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Jenny Lawson is what blogging is all about. (Live in Austin tonight.)

bloggess_book

A great writer found her voice, a audience, and a career by writing great stuff. Great, funny, and deeply inappropriate stuff. Jenny Lawson is the funniest blogger.

Her fans love her — and they show it with hundreds of comments, tweets, likes and shares on every post.

More important: She did it the right way — by loving her fans back, building relationships, and creating content worth sharing. (She didn’t sell out like so many mommy bloggers do, grubbing for free samples and selling their reviews for cash.)

Read Jenny’s writing and you’ll be a fan too. (But don’t read it at work. It’s rude, in all the right ways. Unless you’re hiding in a stall. And don’t mind people wondering why you’re laughing out loud while pooping.)

Her new book is fantastic. Her blog is a must-read.

She’s doing a live book-signing in Austin tonight.

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Comments

  1. Caitlin April 25, 2012 at 9:17 am #

    Wow…I feel like you’ve decided not to “love your fans back” on this one, Andy.

    “She didn’t sell out like so many mommy bloggers do, grubbing for free samples and selling their reviews for cash.” You’ve just painted a whole swath of people and bloggers with a single brush, instead of recognizing that there are a lot of really great “mommy bloggers” out there just as awesome and wonderful and LOVING as Jenny that don’t do what you accused them of in this post.

  2. Eleanor April 25, 2012 at 1:15 pm #

    I disagree with Caitlin above – you said like “so many” mommy bloggers do … that’s not saying that all of them do. But there are behaviors that clearly indicate what you’re all about, and those include selling reviews for cash.

  3. Andy Sernovitz April 25, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

    Bloggers who sell posts for cash or free stuff aren’t my fans … and I’m not theirs.

    My completely hard-line views on this aren’t news to anyone. Take a look at:

    The ethics classes I teach around the country – http://www.damniwish.com/ethics/

    My ethics checklist – http://wordofmouth.org/library/word-of-mouth-ethics-checklist

    Our Disclosure Best Practices – http://www.socialmedia.org/disclosure

    (Sorry if any of this reflects on Jenny. She’s a star and I love her.)

  4. Caitlin April 25, 2012 at 1:36 pm #

    I think the biggest objections I have (which I came to while having a conversation on Twitter about this post) are threefold:

    1) Why call out “mommy bloggers” here? It pigeonholes the Bloggess in a category that doesn’t quite fit (in my opinion), and the bad behavior described can be found in every blogging community.

    2) “So many” I think is still a very sweeping quantification. If the post had said “She hasn’t sold out like some well known bloggers have…” I wouldn’t have given anything a second thought.

    3) I feel like there’s a lot of contempt (maybe I’m inferring too much here) for bloggers. I walked away after reading this post and thought to myself “Wow, I wouldn’t want to work with anyone who expresses his dislike for others like this. I’d always worry he was talking about me like that when I wasn’t around.”

    Maybe the biggest issue I have is that the Bloggess has built her online community around love and mutual support, even when specific individuals are being dumb or rude. She’s spent a lot of time and effort on loving yourself and the people that build you up, dealing with depression and anxiety and all of the other crazy challenges that come at you in your life. I feel like this post undermines a lot of that in a hurtful (hateful?) way.

    I could be reading too much into what amounts to a few words (“so many” and “mommy” are really the problem here). But I’m tired of listening to people bash on each other.

  5. Andy Sernovitz April 25, 2012 at 1:47 pm #

    Caitlin –

    I agree with you.

    Nothing in this post was meant to be hurtful, harmful or negative. I’m not a basher, and apologize if it came off that way. I’m sorry if I over-generalized — definitely could have worded that better. I was trying to hold up Jenny as an example of doing it right, not bash anyone else.

    My passion for the ethics issue sometimes gets the best of me.

    Cheers,

    Andy

  6. Caitlin April 25, 2012 at 2:11 pm #

    Andy–
    Having attended several of your workshops and followed your blog for a while, I had assumed that was the exact case. I totally agree with you that in the wild west of blogging there’s some unethical behavior (and I’ll admit that it totally chaps my ass when I see it). I really appreciate you taking the time to come back and clarify how you were feeling, and for creating an opportunity for me and some of my friends to have an interesting conversation about ethical blogging (and PC writing) today.

    Keep holding the immoral ones’ feet to the fire and lifting up the great ones, you’ve always done work I’ve respected and admired.

    Caitlin