Before I say anything, I want to make clear that what I am saying here today is my opinion only and not the opinion of Babble as a whole. Me, and me only from here on out.
The controversy surrounding Dan Pearce of Single Dad Laughing doing a press release about being rescued off a mountain hasn’t stopped.
It is clear that Dan believes that other bloggers are “jealous” of his success, and frankly, that is not the issue. The truth is that many of us feel there is a difference between selling your life and sharing your life, and Dan sells more than he shares.
This is not to say that we memoir bloggers haven’t financially benefited from our blogs — we have, and will continue to do so when we can; after all, we like money — but that doesn’t make what we do fodder for a press release. Because writing about it in our blogs is enough.
Dan has circled around this issue in his column here at Babble, and I’m happy to see he’s taking some steps to look at his own role in the resentment he engenders (although saying he thinks he’s superior to everyone isn’t really the way to do it). I’ve spent plenty of time as a stupid blogger overreacting to criticism myself, and in some ways learning to respond instead of react is part of maturing as a blogger (and I’ll let you know when I get there).
That said, I think this particular article attempting to “expose” Dan doesn’t serve the blogging community in any way. Of course it’s fascinating to take apart a blogger’s story and try to uncover the bits that might be manipulated and smoothed over and cleaned up by the blogger when they tell their story to the public.
But that doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do.
Regardless of the intimacy of a personal blog, we bloggers are still only sharing a sliver of the story. Assuming that you know the truth by reading these slivers is a mistake.
I know what some of you will say is a tired argument we blogger hear all the time; that if we “put ourselves out there” we “deserve” to have our choice publicly picked over and criticized. I believe that argument is inherently flawed.
When your next door neighbor buys a new car after losing their job, do they “deserve” to have you publish an editorial in the newspaper about it? Of course not. Yet this happens to bloggers ALL THE TIME. I don’t believe that Dan Pearce deserves to be raked over the coals, regardless of how much of a jerk he appears to be.
And I don’t think investigating him is needed to protect the dad blogging community either. Is one potentially dishonest dad blogger going to hurt the dadosphere beyond repair? The dad bloggers I know are a smart, kind, and stand-up group of men and one dude using “guerrilla marketing” techniques to promote himself doesn’t make me think less of the dad blogging community as a whole, anymore than the handful of fraudulent mom bloggers (some of whom weren’t even really moms, and were far more shady that Dan has thus far proven to be) that have popped up has ruined the momosphere.
Ultimately, it’s the readers of Dan’s blog that will decide whether or not he’s worth reading. Not us. And I think that’s really for the best.
What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Is it important to “expose” the truth about bloggers? Is selling your life dishonest?