Last year, when we inaugurated our Top 50 Dad Blogs list, we praised dad bloggers for “changing the way we think about fatherhood.” Indeed, a number of our favorite bloggers on this, our second Top 50 list, insist our thinking needs to be changed. They describe themselves as advocates for fathers, taking to their keyboards in order to counter dominant cultural stereotypes of dad-as-incompetent-buffoon. (You don’t believe them? Tune in to most any family sitcom on most any night of the week.) Others on the list aspire simply to entertain us with funny, relatable tales from the trenches. A few write to work through the shattering grief of losing a child or spouse.
This list features straight dads, gay dads, working dads, stay-at-home dads, geek dads, single dads, and more. In a culture where the dominant conversations around fatherhood center simply on whether dads can deign to change their kid's diaper, it's refreshing to see these guys take the public perception of parents into their own hands. We are again struck by the variety of their voices and experiences, which itself puts the lie to the notion of any one “typical dad.” A lot of our favorites from last year are back, while many worthy entrants are making their debuts. We hope you’ll enjoy laughing, crying, nodding, and discovering along with them as much as we have. As dads' online influence grows, this list will only become more and more difficult to curate — and that's a good problem to have. If you think we missed any of your favorite dad bloggers, nominate them here. – Barbara Spindel and the dad blog panel
25 / 50
The group of bloggers over at 8BitDad come off like easygoing dudes out of a Kevin Smith movie. They have a knack for working Star Wars into many conversations. They post product reviews of guy stuff like action movies, tools, and videogames; there’s even one about repurposing Old Spice Hair-Body Wash 2-in-1 as bubble bath (one father stumbled upon this function after discovering at bath time that he’d run out of Mr. Bubble). The blog’s founders, Bryan Ferguson and Zach Rosenberg, post funny, talky videos that showcase their laid-back rapport.
But behind the humor and relaxed style is a dedicated pro-dad advocacy, one that is especially on the lookout for the “dad-as-idiot” narratives so pervasive in popular culture. In one lengthy, informed post, Rosenberg slams Oscar Mayer for a series of commercials “so toxic for fathers that it’s making me rethink grilling season” (in the clips, dad is depicted as unable to make even the simplest decision without mom’s approval). Elsewhere, Ferguson calls out NickMom for articles like “Top 9 Reasons Why Father’s Day Should Be Replaced By A Second Mother’s Day,” which “depict fathers as insignificant babysitters.” Reading 8BitDad is great fun, but more than that, it’s good to know that someone’s got dad’s back.