Martha Stewart, who was quite the charismatic and humorous speaker at BlogHer 2012, where she said that she was honored to share her birthday with us, had some choice words to say about bloggers this week.
Really, you absolutely must watch the video to fully grasp the fantastic derision in her words. But let’s review.
Stephanie Ruhle: “Is there an argument to be made that maybe social media is in poor taste?”
Martha Stewart, interrupting excitedly: “Oh – oh I DO have a minor gripe about that too. Because WHO are these bloggers? They’re not trained editors at Vogue magazine! I mean there are bloggers writing recipes that aren’t tested that aren’t necessarily very good, or are copies of everything that really good editors have created and done. So, bloggers create a kind of um, a, um, popularity but, they are NOT the experts! And we have to understand that.”
So Martha, I would like to say that you are correct.
At least about one thing.
We are NOT the trained editors at Vogue Magazine.
We are better.
And here are ten ways we treat our readers better than Vogue Magazine does theirs, or you yours for that matter.
1. Instead of finding child models for our photos, we use our own kids. And sometimes, those kids are angrier and/or dirtier than our reader’s kids, giving them hope that perhaps they’re not the worst Mom out there.
2. Sure, we tell them about our crafting projects gone right at times, but they can get that kind of overdone perfection in any doctor’s-waiting-room-copy of an old Martha Stewart Magazine. So we’re also willing to show our projects gone very, very wrong.
3. Half our content isn’t ads. Or at least it shouldn’t be.
4. We assure them that they are not weird or slowly going insane. Did you know that in fact everyone’s breast pump talks to them? It does. And I bet neither Vogue nor Martha ever told them that.
5. We show them what we really let our kids eat – and that they lived through it.
6. Speaking of food, anyone can put together a perfectly coifed tablescape. But will anyone show what a typical toddler tablescape looks like? I’ve never seen this in Martha Stewart Living, but I bet they’ve seen it in their home.
7. We all know that if you have a test kitchen and 20 professional chefs, you too can make gorgeous, identical, intricately decorated, picture-perfect anything. That’s why you need bloggers – to show you what they’ll probably look like if you try to make them.
8. If we do give DIY instructions and our readers can’t figure out how the heck to make that chevron pattern line up, we actually answer their questions. Good luck getting tech support from Vogue or Martha.
10. We properly warn of the nasty underside of attempting crafts with children. I am positive that if Martha even allows children in her magazines, they get scrubbed between shots.
So Vogue can keep their trained editors and we will keep our bloggers. And Martha might should reconsider using her most repulsed tones and grand sweeping generalizations about an entire people group. If for no other reason, so that her PR team can create a bit more genuine retraction.
Update: Martha had another non-apology attempt to save face with this tweet:
So let’s do a quick recap of Martha’s words:
a. Bloggers are not the experts,
b. Bloggers are stealing the expert’s ideas,
c. Bloggers inspire Martha the most.
Therefore, we can clearly deduce that Martha is stealing our ideas.