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A confession.

2008-05-08 - 4:48 p.m.

I have a confession to make, and I hope you wonít all hate me. Itís nothing against this blogger in particular Ė her beliefs, how she makes her money, etc. Ė itís just that, well, okay, Iím just going to go ahead and say it:

I donít particularly like Dooce.com.

I know, I know, she wins awards. She has thousands of rabid fans that vote for her to get these awards. She even has hundreds (if not thousands) of rabid haters that take the time to write her horrible, scathing email. But the truth is, I just donít really get the appeal. Iím not particularly religious so that whole issue doesnít affect me. So sheís a lapsed Mormon, so what? Tons of people donít practice the religion they were raised in when they grow up. Does the fact that she thumbs her nose at it on the internet make her interesting? Maybe to some, but not to me, because Iím not invested in that topic. Yes, sheís brave to chronicle the battles she has with depression online for the world to see. And yes, sheís also brave to expose the not-so-fun side of parenting, knowing that it opens her up for all kinds of vitriol from strangers, but again, these facts are not enough to make her site speak to me.

Her writing, while competent, isnít outstanding compared to some other blog writers. Iím rarely particularly entertained by the things she says or the pictures she takes. While I might, as a general practice, post a link to a particularly funny or thought-provoking entry on a blog from time-to-time, and I do link to her site in general in my favourites section on my archives page, I donít think Iíve ever been inspired to link to one of Heatherís posts in particular. And am I really the only one that finds her monthly ďlove lettersĒ to her daughter a bit, well, formulaic? (Dear Leta, here are the ways in which youíve been a pain in the ass this month, and now here is something(s) wonderful about you that make it all worthwhile, and I love you very much in spite of the former and because of the latter, love Mama).

Donít get me wrong, I have a lot of respect for Heather Armstrong. Sheís obviously an intelligent and enterprising woman, and I think itís fabulous that she can support herself with her site and donít really understand why this is even an issue for people Ė we pay for books so authors can make a living and continue to write, we pay for music so musicians can keep making it, so why object to someone making money from writing that keeps us entertained, just because itís online? And weíre not even actually paying anything anyway, so it takes nothing from us to have a few ads on her site.

Itís not like thereís even one iota of a chance that Heather cares whether I like her writing or not, any more than, say Britney Spears would care whether I like her music or not. Heather will keep on making a living with her site and Britney will keep selling millions of albums, with our without my admiration. I am a writer of a relatively insignificant and obscure journal, and my opinion does not contribute to or take away from their success.

And Iím not saying I actively dislike Heather or her site (or Britney, for that matter). I just don't really like it that much either. Partly out of habit I stop by it every few weeks, if for no other reason than to be able to keep up with whatís going on in the blogosphereÖ and one canít claim to really be in that particular loop without following Dooce.

I mention this mostly because, well, I feel like Iím the only person who just doesnít really get the big deal that is made out of that site. Everyone else seems to love it (unless of course they HATE it with the burning fire of a thousand suns). So am I really the only one thatís kind of, well, ďmehĒ about it? Can someone tell me why I should join the vast legions of slobbering devotees? Am I missing something crucial? It feels almost sacrilegious to make this confession!

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