Sunday, July 24, 2005

Happy Birthday, Dear Mommy Blawg

My blog is two years old today. Can't believe I've been blogging so long! My introductory post is here. Never turns out quite the way you expected it to, does it?

When I started this blawg two years ago, I was a relative newcomer to the blogosphere. Really, I had only read a few blogs and most of what I knew about blogging came from print media. Not that I am a newbie by any means; on the contrary. I was using the Internet before the World Wide Web as we know it today even existed. My first emails were sent from a UNIX interface and shortly thereafter I learned about PINE and ELM and used them for several years. I read newsgroups using rn and trn, and searched out information using Archie and Veronica. My first web browser was LYNX, a text-only browser; this was before the days of GUI browsers (and PC operating systems, for that matter) (you Mac, OS/2, and Amiga users can gloat now). Most of you have no idea what I am talking about. But I digress.

So it took me a little while to find my "voice". At one point, I considered re-launching my blog as an information-only, narrow-topic, no-personal-information-included blog. I'm glad I didn't. While I greatly respect blawgs that focus on one practice area, and agree that it can be a great marketing tool, it's just not me. I like to read blogs that have some personal content, though not ones that are all personal content. I just can't stand reading those livejournal and xanga blogs that let you know which Flintstone vitamins they ate this morning. But if I'm going to read a blogger on a regular basis, I like to know a little about their personality and what's going on in their life. A little, but not too much.

Anyhow, that debate became a moot point when I launched The Baby Blawg, my online pregnancy journal. I find that I'm much more comfortable posting personal content over there. And my blogging focus has narrowed considerably without my doing so intentionally, as I become more knowledgeable about and interested in certain things.

Sometimes I look at my hit count and despair, because my daily average is so low. I do have the occasional huge spike, though, like the time The Volokh Conspiracy linked to me. It is tempting to go back and see what I wrote on the days when I got more hits. I want to be read, but I don't want to pander to an audience, or be ratings-driven. I would also like to have more comments and feedback. I wrote what I thought was a great question about Doula Liability and even submitted it to Blawg Review #15, and got no comments. Not a single one.

From the emails and comments I've received, I surmise that The Mommy Blawg has three major types of readers. First are, of course, the lawyers, who are my natural audience despite my occasional utter lack of legal content. I assume most of them have me on RSS feed anyway, so they can pick and choose. The second group is blogging mommies, typically conservative Christian homeschoolers, whose blogs I read also. Don't believe for a minute that the mind of a stay-at-home mom turns to mush; there is some amazing theological and philosophical blogging going on out there. Third are the birth junkies, those who (like me) care about things like access to midwifery care, the politics of birthing, and healthcare policy. They span a broad range of political and religious ideologies.

I want to give some credit. First on the list is Tom Mighell. Surprisingly, I had never heard of inter alia or the Internet Legal Research Weekly until I got an email from someone saying they saw my blog on Tom's site. But it was the articles he wrote in the print media – Texas Bar Journal, Dallas Bar publications, etc. – that actually introduced me to blogging. Recently I went through a file of clippings I had accumulated with useful links, internet resources, etc., and was surprised to see how many of them were written by Tom. I also want to thank Kevin Heller for being supportive, and the blawging mommies such as Mommies at Law and Bag and Baggage's Denise Howell for inspiration.

What does the future hold? Well, on August 22 I'm hosting Blawg Review. I feel the need to spiff up my blog a bit before then, almost like cleaning house before guests arrive. I need to add a blogroll, maybe a tip jar. I’m not happy with the font size. I like the colors, but I'm using a very basic Blogger template – a blog skin or some graphics would be nice and would lend a more professional appearance. I welcome any suggestions.

Also, you would not believe how many blog posts I have either written out on paper or "saved as draft" and never published. I've got some catching up and purging to do.

That about wraps it up. I started this blog when my younger son was seven months old; now he's two and a half and another one is on the way. Maybe a year from now I will have something new; a new life direction, a new inspiration, a new passion. We will see.

1 comment:

George said...

Dear Mommy: I hosted Blawg Review #15. I wish I could have said something wiser about doulas than just that we used one and valued her greatly.

I think the practical and moral answer to the liability issue is simple: if you're a doula, would you rather face the possible negative consequences of not bringing and using a cheap kit when needed -- or get sued because you brought it and tried and something bad still happened? I'd take the latter any day.

Sometimes its the law be damned, especially when dealing with human life -- and when the law can be so doggone perverse and full of Catch-22s.