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Top 50 Dad Bloggers Announced by Babble

By cecilyk |

Yesterday Babble announced the Top 50 Dad Bloggers of 2011 – an honoring of the dadosphere not yet done by Babble. Why now? The article states:

At Babble, we’ve been waiting for this moment for years. No, this is not the beginning of Dad blogging — far from it — but it is the first year in which Dad blogging is making it to the masses in a big way.

This year, the #1 spot was filled by Mike Adamick of the blog Cry It Out. The #2 spot, ironically, is filled by Polly Pagenheart, the author of Lesbian Dad (and, notably, a woman) a fact that seems to have been met with no annoyance or irritation among the dad blogging community.

However, there has been much grumbling about other aspects of the list.

Just a couple of weeks ago Babble released its Top 50 Twitter Moms list. This was apparently an issue for the dad blogging community who felt slighted for not being included, you know, on a list for moms. This led to the formation of the #OccupyBabble hashtag on Twitter (really dads? really?), and the attempt to take over the nomination part of the Babble Twitter list with dad bloggers.

Overall people were grateful to be included in the list, but there were many that were disappointed to be left out, particularly those that host group dad blogs (only solo dad bloggers were eligible) such as DadCentric.

But things got a little heated once folks began to debate who deserved to be on the list and where.

I can’t help but think about the incredible backlash mom bloggers would receive were they to respond in the same way. Sure, each time a new list comes out many of us bemoan not being included (and write a flurry of posts about how lists don’t matter), but I’ve never seen one mom blogger single out another mom as being undeserving (you know, publicly).

I also find it fairly ironic (and somewhat irritating) that dad bloggers are insisting that they be awarded the same attention, accolades and respect that mom bloggers get –- which, hilariously, is actually very little. You’ll forgive my cynicism; I was just reminded that women will make two million dollars LESS in their lifetimes than their male colleagues, so I’m having a lot of trouble with dads feeling left out of much of anything.

Apparently, some of the dads understand this.

What did you think of the list? Were your favorite dads included?

More on Babble

About cecilyk



Cecily Kellogg writes all over the web, including here at Babble for Voices and Tech. She neglects her own blog, Uppercase Woman. Read bio and latest posts → Read Cecily's latest posts →

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43 thoughts on “Top 50 Dad Bloggers Announced by Babble

  1. Meghan says:

    brilliant, suck it up men

  2. Mama Kat says:

    I’m just kind of glad the mens reactions were more embarrassing than the womens. Phew!

  3. anonymous pr girl says:

    Except blogging is one of the few arenas where women make more and have higher earning potential, especially mom bloggers, who are constantly courted by brands. This can not be denied. Is there a male Dooce? A male Maggie Mason? A dad version of Ree Drummond?

    No, there isn’t.

    I actually appreciate that whithonea was honest about how he felt about his place on the list, rather than the endless back channel gossip and shit talking that goes on in the mom blogging community.

  4. PUH-Lease says:

    Good Lord…
    You skimmed a tweet, didn’t grasp its meaning, but still used it to punctuate a “column” (full of content you cut and pasted) where your whole idea was just a set-up to throw in how women are paid less than their male counterparts???
    -Gloria Steinem would be ashamed…

  5. daddy in a strange land says:

    “I also find it fairly ironic (and somewhat irritating) that dad bloggers are insisting that they be awarded the same attention, accolades and respect that mom bloggers get –- which, hilariously, is actually very little.”

    Um, I may be wrong, but my own read on this, as a SAHD for 7 years and an off-and-on dadblogger for almost as long (including cofounding a group niche dadblog), is not that dadbloggers are insisting on equal treatment as mombloggers per se–it’s that on sites and in venues that purport to be about *parents* (of both genders) and *parenting* (by both genders), versus moms and mothering, we’d love it fathers and fathering got more than token lipservice. It’s about living up to expectations–if we see “parent,” not just “mom,” in the title, we should be forgiven if we expect to be treated like we’ve been invited to the party.

  6. Lynette Young says:

    PUH-LEASE simmer down.

  7. jetts31 says:

    Its hard to take any side in this when one’s blog wasn’t included. From those of us on the outside looking in, who cares about a Top 50 List of bloggers. Seems like a self-congratulatory list akin to something you might see in Hollywood.
    That being said, I would LOVE to be on a list like this. Yes, I have double standards.
    That being said, I think you have to look at this from both sides. While you’re right about the backlash mom bloggers would get for calling out fellow moms in public, what would be said if there were only a Top 50 List of dad bloggers. I’m willing to bet the mom blogging community may have something to say about it (just maybe with something more clever than OccupyBabble hashtags).
    I agree with Anonymous PR Girl too, mom bloggers are infinitely more marketable, powerful, influential and heard than dad bloggers (not to say the most influential do not deserve the accolade, they do). But if mom bloggers get very little attention, accolades, and respect, then dad bloggers get even less.

  8. Jason Avant says:

    Cecily, we’ve met, so you know that there is very little in life that I take seriously; I’ll gladly take credit for the #OccupyBabble hashtag, as it was done in fun – and the editors at Babble seemed to get that, and laughed right along with us. We saw that someone had nominated the guys at How To Be A Dad for the Top Twitter Mom list, and decided to have a little fun with the whole thing. If there was a point to be made, it would be this: Babble touts itself as a “parenting” site, yet a quick glance at its content shows that like every other “parenting” site/publication, the bulk of articles are written by and for moms. It’s great that Babble is starting to feature material by and for dads; after all, we’re the other half of this “new generation of parents”.

  9. Jason Avant says:

    And you’re right: I – and every dad blogger I know -was stoked to see Polly on “our” list. Ironic, no?

  10. Mommyfriend says:

    I was really disappointed at the reaction too. I love dad blogs, I find so many of them insightful, hilarious and very well written. Personally, I thought an ounce of appreciation would be made. I’ve never made it onto a Babble list but I can tell you, if I did, I’d be damn stoked.

  11. jrm says:

    I’m not a Mom or a blogger and I hadn’t heard about the Dad kerfuffle before reading this “article” but kudos for the hilarity behind #occupybabble. How long do spend writing these stories? 10 minutes? Rather than going off on tangents about salary discrepancies between the sexes perhaps you should research the subjects you are writing about — perhaps if your writing was well written and researched and more than rehashing of PR releases and twitter posts, then there wouldn’t be as much inequality in pay.

  12. Shannon says:

    If you’re going to use ”irony” as a theme in a post, it would be a great idea to learn the actual definition (Protip:: Alanis ”irony” doesn’t count for professional ”writing” purposes).

  13. drhoctor2 says:

    One of my big problems with the attitudes of many mommybloggers is the total polarization perpetuated by the genre. Men are parents, TOO. . Moms are “super heroes and influential and saving the WORLDZ !!” and it is all just such nonsense. Reproductive FUNCTION has no impact on ones ability to access social media or win money or raise children. For the love of everything …knock it off.
    I completely lost you when you went into the “women don’t makes as much money so dads shouldn’t bitch about being excluded: spiel ? The heck were you going with that ? Babble and the Mommyblogging genre are all about exclusion, that’s your constant beating drum..any time lists of best of ‘s go out with no clear impartial criteria noted ..that’s exclusion. You measure nothing on these lists with any tangible scales other than “popularity” and the voting process ensures self interest in the outcome. Every voter who clicks over to vote …clicks..and *we* are all well aware of that. A vote for any blogger means an increase in page views for you. It’s emotionally driven clap trap and measures no real success in blogging, engagement, influence or reach.

  14. drhoctor2 says:

    I saved this for a second comment because..really ..ARE YOU SERIOUS ? ….”I can’t help but think about the incredible backlash mom bloggers would receive were they to respond in the same way. Sure, each time a new list comes out many of us bemoan not being included (and write a flurry of posts about how lists don’t matter), but I’ve never seen one mom blogger single out another mom as being undeserving (you know, publicly).”…….. So the criteria here is that the problem with one competitor complaining about another is that it was publicly done ? Can not WAIT for the next rash of mommybloggers bemoaning the disapperance of “community and support” and and …gahhhh…
    Harping about each other sotto voce is still mean spirited, immature nonsense fostered by competitive jealousies. The end.

  15. Catherine says:


    The Babble lists are actually not generated by a voting process – we have a page devoted to nominations so that the community can make their own suggestions, but the top 50 lists are compiled and ranked by a panel made up of members of the community, who read a bazillion blog pages in the process. Popularity is not a core criterion, not by a long shot. There are blogs on the dad list that have negligible traffic – and blogs that are missing that have comparably huge traffic.

    And Babble – and the mom blog community – doesn’t have a lock on the whole exclusive ‘list’ thing – Time does lists. Vanity Fair does lists. The New Yorker does lists. In fact, you’d be hard-pressed to find a mainstream publication that doesn’t do some kind of list.

    To your point about public complaints, though – that’s an interesting one, and worthy of consideration. Does it serve community better when bitching is done sotto voce or behind cupped hands? Is there something healthier about public bitching? (Do we even call it bitching when men do it – and should we?) Definitely stuff worth thinking about.

  16. Beta Dad says:

    I think it’s totally childish for guys who got on the list to focus on who “beat” them or “were deemed to be better writers.” We should be thankful for the acknowledgment, and focus our scorn on all of those who placed below us. SUCK IT DADSTREET AND DADDYFILES…THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE #48!

  17. Dad2Summit says:

    You didn’t “piss off” dad bloggers. In fact, you’ve done us a great service by welcoming us into the fray. Most of which is overladen with artificial froth.

  18. From what I know of Whit Honea, that would be a joke. A slightly bigger joke would be the idea of anyone taking these PR company lists remotely serious.

  19. Daddy Files says:

    Hello. #50 on the list here. I know my opinion barely counts since I juuuuuust made the Top 50 list, but here goes.

    A mom blogger complaining about dad bloggers (kinda) complaining about a list is like Wal-Mart bitching about competition from the mom and pop retailer down the street. I don’t say that to disparage the work dads are doing online, I’m simply pointing out there are WAY more mom bloggers than dads, and they bitch and whine WAY more than dads do.

    And yes, maybe we’re more public about it. But isn’t that preferable to the backbiting and backstabbing that exists among mom bloggers? I think so.

    Look, some people are pissed they didn’t make the list. It happens. Then they post about how stupid lists are and how it doesn’t matter, which only goes to show the lists really do matter or else the author wouldn’t be writing about them. But this is true for men and women. I see no point in trying to drudge up a non-existent controversy between moms and dads like CecilyK is obviously trying to do here.

    The #OccupyBabble hashtag was obviously in jest. I laughed. And the good-natured ribbing—displayed by people like Beta Dad—is just funny. Do you really think I take offense to what Beta Dad says about me for coming in two spots lower than him? No. Of course not. After all, he doesn’t even belong on the list in the first place as there are 100 other dads with more talent! And charisma. And ability.

    See? No bitterness at all.

  20. Jack Steiner says:

    Let’s see how many of you last more than three or four years. Most won’t. P.S. Babble, part of the reason you got blasted by some is that these lists tend to include the same people over and over again.

    Perhaps that is coincidence but….

    1. catherine says:

      Jack – seeing as this is the first ever dad list, it’s kind of hard to see how it ‘includes the same people over and over again.’

  21. Jack Steiner says:

    Catherine, maybe it is the first list done on Babble but it is not the first list of dad bloggers. Ask Backpacking Dad and he’ll tell you about the Top 25 Sexiest dad bloggers.

    And everyone knows that if you didn’t make the top 4 on that list you really suck and are probably a celtics fan- right Daddy Files.

  22. Daddy Files says:

    Jack: A few things in Babble’s defense.
    1) This list does not appear to be a popularity contest manipulated by voting. It seems as though they took some time and did some research. And that’s admirable, compared to those linkbait voting contests I abhor so much.
    2) It’s the first time they’ve done it so redundancy is a non-factor.
    3) It doesn’t matter how long someone’s been blogging, because the list is a Top 50 Dads Blogs of 2011. It’s a snapshot of Babble’s opinions about the best blogs at this moment in time.

    I’d be saying this whether I made the list or not. Because most of the time, I certainly don’t make the cut. And considering some of the criticism I’ve leveled at Babble over the years, I was floored to see I had this time.

    What I want to avoid though, is stomping all over an organization who promotes dads. Dads, as a community, spend so much time bitching about a lack of recognition. And then when we get some, there’s bitching about who was recognized. You know I have mad man love for you Jack, and rational criticisms always have a place in the discussion. But in this case I don’t think you’re bringing any to the table.

  23. DadStreet says:

    It seems that many of us are focusing our attention in the wrong place. At the risk of sounding like a Therapist (I play one on TV) I’m going to say the following:

    I would like to encourage Mom Bloggers (Yes, Cecily you too) to not take the backlash (actually just the 4 Dads out of 100′s that actually even said anything as personal. This really says very little about Moms. Instead, it’s clear to me that this is yet another example of how many of us have low self esteems. While #OccupyBabble was called a joke it was passive aggressive and clearly had some underlying tones there, as most “jokes” do. The bottom line is many bloggers, if not most, are seeking attention, validation, and acceptance. Many of us for reasons we had no control over now suffer from a lack of boundaries and little to no self esteem. So what does this look like when that happens? Well, you have a very popular site like Babble call out (give attention, validation, and acceptance) to a group of people and some aren’t included. Those that made the list receive said acceptance, validation, and attention. Those that don’t? Well they get what they’ve been facing in other places (rejection and loneliness). I’d also like to point out that Men are performance driven. You’re not a Man if you’re not strong enough, fast enough, work enough, make enough money, hit the ball far enough, etc. etc. The minute a guy has his performance questioned he goes back into the “I’m not good enough” state. Well guess where we are now? Whether you made the list or not, you’re still every bit a man and you’re still good enough. It’s an honor that I made this list but it means absolutely nothing with regards to who I am as a person and I’m no better or worse than I was before this list came out.

  24. Charlie ( says:

    Hey Guys,

    I don’t like it when mommy and daddy fight…

    First, Cecily, there was NO BABBLE LIST before the one that came out this week heralding Dads (to my knowledge). We were nominated on a Top Mom list the week before and thought it was hilarious. In order for us to be counted, we had to be called Moms. So, we had fun with it. We’re happy for any accolade given the dad community.

    Second, as the son of a single mom who raised my brother and I all by herself, (she also happens one of the top 50 women in radio), let me comment on the gender inequality issue. Dads are omitted from the parenting discussion constantly. I experience this problem in almost every mall or baby store I walk into. Is it unreasonable to say that a logical extension of feminism would be equality for men in parenting? Let’s change the terms of parenting from the 50′s diagram of a woman assuming her role as subservient homemaker and let’s start allowing men in on the countless conversations with brands and parenting causes. We’ve earned our keep.

    It bums ME out to see people not seeing the lightheartedness of our endeavor here.

    All the best,
    #45 on The List

  25. Jack Steiner says:


    Stomping all over an organization? Really? Stomped on is a bit of an exaggeration. Most of this is tongue in cheek as opposed to the comments about the celtics being evil, the patriots being cheaters and the Red Sox being losers which are all well known facts.

    What I really want to know is how to collect the $2 million shekels that Cecily alluded to earlier in this article. I could really use that cash now and not later.

    I am not sure that I see Babble as a big supporter of fathers but I don’t see them denigrating us either. Most of the content I see here isn’t really directed at me and that is ok.

    But then again I could be wrong, except about the boston thing.

    So let’s recap:

    Boston teams suck. No one is stomping on Babble. I’d like to collect the mysterious $2 million now and not later. Boston teams suck.

    You are a good man Aaron and the smart readers here will read your blog.

  26. jeannett says:

    ::munches popcorn::

    good stuff.

    ::munches more popcorn::

  27. drhoctor2 says:

    Well, thanks for your input Catherine..however..if the list of winners isn’t generated by reader votes , then, what exactly are the qualifications for being nominated or winning? Who nominates, why , who judges, what’s the critieria for winning? You have a panel of the usual suspects voting but are secretive about the process? That’s far more suspect than compiling a Best Of list from readers and fans. What everybody else does? That’s never a winning point with me. Print magazines push lists to sell advertising and Babble generates them for page views in order to sell more ad space.
    Are you actually trying to defend back biting behind the scenes as more “honest” than an upfront expression of displeasure or criticism? I can’t accept that argument and I don’t think you’re defending it for any reason other than to attempt to score points off me. I’m from people who stress honesty in all areas. We value the standard of not saying anything critical about another person without giving them a chance to defend it. I abhor sneaky women whispering behind their hands because they haven’t got the ovaries to disagree with people face to face. It’s childish behavior at best and two faced backstabbing at worst. You favor grown women keeping their opinions hushed and secretive? Presenting ourselves as perpetually untrustworthy cowards who will never master the art of standing up for themselves or facing down an opponent? Ridiculous. Indefensible. Ludicrous. I refuse to hold back my opinions, thoughts and ideas in order to make sure all the “girls” are placated because I’m playing nice. I refuse to encourage the young women who come into my life to continue that very destructive, intellectually crippling stereotype. I’m grown. I have big thoughts, good ideas,the ability to form my own opinions and the freedom to express them. I feel no obligation to be seen as docile while undermining people with different opinions. I can’t fathom why you would promote such methods. I can respect and like people I disagree with, I’ll never respect a person who would say one thing to my face and then, the opposite to others. I refrain from demeaning my input on any subject by using any sort of gender specific derogatives. That would DEEPLY offend my feminist sensibilities.

    1. catherine says:

      DrHoctor2 – You misread me; I don’t favor women keeping their opinions hushed. What I said in my comment to you: “To your point about public complaints, though – that’s an interesting one, and worthy of consideration… Is there something healthier about public bitching? (Do we even call it bitching when men do it – and should we?) Definitely stuff worth thinking about.” I framed this as a good (‘worthy of consideration’) question, because I think (as I said) that you raised a good point.

  28. cecilyk says:

    This has been some insightful discussion. I’m going to be following this up with a post about a chat I had with Jason Avant and how he totally showed me all the errors of my ways. :D

  29. Backpacking Dad says:

    Only the Top 25 Sexiest Dad Bloggers list matters. We’re spilling a lot of ink here over a list that wasn’t made by me.

  30. drhoctor2 says:

    Again. Catherine thanks for your’re right ..I did misread you as I’m a bit fired up over the censuring of Honsea implicit in the paragraph of Cecily’s that I included in my second comment. the whole “let’s be NICE now” thing bugs me . I read your comment quickly as a defense of that idea instead of a questioning of it. That did surprise me as you usually don’t seem to support that social construct. I think I do make a good point with this . I think that the refusal to acknowledge our honest views on popularity and competition does us all a great disservice when the entire culture promotes being best over being talented or involved. The acceptance of the view that men expressing disappointment or any contrary opinion publicly are opening a dialogue whereas women are “bitching” makes me particularly wild eyed. Womens’ views , if argumentative in any way, are quickly dismissed as bitching. That’s not something men ever have to worry about.

  31. drhoctor2 says:

    Dadstreet..I like your comment very much. You’ve stated some very valid points on the nature of personal blogging and competition.

  32. Neil says:

    If these lists always generate such animosity, why do you continue to have them? It certainly doesn’t seem to enhance the well-being of the community. What is the point? How does it help improve things? That seems to be the question no one answers.

    1. catherine says:

      Neil, relatively speaking, the amount of animosity generated is a fraction of the amount of excitement generated- but animosity tends to generate the more heated discussions, so that’s where a lot of the discussion goes.

      The lists matter because they make a statement about the degree to which parent blogs matter – these are content spaces and conversation drivers that matter just as much as, if not more than, the names that you see on the lists published by Time or Vanity Fair or the New Yorker or People. We’re asserting that this is a cultural domain, and an industry, and that its leaders and innovators deserve to be recognized. There’s a larger question of whether any field/community/cultural space/industry should single out anyone for recognition, but if you’re going to single out parent bloggers as uniquely unsuited/undeserving, then you have to make a case for that against the broader practice of recognition and reward.

  33. Jason Avant says:

    DadStreet – I encourage you to read Cecily’s follow up interview with me.

  34. Alexandra says:

    I am just thrilled to see that LesbianDad is getting recognition for the incredible job she does in all things: her life, her role as parent, her duties at BlogHer, her walk on this planet.

    This woman, this person, is one of the most astonishing people I’ve ever met.

    For that reason, I love the top Dad’s list.

  35. drhoctor2 says:

    Oh, come on, now. Publications send out Best Of lists to generate ad revenue. Done. That’s a neutral statement by the way, I know how marketing works. The problem I have with them is that it is always a popularity contest and rarely based on actual writing quality or personal achievement.They always foster divisive commentary and competitive, highly negative feelings in the targeted groups. Always. Cecily’s statements on protecting her turf personify that negativity. While you’ve stated that this Babble list WASN’T judged on the basis of popularity , nothing as been clarified as to the criteria for judging. Since many of the “honorees” on these lists use them to tout their own blogs as worthy of more ad revenue also, I’d say I’m accurate in my assessment.
    I’ll add this as no one else has mentioned it. The inclusion of a woman on a daddybloggers best of list hasn’t met with any ope controversy. However, I’ll bet cash money that a man taking 2nd place on a Best of Mommybloggers list would cause a firestorm of cataclysmic proportions in that community.

    1. catherine says:

      DrHoctor2 – re men on mom blogger lists: Sweet Juniper (written by Jim Griffoen) has been named to Babble’s Top 50 Mom Blogs list twice, and ranked very highly both times.

  36. Buzz Bishop says:

    The difference between mom (bloggers) and dad (bloggers)? A sense of humor.

  37. Chris Routly (Daddy Doctrines) says:

    I didn’t make the list, and though I would have been thrilled if I had, I also would have secretly known that it meant either a) the bar was really low, b) the list was just thrown together from some random dude’s blogroll, or c) both. That said, I hadn’t heard of many of the blogs mentioned and have been enjoying checking them out.

    So I’m certainly not mad at Babble about the list, but I am disappointed.

    Not with the list itself, but maybe it’s simply because it *feels* less like Babble showing that they view dads as equal parenting partners, and more like they wanted to throw some dad-bloggers a bone. Maybe I’m wrong. I probably am. Maybe this was in the works for some time, and is their opening volley in making more “dad content” on Babble. I don’t know.

    I do hope they have something more in store for dads than a list like this. After all, it is posted in a “dad” section that doesn’t actually exist otherwise and has no other content. But I hope that doesn’t mean Babble is going to suddenly post articles on shaving techniques and sports sports sports and put it in their dad section. I’d much rather they just make it an editorial priority to treat anything parenting-related — other than being pregnant, giving birth, and breastfeeding — be written as much towards fathers as it is for mothers.

    Just my two cents. :-)

    1. catherine says:


      This list has been in the works for some time – since earlier this year – as has the new Dad section, which will be launching soon. And neither are intended to be a bone-toss, far from it – Babble has included dad voices since its inception, and these are ways of a) increasing the breadth and depth of that community of voices, and b) shining more of a spotlight on that community.

      It remains, of course, that the bulk of Babble’s audience is moms, and so there’s always going to be a strong mom-bend to the content here. But we’re really working to keep dads in the conversation.

      Director Of Community

  38. Chris Routly (Daddy Doctrines) says:

    I appreciate your response, Catherine. Thanks. I look forward to seeing what you have planned.

    I know that the bulk of your audience is naturally going to be moms, and probably always will be. And honestly, I also know that those dads who are around the site probably have a tendency to lurk rather than participate in the conversation, unless it’s specifically about dads. So, for my part I’m going to make an effort to back up my “dads are equal partners in parenting” dogma by become more engaged.

    Thanks again.

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