In the beginning there was the Internet, and it was good. Then something invisible started swimming in a pool of sweat and grain alcohol. It grew eyes, hands, and something to scratch. A few weeks later said thing had more than quadrupled in size, stood upright, and waxed its back. Then they blogged about it.
Thus the Dad Blogger was born. However, the real evolution of the Dad Blogger is less about Darwin and more about shifts in communication and the breaking of stereotypes. It is about dads being involved and emotionally available. It is the taking of what was once a punchline and showing the world that it is the new normal. It is equal parts pioneer and journalist. And, in some cases, selling out. It happens.
Hello, my name is Whit, and I am a dad blogger.
The history of dad bloggers is just as long and established as any other type of blog-writing on the Internet, but the numbers, while growing by leaps and bounds, remain small compared to those that fall into the respective categories of mom, travel, craft, sports, food, and other topics of interest. The comparatively small number of dads in the online space had, until recently, kept the dad-blogging presence squarely in the novelty section of your grocer’s freezer, but thanks to quality writing, better marketing, and conferences like the Dad 2.0 Summit, the dads of the Internet are being heard, and what we are hearing is fantastic.
In 2011 Babble released a Top 50 Dad Blogs list and suddenly people outside the blogging bubble realized that the online parenting community was represented by men, too — men who were leading the charge in how fathers should be perceived and portrayed. It wasn’t all smoke, mirrors, and turn of phrase, but the simple act of living it, then taking the time to share our version(s) of Dad with the world.
Earlier this week Babble released the Top 50 Dads of 2012, and I, along with other sites that I am a part of, namely the fantastic group blog DadCentric and Wired‘s popular GeekDad, are listed with a number of good writers, inspiring storytellers, striving entrepreneurs, and loving fathers. It is a nice group to be a part of, and I am honored to be included.
Yet, sometimes I wonder if ranking the top dad blogs is really necessary. Sure, everyone loves to be recognized and slapped on the back for a job well done, but such things tend to foster an air of competition where one should not exist. We are not dad bloggers to triumph over each other, but rather to battle the negative connotations of fathers put forth by the media and accepted as gospel by much of society. When it comes to promoting dads in a new light, we are all sitting on the same side of the field.
But I suppose that is the nature of the beast. We, as a community, cannot achieve mainstream acceptance without being subjected to the trappings of it, and if something as visible as the public support of Babble moves the conversation forward then I am thankful for it.
Does all of this mean that dad blogging has arrived? Every year we hear whispers of THE YEAR OF THE DAD BLOG, but it quickly gets lost in an overflowing Internet, the adventures of life, and Mayans. The year of the Dad Blog has been reset, recast, and rebooted so many times that I, like Public Enemy before me, do not believe the hype.
I do, however, believe in the importance of parenting and the role of the father. It is my opinion that dad blogging, as a whole, will continue to grow, thrive, and progress on a number of fronts, and someday the novelty will fade away like it always does. Dad bloggers don’t need a year, we are in it for a lifetime, and everyone on that list is a winner.
Read more from Whit Honea at his site Honea Express and the popular group blog DadCentric. You can follow Whit on the Twitter or Pinterest (his opinions are his own and do not reflect those of Babble, Disney, or most rational people).