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4 cents an hour and a shiny pink button

11.16.2011

in blogging about blogging,introspection,media

People ask me why I blog. All the time.

Well, some still ask what a blog is. 10% of these interactions occur at cocktail parties; 90% of these interractions occur in an elevator at an actual blog conference. The person asking generally has a bad hair cut and an ill-fitting jacket, and is attending some other conference filled with people with bad hair cuts and ill-fitting jackets. And I think, don’t roll your eyes at me, Mr. MCNCAAF Conference attendee! I bet you don’t get to got to a party tonight with glow sticks and a giant unicorn cake.

Anyway.

Those people who do (kind of) know what a blog is, they want to know why I do it. They ask why I keep it up when I’m so busy in advertising and I’ve got so much else going on with my website and these two growing kids, and sheesh, don’t you make about $.04 an hour on Mom-101, all things considered?

And I say, yes. All those things are true.

I also say those thing are exactly why I blog.

Here, I do not have to make logos bigger or make headlines smaller, or convince women that their successes in life will be measured by things like freshness or sparkling, spot-free glassware. Here, I can use the word oy and not worry how it will play in Peoria. Here I will not be told that the word awesomeness is polarizing. Here I can write about things that no one else talks about. Or things that every mother talks about. Or things I can’t talk about in front of my kids. Or things that I wish we’d talk about more.

I write posts that get 150 comments and posts that get 4 comments, and either way, I pretty much never regret having written them.

Also, here I have you.

This week, when I got the phone call from a big fancy editor of Parents magazine telling me they had chosen Mom-101 as Best All Around Mom Blog in their Best Blogs contest, I was rendered speechless for one of the few times in my life.

Partly because are you kidding me? Holy crap.

Also partly because I didn’t know you could win awards these days without begging your friends to hit a big VOTE button once a day from different IP addresses until they hate you and you can never ask them for anything again.

(Holy crap!)

My inclination is generally to say such things don’t matter all that much, but to me, this one does. It feels really, really good (really good) when people you respect say, “nice job.” No matter what it’s for.

I hope you all get to feel that as often as possible in your life.

Now back to the part about you…

One of the things the editor mentioned on the phone was how much all they love reading discussions here. She noted that the commenters here always had such good things to say. And how, scanning the comments, there are so few that just say “haha you’re so funny!” or “cute picture!” or “cheap Canadian Viagra!” (Though that last one is more the doing of a good spam filter.)

So I am especially honored to post this little pink button, because I truly don’t think it’s just about the writing. It’s not about posts. It’s about the blog. And a blog is, at its best, is a community that lives and breathes and thinks and discusses and make each other better and smarter, even after the blogger has hit publish and walked away to go pee.

If you want to know why I keep coming back here for $.04 an hour, that’s as good an answer as I can come up with.

best all around mom blog

See how I ended that last sentence in a preposition? That’s another thing you get to do on a blog. Awesomeness.

135 shards of brilliance… read them below or add one

Lindsay Lebresco November 16, 2011 at 7:50 am

Now I feel compelled to write more than “Congratulations!” So I’ll say well deserved too, because it most certainly is.

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Michelle C November 16, 2011 at 7:59 am

I’d just love to say a huge CONGRATS!! I know it is a lot of work doing anything else when you are a mom, I’m a single mom, and hats off to you for all the work you do!! You have worked hard for this, enjoy it :D

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Nina November 16, 2011 at 8:06 am

Wow–congratulations! You deserve it Liz!

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Rachel Blaufeld November 16, 2011 at 8:24 am

I will not comment with congrats because the guy in the elevator may not know it, but all your readers know you deserve this.

I will give you the highest compliment ever – my husband has commented on your blog and NEVER on mine!

Enjoy your pink button for a long time….it is so well earned! Rachel
Rachel Blaufeld recently posted..Take and Break and Join Me!My Profile

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Mom101 November 16, 2011 at 8:28 am

Ha, I’ll take it Rachel.

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Lori November 16, 2011 at 8:25 am

haha you’re so funny!

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Jill November 16, 2011 at 8:37 am

Congratulations Liz! Recognition really does feed our souls –especially that kind that comes from perfect strangers and is so genuine. Bravo!
Jill recently posted..man, this is getting hard coreMy Profile

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Fer November 16, 2011 at 8:42 am

Yeah! I couldn’t agree more! Thank you for still writing here, despite everything else you do and everyone else who needs your attention. Write on!

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Brook November 16, 2011 at 8:50 am

Congratulations!

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Laura Mayes November 16, 2011 at 8:52 am

So exciting! And so well deserved! You are the best.

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Lissa November 16, 2011 at 8:53 am

Mazel Tov!

Now, tell me more about that cheap Canadian Viagra….

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Bren November 16, 2011 at 9:08 am

You know, I think it’s about YOU. You make this a place where people can say what they feel without fear of snarky repercussions from you, can actually learn something USEFUL without being preached to, can laugh because – Hey! – you’re FUNNY – in the real way – not the “I’m so funny listen listen listen” way, sometimes cry because what you say is oh-so-true and God bless you for saying it, and we can all walk off feeling smarter even though our 14 year old believes – KNOWS – that he can hear your brain shriveling in your head from stupidity.

KUDOS KUDOS KUDOS – all the more because you DIDN’T ask for it.

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Mom101 November 16, 2011 at 9:26 am

Thank you so much Bren.

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My Kids Mom November 16, 2011 at 9:18 am

I think your professional experience has meshed well with your personal experiences in this blog. I look at the traits that make it so easy to read and think of changing my format. I look at the topics you discuss and wonder if I should let my politics show more publicly. I wonder if my kids could stand a bit less privacy. All in all, I think you are able to meet us, your readers, where we are and to push us a bit further. All while entertaining, informing and keeping us company. Congrats!

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Mom101 November 16, 2011 at 9:27 am

Oh Jill, I have the same conversations in my head. I read Amalah and think wow, I should share more. I read Girls Gone Child and think my photos suck. I read Motherhood Uncensored and think I should be more candid about some things. I read the Bloggess and I’m like wow, I’m not funny at all.

All we can do, really, is write what we know. Dammit, all those creative writing teachers in college were right.

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magpie November 16, 2011 at 9:19 am

You’re fabulous.

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Fairly Odd Mother November 16, 2011 at 9:24 am

Ack, you ended with a preposition!??! Title revoked!

Oh, you know I am kidding and am so thrilled to love your blog and love you. You are the reason I started blogging b/c it looked like so much fun and I loved reading your posts. (still do!)

And, yes, I LOVE your commenters. I think you must have a secret IQ test that keeps the really bad ones away.

(hugs and many congratulations! And I hope Nate was impressed!)
Fairly Odd Mother recently posted..When the storm passesMy Profile

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Julie Marsh November 16, 2011 at 9:25 am

This *is* a big deal. It’s an honor that’s well deserved, and it gives me hope that in spite of all the aspects of our blogging environment that drive us crazy, good writing and thoughtful discussion still matter.
Julie Marsh recently posted..One year down, a lifetime to goMy Profile

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Jen Singer November 16, 2011 at 9:28 am

I agree with Parents 100%. You deserve the pink button and the very public kudos. I love your honest writing and your hilarious, yet poignant blog, Liz, and I’m so glad to see someone so talented get the recognition you deserve.

All that’s left to say is the obvious: Cheap Canadian Viagra.

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Mom101 November 16, 2011 at 9:40 am

Hoping I’ll rank for those keywords now. Fingers crossed!

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Janel November 16, 2011 at 9:33 am

Liz, I found your blog about four years ago when my oldest daughter was just a baby (and was still my only daughter) when they did a style piece on you in Parents Magazine. I remember thinking, “Huh. ‘I don’t know what I’m doing, either’. I can get with that.” Reading your blog inspired me to read other blogs, then inspired me to start writing again myself, and now, four years, two more daughters, and a blog later, I’m still reading, enjoying, and being inspired by your blog. Thank you for not quitting your $0.04/hour job. The pay sucks, but the benefits are awesome (for your readers, anyways).
Janel recently posted..Things Bella Has Done That Scared the Crap Out of MeMy Profile

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Mom101 November 16, 2011 at 9:39 am

Wow Janel, that’s worth way more than $.04. Thank you so much for sharing this.

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Alli Worthington November 16, 2011 at 9:44 am

Everything about this post is perfect.

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Sherry Carr-Smith November 16, 2011 at 9:45 am

First, congratulations! And second, Amen. The community you’ve built is amazing because of the conversation (and Canadian Viagra, obviously). The reasons you talk about for having a blog are exactly the reasons I have one. You also touched on the advice I give friends who want to “blog to make extra money.” You have a blog to write or vent or post pictures; and, you sould do it all with the thought that nobody will ever read and it’s just for you. Luckily for us, your writing and venting and photos are full of awesomeness.

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Carrie at TikiTikiBlog! November 16, 2011 at 9:50 am

So very, very deserved.

I don’t comment much, but I always appreciate your candor, humor and truth. Always.

Many more good things for you!
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The Dalai Mama November 16, 2011 at 9:55 am

You summed it up so well. When I first starting blogging back in March of 2006–you were one of the first blogs I read regularly and thought–”if only I could be like her…”

It is such a great community and I am thankful to be a little part of it. Congrats–it is very well-deserved.
The Dalai Mama recently posted..That ParentMy Profile

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Mom101 November 16, 2011 at 7:02 pm

A big part of it!
Mom101 recently posted..4 cents an hour and a shiny pink buttonMy Profile

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Avitable November 16, 2011 at 9:57 am

Well, fucking duh. Your blog is always awesome and consistently one of my favorites.

Nobody deserves an accolade like you do, and for a gift, I’m going to send you some Canadian Viagra.
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Amy Sue Nathan November 16, 2011 at 10:03 am

I feel like I’ve known you from the moment I started blogging way back in 2006. It’s been awesome to watch your girls grow and to be part of a community of moms that I didn’t have access to when my kids were little — way, way back in the 90′s. Yours is one of the few parenting blogs I still read. I laugh and I learn and I thank you for that.
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Amanda November 16, 2011 at 10:06 am

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, you consistently make me laugh, cry, think and rail against this or that.

This time I cried happy tears. Raising my cup of coffee in your general direction.
Amanda recently posted..Years go byMy Profile

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Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] November 16, 2011 at 10:12 am

Well-deserved! And you didn’t even have to beg your throngs of internet friends to click a “like” button for you or have a whole controversial post written about how popularity contests are SO HIGH SCHOOL!

You did it the easy way: you EARNED it!
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Jill V. / TerraSavvy November 16, 2011 at 10:15 am

Liz -

I have been reading your blog for a few years now and you are one of the reason I started blogging. You showed me I can be myself and no boss or anyone else can tell me that I need to change what I’m saying.

It’s a creative outlet for me to share and I am so glad you are sharing a big part of your life. The conversations that go on here are always worth my time – and with three kids there isn’t too much of that to spare these days.

So, I say to you, congratulations! Well deserved recognition.

Show off that pink button sister!
Jill V. / TerraSavvy recently posted..Fun FridayMy Profile

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Joanne Bamberger aka PunditMom November 16, 2011 at 10:29 am

SO, so deserved! Big congratulations. And let us know when you’re teaching the course on making four cents an hour! ;)

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schmutzie November 16, 2011 at 10:30 am

Congratulations! This is well-deserved.
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Melanie November 16, 2011 at 10:33 am

Congratulations and very well deserved. I’ve been lurking here for awhile and you always deliver. I enjoy coming here because you’ve created a smart, funny space. You know your stuff and it shows. Kudos!
Melanie recently posted..Military Life is NOT a Video GameMy Profile

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Kathleen November 16, 2011 at 10:33 am

Congrats! Don’t know you except thru your blog which I enjoy immensely. You are one cool and funny and thought provoking person.

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Jason November 16, 2011 at 10:35 am

Well deserved! There’s something to be said for having your work recognized by pros, and you’ve certainly earned the accolades. (I don’t get too excited about awards, but when the folks at Parents sent me the email saying DadCentric had been chosen by them for the Dad Blog equivalent…I may have man- squeed. It IS pretty cool.)

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Mom101 November 16, 2011 at 12:45 pm

HUGE congrats to you too, Jason! I squeed for you.

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Jenn @ MommyNeedsCoffee November 16, 2011 at 10:35 am

The joke is on them! We ALL know you are the best source for cheap Canadian Viagra ever! And I think at 4 cents an hour, you are one of our communities top earning bloggers these days. ;)

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Jenn @ MommyNeedsCoffee November 16, 2011 at 10:38 am

* Or “our community’s top earning bloggers” — Blame the lack of enough coffee. Can’t leave that without correcting it. Too much book editing on my mind.

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Nicole November 16, 2011 at 10:36 am

Congratulations!

Your blog was one of the first I ever I read and kept coming back to. You inspired me to start blogging, even if it took nearly 3 years to build up the courage to do so.

Your posts are always full of awesomeness and the recognition is well deserved.

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Rebecca Keenan November 16, 2011 at 10:38 am

I rotate through my regular blog reading list, but month after month, year after year, I always come back here. When the proverbial shit hits the twitter fan, I always wonder what Mom101 has to say – and it’s always the level-headed voice of reason I was looking for. Also, funny stories and cute kids.
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KH99 November 16, 2011 at 10:40 am

How freeing to end a sentence with a preposition! Take that, English professors and editors everywhere! Congrats on your well-deserved honor!
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Sean Naughton November 16, 2011 at 10:45 am

More than congratulations..
On a daily basis I am awed by what you express and the way you express it. You make me laugh, you remind me to be compassionate and most of all you continually demonstrate how truly powerful social networking can be. Personally, I can’t thank you enough.

Celebrate and be deeply nourished…
you are FABULOUS!

more to come I am sure.
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Mom101 November 16, 2011 at 7:03 pm

Thank you Sean!
Mom101 recently posted..4 cents an hour and a shiny pink buttonMy Profile

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Or-Tal Kiriati November 16, 2011 at 10:47 am

Hi Liz,
Well deserved! I enjoy reading your posts and envy your sense of humor. And I totally, totally get why you blog. I often think “what if” blogs existed when I was a journalist… (Hmm, perhaps I should blog about this…).
Keep bringing those smiles in our day and show off that pink button!
We’re proud of you :)
Or-Tal
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Mom-Friday November 16, 2011 at 10:51 am

You are authentic, you’re honest, fearless, creative, funny…it’s what make you and your blog so great!
Congratulations, and I can say that on behalf of all my (mom) blogger friends here in Manila, Philippines!
You rock!

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Mommy Points November 16, 2011 at 10:57 am

I love it – very well deserved. I also agree completely that Mr. MCNCAAF isn’t going to have near as much fun with his fellow conference attendees and isn’t going to do near as good a job keeping up with them once he gets home. Congrats a million times over. :)

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mark November 16, 2011 at 10:58 am

congrats!

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Megan November 16, 2011 at 11:03 am

Just chiming in with a big, fat “Ditto!” to all the other comments here. You inspire us all to be a bigger part of this amazing community. Thank you for sharing your awesomeness with us.
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Lindsay November 16, 2011 at 11:06 am

Congrats, Liz! I have to agree with the editors on this one- I always come back to your blog because not only are your posts often incredibly thought-provoking, but your comment section is fantastic too! I always really enjoy reading your perspective, even when it’s radically different from mine. You make me think, and I’m so proud to know you. :)
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abbeyviolet November 16, 2011 at 11:07 am

I agree with their assessment. The people joining you here to discuss are very awesome. The post are well-written and thought provoking. I visit often and leave with new ideas or perspectives to puzzle and I like that. I also like that you are a great mentor to the “rest of us” with small little blogs that are working on writing and reaching out. I think, in short, both you and the blog are so multifaceted that it really works to build a community and a richer virtual relationship. Thank you.
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Rae November 16, 2011 at 11:10 am

Wow, incredible. You work so hard at this, at the whole community thing, it’s amazing. You deserve a shiny pink button.

Also, they CALLED you?! People still DO that? That makes it all the more impressive!
Rae recently posted..Writing DayMy Profile

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Helen Jane November 16, 2011 at 11:14 am

You were in my dream last night, and were appropriately horrified when I showed you the giant (half wood! purple!) tooth that I had just pulled from my mouth. If that’s the effect you have on my subconscious, you can imagine the impact you’ve had on my conscious brain.

What I’m trying to say is, CONGRATS.
Helen Jane recently posted..Saying Thanksgiving GraceMy Profile

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Mom101 November 16, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Best congrats ever!

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Liz November 16, 2011 at 11:16 am

Parents magazine didn’t tell me anything I didn’t already know but it’s nice to see a mainstream pub validate what I’ve thought for a long time. Yours is definitely the best all around mom blog. As I said over on CMP, yours was one of the first blogs that I bookmarked years ago and have never tired of. I don’t always comment, mostly because I’m lazy, but you’ve inspired me to be a better writer, even if you didn’t mean to.

Congrats, Liz.

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Esther Crawford November 16, 2011 at 11:19 am

So glad this award went to you because this blog showcases all that I like about the blogosphere.

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Dorf's Daughter November 16, 2011 at 11:20 am

Here’s something hardly anyone knows: you can’t NOT write. You have always written. Journals filled with snippets of overheard conversations; observations about people and events; simple phrases; couplets and doublets and silly rhymes. When the student was ready, the teacher (call it a Blog if you must)appeared. You would have found an outlet for your great gift in any case. Your community, and I, are grateful you’ve made time to share it with all of us through this new medium.

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Mom101 November 16, 2011 at 12:42 pm

Thank you Mom.

xo

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Loukia November 16, 2011 at 11:22 am

You deserve this honour! So, so amazing. You’ve always been one of my top three bloggers of all time. You also always get me inspired and give me ideas for blog posts. Like now? I’ll be working on my “Why I Blog” post, thanks to you!

Congrats!

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MD November 16, 2011 at 11:23 am

Congrats, Liz! You deserve all the kudos you get…and many more. So happy for you. It’s such a great testament to your skills as a mother and writer.
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