest mormon blogs, it’s one of the largest blogs in the WORLD. I don’t say this to start a playground fight, but to point out that to the larger world, these personal mom blogs DO represent mormon blogging. We exist, even if you don’t acknowledge that we exist. It’s like Horton in reverse. We’re Horton, and you’re the people on the speck of dust, and we’re telling you, “we are here.”

This all gives rise to several questions.  First, where have I heard this silly debate about “whose blog is bigger” before?  Oh yeah, it was here, where fMh got all bent out of shape over not being included in the category of “big” blogs as part of the Niblets.  So, what’s with this female obsession with being big?  I’ve heard of males obsessed with being big, but usually they don’t show up and shout about their bigness from the rooftops.  They already know whether they are big.  If they are big, they feel no need to talk about it, and if they aren’t big, they just buy a sports car to compensate.  Maybe the gals should try that.

Second, do these MMB bloggers blog about mormon issues enough to even be considered as part of the nacle or even as Mormon bloggers at all?  Seems to me most of them are (admittedly) blogging about family issues and are not primarily Mormon at all, except as part of their backstory.  With that in mind, why is Sue trying to lay claim to the term “Bloggernacle” and why is she comparing herself and her co-bloggers to the nacle blogs?  It’s a mystery to me. 

This debate also echoes some of the issues in the previous and ongoing debate over the term “Christian” or even the Prop 8 debate over the term “marriage.”  Your thoughts?

87 Comments »

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    Comment by Mark Brown — February 26, 2009 @ 6:28 pm

  2. I think you’re missing the point. It’s not a matter of size, it’s a matter of showing that Mormon Mommmy bloggers are here, in great numbers, and they’re relevant.

    I think Sue’s just sick of Mormon Mommy bloggers being patronized and looked down on as if they’re “cute” and practically non-existent instead of a real force. I think she also sees it as rather funny that the more intellectual LDS bloggers find so much self-importance, when so few people (relatively speaking) even know of their existence.

    Pointing out the numbers and size of the mommy bloggers shows that they’re NOT irrelevant. The majority of these blogs are written by very intelligent women. They’re hardly “cute” (even if they’re not daily spouting papers worthy of publication in some university’s journal).

    While not all of these MMB:ers have a huge Mormon theme going on in every post, I’ve encountered many, many, many women who blog regularly about life as a Latter-day Saint–a lot–and how it relates to their lives as women, as mothers, as human beings. It’s part of who they are, so they inevitably discuss visiting teaching or their new calling or their current struggle and how prayer helped or whatever.

    So, no, they’re not debating doctrine or analyzing who will get the AML award for best novel, but they’re still very Mormon, from what I see.

    Comment by Annette — February 26, 2009 @ 7:02 pm

  3. I think Annette’s comments are right on (well, except for the AML award for best novel crack — I, of course, think that Mormon mommy bloggers should be discussing such things and would very much welcome their perspective at AMV). And I hoped that I showed an awareness of mommy blogging in my comments on the BCC thread — and for the record, yes, I was being observational. I was trying to point out differences in approach and discourse in the hopes that commenters would have some understanding of the different places and experience we’re all coming from.

    However, I really don’t recall must patronizing going on in the Bloggernacle as originally constituted about Mormon mommy bloggers. Maybe I’ve just missed it.

    Comment by Wm Morris — February 26, 2009 @ 7:41 pm

  4. But Annette, none of the “mommy bloggers” who showed up and participated in the whole 200+ comment thread on BCC ever answered the question as to who exactly is labeling the “mommy bloggers” as irrelevant. Where is all this patronizing taking place?

    Comment by Researcher — February 26, 2009 @ 7:45 pm

  5. I’m laughing about the expression “KICKING YOUR TRASH,” which my own dear LDS husband uses all the time.

    Seriously, Mormons, you sound like sissies when you say that. Say “ass” or quit trying to sound tough and angry. Ass is in the Bible, you have God’s permission to say it.

    Comment by Bridget Jack Meyers — February 26, 2009 @ 8:51 pm

  6. Thank goodness someone gave us a place for this argument to continue. Let me summarize the previous thread for whoever missed it:

    Ham-fisted article: The Bloggernacle was started by Mormon Mommy blogs.

    Ronan/David G/et al.: No, the “Bloggernacle” is the name we chose for our little corner of the world and it has nothing to do with Mommy blogs.

    Sue: You are irrelevant to the current Mormon blogging community. We are bigger than you, we are badder than you, we kick your trash, so stop marginalizing us and stop questioning our intelligence.

    Bloggernacle: What?

    Sue: Sorry, I misunderstood some stuff there at the first, so forget what I just said. But, I stand by everything I said. I stand by every last word.

    Bloggernacle: What?

    Sue: We are Horton and you are the people on the spec of dust. We are way bigger than you. Enormous compared to you. You are irrelevant. So why won’t you acknowledge us? Why? Why?

    Comment by Jacob J — February 26, 2009 @ 9:07 pm

  7. so, so glad we can keep this thread alive.

    Comment by Steve Evans — February 26, 2009 @ 9:12 pm

  8. Researcher-
    It takes place anywhere opinions differ in the Bloggernacle. In the last 3 years of blogging, I have found that actually disagreeing with the majority opinions is considered weak, silly, and even un-Christ-like. Amongst the LDS bloggers. You know –the Bloggernacle forums. Ironically, the majority opinion is that those with higher education know more about the Gospel (and constantly point out anything they themselves have deemed as a flaw) than a SAHM who never finished college.

    Cause that’s what Jesus would do, you know.

    Still baffles me that many of these forums claim to be pro-LDS and yet walk the line/fence/border so carelessly, they don’t realize how much damage they are actually causing –within themselves (did I just say that? Yes I did) and for other people.

    This attitude among many in the Bloggernacle have pushed many of us MMB’s to the side because we aren’t “Smart enough” or “good enough” or “Doubtful enough”. And so we have left and done our own thing. In fact, after the three years of enduring this endless pursuit of discussion (and only get blasted because I actually dared to disagree with the doubt), I have left community blogging. Nine Moons and Segullah are about the only places I come anymore –Segullah becuase it fits in with the MMB’s profile (and it’s dang uplifting without pride!) and Nine Moons because I genuinely care about the people here (honestly, I do).

    So, I can see why everyone got their panties in a wad –yes, the reporters did have it “wrong” (technically), and yes, the Bloggernacle has been here long before MMB’s existed (quite a few years, actually). But I hate to say this –the Bloggernacle isn’t attracting new people. If anything, it’s pushing many of them away. And for some reason, they seem proud of it –”they” representing…well, they!

    It’s sad, really.

    Comment by cheryl — February 26, 2009 @ 9:16 pm

  9. Researcher, This post all by itself was rather patronizing.

    Comment by Annette — February 26, 2009 @ 9:38 pm

  10. I am just so confused by this whole thing. I would consider myself a longtime member of the Bloggernacle community (since spring of 2004) and I can’t recollect a single instance in which a post or even comment that marginalized or was condescending to the Mormon mommy blog community. I can recall dozens that cursed the Mormon fiction community (Banner of Heaven!) hundreds that made fun of the Mormon intellectual community (T&S & BCC!) and thousands that talked down to the Mormon gray-area community (John Dehlin!), but not one that marginalized the Mormon mommy bloggers. If that has been happening then it surely hasn’t been from within the bloggernacle.

    The other thing is motive. I don’t think those who are taking it upon themselves to represent the Mormon mommy blog movement really understand that our motive seems to be very different than theirs. That’s why there have been comments about nacle blogs not having ads and us not really thinking of it as a competition, it’s because the motives are different. We’ve never said our motive is more pure or important or moral or anything, it’s just different. There’s nothing wrong with that.

    I never realized there were so many Mormon mommy bloggers who had so much disdain for the bloggernacle for something that I’ve never once witnessed in my five years doing this. It makes me feel like when a sister in my ward left the Church because of something that I clearly didn’t do (nor is even in the realm of my reality).

    Cheryl,
    I didn’t realize you felt that way about the bloggernacle. I’m actually quite surprised because you always give thoughtful and insightful comments and I don’t recall any disagreements to your arguments having anything to do with the fact that you’re “just a mom” or “not smart enough” or “not doubtful enough”. I get the sense people disagree because they find your argument faulty, not because of anything personal. But I would probably hold off on your conclusion that the bloggernacle isn’t attracting new people until you see some numbers (Stapley, what’dya got?)

    Annette,
    In what way?

    Comment by Rusty — February 26, 2009 @ 10:06 pm

  11. Yes, indeed, Ms. Jack, “ass” is in the Bible. In fact, your neighbor’s is on the list of things we’re all commanded not to covet. But the ass that you are commanded not to covet

    Is not round and pink
    As you probably think,
    But is gray, has long ears, and eats grass.

    Comment by Mark B. — February 26, 2009 @ 10:20 pm

  12. Cheryl, let me suggest, as gently as I can, that this disdain you are sensing from the Bloggernacle Intelligentsia is… entirely your imagination.

    Comment by Steve Evans — February 26, 2009 @ 10:30 pm

  13. Rusty-
    Thank you. I really appreciate the compliments! It really means a lot.
    And you have a point –perhaps the Bloggernacle hasn’t set out to hurt the average MMB per se, but it still happens. Because most MMB’s (as Annette pointed out) do things individually –we don’t have a large backing like BCC or FMH or even Nine Moons –we only have ourselves. And so each of us has to stand individually when expressing opinion (not to say that Bloggernacle people don’t feel like they are standing on their own at times). We don’t have permabloggers and the like who happen to agree with us coming to our “aid” when we find ourselves disagreeing/debating/discussing/freaking out with people within the Bloggernacle. Know what I’m sayin’? So, yes, I have found myself (ahem…Mr. Evans?) at odds and alone and completely frustrated with the way I’ve been treated –either as a person, or with what I say. Because then it goes back to what I said before: Highly educated professional thinkers discussing things with not-as-educated SAH mothers. Patronizing runs amok, my friend.

    And to be perfectly honest, I’m betting I would love half the people who treat me like an idiot if I knew them in real life. It’s just that people around here (Bloggernacle, blogs in general) can act like asses and get away with it. And that’s what is really annoying.

    Comment by cheryl — February 26, 2009 @ 10:33 pm

  14. Ha! Steve, you make me laugh. Bang my head against a wall, too… ;)

    Comment by cheryl — February 26, 2009 @ 10:35 pm

  15. Cheryl, I am pretty much the same in real life. I promise, though, that as mean as I can seem, I do care about what you think.

    Comment by Steve Evans — February 26, 2009 @ 10:37 pm

  16. Ah, but actions speak louder than words…or, umm…words speak louder than…uh, other words?

    Steve, I’ve heard great things about you (and bad, too), and I would like to assume the best. It’s just that discussing anything with you is difficult –even after I realized you just adore playing devil’s advocate. And maybe I just need(ed) a break from all the debating, I think. I may be back to BCC one of these days (and not just to read Rebecca J’s stuff!), you’ll see…

    P.S. Rusty, I would LOVE to see numbers on bloggernacle comings and goings…

    Comment by cheryl — February 26, 2009 @ 10:40 pm

  17. Heck, cheryl, the big blogs have at times treated me with the same disdain, and I’m not a mommy, nor a SAH anything. I don’t have a degree of any kind, either. But the women’s blogs, for the most part, treat me the same way, some of them more viciously than Steve ever thought of — you have any idea what it’s like to suggest that yes, you’d appreciate a little more concern by nursing mothers for the sensibilities of those with whom they share the chapel, and be called a baby killer by multiple mommies? You either learn to defend yourself, or run away, or create your own niche. Like most of the other women online, I created my own niche. It isn’t the same niche as the MMBers, though, so they see me as one of the enemy, if this morning’s thread is a valid sample.

    Comment by Ardis Parshall — February 26, 2009 @ 10:58 pm

  18. I think you’re missing the point. It’s not a matter of size, it’s a matter of showing that Mormon Mommmy bloggers are here, in great numbers, and they’re relevant.

    I’ll just echo what other have said–I don’t understand why there is all this repetition of this point when nobody disputes it. We all agree that Mormon mommy bloggers are in HUGE numbers, relevant and a force, etc.

    I was really hurt by Sue’s comments and the tone of some of the others who were similar. Implying that I don’t care about mommy blogs, or that I look down on them–it was rude of them to imply that. It really hurts to have unkind, untrue things said about you, and Sue ought to be more careful about where she points that gun. I know I’m not the only one who was feeling very personally, and baseless attacked and was actually very hurt by it. Again, a little more care in where she fires, vs just randomly spraying the crowd with bullets. Cite examples, give links.

    Comment by Cynthia L. — February 26, 2009 @ 11:05 pm

  19. Thank you, Ardis, we cross-posted but I think you expressed a lot of feelings similar to what I was having. As a woman and a mom and a blogger at BCC, it really hurt to feel like I was stuck in the middle. Being attacked by my fellow sisters, was especially hard. Women need to stick together. This is crazy.

    Comment by Cynthia L. — February 26, 2009 @ 11:07 pm

  20. Brown, you are hilarious.

    Annette, none of your first three paragraphs make any sense to me. You say it’s not a matter of size, then you say: “Pointing out the numbers and size of the mommy bloggers shows that they’re NOT irrelevant.” Who said they were? And why do they have this burning need to point it out to us? No one has marginalized them or called them “cute” around here.

    There’s another fallacy in your argument as well: the stats that show numbers of hits or readership or whatever are not what make you “relevant.” At least, not around here. Number of hits and numbers of subscribers or other such stats matter to advertisers (and if you can get their ad dollars, more power to you). But “relevance” is another concept entirely. At least to me.

    The Bloggernacle is relevant to it’s readership because people find its content absolutely necessary and critical to their lives. That’s how I feel about it, and I would feel that way if the entire nacle only got one hit per month and it was me. There may be people who feel that way about the MMB blogs as well, but if so, I’ll bet my last dollar they don’t feel that way because those blogs are “big.” They feel that way because the content is top notch and really speaks to them. That’s what makes you relevant.

    WM, I think we all missed it.

    Jack, don’t be such a smart ass.

    Jacob, you totally nailed it. Now can you do Ulysses? I just can’t seem to get through it.

    Steve, happy to be of service.

    Cheryl, I’m shocked by this:

    Still baffles me that many of these forums claim to be pro-LDS and yet walk the line/fence/border so carelessly, they don’t realize how much damage they are actually causing –within themselves (did I just say that? Yes I did) and for other people.

    I know the nacle isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I feel like it has saved me in so many ways, and I find it hard to believe that others feel differently. I really hope you continue to participate in it. Yours is a voice I personally value very highly.

    Annette(#9): I think that comment actually says more about you than it does about the post. When you have a chip on your shoulder, then the whole world looks like they’re ganging up on you. I quoted Sue verbatim. If that’s being patronizing, then I guess I don’t know what patronizing means.

    Rusty, thanks for commenting on this, I was hoping that someone with more history than I have would give some long-term perspective. I honestly have never heard any disparagement of mommy bloggers either, Mormon or otherwise (except for that term, of course, which is about as condescending as it gets–can we get a new one?)
    I read dooce, myself, quite regularly. She’s more of an ex-Mormon blogger, of course, but often fun to read.

    In other words, I respect people who blog about anything they are passionate about and make the time and effort to write quality material. That includes you, MMBers, and a whole host of other Mormon and non-Mormon bloggers.

    Comment by MCQ — February 26, 2009 @ 11:09 pm

  21. Wow. I had no idea.

    I personally don’t read anything but Nine-Moons anymore (well, that and BoardGameGeek>:) but it sounds like the few are ruining it for the majority. There really are some silly, lame, melodramatic MMblogs out there. That’s why “Seriously, So Blessed!” is so funny. However, I assume most really are well thought out, spiritual, thoughtful blogs and most probably could care less about this debate.

    Oh, and I do think Cheryl has a point in that the Bloggernacle seems in general to attract the more liberal side of the Church. I imagine that conflicts with the more conservative MMblogs out there.

    And I don’t know which side I stand on. The YSA male side, I suppose.

    Comment by Bret — February 26, 2009 @ 11:57 pm

  22. I think the nacle has room for all points of view, Bret, though the liberal side probably does get a lot more representation. There are conservative sites as well, however. It seems that the two sides of that coin coexist rather tenuously at times, but come into open conflict only when one side or the other suggests that it has the one and only true path to God. I think both sides could stand to be more tolerant.

    I meant to address further the question of whether the MMBers are, by any reasonable definition, “Mormon” blogs or not.

    Annette said:

    While not all of these MMB:ers have a huge Mormon theme going on in every post, I’ve encountered many, many, many women who blog regularly about life as a Latter-day Saint–a lot–and how it relates to their lives as women, as mothers, as human beings. It’s part of who they are, so they inevitably discuss visiting teaching or their new calling or their current struggle and how prayer helped or whatever.

    So, no, they’re not debating doctrine or analyzing who will get the AML award for best novel, but they’re still very Mormon, from what I see.

    The question is not whether they have “a huge Mormon theme going on in every post” or whether they’re “debating doctrine.” The question is whether they regularly and meaningfully post on Mormon subjects. I don’t think I have enough experience with enough of these blogs to know the answer to that.

    If, as you say, these women are writing about “life as a Latter-day Saint” regularly, and that this point of view informs many of their posts, then they deserve the title of Mormon bloggers, and they are a legitimate part of the nacle. If not, then they don’t and they aren’t.

    BTW, this means no disrespect. I don’t consider my own blog to be particularly Mormon, because I don’t write about Mormon themes there very often. Luckily, I can do that here.

    Comment by MCQ — February 27, 2009 @ 12:47 am

  23. I think the Horton example is pretty reflective.

    I think the outrage is not so much over posts or comments that express disdain for MMB (because there are none). On the contrary, its the fact that there is barely even an acknowledgment of their existence in the ‘nacle.

    So, if the speck of dust doesn’t seems to be interested in the 2 ton elephant standing next to it – why does the elephant care?

    Comment by CJ Douglass — February 27, 2009 @ 8:09 am

  24. I am glad for this cliffnotes version because I haven’t made it through the BCC thread yet.

    It seems to me the MMB contingent feel that they are being told they are not a part of the Bloggernacle while the Bloggernacle types DO seem to feel that MMbloggers are not a part of the bloggernacle. They want to reserve the bloggernacle proper for Mormon-themed blogs, and the MMblogs are family-based which occasionally touch on the Mormon.

    My question: where does Dooce fit into this?
    She is undeniably “big” and “old.” She is somewhat Mormon. She is pretty Mommy. Who claims her?

    Comment by esodhiambo/ESO — February 27, 2009 @ 8:24 am

  25. I’d also like to speak up for mid-tier bloggernacle blogs like Nine Moons, Keepa, Juvenile Instructor, and, of course, A Motley Vision. If anyone doesn’t like the experience of T&S or BCC, there are other cool places to hang out.

    ;-)

    Comment by Wm Morris — February 27, 2009 @ 8:54 am

  26. Nobody claims her ESO. She kicks all our trash.

    Comment by Rusty — February 27, 2009 @ 8:54 am

  27. On behalf of the dormant and soon to be re-launched Snarkernacle, I’d like to reiterate the fact that we’re partial to girls with big…blogs.

    Comment by D. Golden Shizzle — February 27, 2009 @ 9:03 am

  28. Well, here is an example. The Mormon Mommy Wars blog used to be in the 3rd or 4th box of the Mormon Archipelago, and has now been demoted by the MA to a diversion. If one of the groups who defines the bloggernacle thinks of MMW simply as a diversion, I think this illustrates the idea of not taking mommy blogs seriously.

    Comment by lisa — February 27, 2009 @ 9:15 am

  29. Is that a demotion, or just that the topics tend to be indistinguishable from Kulturblog, which is also in diversions?

    Comment by Cynthia L. — February 27, 2009 @ 9:33 am

  30. Dooce is queen of the DAMU.

    I do get what Cheryl is saying. It comes down to a kind of clash in how different people think about the Church and the Gospel. An approach that is prominent in the ‘nacle is to kind of a put the Church in a petri dish under a microscope and examine it, poke it, and dissect it, in a sort of detached, academic way. You see what makes it tick, you take nothing as a given, you question all assumptions and highlight uncertainty and contradictions. I wouldn’t say that this is necessarily a bad way to approach the Church and Gospel, but I think it is very foreign to a lot of members. And when people who approach the Church in a more, let’s say, deferential way, who aren’t used to the Church being treated like a specimen, join in the conversation the clash in style and approach can lead them to feel that the community is inhospitable to their point of view. I’m not sure I would blame anyone for this phenomenon, but I don’t think people are just being paranoid.

    Also, sometimes people really are jerks. m&m, for example, endures a lot more scorn than she deserves.

    Comment by Tom — February 27, 2009 @ 9:36 am

  31. lisa–MMW does not write much that is Mormon. They are moms who happen to be Mormon. Just like Kulturblog’s content is entertainment and the writers happen to be Mormon. I think MMW is exactly where it belongs (not that I make Archipelago decisions). And they seem to be doing just fine.

    Comment by esodhiambo/ESO — February 27, 2009 @ 9:38 am

  32. To me, it is a question of content, not who does the writing. There are lots of Mormon Moms who present Mormon based content in the aggregated Blogernacle. I would guess that plenty of them have personal blogs that are not very naccleish, but more family-based because of the content.

    I was introduced to the Bloggernacle when my cousin, Rosalynde Welch, started writing at T&S. She is a Mormon Mommy who, as far as I know, does not maintain a Mommy blog and does not focus predominantly on her family when writing at T&S.

    FWIW, I didn’t find Sue particularly prickly. I thought she suffered from the medium and that if we had been having the conversation in the same room, everyone would have felt it was a friendly debate.

    Perhaps Dooce and CJane should move to the for-profit category now–no longer amateurs like the rest of us.

    Comment by esodhiambo/ESO — February 27, 2009 @ 9:46 am

  33. ESO – the point is they were demoted. And you’re right, they don’t seem to be complaining. I could just be one of those “gals” who have an issue with size. Maybe I should follow the OP’s advice and buy a sports car.

    Comment by lisa — February 27, 2009 @ 9:46 am

  34. so, so glad we can keep this thread alive. (7)

    So am I, Steve, if it results in comments like number 11. Any excuse for the exercise of wit!

    Researcher, This post all by itself was rather patronizing. (9)

    Disagreeing with someone or poking fun at them is not the same thing as being patronizing. (Patronize: treat with an apparent kindness that betrays a feeling of superiority.) I see humor in the post, but don’t read any kindness or talking down.

    (Whoops. I just read through it again. He said “gals.” Okay, so he may have been patronizing. MCQ, were you being patronizing?)

    Wow, Cheryl. I can’t think of a single mommy blogger of the 20 or 30 that I read that doesn’t have a college degree, and several have PhDs. It’s hard to make a case that a major difference between the bloggernacle and the mommy blogs is based on education level, although it might be true in specific instances. I’ve also seen extremely vicious comments and fights on the larger mommy blogs, so it’s hard to argue that it’s a kinder, gentler place than the bloggernacle.

    As far as I understand the definitions:

    Bloggernacle: the place where Mormon history, culture, society, doctrine and theology are discussed.

    Mormon mommy blogs: the place where Mormon family life is recorded and sometimes discussed, usually with infrequent reference to Mormon history, culture, society, doctrine and theology.

    And by the way, I’m a blogging Mormon “mommy,” just in case anyone thinks that it is in any way relevant to the discussion.

    Comment by Researcher — February 27, 2009 @ 9:50 am

  35. > Perhaps Dooce and CJane should move to the for-profit category now–no longer amateurs like the rest of us.

    Dooce and CJane long ago turned for-profit. Dooce’s husband is actually now basically employed by Dooce to handle the business/technical side of things while she does the writing. It’s good money.

    Comment by Cynthia L. — February 27, 2009 @ 9:53 am

  36. Yup Cynthia–

    it just seemed funny to me that people kept on brining up CJane–she just seems like a totally different animal to “normal” mommy blogs–she is headed for Doodcedom. (I am aware CJane was a part of the original article, I just don’t think that the likes of Sue can logically lay claim to her, or claim trash-kicking rights on her behalf).

    Cjane is a lot more like Dooce than like us, and I think it is pretty plain to all that Dooce would cringe at being dragged under the umbrella of “Bloggernacle.” I brought her up to be funny.

    Comment by esodhiambo/ESO — February 27, 2009 @ 10:03 am

  37. Researcher, I agree with your definitions.

    ESO, couldn’t agree more, Dooce prolly would hate us all, and CJane…. cjane is what she is.

    Comment by Steve Evans — February 27, 2009 @ 10:57 am

  38. [...] And there seems to be another post (complete with veritable explosion of comments) at Nine Moons. [...]

    Pingback by Virtual Organization of the Bloggernacle « Irresistible (Dis)Grace — February 27, 2009 @ 10:57 am

  39. I don’t get how the “Bloggernacle”, defined loosely as those blogs aggregated at ldsblogs.org, ldselect.org, etc that coalesced around those blogs, and which comment primarily on mormon topics, or those bloggers who do primarily comment on mormon topics hurts the “mormon mommy blogs”.

    They are different. We don’t criticize Sports Illustrated for taking away readers from Cosmo or demeaning the category.

    That said – I don’t have any interest in blogs like dooce, cjane, etc or blogs that discuss family experiences etc (note I do ready these blogs if they concern my family and close friends).

    Comment by Jay S — February 27, 2009 @ 11:22 am

  40. I recommend that anyone who has recently kicked my trash should wash the left over lasagna off of their shoes.

    Also, comment #6 ruled.

    Also, a ldsblogs.org we have consciously decided to include blogs about Mormonism rather than blogs that happen to be written by Mormons for obvious space reasons. We are a little lazy about even doing that honestly…

    Comment by Geoff J — February 27, 2009 @ 11:57 am

  41. Speaking as a Youngish Single Adult, I wish there were a place for people like me in the Mormon online community. I don’t fit in with the classic Bloggernacle or the Mormon Mommy Blogs. And real life doesn’t help either. I sometimes jokingly refer to the Singles’ ward as the Valley of the Lepers.

    Comment by Alpha Echo — February 27, 2009 @ 12:26 pm

  42. MCQ, my thoughts exactly. What Tom said about examining the Church through a microscope is also a good way to look at it at times. It’s one of the main reasons I continue to read (besides the fact my brother runs the site>:) as it brings ideas and a perspective, though I often disagree or misunderstand, that I don’t get anywhere else. It helps keep my perspective fresh in that way and also acts as somewhat of a counterbalance to living in the YSA Utah bubble I’m in. (Please! Let me out!)

    However, MY opinion IS the one true path to God!

    Comment by Bret — February 27, 2009 @ 12:40 pm

  43. Researcher, how is “gals” patronizing? I think “mommies” is much more patronizing, but that’s what they call themselves. I guess I’ll just start caling them “chicks.”

    Alpha, why don’t you fit in? There are a lot of YSAs in the nacle, I believe (like Bret, for example). Maybe you should all band together and form your own blogging group and, you know, kick everyone else’s trash).

    Bret, I know, my opinion is too, and it’s a terrible burden, isn’t it?

    Comment by MCQ — February 27, 2009 @ 1:13 pm

  44. MCQ, I was grasping at straws trying to figure out why the women were so upset. My best guess was your use of “gals,” because there was no other part that sounded at all patronizing…

    Comment by Researcher — February 27, 2009 @ 2:07 pm

  45. How about honeys?

    Comment by MCQ — February 27, 2009 @ 4:10 pm

  46. Maybe we could go with “Bettys”… Or go South of the Border with “chicas”… So many wonderful choices!

    Comment by Geoff J — February 27, 2009 @ 4:12 pm

  47. I’m putting in a vote for nappy-headed hos. See how awesome the last part of that paragraph would read?

    So, what’s with this female obsession with being big? I’ve heard of males obsessed with being big, but usually they don’t show up and shout about their bigness from the rooftops. They already know whether they are big. If they are big, they feel no need to talk about it, and if they aren’t big, they just buy a sports car to compensate. Maybe the nappy-headed hos should try that.

    Pure win.

    Comment by Bridget Jack Meyers — February 27, 2009 @ 4:30 pm

  48. Awesome Jack!

    Comment by MCQ — February 27, 2009 @ 8:03 pm

  49. If anyone wants to form a YSA site, I’d definitely be interested. I don’t know about kicking trash though. Seems unsanitary.

    Comment by Alpha Echo — February 27, 2009 @ 10:38 pm

  50. Man, I’ve been fairly absent from the bloggernacle for the past few months and look at all the fun I missed!

    For the record, I think young Mormon mommy bloggers are totally hot.

    If they think that’s demeaning or patronizing, well… I guess I’ll just have to live with that.

    Comment by Seth R. — February 27, 2009 @ 10:47 pm

  51. I guess we know what calendar Seth has on his wall.

    Comment by Bridget Jack Meyers — February 27, 2009 @ 11:56 pm

  52. Ha! I had no idea that was in the works. This guy just won’t quit. I think the story is inaccurate though, where it says he was excommunicated for the mission calendar. My understanding is that was not the reason. I also don’t know any “Mormon mom” who would say that she would risk being excommunicated to appear in a calendar. The whole story just sounds wrong.

    On the other hand, it does sound like a great calendar idea. Heck, I’d buy a calendar called “Babes of the Bloggernacle.” Anyone want to suggest that to Chad?

    Comment by MCQ — February 28, 2009 @ 12:58 am

  53. Depends how you define “Mormon mom” MCQ.

    She doesn’t necessarily have to be “active” at church you know.

    Comment by Seth R. — February 28, 2009 @ 9:02 am

  54. Nobody is going to get excommunicated just for appearing in a sexy calendar, especially not with their clothes on. To my knowledge none of the men who did the 2008 and 2009 calendars have been disciplined.

    As to why Hardy was excommunicated, well, that’s the problem with high-profile excommunications: the church won’t officially say why they’re being ex’ed, so the ex-members are free to say whatever they want. Whatever Hardy was doing, at a minimum it was the calendar that called attention to him.

    All that said, I would totally do the Hot Mormon Muffins calendar! But I don’t think my rack is big enough. Oh, and I’m not Mormon. No, I’m not going to join your church just to pose in a sexy calendar, don’t even joke about it.

    Comment by Bridget Jack Meyers — February 28, 2009 @ 10:15 am

  55. Seth, under what definition of “Mormon” would appearing in a calendar be more important than church membership? None I know of.

    Nobody is going to get excommunicated just for appearing in a sexy calendar, especially not with their clothes on. To my knowledge none of the men who did the 2008 and 2009 calendars have been disciplined.

    Agreed, Jack. That’s why the story sounded silly to me. I think the info on why Hardy got ex’ed came from him. My recollection is that it had to do with his current beliefs, not because of the calendar, but I can’t remember where I heard that, so maybe it’s not accurate.

    As for your rack, let us be the judge of that. Auditions for “Babes of the Bloggernacle” start next week. Membership in the Church is encouraged, but not required.

    Comment by MCQ — February 28, 2009 @ 1:09 pm

  56. Apparently you’ve never heard of “New Order Mormons” MCQ.

    Comment by Seth R. — February 28, 2009 @ 4:31 pm

  57. MCQ, the only thing the Bloggernacle needs to know about my rack is that it is just the right size for my husband’s hands.

    Comment by Bridget Jack Meyers — February 28, 2009 @ 4:37 pm

  58. Seth, I’ve heard of them. I just have a higher opinion of them than you do.

    Sounds like a match made in heaven, Jack. He’s a lucky guy.

    Comment by MCQ — February 28, 2009 @ 5:49 pm

  59. Jack, I don’t think MCQ needed to know that at all.

    Geez, I haven’t had this much TMI since I dropped in on fMh a while back.

    Comment by Seth R. — February 28, 2009 @ 9:02 pm

  60. It could have been worse, Seth. I could have made an actual submission to the “Babes of the Bloggernacle” calendar.

    Comment by Bridget Jack Meyers — February 28, 2009 @ 10:22 pm

  61. The hand that rocks the cradle rules the ‘nacle.

    Or something like that.

    Comment by Bookslinger — March 1, 2009 @ 5:45 pm

  62. I’m not even sure what to say. Many thanks to MCQ for reopening this topic. My sister sent me the article a few days ago and I was stunned by how bad it was. I’ve got nothing against Mommy blogs. In fact I’m impressed by them. But my experience is that they aren’t “Bloggernacle Blogs”. Why? Well for one they don’t have much content about Mormonism, but perhaps more importantly they don’t consider themselves to be Bloggernacle blogs that I can tell.

    This isn’t about one community being bigger, or better, or smarter, or more influential. It is simply about the fact that the article was inaccurate. “Bloggernacle” has a specific meaning. Those that belong to it do not take kindly to the term being hijacked by those that they feel don’t even participate in it. Some Mormon Mommy Blogs are bloggernacle blogs, but for the most part the two virtual communities are separate entities. The fact that both are made up mostly of Mormons is the only connection.

    It is likely that the bloggernacle will never be as big or as widely read as the mormon mommy blogs. That is fine. The bloggernacle is a group of forums for people that want to examine a variety of topics through the prism of Mormonism, and to really examine Mormonism. My experience is that many of the mommy blogs simply happen to be run my Mormons. There is a totally different approach to blogging. The bloggernacle because of its content is simply never going to have enormous appeal. That doesn’t mean that the term “Bloggernacle” should be ripped from it by someone with bigger blogs.

    You can all have your big blogs. Just don’t be a bully.

    Comment by a random John — March 1, 2009 @ 10:31 pm

  63. ARJ Exactly. Thank you.

    Comment by JA Benson — March 2, 2009 @ 5:56 am

  64. So, yes, I have found myself (ahem…Mr. Evans?) at odds and alone and completely frustrated with the way I’ve been treated –either as a person, or with what I say.

    I have to believe that by now Steve Evans has alienated about half the “bloggernacle.” I think what bothers me most is that he consistently engages in conduct that would get him banned at his own blog if anyone but him was enforcing the policy.

    But I suppose if I had my own blog, I’d probably do the same. It’s just that I can’t think of anything better to blog about than kittens and J-ello, and there are no major disagreements on those two subjects.

    Comment by jimbob — March 2, 2009 @ 10:11 am

  65. jimbob, you’re mistaken — I engage in that kind of conduct everywhere. I defy you!

    p.s. I don’t care what bothers you about me. I only care about Cheryl.

    Comment by Steve Evans — March 2, 2009 @ 10:51 am

  66. “I engage in that kind of conduct everywhere.”

    As do I, frankly, much to my own chagrin, though much less now than when I first starting coming to these blogs. The difference is that you somehow escape castigation of any sort. You’re like the “Teflon Bill” of the bloggernacle. At BCC, the answer for why that is is easy: you’re the only real censor over there, and you’re not going to censor yourself. At other blogs, I think it’s because you only stay long enough to really piss everybody off, but not long enough to get banned. Like the time you told everyone at M* that you wouldn’t let your kids hang out with their kids because they didn’t share your political opinions, but then left, never really explaining why.

    Comment by jimbob — March 2, 2009 @ 11:26 am

  67. To be fair, jimbob, that’s not what I said.

    Comment by Steve Evans — March 2, 2009 @ 12:25 pm

  68. jimbob,

    If you think that nobody has ever castigated Steve then you know jack shit about the Bloggernacle.

    Comment by a random John — March 2, 2009 @ 12:59 pm

  69. To be fair, jimbob, that’s not what I said.

    I just re-read M* and the relevant portions of BCC thread from which it emanated. I’m having a hard time figuring out what you did say, if not that.

    If you think that nobody has ever castigated Steve then you know jack shit about the Bloggernacle.

    That’s fair; I make no claim to knowing jack shit about the Bloggernacle. I’ll freely admit to not following every post on every blog. I also didn’t follow that whole Banner of Heaven business at all because I just didn’t care, if that’s what you mean. And I don’t pretend to know what happens behind the closed doors of the blogs. But I do read some blogs with moderate frequency, and Steve seems to get away with much more than anyone else, except maybe fmhlisa, who appears to only post on her own blog. I’ll admit that that may just be my perception.

    Comment by jimbob — March 2, 2009 @ 2:39 pm

  70. Clearly you haven’t spent much time looking at what DKL gets away with or many other bloggers for that matter.

    Comment by a random John — March 2, 2009 @ 2:46 pm

  71. I don’t think anybody is getting away with anything. For example, jimbob, on this thread one might think that you are getting away with insulting me, not understanding my most basic comments from other blogs, and not knowing anything about the Bloggernacle. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    Comment by Steve Evans — March 2, 2009 @ 5:16 pm

  72. jimbob, you can’t accuse Steve Evans of being hypocritical for not banning himself. He banned himself for a full your back in 2006. And only those whose are so depraved that their souls smell of rotting flesh can call his character into question.

    Comment by DKL — March 2, 2009 @ 5:24 pm

  73. I also didn’t follow that whole Banner of Heaven business at all because I just didn’t care, if that’s what you mean.

    Well, now you’re just showing you are insane.

    Comment by MCQ — March 2, 2009 @ 6:54 pm

  74. #65-
    Aw, thanks, Steve!

    P.S. I just spent three days with madhousewife (and Susan M, and others) and you will be happy to know my opinion of you has improved slightly. ;)

    Comment by cheryl — March 2, 2009 @ 7:02 pm

  75. I have come to this controversy late in the game, sorry to say. It has been interesting reading all the comments here and in other places. To tell the truth, I am unsure what a mommy blog is (I gather that a mommy blog not FMH). Is a mommy blog a blog about ones family? If so, I read a few of those of people I know. I do not think I would appreciate reading about a mommy and her family I do not know. As a mommy for the last 20+ years, what another mommy would write about would be what I am already doing. Frankly, sometimes you just have to get away. I do not think that I am sick of being a mommy, but the Bloggernacle is what I do/read to occasionally escape the whole mommy gig. SO if you all could direct me to the popular mommy blogs I will judge for myelf. thanks

    Comment by JA Benson — March 2, 2009 @ 9:01 pm

  76. Cheryl, I hope so!

    Comment by Steve Evans — March 2, 2009 @ 9:15 pm

  77. Clearly you haven’t spent much time looking at what DKL gets away with or many other bloggers for that matter.

    yeah? who?

    Comment by mfranti — March 2, 2009 @ 10:14 pm

  78. jimbob, on this thread one might think that you are getting away with insulting me, not understanding my most basic comments from other blogs, and not knowing anything about the Bloggernacle. Nothing could be further from the truth.

    1. I’m honestly not trying to insult. I guess I was trying to figure out why some in the bloggernacle get away with more than others, a question which seemed tangentially relevant to why many MMB’s choose not to participate here. That’s all. I’m clearly not addressing that question very well, and so I’ll let it lie.

    2. Steve, I’m not trying to twist your words. Really. But that is how I interpret them. I’m not married to that interpretation, though, if you’d like to disabuse me.

    3. Again, I read these blogs with some frequency. I probably go to at least one of the big ones a day. But ARJ told me I didn’t know “jack shit” about the bloggernacle, so I had to assume that my participation here was not at his level and therefore inadequate for his purposes. I certainly don’t claim to follow as closely as others.

    Comment by jimbob — March 3, 2009 @ 9:20 am

  79. jimbob,

    To be more accurate, I told you that if you think that Steve Evans has never been castigated then you don’t know jack shit about the bloggernacle.

    By saying that I’m not trying to establish a floor for participation or say that you are inadequate. Your participation is always welcome. If you or anyone else says things that are ignorant and insulting then I’m inclined towards correction. I was probably more that a little too insulting in my reply, for which I am sorry.

    If you don’t care about the history and personalities behind this community that is fine. You can certainly participate without such knowledge. But if you want to remain in ignorance and also spout off about a topic on which you’re admittedly uninformed, well that’s just a bad idea.

    Comment by a random John — March 3, 2009 @ 9:38 am

  80. mfranti,

    I feel comfortable insulting DKL as he is the most reviled person in the bloggernacle, he knows exactly what I mean, and is big enough to take it. Frankly I’ve done it before and we’re still friends. I don’t feel like I could name other names here without repercussions, because some people are more sensitive thank DKL. I’m a coward.

    But I suppose that I could safely point out that on this very blog, GST, who I am also friends with, really stepped over a line in my mind once upon a time.

    Comment by a random John — March 3, 2009 @ 9:41 am

  81. But if you want to remain in ignorance and also spout off about a topic on which you’re admittedly uninformed, well that’s just a bad idea.

    I didn’t say I was ignorant or uninformed, just that I might conform to your definition of not knowing “jack shit,” by which I assumed you meant not knowing as much as you, since that is almost always what people mean when they say someone doesn’t know “jack shit.” My interactions in the bloggernacle have been sufficient, I believe, to support my comments above, and discounting them based on my putative ignorance would probably be a mistake on your part. I recognize, though, that my comments seem to bother you in a visceral manner (for reasons I’m not quite clear on) and are not having the effect I intended, so I’ve offered to drop it.

    Comment by jimbob — March 3, 2009 @ 10:28 am

  82. Actually, Jack Shit is a friend of mine. I’m pretty sure none of you know him.

    Comment by MCQ — March 3, 2009 @ 12:40 pm

  83. I’m a Jack!

    But, not a shit.

    Or am I?

    This one will send me into at least 30 seconds of serious reflection.

    Comment by Bridget Jack Meyers — March 3, 2009 @ 1:36 pm

  84. Mfranti,
    The ones that I can think of off the top of my head are Steve EM, DKL, Kurt, gst (likening DKL unto Hitler, though it was a joke everyone refused to get…I guess it’s still too soon), and I’m sure there are a bunch of others. To answer jimbob’s question, I think it’s a matter of investment into the community that allows Steve to “get away with” a little more than others. There is little hesitation to ban or censor the drive-by commenters and trolls, but when someone who has been a positive contributor to (and interested in the long-term viability of) the bloggernacle, it becomes a little more difficult of a question and you allow a little more leeway. I don’t know if that answers your question, but that’s my impression.

    Comment by Rusty — March 3, 2009 @ 4:09 pm

  85. phew!!!

    i thought i might be on the short list.

    dkl, the most reviled?

    it makes me giggle every time i hear it.

    Comment by mfranti — March 3, 2009 @ 6:29 pm

  86. Is that because you most often hear it from DKL himself?

    Comment by MCQ — March 4, 2009 @ 5:10 pm

  87. [...] even should be democratic. Who is part of the bloggernacle? Is Seriously So Blessed part of it? Are Mormon Mommy Bloggers? Do they even participate on other non-mommy [...]

    Pingback by Excuses for not blogging, part III « Irresistible (Dis)Grace — July 1, 2010 @ 2:29 pm

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