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Archive for December, 2010

Proto-blogger Lynn Siprelle, making a home on the web since 1999

by susie
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.

Lynn Siprelle, editor of The New Homemaker

Lynn Siprelle, editor of The New Homemaker

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.

Q: Who are your go-to bloggers, whether for inspiration or provocation?

My daily stops are DailyKos, because that’s how I roll politically, La Vida Locavore because I’m deeply interested in the politics of food, and the Bloggess because she’s freaking hilarious.

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.

Upgraded advertising order page for individual blogs

by henrycopeland
Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

We’ve done a nifty redesign of the advertising order page for individual blogs. If you’re a blogger, you’ll want to log in and upload a bigger masthead and customize the margin colors and, if you haven’t done so before, load in advertiser testimonials.

And here’s the new version of the page for DailyKos:

Advertise on DailyKos order form

And, for reference, the next image shows what the old version of the same page looked like. Whew.

DailyKos old advertise here page

Kristen Chase: what does it take to write a leading parenting blog?

by henrycopeland
Wednesday, December 1st, 2010

One of the best things about working at Blogads.com is all the interesting bloggers we get to know and correspond with. (And send money to.) We’re going to do regular interviews with bloggers and share some of their insights about blogging with you.

To kick off, we traded thoughts with Kristen Chase, who blogs at Motherhooduncensored and CoolMom Picks. She’s celebrating her 5th anniversary as a blogger.

You can follow Kristen on Twitter @thatkristen and on Facebook here. (On Twitter, her 5,500 followers range from @bettycrocker to @todayshow.)

Kristen Chase

Kristen Chase

Q: When did you start blogging?

A: I began writing Motherhood Uncensored back in November 2005 – so happy 5-year blogaversary to me!

Q: What got you started?

A: I became completely obsessed with the blog of a fellow military wife and friend who had moved away and decided I’d start one of my very own that addressed the challenging aspects of motherhood.

Q: How did you decide on the name of your blog?

A: Well, the first 18 months of parenting kicked my butt and I found myself slightly bitter that no one had warned me it would be so hard. So I decided to write candidly (but also humorously) about the challenges I faced so that perhaps I could help other mothers out.

Q: What makes your blog unique compared to other blogs with similar content?

A: Look – every blog is unique because every person is different, but I think we gravitate to what we can relate to, or, conversely, what we somehow aspire to or that inspires us. When I began writing, I was a yankee living in the Deep South who wasn’t afraid to write about anything, and that fascinated people. Now, four kids later but back in the Deep South, I think it’s more about other moms feeling as though they can commiserate with me and my experiences. And maybe a little “boy I’m glad I’m not in her shoes” too – ha!

Q:  Your fourth child was born just a month ago — how are you able to keep blogging?

A: I figure since I’m not getting any sleep anyway, I might as well capitalize on it!

Q: How much time daily do you spend blogging?

A: Because blogging has now become a business for me, I spend much of my day doing something related to a blog – though unfortunately, it’s not actual writing, unless you count “answering emails” and “tweeting” as writing.

Q: How much do you correspond one-on-one with readers?

A: I do my best to reply to comments on my site, as well as return emails from readers, though I don’t really get too many of those. Much of the correspondence I have with readers happens on Twitter these days.

Q: Has your approach to blogging changed over time, or are you pretty much on course from where you started?

A: I admit that I’m much less uncensored than I was when I first started. No one knew about my blog and I was pretty anonymous. But now that I’ve added more kids, moved into a neighborhood with people who know how to use Google, and written a book, I’m much more careful about what I’m writing about. Maybe I need to change my blog name to “Motherhood Kinda Uncensored.”

Q: What does your mother-in-law think of your blog? 🙂

A: Well, my mother-in-law doesn’t read my blog! I’m not that brave. Or insane. Heh.

Q: What joys did you not expect when you started blogging? What pains?

A: If you had told me I’d be doing this full-time when I started five years ago, I would have laughed. But that’s the exciting part about self-publishing and life in general. You just don’t know where it’s going to take you. I’ve been fortunate to have had amazing experiences and to have met fantastic people.

Q: What is something your readers don’t know about you?

A: Well, I’m horrible with sayings and spelling. Let’s just say I use Google and a Dictionary a lot when I write my posts and find myself saying “Oh, so that’s how you [say/spell] it” more often than I probably should be admitting.

Q: What is your personal favorite blog post?

A: Oh man, it’s so hard to pick one, however I still love my post “Secret Agent Mom” from ages ago. A recent favorite is the post I wrote about having a 3-year-old. *language warnings*

Q: As your kids get older, what thoughts do you have about what their friends might think reading the blog 10 years from now?

Considering I wrote a book about sex and that’s what comes up when you Google me, the content on my blog is pretty tame. And quite frankly, I wish my mom had kept journals like this so that I could have read them. I view these stories as a gift to my kids, so when I’m not here, they’ll have something to look back on. And hopefully laugh about together. Even if it’s at my expense.

WANT TO ADVERTISE ON Motherhooduncensored? Here’s the order page. (Long-time buyers of blogads will notice that we’ve streamlined the order page.) And this week you can get a 50% discount (celebrating Kristen’s 5th birthday as a blogger and our new offer code discounts) by using the phrase “uncensored.”

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