Proto-blogger Lynn Siprelle, making a home on the web since 1999
Friday, December 3rd, 2010
Lynn Siprelle is one of the few people who can justly claim to have started blogging in 1999. She got started writing about home-making and today runs the popular The New Homemaker. You can follow Lynn on Facebook for regular TNH updates, or check out her Twitter feed, where she is followed by tweeps including @ScienceChannel, @GrammarGirl, and many others.
Q: Your Facebook page says The New Homemaker was founded in 1999. Did you start out as a blog or did you use another platform in the early years?
A: 1999 was “pre-blog!” 🙂 Before I did TNH I did a thing called That’s Useful This Is Cool, which was definitely a proto-blog; I highlighted one useful website and one cool website every day for a couple of years, until it became obvious that the web really was here to stay and was going to grow exponentially.
TNH started out as an e-magazine, but I quickly started the blog component, Diary of a New Homemaker, not long after.
Q: How did you choose the name The New Homemaker?
A: When I became a stay-at-home mom, I went looking for resources for a woman like me: liberal, non-Christian, attachment parenting-oriented, and home-oriented. I couldn’t find one. All I found at the time that was as comprehensive as I wanted were sites geared toward conservative evangelicals. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that; it’s just not me. Since I couldn’t find the resource, I started it. The name “The New Homemaker” comes from my outlook: I don’t stay home because I have to, I stay home because I want to–because we’ve thought hard about it and decided that’s what’s best for our particular families. That’s what makes me and women like me “new” homemakers, not time on the job.
Q: What inspired you to start blogging?
A: I can’t shut up. 🙂
Q: Were there any unexpected joys or pains you experienced when you started blogging?
A: I’ve been a professional writer most of my adult life; the pains and joys, I think, are the same no matter what you write, though the fine line between public and private is perhaps walked a little more finely in blogging.
Q: How does blogging fit in with your family life?
A: My family is used to me scribbling *something* pretty much all the time, bless them. 🙂
Q: What is something your readers do not know about you?
A: That I write fiction under a pen name.
Q: Care to disclose that name, or point us to some of your work?
A: I write fantasy under the pen name MeiLin Miranda. It’s quite the departure from my New Homemaker work. http://www.meilinmiranda.com/ — also a Blogads site, I must add.
Q: What is your personal favorite blog post?
A: It’s the posts I wrote about 9/11 and its aftermath, probably, which are no longer on the website. I have them in my archives somewhere; they got lost in a platform switch-over. To my amazement, when I introduced myself on a mailing list a few years ago, someone else on the list–someone I did not know–pulled the initial post out of thin air and quoted it entire to the group. That someone liked something of mine enough to save it–that qualifies as a joy, I think.
Q: I am sorry to hear you lost your favorite blog post during a platform transition. Was anything else lost in that transition? Was it difficult to recover?
A: I managed to keep all my other content, but the blog posts were more difficult. I believe I have local copies, but I don’t know where they are. *slaps at hard drive, raising dust and cobwebs*
Q: What was the gist of your post-9/11 posts?
A: I was worried for our Afghani neighbors across the street (and in fact, this year their new house under construction in the suburbs was the target of an attempted firebombing). My second daughter was only four months old, and I talked about how we passed the baby from person to person, just hugging her and playing with her–anything to take our minds off the horror on CNN and the eerie silence of the skies and streets.
Q: Do you ever worry about running out of things to blog about?
A: As long as I’m alive I’ll have stuff to write about.
Q: How often do you correspond one-on-one with your readers?
A: These days, not so much. In the “old days,” quite a lot. TNH is considered primarily a resource site now, I think.
Q: Which new online services, such as Facebook Groups, Foursquare, or Clickset, have you tried and gotten excited by?
A: Twitter. I love Twitter. I don’t really care for Facebook, Foursquare seems like an absolutely horrid idea to me, and I have no idea what Clickset is. *runs to web browser…*
Q: Do you communicate directly with your readers via Twitter? How do you decide who to follow back?
A: You know, I don’t use Twitter much for The New Homemaker. I do for the fiction stuff–a lot–but not the nonfiction.
Offer Code Alert! For the next week, Lynn has extended a 50% off discount code to advertise on The New Homemaker. Simply enter “tnhinterview” in the discount code field when you’re entering your ad. While you’re visiting her order page, think about giving it a Facebook “like” on the top right.