17 Oct

Why I’m not that offended by Martha Stewart. (Thoughts from a blogger of 7 years)

Why I’m not that offended by Martha Stewart. (Thoughts from a blogger of 7 years)

I know there’s been a lot of conversation around Martha’s recent “who are these bloggers” comments the past couple days, and – even as someone that’s been blogging for over 7 years – it wasn’t my initial instinct to publicly weigh in, partially because a lot has already been said, but mainly because for some reason I just wasn’t experiencing as strong of a reaction personally as most of the ones I’d seen.

At first I wondered what my deal was – why I wasn’t getting all up in arms like I should be – but after reflecting on the situation for a bit, I figured out the reason why I wasn’t having a strong reaction, and it honestly kind of surprised me! So… I decided to share a few thoughts on the situation after all, in hopes that an alternative perspective might offer some comfort – or at least food for thought – to fellow bloggers that may still be feeling a sting.

The reason I wasn’t all that offended by Martha’s generalized opinion is that… I don’t really care about it all that much. Period.

I have to admit it feels a little weird to say that out loud, and this may not have been the case a few years ago, but it’s true now. And I don’t mean it in the nonchalant “I could care less” attitude sort of way at all. I mean it in the “I sincerely just don’t think her opinion affects my life” sort of way. Here’s why:

1) In regards to the things that I am or am not an “expert” on, I don’t feel any differently today than I did before the comments were made. I still have the same level of confidence in the abilities I do have, and am still well aware of the specific abilities I do not have… those areas have always been pretty easy to figure out on my own. ;)

2) While it’s true that I’m not a “trained expert at Vogue” so to speak – I’ve never pretended to be, not even for a minute, so I really don’t feel like that’s something I need to apologize about.  That’s the beauty of blogging, really… you don’t have to fit in a certain box. You’re free to be you, whether you’re a seasoned pro in your field, just starting out, or somewhere in the middle. Your unique perspective & experiences are actually what will make you resonate with a certain audience – and that audience is the one worth worrying about. The people that are actually reading your blog – the ones that are taking time out of their day to check out what you have to say – those are the people whose opinions about you matter.

3) Blanket “opinion statements” on huge groups of people are just not accurate. Ever. Her statement was just so broad and cast such a wide net that it’s almost hard for me to take it seriously. However, one thing she may have been trying to convey (I think) that I will agree with – is that just starting a blog on a topic doesn’t automatically make you an expert on that topic. Starting a blog is one thing… Maintaining a top quality blog with great content on a consistent basis, and putting in the incredible amount of time and grunt work required to continuously grow and stay relevant in an extremely crowded and ever growing space… well, that’s a whole different thing, my friends – one that’s not easy by any stretch of the imagination. And I know quite a few bloggers that can proudly claim expertise in that. ;)

So on the bright side – the silver lining of this whole situation for me – and for all of us at HWTM – is that it made us stop and reflect on whose opinion is TRULY important, and the answer is: our readers. On that note – please let me know what we can do better… we don’t want to be sitting here spinning our wheels round and round; we want to be effective. So, please tell us what you want to see more (or less) of – whether it’s a certain kind of topic or column, more “behind the scenes” posts, being a little more open about the side of party planning that’s not always “cupcakes and confetti” (i.e. the epic fails that don’t make the final “party cut”, the times when centerpieces blow off the tables, etc.) And yes – that last part really happened to me. I’m really feeling like it’s time to freshen up the blog, but want to make sure we focus on what’s relevant to you – so please tell us what you want to see. We are listening. :)

 

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1
Amanda SAYS:

Nicely said! I would love to see a few post on hosting a fabulous party on a shoe string budget. I have several friends who ask for my help but always have a super tight budget.

Reply October 17, 2013 at 5:22 pm

Lisa Frank SAYS:

Hi Amanda! I’m a party lover too and I’m always looking for ways to stretch the budget. Granted, I’m usually not quite so good about sticking to a super small budget, but I did recently partner with Shop Sweet Lulu to throw a “Geometric Crafternoon” party for my girlfriends with a cocktail, dessert, and a craft station for making DIY wooden bead necklaces….all for just under $50! (Shhh, don’t tell my husband or he’ll expect that from all my parties! hee hee) You can check out the party here, if you’d like: http://www.handcraftedparties.com/geometric-crafternoon-party/

Lisa :)

October 20, 2013 at 10:30 pm

2
Parthenia Fayne SAYS:

Very well said, especially point #3! FYI, I highly respect your blog.

Reply October 17, 2013 at 5:44 pm

3
Rosmery Lamb SAYS:

I agree with you. I dont really care what martha says about bloogers. As long as you have confidence in what you are doing and make you and proud thats what matter. I dont know why some bloogers get soooo touched by this.

Reply October 18, 2013 at 12:44 am

4
Amber SAYS:

HWTM is an amazing place for cumulative ideas and ways to plan a party. I for one would like I see more close ups of the dessert tables and how to’s. I own a cake business and my brides need to see this. This is where I send them for ideas.

Reply October 17, 2013 at 5:48 pm

5
Heather SAYS:

Here, Here, well said! I really appreciate the confidence it takes to tell your readers how much they mean to you and ask how you can make them happy, instead of looking for acceptance from Martha Stewart. Thank you.

You ask what we want to see so I will tell you what I want to see: My daughter is turning 13 next year and after doing big over the top parties for years we have taken a break the last several years. 13 is big and we are going to do something big, but I want to do something beautiful and truly meaningful for her as she enters some of the toughest years that can determine so much of who we become. I want to invite ladies who have known her and loved her for years, friends, aunts, teachers and Sunday School Teachers and ask them to pour wisdom and confidence into her for the years ahead. Please give me some ideas. I have till next May to plan so there is plenty of time. :)

Reply October 17, 2013 at 5:50 pm

6
Leslie SAYS:

What great insight! It is so great that you also asked for feedback from your readers. I think an epic fail every now and again might be a funny feature on the blog. Keep doing what you are doing, HWTM!

Reply October 17, 2013 at 5:53 pm

7
Vana Chupp SAYS:

This was probably one of the best post re: Martha's interview I've read so far. Like you, I didn't care about her statement. I honestly think she doesn't really filter what she says – may be is age, may be the status she's created for herself. Who cares! I feel like the ones screaming and pointing fingers do so because they crave attention. If you're good, you know it and people around you know it. Thanks for a well written post, Jennifer! Love your blog and always a pleasure working with you!

Reply October 18, 2013 at 12:59 am

8
@lepapierstudio SAYS:

I’m sure some of you read about Martha’s statement about bloggers. I did too and honestly I didn’t care! Here’s a… http://t.co/Im7CrYquaO

Reply October 17, 2013 at 6:02 pm

9
Nancy Pfeifer SAYS:

I just love your transparent heart. I never took Martha’s comments personal. It is not important to me. I’m doing what I’m passionate about & it makes me happy. Your blog is awesome & yes funny you mentioned the centerpieces blown away because I kid you not Hannah’s Sofia the First party had the entire tables stripped because of the wind. Everyone felt so bad. I was almost in tears….LOL

Reply October 17, 2013 at 6:43 pm

10
Tonya SAYS:

Hey Jenn, I too could care less about MS’ comments. I was never a MS fan and frankly her approval doesn’t make or break my business. I do feel for those who idolized her and put her on a pedestal and who feel betrayed by her comments, but at the end of the day, we can only be the judge of our own success…in whatever form that may be for each of us. I personally would love to see the behind the scenes, before and afters and yes, the blooper moments as we have ALL had them and it would be nice for up and coming party planners to learn from our mistakes.

Reply October 17, 2013 at 6:55 pm

11
@atozebra SAYS:

Why I’m not that offended by Martha Stewart. (Thoughts from a blogger of 7 years) http://t.co/HAwe2b18oS via @hwtm_jenn

Reply October 17, 2013 at 6:58 pm

12
Dianna SAYS:

Well said. I agree with you wholeheartedly about knowing my own limitations, never pretending to be something I am not, and simply focusing on readers who would like to interact. I’m happy to just be a girl in my kitchen who likes to share recipes that I enjoy with whomever would like to stop by for a story and a cookie… if I can make a full time career out of that, even better. :) What many bloggers want and what Martha has is like comparing apples and oranges. Her words did sound harsh to me, but they also sounded like the words of someone who doesn’t understand the platform.

Reply October 17, 2013 at 7:00 pm

13
Brittany @GreyGrey Designs SAYS:

YES Jenn. Yes. Anyone who was even remotely offended by her off-hand statement must have thought a WHOLE hell of a lot about themselves in the first place. And, everyone knows how out of touch she is! I mean, big duh.

Reply October 17, 2013 at 7:24 pm

14
Debbie Hogan SAYS:

I had a lot of respect for the bloggers who, like you, just went on giving us their yummy recipes for pumpkin cakes and fall yummies…you bet those are the bloggers I pay attention to, the other nasty bloggers who felt the need to shout out because they only crave attention were quickly and instantly deleted. I don't want to learn how to cook with nasty people, who have hateful attitudes; I cook with love and that's how I want to learn from you fantastic bloggers, keep the love there please. Good job.

Reply October 18, 2013 at 2:36 am

15
Connie Renfroe Quintana SAYS:

Sorry but why would anyone care what she says?

Reply October 18, 2013 at 2:54 am

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